Tuesday, July 3, 2007

How it all began



Yesterday I was reading Bren's blog http://piecesfromme.blogspot.com/where she told how she got started on quilting.
That started me reminiscing about how I got started on counted cross stitch.
It must have been about seventeen years ago....... I remember going to a little needlework shop in my lunch hour where I bought a tiny kit that had a floral design by Permin of Copenhagen. I couldn't wait to get home. That evening I eagerly opened the kit and, to my dismay, found a blank piece of fabric! Oh no, I had imagined the pattern would be stamped on the fabric and I'd be stitching in no time.
After a few failed attempts I threw it to one side and my daughter, aged about 14 at that time, asked if she could do it. I told her she could have it, she took it to her room and imagine my surprise when she showed me the finished piece next morning!
The only error I could see was that she had used one strand of the DMC instead of two.
My daughter became very interested in cross stitch at this point and I bought her several kits but I'd completely lost interest, thought it a total waste of time, and returned to my knitting. I'd admire her efforts but had no desire to try cross stitch again.
A couple of years later I got to know someone at my work that did cross stitch and I decided to have another go. I bought a needlework magazine that had a little kit on the front and this time, with help from my daughter, I finished it!
I remember being proud of my efforts and still have that little card to this day.
My next attempt was a Moira Blackburn sampler kit which seemed a huge undertaking to me back then. I still wasn't patient enough at the slow process of doing counted cross stitch because I started it only to throw it aside for several years.
Meanwhile I did improve a lot by stitching on smaller projects that gave the satisfaction of actually finishing something and it was around this time that I really became obsessed with stitching.
I finally picked up the sampler again in 1995 and finished it even though I knew by this time that it was full of mistakes and not very well done at all. The border didn't meet up and I remember, horror of horrors, just fudging it!
I still love that pattern to this day and only wish I'd kept it as I would love to stitch it again, properly this time, on linen using silk threads.
Moira Blackburn is still up there with my favourite designers, I still love samplers of all kinds and even have a MB sampler (Peaceful Garden) as a WIP.
I still have a lot to learn about stitching and embroidery but one thing I know for sure is that working with a needle and thread, no matter what the style of embroidery, is a wonderful pastime.

8 comments:

Pieces From Me said...

I did counted cross stitch too and loved it. My embroidery is not very good but I have a desire to put it in my quilts so I may be calling on you for some guidance! Thanks for sharing your "beginnings". I love those stories!! Bren

Nancy said...

Hola Margaret! I enjoyed reading how you got started doing cross stitch. So nice that you still have your first piece, and it's very sweet. (I wish I still had my first piece, but I think it was a gift.) The Moira Blackburn sampler is gorgeous - lovely colors. And, remember, there are lots of repro charts that have the mistakes on the chart so you can stitch them!

Enjoy your day,
Nancy

Linda said...

It seems that there's quite a lot of quilters and embroider's who had their start with cross stitch. I still have a nativiety to finish stitching.

Anonymous said...

oooooo lovely lovely
the colors are so nice!!!!
gorgeous!!!
hugs
fran├žoise

choko said...

Hi margaret,Your first stich story is very nice!and I am enjoy hear from you.
This chart so beutiful!

Christine said...

More beautiful stitching from the hands of Margaret! Love the story and an excellent read. Glad you stuck with it. Does your DD still stitch? Thanks for sharing.

Tanya said...

Oh that sampler is beautiful, Margaret!!! I enjoyed reading about your first piece.

diane said...

I adore your story about how you got started stitching and when. there is a time and season, a rhyme and reason to our starting and growing at this craft. I am glad to share this passion with you! :)