When I was in high school, my mother taught me how to cross stitch. It was something I had watched her do most of my life, and she created so many gorgeous things that I knew I wanted to share this hobby with her. It’s not difficult to learn – I’ve taught a couple of people the basics in a half hour or less – and it’s been something I’ve enjoyed for over twenty years now. Because I have no children and a husband whose job has long hours and a lot of travel during football season, I need to have something to keep me occupied when I’m alone, and cross stitch more than fits the bill.
Most of what I’ve made, I’ve given as gifts, but I have kept a couple of projects, though they were made for my husband.
Giving someone a handmade object shows that you care enough to devote your free time to creating something out of love, and it’s my favorite part of stitching. I also love to see how the image emerges over time, moving from a few random stitches on fabric to a finished piece – I really do consider it painting with thread. Last year I felt stuck in a rut, and decided to branch out with plastic canvas ornaments for my family at Christmas.
I think this year I’ll branch out even further with pillow ornaments and cinnamon stick pouch ornaments from the Leisure Arts Big Book of Christmas Quickies and maybe if I feel froggy, I’ll try the jar toppers for quick office gifts. I think that branching out is a leap of faith for me because I’ve always gotten my work framed. Stepping outside my comfort zone after taking the time to stich something is a bit scary, but as long as I’ve been stiching, I’m ready for a change. Making framed pictures is rewarding, but I want to learn something new and lapel pins, mini pillows and different kinds of ornaments seem the perfect opportunity to just go for it. In the meantime, I’m working on footballs on perforated paper that I plan to make into lapel pins for myself and the other team wives, along with a UMass logo for Bill’s new office, and a list of other things that’s as long as my arm. God forbid I start to lose my vision, I need to live to be 373 1/2 years old to finish all my projects.