I’ve loved to work with fibers and textiles for as long as I can remember. When I was in second grade I made a challah cover out of purple felt. I think my mother may still have that project, somewhere. Over the years I’ve tried my hand at lots of different types of stitchery projects, and some I’ve truly loved. Here’s a trip down memory lane via needle and thread (or yarn or floss or something)
1. Crewel embroidery. I was a child of the seventies and one year for my birthday I received a crewel embroidery kit full of burnt orange and avocado green threads along with a giant embroidery needle. I think I made a mushroom or something.
2. Needlepoint. At summer camp we would make our own designs on the canvas, then tape up the raw edges with masking tape and go to town. I remember one particular bargello (zig-zag) pattern that I especially enjoyed.
3. Macrame. So maybe this doesn’t really belong in this category, but it is made with fibers. I made dozens of tiny twisted bracelets at summer camp over the years.
4. Stamped Cross Stitch. You just follow the lines printed on the fabric. What could be easier? Still, I wasn’t super impressed with the finished products. My mom still has her stamped cross stitch challah cover, though.
5. Counted Cross Stitch. Now this was a pastime I loved. I stitched on linen, I stitched on cotton, and I stitched on baby clothes. I found it soothing and I liked the end product, especially old fashioned looking samplers.
6. Garment Sewing. I learned to sew in seventh grade Home Economics class. Next to typing and junior year English, it was the most useful class in school. I made two prom dresses, a velvet and tafetta gown for a ball, children’s clothing for my little cousin, and numerous other items.
7. Rug hooking. Again I’m not sure this really counts, but I did it. I did one project, and I found it tedious. Of course it was an ugly pattern with ugly yarn, not the type of beautiful project that crafters make these days.
8. Knitting. I tried. Really, I did. So not my thing.
9. Quilting. My love. I don’t do nearly as much of it as I would like, but I have made hundreds of quilts over the last couple of decades, and I adore my fabrics, patterns, and volumes of quilting books and magazines. By the way, I designed the Bubble Fish pattern in the photo above. It ran in Quiltmaker Magazine in 1995, and they made it into the kit you see above. I never actually sewed that quilt, I just drew it out on graph paper and mailed it in (remember mailing?). It won their ongoing design contest, and the rest is history.