Cross-Stitching with Siblings!
Claire Richard is my older sister and she has helped me tremendously with my cross-stitches. She started to cross-stitch when she was 16. Our mom and grandmother taught Claire how to cross-stitch as well as me. Claire learned certain techniques on her own from doing so many cross-stitches over the years. Claire has done about 50 different cross-stitches since she started to cross-stitch. The cross-stitches she has completed have varied in size. At first, she started with beginner level small cross-stitches and slowly worked her way up to larger more difficult cross-stitches and I am trying to do the same.
When I have questions I can always go to her and she will show me exactly how to do whatever it is I needed. I remember one time especially that Claire taught me how to make a French knot. I had never heard of this, but as soon as I went to her and asked if she knew what it was she said, “Oh yea, sit down and I’ll show you”.
Claire and I have both spent many years trying to master the skills necessary to become proficient at cross-stitching. Oddly enough cross-stitching actually started out as an activity that mostly men performed after practicing for many years to master the skill. Claire cross-stitches for fun in her spare time as a form of relaxation. Cross-stitching originally was done to decorate clothing. Very few people still do this, but there some who still make baby clothing with hand-stitched designs. Claire also does is called a counted cross-stitch which means she counts the number of squares on a paper pattern and then counts the number of squares on the fabric. This has not always been the most popular way to cross-stitch, but it is one of the most popular now.
I talked to my other sister and my mom about how they would describe Claire and her hobby. My mom, Donna Richard, said, “Claire is very dedicated to her work once she starts and she is a perfectionist”. My oldest sister, Emily Alpha, said “ Claire is a very stressed and anxious person. When she comes home from work after a long day I can really tell that she needs some time to herself and do what she likes. After she has been doing her cross-stitch in her room for a while she comes out much happier like it took the weight of the day off her shoulders”.
When I first started cross stitch a couple years ago I jumped in head first. I didnt start with a huge project but it was a rather large project for my experience level. I made this cross stitch for my sister who loves to shop. Claire does not like to go to work. She would rather online shop or go to the mall. When I saw this cross stitch pattern in the store I knew I just had to get it and make it for her. I gave it to her as a present for her birthday and now it sits on her desk at work to remind her she can go shop when she gets home.
When I go to my grandparent’s house I look forward to hearing and seeing a couple things. First I looked forward to hearing my grandpa’s say “hello hello” from the front porch. The next thing I expect to see when I walk in the door is a cross stitch hanging above the hall that says “home sweet home”. My grandma made this cross stitch in 1988. For as long as I can remember coming to her house I remember seeing it hanging in the exact same spot. I remember getting such hot and comfort from this cross stitch when I was young and I slept at my grandparent’s house. As a child, I was sleeping in a place that was not my usual place so I naturally felt a little scared. When I would get scared I would go and look at this cross stitch and I would realize I was okay.
These two projects I did mean the world to me. I made both of these for my boyfriend about a year ago. I made him the fox cross-stitch because he loves foxes so much and he wants to have one as a pet one day, I fully support this. I think foxes are amazing
animals and I would love to own one. I made the bottom one for him just to express to him how much I love him. It’s very simple and not an extravagant gift, but it shows I love him because I put the time and effort into making this for him.
This is Saturday I decided to start a new cross stitch. Before I went to the store and bought a new one I decided to look through the extra patterns my mom had. I picked one and started to work on it immediately. When my mom had the extra time she stopped by my room to find out which pattern I chose to do. Turns out I picked the pattern her pen pal from high school, Loland, sent her a long time ago. My mom is still in contact with Loland today. Loland is from Finland and when I complete this project I plan to write to her showing how great it looks. After working on this pattern for just a couple hours I have made quite a bit of progress.
When I talk to people about cross-stitching one of the first things I usually hear is that they think it will be hard to learn. This is not true if you start out doing small projects. Companies make cross-stitches for all different experience levels. Some of the smallest cross-stitches can be finished within a couple of hours. Also, along with every cross-stitch comes a pattern, which will tell you what box needs to be what color. The instructions will also tell you what skills you will need for this cross-stitch such as a french knot. One of my first cross-stitches I ever made was for my sister about her cat. It took me about 6 hours to make this cross-stitch. Cross-stitches can vary in difficulty but are very relaxing once the necessary skills have been developed
As years pass practices that were common at one time slowly fade away. Practices like sewing, cross-stitching, needlepoint, and knitting are prime examples of this. At one time every woman knew how to do these things, but over time it has become a lost art. I am proud to say that I still know how to do a few of these things with my favorite being cross-stitching. I’m here to show you some of work and why I think it’s important.