counted cross stitch, mother creative, textiles, Uncategorized

27 Years of Cross Stitch

My mom taught me cross stitch when I was 12. I no longer have that first little bunny sampler I did. But I do have every one I did after.

I was 15 & started it while visiting my sister one summer in New Jersey. I was obsessed with tropical fish at that time in my life. I think doing this now at 41, on black fabric though, might do me in.

I love these kits so much & having one to work on has always felt like a luxury. Lately as I’ve had knitting burn out, I’ve been embracing my inner cross stitch love. I’ve kept them over the years rolled up & waiting to be framed. I’ve finally bought frames but now I need to iron or steam or something before I frame them.


This next one I worked on endlessly between 1996 & 1997. I have fond memories of bringing it to weekends to stay with my boyfriend’s family in the Maine North woods on the Kennebec River. I loved being with this family so much. They worked on building a beautiful Inn for hunters & rafters & a home for themselves & they included me in so much. My boyfriend’s step dad was especially curious about this piece I was working on & we tried to hatch a plan for me to make one of their Inn but I had to admit to him I wasn’t really skilled at all in designing these things. When I look at this piece though, I think of my happy youth at this time. A time where I was loved so unconditionally by a wonderful young man & how welcoming his family was to me. There were so many french knots involved. And for some reason, it’s a little slanted too and well worn. It also brings sweet memories of cool breezes and relaxed days in summer.


This kit was purchased at Footprints in Dublin, Ireland in 1999. I look at this piece and I remember warm friendships forged, museum visits of confusing art, long walks down a winding Irish road to buy my weeks worth of groceries; apples, potatoes, milk, cheese, salami. Perfumed streets in Dublin of cologne, Supermacs, and cigarettes all mixed together. I was spending 5.5 months in Ireland from July thru December. It was one of the best trips of my life. Volunteering with Scripture Union Ireland for the 2nd summer in a row and then I headed west to the The Burren College of Art for the fall semester of my senior year. The summer was all about people and the fall was all about my art.


I picked this up at my local craft store such a long time ago. It began my love of song birds. I started it with just a few stitches and left it for about 12 years. I had an issue for a while with starting so many projects and then not finish them. I love how plump this little blue bird is.


These cardinals took over a decade to complete. A real start & stop project. Again. I started it during the ending of one relationship just to finish it at the beginning of reconciliation of the same. As I’d work through this piece towards the ending of it, I’d feel the tediousness of it, but it brought me peace to work through it.

*************************************************************************************This may be my favorite of them all. Though it’s a toss up with the cardinals. It sings September to me.


Now, I’ve got a few more, of course, in my line up. Of song birds of course. But first I’ve been working on a pretty different one. I found it at Camp Wool in Kennebunk, Maine. And though I had to gather all the colors, myself, I couldn’t resist this design. Of an Old New England Whaling Ship. It spoke to me in a way that I thought would help me mediate on one of life’s great mysteries to me; my own heart.





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