Cross Stitch Finish: The Maker and Mender

I finished my Maker and Mender project from With Thy Needle and Thread. I stitched mine on 40-count linen, Alcott from Needle and Flax. I used all the called for flosses.

I finished this at the end of last month. You might remember this picture. Izzy wasn’t too happy.

Before I had even completely finished the piece, I started auditioning frames. I had a few options.

I ended up going with the religious frame. It was an antique frame. This was going to be especially tricky to cut down. The “molding” is actually like a plaster that is put over the wood. There was a huge chance the plaster would crack off when I cut it with the chop saw.

To help with that, I wrapped painter’s tape around the ends where I would be making the cuts. My hope was that it would hold the frame together and stabilize it. I do that with plastic frames as well.

Oh…this was looking great!!

I finished the stitching and started putting it together. As always I put batting on the foam core or matting that I use to mount my stitched piece on.

When lacing I loosely lace. Then I go back and tighten it all up.

After it was laced and everything was finished, I noticed that some of the plaster in the corners needed some touch-up. Rub and Buff to the rescue. I really think one of the keys to framing things yourself is to have the right products to hide boo-boos. Rub and Buff is HIGH on my list of must-haves. I get mine HERE from Amazon. It’s kind of expensive but totally worth it and has lasted for a long time.

Oh…I love it!! Boos-boos all hidden.

It’s found a home here in the living room.

In the chart, the designer, Brenda Gervais writes a beautiful piece about where the saying came from and how she came to dedicate the piece to her mother.

Like Brenda, it was my mother who put a needle in my hand. My mom was amazingly patient. When sewing clothes, if I ever sewed something wrong, it was my mother who ripped out the seam. She was always encouraging me to try any craft I wanted. It was she who bought my first little cross stitch piece from Ben Franklin. Even as a very small child she taught to me embroider. I wanted to crochet…mom bought me the stuff and helped me read directions to learn (long before Youtube!!) Knitting, sure. Candlewicking, yes. Tatting…sure. Anything I wanted to try, Mom helped.

We didn’t have a lot of money growing up…but if I wanted to sew or craft, money was found.

For my 16th birthday, it was mom who pushed for me to get my first sewing machine. I got a used Singer sewing machine. I used that machine so much. I loved it. I used it until it died and was beyond repair.

My mom was awesome in all she taught and encouraged me to do. In the short 24 years I had with her, she made one of the biggest impressions on my life simply but putting a needle in my hand. I can’t thank her enough for that.

The saying on this piece says, “The Needle bit it thought so slim and slender is both a maker and a mender.”

I have made so many things with a needle in my life. I’ve mended my share too…but it’s the needle that mended me so many times. When my mom died, I buried myself in making one of my first intensely pieced quilts. When my husband died, it was cross stitch I threw myself into. It was the needle that mended me and helped me get through it all. It was my therapy.

I can’t thank my mom enough for being the one who introduced me to the needle.

I dedicated my piece to her. You can see her initials, “EJ”, Evalonne Johnson at the bottom near the star…and mine at the top in eyelet stitch.

I wish she had lived long enough to see the result of all the work she did to cultivate crafting and sewing in me. 24 years just wasn’t long enough. I was still too young and with limited life experience to really appreciate her the way she deserved. I sure do now…and sadly, the only way I can show that appreciation is to stitch her initials on a sampler.

As you can see…this piece will always be a favorite of mine and I’m so thankful I had a chance to stitch it.

9 thoughts on “Cross Stitch Finish: The Maker and Mender”

  1. This is such a beautiful piece and I was so touched by your loving words about your mother. Yes, you were too young to lose your mother. I was much older when my mother died and I still miss her so much.

  2. What a beautiful piece and wonderful tribute to your mom! Yes you were too young to loose her but even those of us who have been fortunate enough to have loved ones longer have not always been able to appreciate them as much as we should. Nevertheless I believe the love continues. She would be pleased and proud of all the beautiful work you do to say nothing of your generous work on Community Quilts. Image how proud she would be of the many quilts you and Kelli have published! True you can’t have the same relationship but the important love is still alive.

  3. I was also one of the fortunate ones to have my mom teach me to sew, cross stitch, embroider, etc. She even tried to tech me to knit but that didn’t work out. Still, she was an encouragement to me in all my sewing and I’m doing my best to pass that along to me daughter and grand daughters.
    Thank you for your beautiful words.
    Love and prayers

  4. Beautiful tribute to your Mom Jo. Your finished piece is beautiful too. I have this one kitted up and I am going to personalize it for my Mom too. She was a huge maker and mender and she taught me so much…sewing, quilting, knitting, etc. I had 45 years with my Mom, 24 is way too soon. Bless you Jo.

  5. It’s such a beautiful peace and you did your mom proud to finish it and put her initials on it! I have a feeling she knows how wonderful of a Mender and Maker you have become!

  6. I have similar experiences with my Mom. She basically taught me everything I know! My Mother has been gone now for over 23 years and I miss her presence every single day but her example makes me continue to strive and reach for the stars! A maker and a mender, for sure.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top