There was a time in my life when I had my own sewing room. It was before marriage and before motherhood, when I could afford to be more narcissistic. Now that I no longer have a child living at home, I have thought about converting the spare bedroom into a craft/sewing room which might be a smart move for when I retire.
I had worked a small cross stitch piece which hung on the wall near my sewing machine. It is one of the earliest pieces that I did and was from the early 1980’s.l
Project Details: “Sewing Machine and Rocker” from Charted Nostalgic Designs, Leisure Arts Leaflet 183, by Barbara Weiford. Copyright 1980. It was worked on 14 count Aida with 2 strands of floss for cross stitch and 1 strand of floss for back stitch.
Counted cross stitch projects can be as detailed or as elaborate as a stitcher or a designer wants to make them. I have done projects that have taken months of constant stitching with a hundred different colors. I have done others that have taken just a few evenings and used only one thread color.
Today I feature three small stitched pieces all with one color of floss that I stitched to make into pillows. I specifically sought out designs that could be worked in a single color as I was trying to match the comforter and the color scheme in a bedroom. The color I chose was DMC 3740 “Dark Antique Violet” which matched some fabric I had on hand that I was going to use for the pillows.
The unicorn”, she said, “was a marvelous beast, shining with honor, wisdom and strength. Just to see him strengthened the soul.”
–Megan Lindholm; The Unicorn in the Maze
There is something universally appealing about the mystical, magical, legendary unicorn. I personally have been fascinated by the lore of the unicorns for a very long time. In this week when we celebrated St. Patrick’s Day, I was reminded of a song from my teenage years by the Irish Rovers, a Canadian Irish folk group, called The Unicorn.
The Irish Rovers is a group that was thought to be largely responsible for the interest in Irish music in North America and has been performing for more than 50 years. The song was from 1968 and was the song that the Irish Rovers were best known for in the U.S. It reached number 2 in the U.S. Adult Contemporary Charts and number 7 in Billboard’s Hot 100. The song was written by Shel Silverstein.
Recalling this song reminded me of a a cross stitch piece I had done in the mid 80’s. It is another piece that I stitched but never framed. It was worked at a time when I did not think of my craft as being something long lasting so I did not record the actual date. I am relying on my rather foggy memory as to when I probably stitched it. I am sure that it is a relatively early example of my craft as it is a relatively easy design. My stitched piece The Unicorn is the feature of this week’s Saturday Stitching Post.
[Project Details: The source was The Unicorn Book by Betty Ashley (1980). 14 count white Aida was used with 2 strands of DMC floss; primarily cross stitch with french knots and lazy daisy embroidery stitch. Finished size 5 1/2″ x 4″}
Reaching for the Cookie Jar
Today my Saturday stitching post features a cross stitch piece that is a very early item that I stitched. I believe I did it around 1984 although at the time I did not know enough to add my name and date to the work I did. I was just getting into cross stitch and had no idea that it would become a passion for me for the rest of my life. Much of my early work was completed as gifts but this is a piece I kept for myself. It did not get framed until years later but it has now been displayed in two homes that I have lived in.
This weeks’ Top Ten Tuesday list is things that will always and forever be part of your life. Perhaps we should know better than to say we will definitely, beyond the shadow of a doubt, no matter what, always do something. After all, we cannot know what life holds in store for us. However, these would be things that we can’t imagine a circumstance or scenario in which we would not keep these things within our behavior pattern. Items on the list might not all be positive. For example, my list includes worrying which I would prefer not to do, but realistically I know I always will. The idea is to quickly come up with ten things (in no particular order) that fit this category. If you wish join me by coming up with your own list.
Ten Things I Will Always Do
- I will always go to church regularly.
- I will always pray.
- I will always worry about my loved ones’ physical and emotional well-being.
- I will always read books for leisure.
- I will always cross stitch
- I will always cry at funerals, weddings and sometimes just because I need a good cry.
- I will always laugh uproariously when anything strikes me as hilarious.
- I will always enjoy the beauty of nature, sunrises, sunsets and clouds.
- I will always feel grateful and blessed for the wonderful people who are part of my life.
- I will always appreciate the creative efforts of others.
Would any items on my list be shared on your list?
Today I share a heart themed cross stitch that I made in 2011. It is one of many pieces that I completed stitching, but never made into a project. This one I intend to finish as a pillow. I love stitching and seeing a design emerge as it is translated on fabric. When I put the last stitch in one project I always have a million ideas in my head for the next project I will do. I also have several WIP’s (Works in Progress) that I could pick up. I have a drawer full of projects that are completely stitched but that I have not framed or otherwise finished. At one time I felt guilty about that, but then I think of all the people who write and never publish, or who paint and never display their paintings, or undertake some other creative process and enjoy the act of creating but don’t ever share their hard work with the masses. The benefits of the actual creative process can be greater than the finished product. I have plans for every piece that is finished. And someday the plans will be implemented.
In the Cross Stitch & Country Crafts magazine that published this design, the finished chart had been framed in a wooden tray with glass over it. It was referred to as a tic-tac-toe board. Individual heart designs were also featured in a greeting card and on the top of a wooden box. Some individual hearts were stuffed and framed in lace and ribbon for decor pieces. Another option used a four heart section of the design to make a smaller pillow.
I have stitched for 30 years and have subscribed to many different cross stitch magazines during this time. I generally find my next project by searching through the magazines and charts that I have accumulated. Although I wish I could purchase more to support the struggling designers out there, I cannot justify it when I know that I already have just the designs I need. The one chart that was a recent purchase was Dawn’s Break by Mystic Stitch featured in my post 93,100 Stitches of Love.
Project Details: Medley of Hearts from Cross Stitch & Country Crafts, Jan/Feb 1991. Stitched on rose 28 count even weave over 2 with 2 strands of DMC floss. Finished size 9 1/2 ” by 9″. Design by Linda Gillum.