Years and years ago, when my children were small, I was enamored with counted cross stitch. That was before I started quilting. I loved the quiet rhythm that soothed me after a day of chaos...sitting in a rocking chair quietly stitching, winding down the day. I could physically feel the worries of work sliding off me, the concerns for my children ebbing, and peace lay around me.
Many of those stitcheries made their way into frames....and gifts from friends I made during that time still grace my home during the holidays.
It seems rather ironic to me that this piece I made in 1979 seems to portend my interest in quilting. I originally gave this to my husband's mother. When she passed away it was returned to me. In 1979 we had 3 children at home and were struggling to make ends meet. This frame was a cheap one, but all I could afford then. I thought about replacing it but....I think not. I love the memories. It hangs in my kitchen tucked away in a corner beside the coffee pot.
I made this one about that same time and gave it to my sister. In one of her redecorating projects this was destined for the attic storage so I brought it back home with me. :)
The navy band is a velvet ribbon and the frame...again one that probably cost $1.
With work and kids and a husband who was away from home a lot I didn't get to see girlfriends a lot at that point in my life. But I had one dear friend who lived a block away and we grabbed every moment we could get. After baths and bedtimes we put on our flannel nightgowns and about 10:00 one or the other of us traveled that block to the home of the other....only when husband's were home to babysit of course. While our households slept we spent an hour or two stitching and visiting. Noel was a gift from her in the late 70s and it still hangs in my house every Christmas.
Not everything we did was framed. That same friend made me this little pillow - it lives on a shelf near my stitching chair.
Eventually we left that town but I found another stitching friend who made this adorable broom apron for me for Christmas one year. She passed away several years ago but every Christmas when I take this out and put it beside my fireplace I am reminded of her and those precious times.
One day a few years ago I was wandering through a junk store when I ran across a little cross stitch piece. It was love at first sight and the price of $1 cinched it.
In this picture you can see the quilting I did when I put it into this table topper.
You can see the "wrinkle" of my round table top so my apologies for that. But I hang it on top of a solid color table cloth on a small round table beside my husband's recliner.
I made this in my early days of quilting and since it was my first time trying to make borders I can see lots of mistakes. I probably saw them then too, but I have a real aversion to ripping. :)
I seem to have come full circle now and though quilting will likely remain my first love, I've gradually added back a lot of hand stitching. The easy no-brain redwork pieces are all over my house. I'm not putting down embroidery...it's just that I've done so much that I don't think about it much any more. I just do it. :) I'm completely taken in by wool applique. I can't seem to get enough of it. And now counted cross stitch has made its way back into my life. Not enough hours, not enough years left to do all I want to do. Sigh. But....I'm certainly going to make a stab at it! :)
If you're searching for ways to incorporate your stitching into your home try a few of these...or look for ways to incorporate them into something you can use. A kitchen themed cross stitched piece as the front of a toaster cover, an embroidered pillow sham for a bedroom, an appliqued throw pillow or cross stitched guest towel. I plan to spend the winter doing some quiet stitching....