I did a lot of cross stitch in the early 90s. We had the oldest three kids and were living in Chester, Iowa. Back then I did small projects and stitched them on aida cloth. I was in my early 20s then. Cross stitch was something I could do sitting in the living room and keeping an eye on the kids. It was also a fairy cheap hobby so that was good too.
I was new to the craft and knew little. I didn’t know there were cross stitch stores. I only knew what the variety stores had. (My times have changed)
Then a five years ago or so a blog reader, Ila, and I planned to meet up. I had heard there was a fabulous quilt shop, Country Sampler, in Spring Green, Wisconsin. We could travel through Spring Green to meet Ila so that’s what Kelli, Kayla and I did. Little did I know that the shop also had AMAZING cross stitch goodies. I was smitten. Kelli was too…We all bought projects.
Kelli took off like wildfire. Kayla and me not so much. I was now trying to stitch on linen and my old eyes didn’t like it. I went on to try all sorts of different magnifiers and liked NONE. My cross stitch sat.
Then one day I was on the internet and saw this cross stitch project….
I don’t know what it was but I was determined. I was going to stitch it. I might stitch that and never another project but I was going to stitch it. I found the designers web page and figured out there was a cross stitch shop that sold her designs in Osage, Iowa. That’s an hour from my house. I called Kelli and asked if she was up for a road trip. She was, so off we went.
The people who own the shop are awesome!! They were super helpful. There was a retreat going on upstairs at the shop and they said we were welcome to go take a look. The retreaters didn’t mind at all…and oh my, they were so helpful. Several of them also had “old eyes” and showed us a bunch of different light and magnifying options.
I left there inspired. From there we went to Joann’s and I bought a light….this one….
Here is an Amazon link for the lamp if you want to check it out.
I went home and started stitching. I did okay with it. I wasn’t fast…but I was proficient. That’s all I needed.
Since then I’ve learned so much about cross stitch. Although my eyes are old they are working. They don’t love linen as with linen I cross two threads so lots more concentrating more counting but they do it. I’ve learned not all linens are the same. I could go back to aida but I like the look of linen and am willing to work harder to get the look I like.
Since that first trip to Osage, I’ve stitched several pieces. Most are small. Most are simple and I’m completely fine with that.
Recently, I don’t even remember how, but I discovered Priscilla. Her and her daughter are big time cross stitchers. She finishes MANY projects….MANY as much as 1-2 to 3 per week. WOW. They have a Youtube channel, Floss tube where they talk about their cross stitch. I’m addicted. They post a new episode every Saturday and I watch it every Saturday.
The great thing about Priscilla is that she finishes cross stitch in a way I’ve never seen it done before. Finished pieces aren’t in a frame and have to hung on a wall.
Here are a couple examples…Photos came from Priscilla’s blog.
Priscilla teams up with Hands on Designs and even designs her own projects. See…WOW!!
I feel very inspired to try some new finishing ideas. I HIGHLY recommend giving them a watch. Every night I was at the hospital with Kramer I would watch an episode or two of their Floss Tube before bedtime.
They have a Facebook page, Stitching with the Housewives. I am addicted to that too. People are always showing off what they are stitching on and how they are finishing them. Time and time again I read about someone, who just like me, was a cross stitcher and gave it up only to start again. It’s so fun for me to know I’m not the only one.
Kramer is thrilled that I found them. He doesn’t have to make frame after frame for me now. Right now, until things settle down here, I’m stitching. Once we settle in to Kramer’s cancer treatment and the new babies are settled, I’ll work more on getting a few of the things I’ve stitched finished. For now, I’m so inspired.
If you have old eyes like me and thought to give up cross stitch, I highly suggest trying again. Between lamps and magnifiers and simply “getting the hang of it” again I really think it’s possible. At the hospital I could stitch and often didn’t even have extra light. I think I had to get in the groove again.
The cross stitch return came at EXACTLY the right time. I can squeeze that in now….Quilting is less mobile and harder to do on the go. So expect to see a little more cross stitch around here now and then..like I said, I’m now addicted.