Thursday, July 30, 2009


I lived in the dormitory my first year of college. At Ouachita, you had girls' dorms and boys' dorms, and if you were one and went in the other, you could only go in the lobby, and that was only before something like 10 p.m. If it was the weekend I think it was midnight. The reason I lived in the dormitory only for my first year was because Hubby and I got married between our freshman and sophomore years.

So during my freshman year, one of the RA's was at the desk doing cross-stitch. I had tried needlepoint when I was growing up at some point, and for me it was a nightmare. This cross-stitch looked like it might be up my alley.

So I did what anyone in a very small Arkansas town would do. I went to Wal-Mart and looked for a kit. That is, after I talked my boyfriend and future Hubby into driving me there.

I read directions. I always have. It has to do with my OCD I think. So when the directions told me to use two strands, I tried. The directions didn't tell me that the floss is actually already made up of six strands and you have to separate it. I finally got all twelve strands through my needle and started stitching.

After a few stitches things just didn't seem right, so I went up and asked the RA about it. I honestly don't remember if she laughed at me, but I still laugh thinking about it. She explained what I needed to do to use my floss.

The only cross-stitch I've ever done is counted cross-stitch. It's the left-brain math girl in me. I've done a couple on linen and use stretcher bars for them. Otherwise I just hold the fabric in my hands and don't use hoops or anything, even on the big stuff, including this Grandma Moses' reproduction.

The entire surface of this cross-stitch is stitched. The frame size is roughly two feet wide, if that gives you an idea how big it is. It took me a little over a year to do when I was in college after Hubby and I got married.

Here are two more of my favorites. The patterns were by Charles Wysocki. The first one I did over 15 years ago, probably closer to 20, and the other one I did while we lived in Virginia.

I have a lot more patterns by Wysocki in my drawer to do. If I could just find the time...

This post is linked to Show and Tell Friday at There's No Place Like Home.


ceekay said...

They are lovely! Glad you got the thread thing worked out!! I have done some counted cross stitch, but nothing quite that extensive!

Jane said...

You and ceekay seem to have a theme going today. I think I will follow suit. I did one piece of embroidery and would love to find a good one and the time to do it again. Thanks for sharing. Your pieces are very nice.

Mari said...

I used to do a lot of counted cross stitch, but haven't done any for awhile. Your pictures are beautiful. I did laugh at the thought of you threading that first needle!

Hootin' Anni said...

Wow...just wow. I so envy those of you that can start this and complete the project. Yours are super.

My show n tell is now posted. Come by if you can find time today. I'd love your company! Happy Friday.

The Watts Family said...

wow that is amazing your like super cross stitcher...I do lots of crafts but find cross stitching to be intimidating and have never tried it! I am super impressed thanks for sharing ~Blessings Heather ;-)

onlymehere said...

I wish I had more time for it too. My eyes have pretty well given out on me now so I don't know when/if I'll pick it up again. Working on a computer all day really takes it's toll on the eyes. I guess this is why I piece quilts. It's easier on the eyes! You do beautiful work.

Kelli said...

Wow! Those are the most beautiful cross-stitch pieces! I'm so glad you have them displayed in your home!

Chari said...

Hi Kayren... must have the patience of a saint, Girl! To work that long on a project...I'm impressed!!! Your needlework is simply gorgeous...these are certainly heirloom pieces that you will want to pass down to your children!!! Beautiful!!!

Warmest wishes,

Love Bears All Things said...

I had to smile at this story. My daughter has done some difficult pieces that cover the entire surface, like yours, and take a year to finish. I have just begun to do cross stitch in the last few years but I haven't done anything that complicated. I love your pieces with the houses and amish buggies.
Mama Bear

Oh, and it was that way in dorms in my day. It should still be that way, in my opinion. I guess I am just old fashioned.

MomE said...

Woweee! You told me you cross didn't say that you were AWESOME!!! WOW!! Now I'm a bit afraid to show you mine.

Pat said...

First I noticed that you were from Arkansas as I am also. I can't cross stitch but my DIL does but wow those must have took a lot of time. I llok forward to reading your blog again.

Cindy said...

You have wonderful talent at cross stitch. I always started a project but never followed through on it, except for sewing.

They look wonderful framed like you have done.

JanMary said...

Love your cross stitch projects.

I used to do them, but not since my kids came along.

Now I do more blogging, photography, jewelery and digi-scrapping.

Thanks for sharing.

Hi from N Ireland.

♥Itajeff♥ @Something To Share said...

They are lovely. I love cross stitch too and I've done some but only one is completely done!
Have a great weekend


Marie said...

Your cross stitch is beautiful. I have done a lot of cross stitch over the years but have not done any for a while. I had to laugh about your first experience with two strands!
I have not shown any of my cross stitch on my blog yet but will later. I have done a lot of the L&L Angels.

Betsy said...

Very nice! I was in someone's home once and they had vintage samplers all over one wall that had been framed. She had designed a sampler of her own, complete with the front of their old farmhouse on it. It was very large and absolutely gorgeous. That was about 25 years ago and it still is in my mind that I would love to do one of those some day!

Anonymous said...

I like the last one a lot and the others are nice as well. My girls did that and one home with us again is working on one right now. We also went through the basket making thing and had baskets coming out of our ears. I looked for one the other day and none are to be found. I asked my wife of 54 years what happened to them and she doesn't know but things they were thrown out -- one at a time over the past so many years.

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Dawn said...

Those are absolutely beautiful. For years, I would make cross-stich for other people - baptisms, weddings, house warmings. Finally, I made one for myself - - so I can appreciate the very hard work and time that you took on these. Very good job.

Bonnie said...

I have a Wysocki Christmas Scene cross stitch that my Grandma did for us years ago ! LOVE IT !!

Ronnica said...

I saw a cross-stitch in person the other day on the lines of that first one. I just can't imagine having the patience to do that!

Controlling My Chaos said...

I started doing cross stitch right after high school and then continued until I was in my early 30s. I still have one Christmas stocking to finish and then I'm bagging it because I'm going blind. At one point I was doing cross stitch so much that I was getting carpal tunnel syndrome in one of my hands.

Your pieces are gorgeous.

Grami's girls said...

Your work is beautiful. I use to do alot of cross stitching including stockings for my boys. Now I need to do stockings for my grandaughters!!

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