Don't let the difficulties of the present moments overshadow the reality of God's promises. God's promises still stand. And God's promises are stronger than our failures.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

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....

23 comments:

Mdm Samm said...

I am already calmer...so many wonderful stitching pieces here.....and yes let's get back to those times...let's enjoy the time we have left...wink....
love the broom one and the proverbs..

sew.darn.quilt said...

Lovely pieces, lovely memories and friendships. It seems that many of us are thinking the same way, Marlene. One of the many things I like about cross stitch is being able to stitch in the livingroom and be with my boys instead of being hold up in another part of the house.
Happy stitching!
Happy New Year!

Karen said...

I used to do a lot of cross stitch pictures, none of which I have for myself. I just recently finished a combination of wool applique with cross stitch pillow which I will share on my blog very soon.

sunny said...

I used to do a lot of cross stitching, and have recently come back to it, too. I have a small sampler that my bff made for me back in 1989 that hangs in my bedroom. I love thinking about all the time we spent together stitching. There's a lot of time and love invested in each of your pieces.

Terry said...

I used to do cross stitch...I still have a few I need to find and finish actually. Yours are all lovely! :0)

Colleen said...

I have found some wonderful stitcheries at yard sales I rescued two violet prints my mom did from a yard sale and they fit in my lavender bathroom.

Kyle said...

Loved your post today. So many lovely memories you have stitched and shared and funny how some of them have found their way back home again. Winter time is the perfect time for doing some quiet stitching. Enjoy.

Needled Mom said...

It was great to see the pieces from the past. Isn't it funny how we can remember what was going on in our lives when we were working on those older pieces? I love seeing so many people getting back into it again.

Siouxzq64@gmail.com said...

Great pieces and the memories that go along with them. I had decided I needed to work more on my embroidery and cross stitch. Especially after my sweet hubby asked when he would get a home made stocking like the ones I had for my daughter and two oldest grandsons.

Adrienne said...

Your stitched pieces are such treasures. There are a few I made in the seventies that I wish I had kept. I am finally going to start making cross-stitch Christmas stocking kits I bought for my sweetheart and I. I looked long and hard to find the perfect ones that reflect each of us. (Yes, I'll share them when they are finished.) Happy New Year, dear friend. I wish you the best year ever.
~Adrienne~

Michaele said...

That's what I love most about cross stitch, they take so long to do that they really area treasured for many years. Nice work.

Denise :) said...

How lovely! I few cross-stitched things that I did in my earlier years, as gifts for others, have come back to me, as well. And I spent some time this year admiring the cross-stitched cuffs I made for the stockings that Todd and I have owned for near 20 years now! Happy New Year to you, Marlene! :)

Lois Evensen said...

So many pretty things! It is wonderful that you are able to get them out and display them to enjoy over and over again.

Anna said...

I so love ALL of your CROSS STITCH, but the little houses you saved are adorable. Happy New Year!

Sharon Dawn said...

Great Stitchings! I especially love the houses and the way your recognized their value and took them home to finish ;)

Happy New Year!

Julie Fukuda said...

Some of my vintage stitchery has recently appeared. I was wondering what I could do with it but now I see it might be re-purposed. Have another happy year of stitchin'!

Michele said...

Oh it is fun to see so many vintage projects. I've been cross stitching since I was a young teenager and still do it from time to time. It will always be a love of mine.

Createology said...

I love all of your cherished pieces of stitching and the memories they hold. Time does seem to slow down a bit when we spend it doing something calm like hand stitching. Blessings with Peace and Joy and Calm for all of 2015...

Barb said...

So enjoyed all of your stitchery....Happy New Year!

Purple Pam said...

Your needlework pieces and your Christmas pieces are sweet. I tried counted cross stitch once but was not successful. Apparently I cannot count!

Gmama Jane said...

Your post brought back so many memories of cross stitching back in the 80's. Like you, I had very little money to invest in framing so I stitched a lot of small projects. I usually only had short bursts of time to stitch what with teaching, 3 children, and being a Coach's wife. I have recently unearthed a few of these projects (some finished, some not) but the one I found the other day was an unfinished yet beautiful scene of a Quilt being stitched inside of a wooden round Floor Hoop.I had NO intentions of ever quilting myself but the beauty of that quilt must have been a look into my future endeavors with needle and thread. Cross-Stitching nowadays has so many useful and creative ways to be incorporated into my FIRST Love of Quilting. Sew, I will be joining you this winter with my needle, floss, and cross stitch patterns!!
Happy New Year!
Jane

Vickie said...

I have many CCS memories too, I am a cross stitcher from the early 80's. Most of my CCS was given as gifts and all but one of what I kept is in the attic. Oddly enough the one I cherished the most that I made back then is of a quilt ! And I wasn't a quilter back then !

Ranch Wife said...

Such lovely pieces filled with wonderful memories of precious friendships! Cross stitch was my first introduction to any sort of stitching in 1986. I may set it aside for periods. but I always find my way back. Its such a nice way to relax and close out the day. I'm looking forward to seeing your new projects! Let's all pick up the needle and floss again!