My First Crafty Love

I have, for as long as I can remember, loved crafts.  Everything from crayons and markers to paint, glitter, beads, clay, and string (to make those super-cool knotted friendship bracelets) has been a part of my crafty repertoire.  Some time in early high school I came across cross stitch, and I started with a very small critter pattern; I think it was a cheerleading duck.  It was only a few inches by a few inches but it was the start of what would become my very favorite craft.  I have at this point completed many larger patterns, mostly from kits and pattern books, all of which have been displayed on our walls at some point.  Right now we only have a few hanging; we decided when we moved that we weren't going to hang anything on walls that needed to be refinished.  Why hang something just to take it down again in a short amount of time?

The only problem with this wonderful hobby that is (most often) calming and that produces beautiful art is that it takes a long time to complete one.  Depending on the type of cloth you are using, it can take months or years to finish a design.  Especially if, like me, you have to pull out all the stitches that you realized were out of place once you realized you made a mistake because then the design wouldn't look right, even though you'd probably be the only one who would know.  I have pulled out literally an hour's worth of stitches when I realized they were placed wrong.  Shortly after that, I usually put that particular pattern away for a "break".  i.e. I'm mad at it.  Here are a few examples of what's hanging up right now: 

Garden ladder

Garden chair

Gardening chest- This actually took about 10 years to complete, as it is tiny stitches, in which I made several mistakes and got mad at it about halfway in and then put it away.
A close-up
So then I decided to take inventory of all of the cross stitch supplies I have stashed around.  Take into account that I have not purchased anything related to this hobby in a couple of years, as I have no time to actually work on anything anymore.

A basket of kits in the closet

A box of various backing cloths- mostly linen- given to me by a friend of a friend who couldn't use them

Two boxes of embroidery floss, bagged and labeled in numerical order (yes, I'm a little bit type A)

Needles, hoops (both of which I always forget when going on vacation, which is why there are so many), special floss, and a highlighter to mark what I've already done

Then SURPRISE!  In the nightstand- more kits and more hoops (my get-to-these-first stash)
My current favorite project that I'd love to get back to: a Christmas tree skirt that I am halfway done with.  To give you an idea of the size of this, half of the cloth is in the picture below, the whole thing being the size of a small table cloth.  The stitches are pretty large and it's very time-consuming, but I'm excited about the fact that this will be under our family Christmas tree one year.

I very much enjoy working with paper and all the fun things I can come up with it, but if I could figure out a way to make a crafty business out of cross stitch, that would be my first choice.  There's just so much time involved, I feel like I'd have to charge a small fortune for each piece, and in order to actually have some stock, I'd have to do smaller pieces.  Plus, they are nearly impossible to part with.  The only three I've made which are not currently in my house are at my parents' house- gifts to them over the years- and I can visit those whenever I want.  I don't know how it would be to send one off to a stranger.  Maybe it will be something to think the future!


  1. Those are amazing! So detailed!

  2. You have a lot of work ahead of you!!! I guess that's why I see so many of these at garage sales, unopened...

    You are in my blog today, by the way!

  3. I used to cross-stitch when I was younger (one of the first crafts I learned, actually), and I'm kind of getting back into it. Nothing as big as that tree skirt, though!

  4. I love what you have made, and can't blame you for getting mad at an inanimate object. Your tree skirt looks just fantastic dont give up on that! I remember my mother purchased a Frank Lloyd Wright pattern that my dad loved, and it took her about 5 years to finish... but it was worth it and a great bday gift for him :)