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Sunday, June 23, 2013

A few stitches about me

Hello all. As you should be aware, The Crystal Needle has an underlying theme of embroidery. I have had several comments from true embroiderers complimenting me on how accurate my descriptions of the stitching were in the book. Well, it wasn't from intense book research, it was from personal experience. If you were not already aware, I am a stitcher.

Okay,  I want to help you understand where I started with stitching. Go all the way back to when I was a bouncing baby boy. Well, it was more like running into walls. You see, as a toddler I never really crawled, I pushed myself up and then ran....into things. No, I don't have any lasting effects from the head injuries, that purple zebra in my room told me so. One real lasting effect was that I didn't go through the stage where a baby crawls and refines the fine motor skills of his fingers. What did this mean? When I started school I couldn't tie my shoes, I had trouble managing a pencil, frankly anything to do with small finger skills I was terrible at. My mother worried and asked her doctor what to do. He made a suggestion that would change my life in more ways that one. He knew that she stitched so he suggested that she teach me. The motions of stitching would refine those skills into my fingers. I started with plastic canvas and yarn and worked up to cross stitch. I have been stitching for most of my memorable life and love it. It is relaxing, fun, semi-productive, and I am always learning. You would be amazed what stitching can teach you that has nothing to do with needle and thread.
Move forward a few decades and mom and I discovered the Embroiderers Guild of America. We joined the local interest group and have been a part of that for over ten years now. The EGA is an educational organization built on growing the knowledge and understanding of needle craft. We don't just sit around and embroider little pillows, we learn the intricacies of new and old stitches, we study the history behind the stitches, and we try to teach others about stitching. 

I started with cross stitch and have moved up to many new forms. Right now I am learning pulled stitch, which is where you use thread to stitch tightly on fabric in patterns so that the fabric is pulled open to reveal a lace like pattern. 

 This is my pulled work sampler that I am learning with. The stitching you can see over the fabric are not pulled, they are satin stitches and other basic stitches to enhance the designs. The actual pulled work is done with thinner thread that is tightly stitched and then pulled hard so to open up the fabric. It isn't the thread that is supposed to show highly in pulled work, it is the openings. I do hope that made sense.

So, there you have it. Stitching and me. I will try to keep updating with new pics of the project as I work on it, but it may be a while. What do you think? Let me know.

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