Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I Love This Project...Lee

Guest Blogger Tuesday
I Love This Project
Lee of Lake Stitcher

Well. Let me tell you. It's not an easy thing to choose a favorite project when you've been stitching for over 25 years. Maybe that's the benchmark of a really great hobby or pastime - that you love the things you stitched 25 years ago as much now as you did then.

Don't get me wrong. Over the years I've stitched my share of cutesy geese, teddy bears and faceless Amish children. (Ahhh... the 80s. I admit it freely: I had big permed hair, and I stitched geese.) And while those things came off my walls a long time ago, I was also stitching some fantastic pieces that still hang proudly in my living room.

So, with so many projects from which to choose, it came down to which one hits me in the heart. You know...one that speaks to me on an emotional level, as well as aesthetically. So I chose this sampler that I made for my parents' 40th Anniversary.

It's not often that a gift makes both of your parents cry, but this one did just that. Well, Mom cried and Dad got misty, and Dad getting misty was a big deal to me. Mom always loves everything that I make for her. If I stitch it, she loves it. Dad appreciated my stitching, too, but didn't get emotional over it, except for this one sampler.

Here's the thing. I almost didn't finish this, because although their 40th Anniversary was an important milestone, I was running out of time (John was 6 and Colleen was 4) so I thought I'd just wait and finish it in 2005 for their 50th. I don't know why, but something told me to finish this. It's probably one of the few times in my life that I didn't follow my usual path of procrastination.

Who knew that in just a few short years, Dad would be diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease. He'd see their 50th anniversary, but wouldn't really understand it, and then he'd be gone a short while later.

When I see this sampler, of course I think it's pretty, and I remember how much I enjoyed stitching it. But more than that, it reminds me of a time when both of my parents were healthy and vibrant people, and it reminds me to appreciate the people in my life today, because we can't know what tomorrow will bring.

Lake Stitcher was one of the first blogs I read regularly, back when you had to bookmark your reading list and click through hopeful that these crazy blogs had been updated. Lee was also one of the generous blog-readers who saved me in the great flower thread debacle of 2004. I was so happy when she came to Philadelphia at a time I was finally here and came to my house. Yay! It was like I had known her for years. Which, of course, I have. When I started reading her blog, her kids still needed rides everywhere and now little Colleen is off to college! Where does the time go?


valerie said...

Beautiful sampler and a touching story shared by Lee. Love the gentle colors of this piece!

Unknown said...

What a beautiful project and story. Thanks, Lee.

Jinger said...

Such a beautiful piece with an equally beautiful story/memory with it.

I, too, remember stitching geese and having big permed hair. :-)

Valerie said...

A touching and poignant story. My grandmother, who taught me to stitch, has Altzheimer's. It is so true to cherish every day, every milestone. Everytime I pick up my needle, I think of her. What a wonderful legacy...Thank you for the post...it brought new meaning to my stitching today!

Diana said...

That is a lovely sampler you made for your parents! How nice that you were able to give it to them when they were both in good health. I'm sure you will always cherish it because it will remind you of them.

Linen Stitcher said...

What a lovely piece of needlework, made even better by the beautiful sentiment that is wrapped up in it! Thanks for sharing this, Lee (and Anna).

Alice said...

What a beautiful sampler and a beautiful story to go with it. My parents also celebrated their 50th under the cloud of Alzheimers, so your message really hits home with me.

Adrienne Martini said...

Gorgeous work and a gorgeous story . Well done.


Cathy said...

It's gorgeous, Lee. And Lee actually contributed to my stitching evolution when I discovered Lavender and Lace designs and sent me a bunch of charts. Thanks, Lee!

doris said...

What a beautiful project. I think I recognize it ... Emie Bishop? It's so rare that we ever know that we made the right decision, so it's wonderful that Lee finished this when she did.

Brigitte said...

What a beautiful sampler this is. And stitched - and finished - for a wonderful purpose.