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Wednesday, 27 December 2017

A stitch for Christmas


I worked at it for years, until I turned forty and my eyesight wouldn’t allow me to work at night. I couldn’t see clearly enough to cross stitch in the evenings even under the best light. Since I was working, I couldn’t cross stitch during the day and weekends were too busy to spend precious daytime hours at a hobby. Bifocals didn’t help so I gave up one of my favourite activities. However, every Christmas I take out the Christmas cross stitches and hang them in places of honour in our home. 


Santa’s Workshop was one of the first I completed. It was a fun piece because our daughter was young and Santa was a big part of our Christmases then.


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The nativity scene was one of the last pieces I did. It took me forever to complete but not as long as it took to do the same scene, on linen, for my brother and his family.





A holly piece I did for my husband’s grandmother was displayed in her living room until her death when it was returned to us.




The most difficult piece I did was the snowman, on black material, which was impossible to see. It was my last work.





I made mistakes as I worked on these pieces. Some I took out and restitched the proper way. Others I left, if removing them was a huge job. It’s funny now that I can’t see the mistakes even on close scrutiny. Things which were big issues at one time, are nothing in the end!


Meanwhile, every year the pieces are taken out of storage for a few weeks, then put away again. One day, someone else will display them. For now, they add to the Christmas decor and remind us of our younger days and life truths. Who knew a stitch could have such power?

29 comments:

  1. Marie, These are exquisite works of HEART! Thanks for sharing them with us. I once loved to cross stitch, too, but developed essential tremor in my hands, so can no longer enjoy the hobby. I can only imagine your Nativity on linen - what a tremendous undertaking.
    All the best to you in the new year.

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    1. Thank you, Mildred. All the best to you for 2018.

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  2. I did crewel embroidery and needlepoint. It is hard for me to focus for such long periods of time on tiny stuff. I have kept some of the projects.

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    1. My friend shared your hobbies. She did such beautiful work! I didn’t try either of those hobbies.

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  3. These are simply gorgeous, Marie. Did you design them yourself? I am so impressed! And I can understand why you might be very proud of these creations. Cross stitch is an art. :-)

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    1. I did not design them, Jan. I am not artistic that way.

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  4. "Things which were big issues at one time, are nothing in the end!"

    Very philosophical and a good lesson.

    We still hang a piece of embroidery done by my grandmother, more than 100 years ago I suspect.

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    1. What a treasure that piece of embroidery is, AC.

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  5. Beautiful artwork! And I love that idea of them living on and remembering where they came from as they get hung every year in the distant future. Happy holidays Marie♥

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  6. So very beautiful and so personally meaningful. Truly the best kind of family heirloom, love in every stitch.

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  7. cross-stitch and counted cross stitch was always one of my favorite hobbies. the last one i started remains unfinished, i'm not able anymore.

    yours are so beautiful, true treasures. they say you should leave the mistakes in....if you are ever separated from your work, you will always be able to identify it!!

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    1. Smart to leave them in I think, Debbie. Many cannot be seen later anyway.

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  8. Oh the memories. I thoroughly enjoyed counted cross stitch. My last one (on black and at 18 count) took weeks. And weeks. And hangs where I can see it each day.
    For some reason I never did any seasonal ones and love yours. And appreciate all the work they entailed. Neither eyes nor hands will play these days.

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    1. I understand the length of time to do the 18 count on black. It must be beautiful though, EC.

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  9. Those are amazing and beautiful, Marie. It does take a long time and patience to complete one. My wife likes doing cross stitch every now and then.

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    1. Cross stitch is such a popular hobby, Bill. It fills the hours so well.

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  10. I love them. They are beautiful. I used to love to cross-stitch too until my eyes got too bad. Now that I have new ears and they are so wonderful, I'm thinking about getting the cataract surgery next. I'm scared but if the quality of life is improved, I'd be wrong not to do it.

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    1. I am happy the hearing aids are working out so well for you, Barbara. With cataract surgery, you’d have a new lease on life!

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  11. They are just lovely works. I have Ducks three giant pieces that took him two years each to do. I cherish them mightily. Why not leave yours out this year, Santa really knows no time or space, you know.

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    1. I couldn’t stand to have Santa in the living room all the time. He may find a place in another room though, Mage.

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  12. Trust they bring back happy memories, even if you can't do it now.

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  13. What fabulous gifts to cherish forever and ever, Marie! BRAVA to you. I did counted-cross stitcheries for year and loved the challenge of them. Many were gifts. And none of them remain in my own possession. However, the biggest gift of all, which I did NOT expect in a million years, is that my daughter, now 45, has made c-c stitch Christmas stockings for about 8 people now, including Astrid and me. It's become a gift that keeps on giving through her. So, does YOUR daughter also cross-stitch???

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  14. My daughter did cross stitch for a few years but not for a while now. Knitting seems to be her thing these days. What a great idea to do stockings. They must be beautiful!

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  15. Those are beautiful works of art, Marie.

    Have you heard of the Japanese concept of wabi-sabi -- the acceptance of transience or imperfection ... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wabi-sabi ... I like the idea because I tend to be a perfectionist and often do not want to start something complex because I "know" I cannot do it perfectly. This concept is just what I needed. You can re-brand your mistakes as wabi-sabi!

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