Thank you so very much for your thoughtful and caring comments about my Dad this past couple of weeks. They have been a balm to my heart.
When I was spring cleaning before my surgery, I came across a box of embroidery projects. Looking at those projects, most of whom have not seen the light of day for nearly 20 years, I was amazed at how many things I'd embroidered over the years ~ and also how many I started but never completed! It got me looking at all the things on my linen shelf that I had done, some of which were so worn out that I salvaged bits and pieces to use in other projects. The little bluebird doily is the first piece that I remember working on as a girl. My mother finished it by putting the lace around it. Somewhere, I think I have another still to be finished piece of this.
I must have been in Junior High or High School, when my real interest in embroidery took off. I was given a stack of old embroidery transfers and my Mom and I cut bits of old cotton sheets to use as guest towels, which I then embroidered. This basket of flowers was one of the first, where I worked on stem stitch and lazy daisies.
From there, I progressed to satin stitch by working on this poinsettia. How I wish now that I'd worked on a higher quality cloth!
I was fascinated by the idea of creating beautiful linens for my "hope chest" even though I didn't really have a chest to store them in! They had such lovely pillow slips available to embroider back then and this pair of slips with the hearts on them was one of the first ones I did.
Violets have long been one of my favorite flowers, so I had to do a pair with violets on them. My color sense was still developing as you can see. They are a bit bright compared to most of the things I do!
My favorite pair of pillowslips were these with the pale pink and green flowers. By now, my stitching had really made progress and the stitches were ever so tiny and perfect.
From there, I progressed to working on a table cloth to match the Blue Danube dishes that I had been collecting. I worked on this through much of high school, sitting in one of the school libraries, stitching away during my free periods. There were many bets placed by classmates as to whether or not I would get it finished before graduation. No, I didn't make it, as it is only about half completed. There are many, many hours of stitching in this cloth!
It was finding this table cloth and taking a close look at the fine stitches that made me realize how loose my stitching has become the past few years. Once my stitching gets back up to that level, I'll work on it once more so that someday, my daughter, who now has that set of dishes, can use it.
One of the unfinished embroidery projects I came across was this lilac runner. Lilacs have always been my favorite flower and for many years, my bedroom was decorated in a lilac theme.
Once again, I was amazed at the teeny tiny stitches.
Even the back is fairly neat and shows the precise little stitches! So this is the project I'm working on at the moment. Working on getting back to those fine stitches. It's nice for a change to work for a while on something that doesn't take a lot of thought and creativity, just a focus on stitching.
I just love that embroidery is once again becoming so popular!