Sunday, October 19, 2008

The history of my stitches...

begins with this project:

In 1967, I was in the fifth grade. In the spring, we fifth graders began gift projects for Mother's Day. The two fifth grade classes split up with all the boys in one classroom creating some kind of wood project (a bird house, if memory serves). The girls went to the other classroom and we worked on apron projects. Made of gingham, stitched together and embellished with rudimentary chicken scratch embroidery.
My mom was very proud of any creative effort. (Even with loose knots sticking up along the top!

I don't believe she wore the apron. There are a few age spots on it, probably from my grubby little fifth grade hands as I worked on it!

After making the apron, I was inspired to do more cross stitch and started this sampler.

I don't remember exactly when I started this project, but it was shortly after the apron experience. It was finished in 1976. I was in college then (Go Jayhawks!) and in a very strange humanities program (I later came to believe it was a cult, but that is another story for another time). Anyway, the professors believed that listening is more important than taking notes and keeping your hands busy also aided...comprehension, focus.. I am not really sure, but they encouraged handiwork during lectures. So I dug out this project and finished it. The faces are pretty rough (not my cross stitch expertise, you know!)

I became a stamped cross stitch project hound, searching out projects to keep me busy as I sat through lecture every week. I had three or four dedicated hours each week to fill with stitching. Counted cross stitch was just becoming a trend (at least in my awareness) and it was mostly done on regular fabric like linen, so it took much more concentration (and skill) than I had, at that time. I was always on the lookout for project kits!

I found this one:

(I found anther one of these kits in a box of things that I got at an auction some years ago. I have kept it, but I am not sure why. Since I haven't done anything with this one in 30 years, I don't think that I will need another! )

I really enjoyed the project below! More colors than the others and separate elements that were little "milestones" that made the project go quickly.

The vegetable were fun. This might have been the forerunner of anthropomorphic fruit on dish towels!

This patriotic effort was not so fun. Just a couple of colors and applique that was out of my skill set!

I did a few others that I gave as gifts, but after all, how many framed samplers does one mother need? (Just kidding, I gave them to others, too)

I left college after a few semesters and didn't pick up an embroidery needle for more than 20 years.

When The Mister finished working on the Galaxie and we began to take it to car shows, I started thinking about hand work again. Since most shows have about 4 or 5 hours of sitting in lawn chairs, visiting with other exhibitors and friends it is the perfect opportunity to pick up a project!

At least I learned something useful in college!

1 comment:

Iron Needles said...

I remember the apron. I didn't realize that is where the other embroidery skills were honed. I wonder where the sampler you made me ended up...