I have a confession. It may seem strange coming from a cross stitch designer, but while I really love designing cross stitch, as I get older, I’m finding myself stitching less and less of it. This isn’t to say that I don’t still love it. In fact, last week I found myself very pleased with the meditative qualities I remembered while stitching a new pillow design (and boy did I need those meditative qualities at the time!)
For me, counted cross stitch was a gateway drug. It was the thing that got me beyond the hatred of that stamped cross and stem stitch sampler I started when I was six and only finished at 12 because I wanted to learn crewel, and my mother insisted that I finish EVERY project before starting another one (even if even SHE couldn’t figure out the instructions for the turkeywork stitch on that second crewel piece I tried…).
I taught myself counted cross stitch in the mid-80s for two reasons. One, I couldn’t find a crewel kit on the shelves to save my life. And second, I still had a bit of trepidation about starting a new crewel pattern when I hadn’t finished that first one.
My first cross stitch project was a little 18th century man with a no-smoking sign. I was hooked. My second… Theresa Wentzler’s Fantasy sampler. (And just to make Mom roll over in her grave, I’ll admit here and now that I STILL haven’t’ finished the thing, even though I love it and want it on my wall.) People have told me that I didn’t finish it because it was too complicated for a first project. If that were the case I would have gone back to it, knuckled down and finished it later. No, I didn’t finish it because it still makes my eyes cross with all those blended threads! I’ve learned a lot about design from those projects that I haven’t finished, and I went on to start my own line… which kind of sidetracked me from stitching other people’s designs. The image above is of the very first design I ever created myself, with a link to the pattern purchase page. I’m about to send her companion, Talieson in the Rose Garden off to my model stitcher! Finally.
There are still three pieces by other people in my workbox: That Fantasy Sampler, Ink Circles Cirque des Cercles, and Indigo Rose’s Millennium Sampler, which is now hard to find. (There are more in the UFO box… But I’ll rotate those in later.) I do take a few stitches on them once in a while, which means that they will get finished at some point… but it’s not going to be soon.
And you can expect more than cross stitch from Golden Circle in the coming months/years. Now, back to stitching that newest cross stitch model of mine…! (psst – it’s another pillow!)