Thursday, February 2, 2012

My First Stitch

I did not grow up in a sewing family. My Mom did not sew. My grandmothers did not sew. The sewing gene does not flow through my veins. In fact I had a strong dislike for all things related to a needle and thread... or anything else related to being indoors for that matter. I loved to read, but I prefered to lose myself in the pages under a tree. In high school, all the girls took home-ec. I shuddered at the thought. I crumbled at the feet of the principal and begged him to let me take shop. He took pity on me and I was thrilled. My apologies to my husband who married me even thought I could not cook back then.

Looking back, I get the feeling that the good Lord was quite amused by that feisty teenager. He knew. He knew that one day I would be sucked into becoming domestic. He just quietly sat back and let me gallavant through those carefree years.

So how did I, the welding torch yielding teen, get to this point?

It started after a Idaho. DH and I both worked at Simplot Feedlot. I worked in the office and sat in a little room dispensing various feed mixtures into the trucks that pulled up below me. There was a lot of free time and a sweet girl that trained me told me that she would cross-stitch in between trucks. I imagine I looked at her in horror at the thought. She probably patted me on the shoulder and said, "'ll be alright." Then she lent me a book of patterns and I was hooked. This was in the 80's. This was my first project:

It looks very 80's. The little wooden hoop with lace and bow make me laugh today. It brings back good memories...and not so good memories of the smell that accompanies a feedlot. We weren't there very long before we were wisked away to run a ranch in New Mexico, but the friendships that we formed from back then continue and here I am, 25 years later, still stitching. When I asked for a sewing machine after our first child was born, I'm pretty sure my Mom thought I had taken leave of my senses. I still cross-stitched some, but I loved making clothes for the kids and somewhere down the line, cross-stitch was put aside.

I've been running across various blogs and feeling nostalgic when they share their beautiful cross-stitch  projects. I haven't sross-stitched in over 10 years. I've given lots and lots of them away, but today I pulled out some that I still had. I even took a piece in for framing when I had to take DH in to pick up his truck yesterday.

And...last year, I saw a piece that I had to make for my in-laws. I worked on it for a few months and then put it aside when the days became longer because by the time we came in in the evening, it was all we could do to eat, shower, and fall into bed. However, I am determined to give this to my in-laws for Christmas this year so I try to sit and stitch a bit in the evenings.

Here's my current project and this is where I left off last April:

My father-in-law is crazy about bears and this little fella's kinda cute! It's 16"x16" so I'll be stitching on it for a while.

And here are a few oldies. This one hangs in my kitchen:

And this one was in the cedar chest, but I dug it out and am looking for a spot to hang it. I thought the laundry room, but the laundry room is our front room, our mud room, our collection spot for every glove and spur and coat and hat and pair of chaps and it just doesn't fit. Besides the only wall in there is cinder block and it's a bear to get  nail in it.

See, I was drawn to quilts long before I ever even thought about making one.

Thanks for letting me meander down memory lane. I still have some pieces that I never framed and I think I'll take a piece in every month and get that done.

Here's my progress on this little guy for the month of January:

There's so much subtle shading in this piece. The white part has about 8 different shades and I bout went cross-eyed trying to work on his little body. My eyes simply are not what they used to be.
I'm hoping that this'll keep me accountable! :)


Sallie said...

The bear is so lifelike. I love the x-stitched quilts, too. Great job!

Staci said...

Had to giggle! I had a bunch of those lacy hoops with cross stitch designs around my house.

That bear is really something! Wow!

Happy Stitching!

Carol said...

The little bear looks adorable, I know how long it takes with big projects, my crazy quilt squares go with me in the car on long trips while my husband is driving so I don't use the brake on my side of the car so much!!

ytsmom said...

He's so cute; I love bears, too! I bought all kinds of 'quilt' cross-stitch patterns, never stitched a one. I still have them tho, maybe some day.

NaomiG said...

Aw... I love this trip down memory lane. It made me laugh, because my husband teases me all the time about when I was a teenager, and announcing to the world that "I WILL NOT BE DOMESTICATED!" He claims he looked at me and knew better. Haha.

It's great that God can see us for who we are, and guide our lives in the direction that will make us happiest, even when our little minds can't see it yet. And, it's also great that he also made us to be capable of both things that give us pleasure, sewing/cooking/making a home, or navigating a Land Rover up a near vertical rocky pitch or fixing fences or taking care of cattle, whatever and where ever our lives take us.

I LOVE the bear! The different shades of white will be worth it, it already resembles a painting! Nice work!

little apple tally said...

Enjoyed hearing about your evolution. I did some domestic things as I grew up — sewed in 4-H, knitted alittle—and loved reading but knew it was all a lie, that I was really a cowgirl. Or at least a wanna-be one.
Now days I dream a lot of both lives.
Keep pulling out those projects and showing us. They are worth it.

Denise :) said...

Haha! I love the hoop frame with the ribbon border! I had one of those, too! I do still have the piece I did for my Grandpa in the 80's. So fun! Thanks for the memory lane trip! :)

Doniene said...

Karin - I thought I was reading my sewing biography!!! I sewed a little in high school, but only because I wanted a certain top for Sadie Hawkins dance and I knew my mom would never buy it!!! LOL During college I suffered a severe concussion and during my recuperation, I could not read or watch TV, so I started cross stitching. Loved doing it, but after kids and sewing clothes for them and myself, even shirts for hubby I became drawn to quilts.

The little bear is darling!!

Blessings to you and all your family!!

Dora, the Quilter said...

I love your quilts and geese cross-stitch. Years ago either I stitched that or a friend did and gave me hers. I need to get it out and hang it in this house--I have years and years of cross stitch but only a few pieces are on my walls here.
Thanks for this post.
(Oh, I remember you 1980s apples and pie design too--I think I stitched something else from the same book.)

Alycia said...

What a great trip down memory lane. I worked in a feed lot too - too funny! I love your little bear, he is adorable!!

Shelljo said...

Enjoyed seeing YOUR stitching :)

JMF said...

Love it but my eyes hurt just looking at it:) Keep updating us tho!

codice sconto said...

Wow,It wonderful stitch on the fabrics.I really inspire from this blog.Thanx to share with us.

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