Guest Blogger Tuesday
I Love This Project
Barbara Mainely Stitching
Although my friend Sara taught me to stitch when I was in my early twenties, it was an on-again, off-again pastime for a number of years. I could literally go a year without picking up a project. All that changed when I found out I was pregnant with Nick, my second child. A few weeks after I managed to to turn the right line blue on the little take-home kit, we went camping out in the far reaches of Nowhere (also known as Noord Groningen). When packing for the vacation, it occurred to me that I might want to start a birth sampler for the baby-to-be. I grabbed my favorite book (a collection of Germanic motifs published by Dover), a piece of butter yellow evenweave, and a handful of DMC in colors that caught my eye. Not a lot of forethought there, and I guess that habit hasn't changed too much in the years since.
There was nothing anywhere remotely near our campground and the long, lazy summer days passed pleasantly. Nearly every day saw us at a local teahouse enjoying tea and sandwiches. I always had my project in hand and the ladies there kept a running commentary on my progress. After awhile, word got to me that there was a nearby quilt shop run out of someone's home that also sold DMC, so we piled into the car and headed over. Now that I had a bona fide project, I felt perfectly justified in picking out every shade that appealed to me--my first stash binge! Like a dragon with treasure, I gloated over those strands all the way back to the campground and every day thereafter.
The sampler itself came together without any plan--I simply stitched what I liked and didn't worry about placement, harmony of elements, or anything else. The alphabet is from an ancient copy of JCS, the bugs are from a DMC leaflet, the lines of poetry were rendered in an alphabet that I thought was pretty (without realizing it would be all but unreadable when complete) and the swans and tulips are from the Dutch Beauty pattern released by Permin about two decades ago. There are more errors than I can count, but I can recall almost every stitch that went into this and relive the joy and excitement of creating something totally unique for the little person growing inside me. The sampler now hangs on my living room wall and it never fails to bring a smile to my face.