Looking for a craft to work on that’s uncomplicated, totally relaxing, and highly rewarding?

You’ll find all of that and more with the fun craft of cross-stitch.

The art of cross-stitch was so popular when I was a young mother in my 20s. I remember getting hooked on it as a relaxing way of spending “me” time while my toddler napped in the afternoon. 

This was a lot of fun to work on, with all the different colours.

It was easy to learn, simple to do, and always produced the most rewarding results. A finished cross-stitch looks a lot like a painting—but instead of paint, you use different colours of embroidery floss (thread) and follow the very clear pattern instructions by simply stitching X’s onto the little squares in the cloth.

For all the gardeners out there!

Over the years, my love affair with cross-stitch fell by the wayside as I experimented with other pursuits such as quilting and sewing, painting and drawing, and crochet. But every time I caught sight of one of my finished cross-stitch pieces, I felt a strong yearning to get back to it. 

This comes out of storage every Christmas.

And didn’t it take a pandemic to reset my focus on cross-stitch again after all these years! I have some storage bins filled with cross-stitch supplies that I’d had been keeping in the cellar for the past 15+ years. As I sorted through them, I rediscovered a beautiful kit that I’d bought eons ago, that I’d put away to work on “someday.” 

Still have to frame this one. Would look lovely in a child’s bedroom.

Well, “someday” had finally arrived. 

Last summer every time we went out on our boat for the day, I took my cross-stitch project along. Talk about relaxing. Cross-stitching while lounging in the middle of a lake, listening to the gentle sounds of water lapping against the side of your boat is stress relief on steroids!

This takes centre stage on my fireplace mantel.

By September, I had completed the adorable “Beach Babies.” Every time I look at it, I’m reminded of being out on my boat during the summer of 2020—it’s proof that beautiful things can still come out of the bleakest of times.  

“Beach Babies”, summer of 2020

Cross-stitch is the oldest form of embroidery, practiced as far back as the middle ages. Here’s a link with some fun facts about the art of cross-stitch: https://crossstitchacademy.com/fun-facts-history-of-cross-stitching/

Loved working on “The Toy Box”.

I would love to see cross-stitch taught in elementary schools to both boys and girls—needlework skills offer so many benefits to kids: improved fine motor skills, patience, self-confidence, improved math skills, and stoking imagination and creativity, to name a few.

As a writer and editor by trade, I couldn’t pass this one up!

Think you might want to learn how to cross-stitch? You’ll find lots of instruction on the web, but here’s a good YouTube instructional video for beginners offered by Bucilla, a popular needlework supply manufacturer:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Kiuy4ZwIDI

I made this cross-stitch into a cushion for my dad for Father’s Day. He loved it.

It’s easy to find cross-stitch supplies online at your local craft store sites. Beginners can buy a kit that contains everything you need: the pattern, Aida cloth, floss, and cross-stitch needle. 

Worked on this while sitting in the stands during my daughter’s baseball games.

Try it. I guarantee you’ll love it!

This is a tribute to my good buddy, Otis.

Here are some of my finished projects from the past. I have good memories of working on every one of them.

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9 Comments

  1. February 1, 2021 at 3:02 am

    Beautiful

    Liked by 3 people

  2. January 30, 2021 at 11:26 pm

    OMG, these are so beautiful!!!! 😮 Really love them! The beach babies is too cute. I tried cross stitch many years ago and really loved it but like you, it fell to the wayside as painting came back into my life. We used to have a cross stitch store here but sadly that closed quite a few years ago. Need to see what I still have and how to work it into my schedule.

    Liked by 2 people

    • January 31, 2021 at 4:00 am

      If you ever want to try a new challenge and combine both crafts, turn one of your paintings into a cross-stitch pattern! I’ve seen people do this by scanning a picture and pixelating it in Photoshop. Or you could transpose a graph paper grid over a painting (probably also using Photoshop). It would take some time picking out the floss colours, but your paintings are so beautiful, you could make amazing patterns! I’m aiming to try that one day with one of my pieces of artwork, if I can ever add some more hours to my day. :))

      Liked by 3 people

      • February 1, 2021 at 2:38 am

        Good idea! I just got Photoshop and am learning it. There are a lot of features which is exciting but also very daunting.

        Liked by 2 people

      • February 1, 2021 at 4:36 am

        The best way to learn is to keep playing around with it and experimenting. There are a lot of good tutorials online, and the book Photoshop For Dummies is a really good beginner guide. The more you play with the features, the more comfortable you’ll get. I agree it can be daunting, though, since there is just so much the program can do. But learning takes time and patience, and you’ll use some features more than others. Good luck!

        Liked by 2 people

      • February 1, 2021 at 4:02 pm

        Thank you, I’m going to need it!

        Liked by 2 people

  3. sheila davidson said,

    January 30, 2021 at 12:09 am

    Hi Donna,

    You continue to amaze me. You are the most creative person I know. I was so impressed by your collection of cross-stitch projects. What a talent!

    Sheila

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    Liked by 2 people

  4. January 29, 2021 at 9:58 pm

    Holy smokes! I didn’t realize you made so many! These are all so beautiful! It’s my #1 craft!

    Liked by 2 people


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