Nov 12, 2010

Another Kind of Stitching

In my very first post, I mentioned the cross stitch that I did for my daughter that took 8 years to complete. Well, folks, this is the one! I began the project in 2000 as a gift for my best friend in college for her 21st birthday. She had a deep and undying love for anything having to do with angels. So, I chose this one. 

Now, I was getting ready to finish up my senior year and move on to grad school at the time. I guess I'd underestimated the amount of free time I'd have to work on it before the 'big day'. I think I got about 1/3 of the purple overskirt finished before said 'big day' arrived. I promised my friend she would have her gift as soon as it was finished. I would not, however, give her any clue as to what it was. Every year or so, she'd ask me about it, and we'd laugh over the silliness of a gift that took increasingly more time to make. We both finished college and grad school, got married, moved away and had a few babies between us. And I never did finish the gift.

Before my first daughter was born, my husband and I moved into an apartment. During the move, I rediscovered the project in the bottom of an old trunk. Knowing we were having a girl, I'd already decided her nursery colors would be lavender and green. In my mind this was THE PERFECT piece of art to have on her walls. I was working on it all through my third trimester and, after she was born, whenever she was sleeping. I laughed to myself a bit about how long it had been since I'd started it, but I was determined to have in finished before we moved into our new house, which we did when she was 10 months old.

I called my friend to tell her that her gift was finally finished! That was the first time I'd even told her what it was! And then we had a great laugh when I asked her if it was alright that I kept it for Lilly since it had taken me 8 years to finish. She, most graciously, agreed that all my hard work merited keeping it. :)

Here are some of the fine details (and what took so darn long to finish!)

And see how beautifully it matches her room decor?

The whole project was actually inspired by this beautiful work of art my maternal grandmother have me for Christmas more than 15 years ago.

Do any of you have projects that took you an exorbitantly long time to complete?
Do you have any lying around now that have been pushed to the side? I'd love to hear your stories of drawn out projects, too!


  1. oooh... Pretty pretty. I used to do embroidery and cross-stitching as a teenager. My mother has them now, she says I can't have them til she dies. Heh. I was especially fond of one sampler that featured bees and flowers and the Proverb "Pleasant words are like a honeycomb- sweetness to the soul and health to the body." I was so fond of it, I started another one. I carried it with me (unfinished) when I moved to Australia. I suppose its a 7 or 8 year old UFO.

    Maybe I'll pull it out after new year....

  2. Very lovely. I have a much less detailed project story - the reason it never got finished is solely procrastination, not because of the project's complexity! I was cross-stitching a nursery sampler for our son while I was pregnant with him. We knew he was a boy, so we had picked his name, and even towards the end knew the date of the scheduled C-section, so I stitched those pieces of information. All I had to do after the birth was to stitch the weight and time.

    Fast forward. The weight and time are still not stitched. We've moved 5 times since then, and each time the sampler moved with me, poor thing, sitting there waiting, waiting to be completed. That baby boy is now 27 years, married, and he and his wife just had their first baby this summer....Maybe it's a psychological thing; maybe my soul thinks that finishing that sampler closes the door on a wonderful memory so I'm subconsciously keeping it on hold.

    Anyway, your angel is beautiful and I know you will enjoy it for years to come.

  3. And you cross-stitch too????? I think you are my mother's daughter!!!! lol... It's beautiful, Ginnie! And Lilly is going to cherish it someday...


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