My apologies for the less than stellar photo, but I had a difficult time getting a decent shot in Bill’s office. Nonetheless, I just wanted to share my second cross stitch finish of the year: Say hello to Sam the Minuteman
I made this for Bill’s boss, Coach Mark Whipple. He hired Bill back in 2000, and in 2004, his career led him to the Pittsburgh Steelers (and a Super Bowl win), and onward from there to the Cleveland Browns, Philadelphia Eagles and the University of Miami before he rejoined us in Amherst. I’ve always considered him part of my family and I’m so happy he’s back with us, so I wanted to make him something special to let him know that. It took a while to find a pattern and even longer to finish it (Sam demanded I start him three times before he cooperated with me). I stitched him on 28 count antique even weave and I’m so pleased with how he turned out! There’s hardly any backstitching (which gives it an impressionistic look) and it didn’t need to be washed, so all it needed was a go-over with my iron and it was off to Hope and Feathers on September 16th. Usually there’s a two week window of time before you’ll get your work back to allow time for the custom frame to be ordered, but I really wanted to have it ready by the 27th (Homecoming), so I put on my best puppy dog face and asked – they said they couldn’t make any promises, but it was ready on the 26th. They really came through with flying colors for me! I managed to catch him briefly after the pep rally that night and gave it to him. I know he appreciated it, though I don’t think he quite knew what to make of it at first because I’m pretty sure he’d never been given anything handmade before, especially as it relates to his work. Bill told me it’s the first time all year Coach has been speechless for a good reason. Sam has a place of honor on his credenza in his office and I’m very proud of this project. He thanked me again the next Monday when he saw me at the radio show, and for me that’s the real payoff of cross stitch – knowing I’ve made someone’s day a little brighter through my craft makes even the most frustrating pieces worthwhile.