Saturday, August 06, 2011

One Stitcher's Story

A lot of my stitching was done as gifts in the beginning and although I do have pieces hanging in various spots around the house, they just aren't all in one spot (thus looking like fewer). As for the quilts, I do have some. Ones made for me by friends and family, some I have made. Others were used so much by my boys when they were younger that they just gave up the ghost and couldn't take any more naps, picnics, tickle fights or washings. Before the final farewell, I always cut out the good parts to be saved for other projects or just keepsakes of sweet memories. Good enough.

When I was younger and had first started cross stitching, I did a few larger pieces but I mainly focused on smaller designs that I could finish up quickly for gifts. I remember sitting in my bentwood rocking chair (a gift from my dad) and stitching away each evening after DH and I got home from work, ate dinner, did a few household chores and then sat down for the evening as we both worked on our hobbies and caught up on our days. No kids yet. Just us.

Later, the kids came along. I began to stitch on pieces for them. Birth samplers, nite time prayers stitched to hang over their beds and I had to do things about being a mother! The migraines had started to happen before they born and working on any type close work was hard but I finally had children and just had to do some of these.

Then it just got to be too much for me. Each time I began to stitch I could feel the awful headaches beginning so I put down my needle and thread. For 20 years I took up a menagerie of other hobbies to fill the void but I never gave up hope that one day I would be able to return to the hobby that had captured my heart and still held it. At least twice a year, I would pull out my supplies and try to stitch again. It didn't take long for the migraines to start. Sad and frustrated, I would gently tuck it all back in the drawer until I tried again.

Around 8 years ago, I had pulled it all out again only to be disappointed once more. That weekend, DH and I went shopping for some hobby equipment he needed. He found a pair of Mag Eyes and said they were what he needed for his detailed labor of love. Then he said, they might help me and I could stitch again. I told him it was doubtful as I had already tried every magnifier on the market but he put an extra pair in the basket for me anyway. A few days later, I saw them sitting on a shelf and thought "what the heck" so I gathered up my stitching supplies, sat down, took a deep breath and began. As I stitched, I waited for the headache to begin. It never happened! I could stitch again!

By the time I was able to resume, the stitching world had changed so much! So many new designers and wonderful designs to choose from! Even all the new designs in frames were exciting to me. And the fabrics! Linen? I thought linen was for tablecloths but why not try it like everyone else was doing! It made the pieces look even more stunning. I bought a piece of linen and shortly after beginning I felt the headache starting. Oh no! I returned to working my trusty Aida and no more problems! Life was good again.

It didn't take long for me to catch up on the new lingo and catch phrases of stitching, learning about new designers or even building my stash back up. Even computers with online shopping and blogs were new to my stitching world but how neat that I could share it all with other stitchers now. And I just love you all to death! You made a wonderful hobby even better!

Years had passed and my taste in stitching designs had changed just like with so many other things. Since that lucky day, I have found that I prefer the medium to larger designs. No more quickies. Samplers and inspirational pieces are my favorites. Something that touches my soul. Of course I still get those "blocks" when my stitching sits untouched longer than I would like but what's several months compared to those years before.

Some things never change though. I still sit in the evenings with DH as he works on his hobby while I stitch or go through my stash and I still have that cup of coffee (sometimes tea, now) on the table beside my chair! Sometimes I think DH might regret putting that extra pair of magnifiers in the basket for me since I can spend hours and plenty of money on it all but I am still grateful to him for that one spur of the moment action!

Thank you all for stopping by to visit while I tell my story. And thank you for being a big part of my stitching. You bring smiles, encouragement and friendship to my life!

22 comments:

Margaret said...

I liked reading your story. :D Isn't it amazing how those mag eyes worked so well for you when nothing else would! I would periodically have to adjust the strength of the reading glasses I bought from the drug store -- when the strength was wrong, it felt like my eye were popping out of my head. lol! But they are definitely necessary for me. I know what you mean also about how the cross stitch world changed during the time you were gone from it. The same thing happened to me when I was into quilting and abandoned cross stitch for years. What an amazing flowering of the industry!

Julie M said...

What a wonderful story! Thanks for sharing it with us. What a wonderful hubby to add that extra pair of mag-eyes for you.

Hazel said...

What a lovely story. It was interesting to hear you had so many problems. I am starting to think I may be getting some eye problems as at times some things can appear a little blurry and I am having to strain a bit to get my focus. I think it is only at the beginning stages but I am noticing changes that I don't particularly like. xx

Laurie in Iowa said...

I'm so glad that the mag eyes worked for you. I couldn't imagine life without my stitching.
My tastes have changed over the years, but I still cherish those early pieces I stitched on Aida at the very beginning of my stitching journey.

CalamityJr said...

Thanks for sharing your story. I took time off, too (though not for eyesight and headache reasons), and also was amazed at the changes and wonderful things out there for us! I'm so happy you're enjoying stitching once again, and that you share your lovely finishes with us!

Maggie said...

Thanks for sharing your stitching story :-)
there was a time, and it seems not too long ago that i could stitch without the aid of a magnifier, now i use one all the time, with the addition of glasses too now!

mainely stitching said...

I am SO glad that you've been able to return to stitching! I can't imagine the void it left when you were unable to do it.

Catherine said...

Thank you for sharing your story! So glad you were able to return to stitching. Headaches are not fun at all.

Lana said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story! 20 years without stitching?!?!? I don't think I could do it! lol...I don't think the rest of the world wants me to either...it keeps me sane! LOL...SO glad you found something to keep the headaches away!!! =)

Littlebit said...

What a lovely story. Wow..I cannot imagine not being able to do something I love so much. We take so much for granted, for sure. I am very glad you were able to resume your stitching..
Now..what exactly is your husband's hobby? :)

Karen said...

Such a nice story. Amazing how just one little item can change your life. Happy stitching....

Vanessa said...

I couldn't stitch without my MagEyes!

Elaine said...

A wonderful story thank you for sharing.

Brigitte said...

I enjoyed reading your stitching story. Like you I'm ever so grateful for those magnifiers. I couldn't do a single stitch on the high count linens that I love without them.

Gabi said...

Thanks for sharing your story. I enjoyed reading this. So glad you could start stitching again without migraine.

Terri said...

Amen! I was so happy when I discovered using readers for my stitching! Now, I can make 40ct look like stitching on Tula!

Siobhan said...

Isn't it funny how just the change up of adding the mag eyes made all the difference?! I had to give up stitching for a few years because of severe carpal tunnel syndrome. I wore a brace for years and eventually it passed and now I'm able to stitch again. It's such a soothing hobby, one which has given me many blessings--especially the friends I've made through our shared love for it. :)

Berit said...

Loved this story! So glad to hear that you were able to begin your stitching again. :D

Anonymous said...

wonderful story thank you for sharing.

Babar said...

What a wonderful story!

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