Wednesday, 24 September 2008

How did you get your start with cross-stitching?

First, thank you for visiting and especially to those who have left comments. When you have a new blog, it's nice to see that people do visit by the comments they leave.

I was wondering - how did you get your start with cross stitching? How old were you? Who taught you? And did you take to it right away, or did it take awhile, or perhaps it had to be when you found the right designer before you got excited with stitching.

For me, I first learned to stitch in the early 1990's when our son was just a wee lad. An older woman at work had a cute picture of a cross-stitched lamb hanging in her cubicle. I would see this cute picture everyday and one day, I asked her where it came from. She said she stitched it, then explained that it was just a bunch of x's on cloth. (Yes, she said that - I didn't make it up.) She said if I got some supplies she would show me how to do it.

I had an Australian Woman's Weekly crafts book at home where there was a simple cross stitch of 2 orchids. I brought all the supplies into work and one lunch hour she showed me how to stitch. I was intrigued. I carried on later that evening, and was hooked! I remembered my DH checking in with me around 11pm asking if I would be going to bed soon, but I'd kept saying "just a few more stitches!" Sound familiar?

Cross stitching is not really known here in my part of the country and it was difficult to find patterns. I scouted around general craft stores. Since our son was little, I did stitch some of the cutesy kiddies things on aida for awhile. I liked the calmness and quietness of stitching but nothing really grabbed me until I found this leaflet by Leisure Arts.

This was the first time I'd seen samplers and I just loved them right away. I stitched the one with the house between two trees, and the sailing ship one. The former I have framed. The latter, one day soon, I may give away on my blog. It was also the first time I tried stitching on linen. Once I did that, bye bye aida!

Still, I did not really get into stitching until 2002 when I found a LNS which carried mostly needlepoint, but also some cross stitch. When I found Birds of a Feather, I nearly fell over with excitement. Shortly after that, Blackbird Design - another w.o.w.

While I'd mentioned a 5 year break in stitching, it never really left me (thank goodness). I also like designs from Carriage House Samplings, La-d-da, Prairie Schooler, Bent Creek, and so many more! My newest designer that I 'discovered' this year is Stacy Nash Primitives.

So, I will leave you with another 2008 finish. It was so much fun to stitch.

Quaker Garden
Blackbird Design

I would love to hear how you got started. Happy Stitching!


Celaina said...

I have that Leisure Arts book too and another one that they did about the same time that was a little more primitive....the early work of girls learning to stitch. I had done some cross stitching when it first became popular but somehow it didn't make sense to me until I saw those books and then WOW samplers....and then WOW Christmas ornaments. I really love the bigger designs these days but have trouble holding that much fabric. Do you use a floor stand. How do you stitch?

Melissa said...

Hi Celaina,

Thanks for your comment. That's pretty much how I felt when I left that Leisure Arts leaflet. I still want to stitch the rest of them!

I didn't know how to get in touch with you other than posting the comment, so here goes. I stitch using a floor stand. I used a hoop for many years, then when I broke my collarbone in a cycling mishap, I couldn't stitch using a hoop any longer. I love the floor stand. Recently I purchased a lap stand and have yet to try it. At least it will be a bit more portable.

Come visit again!

Chrissie said...

Hi Melissa, thanks for visiting my blog and allowing me to find yours. I started stitching well over twenty years ago and have loved it ever since.
We have wonderful choices nowadays in threads and fabric. My tastes have changed a lot over the years as well. Also, the Internet is a wonderful thing in that we can now see so much of what other stitchers world wide are doing.

Cathy B said...

I've been cross-stitcing for about 20 - 25 years; and have done crochet and other crafts before that.

My mom and her sisters and some friends used tog et together every Monday night - they called themselves the "crochet club." They taught me how to crochet when I was about 11 or 12 years old. I didn't learn to cross-stitch until my 20's and shortly thereafter I took some Hardanger classes.

Have loved all of it ever since!