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Stitching Story Featuring Local Stitchers Melinda & Kieryn

Melinda Stitching Story


When did you start cross stitching? My first memory of stitching was when I was in 7th grade and they had an embroidery class. I took the class 'cause I was curious. And I loved it-- it was taught by this little old lady that could barely move. Unfortunately, that was the last time they ever taught that class.

So I started with embroidery, then moved in to Plastic Canvas, then to Cross Stitch. I remember going to the Mormon Handy Craft Store in Salt Lake and getting the Families are Forever kits.

So the class is what drew you to it? Yep, it was the embroidery class. We had to make these little Patch Work Turtles with different stitches.

That's so funny because it was a class. One would think you wouldn't stick with it, but you found it enjoyable. Oh, I love it. It was relaxing and I was good at it. Which surprised me.

Do you have anything that you did at that time? Unfortunately, No.  That is always the case, we always loose our stuff. I kept the Turtle for years but I think it finally got lost when I was a teenager. But I don't remember where it went.

 What first did you bring as your first?

Well, it's not my very first but it is the closest I could find. Just a little birth sampler. The pattern is the Merry Mouse, Merry Xmas Mouse by Pat & Gloria from Precious Moments. I put my son's name and birth date & weight. I did one for each of my kids. Did you? Yep, he got the snowman because he was born in December. My oldest boy got Peter Pan and my daughter got a Little Unicorn. I still have the Peter Pan but the Unicorn is lost. So, I will have to make her another one.

So this one is another of your firsts. Yes, this one was just a kit I found at Micheals years and years ago. It did have a bell pull but it broke.

Tell me what you like about Cross Stitch?

It's relaxing.  I can do it and it helps me organize my thoughts a little bit better. 'Cause if I am mad I can stab something with a needle. I have essential tremors, so it will aggravate them, but it will help me focus a little bit better so they are not as bad. And you create a piece of work (art). It's kinda like tattoos, tattoos are created by an artist. They may be your vision, they may not, but an artist creates them. Then they are on your body for whatever length of time. With Cross Stitch you are taking something a designer has created and you are making it yours. It is something that shows not only where you were at in that moment of time, but it also shows where the designer was. It's a piece of history for two people, maybe three if a store owner helps you change colors.

So pick up your favorite and let's show your favorite. Tell us a bit about it.

This is the Enchanted Mermaid from Mirabilia. And this actually has a story behind it. See, here we were talking about stories. This is the story for this one. Me and my ex-husband, we would go to Idaho Falls to shop for Christmas. We found a Cross Stitch store up there called Forever Stitching & Framing. So, I bought the pattern the fabric and the thread. She is done with Anchor thread, actually. I got most of the beads and metallic there. Spent about $150.00, but the problem is as we all know sometime you lose beads, some times you run out of beads, because sometimes the quantity is not accurate on the pattern. So, I actually ran out of beads and I was able to go to … Oh, what is that store called, Donnett, the one in Logan? Only by Hand? Yes, Only by Hand at Marie's in North Logan. I was able to go there and pick up some beads. But I ran out again. Then I was at the Logan Fair with my son and we were looking at the Cross Stitch Displays. We came out of the building and he spotted the Dragon Hearts that Donnett had finished. He said "Oh, I want that poster" and as we got closer I said, "I don't think that is a poster, I think that is cross stitch". I went running over there and pulled this project out of my purse... I freaked, I totally freaked, she pulled it out of purse like it was a rag. I am like "you do not treat a Mira (Mirabilia) like that!" I pulled it out and asked if you had these bead 'cause I need them. She was like ugggg... (totally freaking out).  Needless to say, she said yes they are over at our store, so I bought more beads from her. I think I spent about $300 total, with the beads.

She took quite a bit of bead work to finish her. The story dooes not end there. Embroidery Central did the Sidewalk Sale, so they asked if they could borrow her as a display piece. I said "yes, sure, I don't have any problems with that". I guess they had a gentleman stop by, saw it fell in love and wanted to buy it. So Felicea, one of the young ladies that worked here, said "oh, yeah, sure for $3000.00", and he went "Oh, wow, never mind".

People just don't realize how much time and effort is given to embroidery. Especially a piece like this. Yeah, well, she cost me a lot of money and it was about 9 months. I probably spent a month beading 'cause this was one of my first heavily beaded projects.

Let me see if I can get a close up of all the beads. This one has a lot of beading detail in her. Yep. she is one of my favorites, her and Athena.

What else did you bring as a favorite? I brought this one. A basic embroidery one. And there is a story behind this. Is it actually series of primitive embroidery designs by the owners' (of Embroidery.com) daughter.

Yes, Leah, it is a Leah's Canvas. It has reindeer and the sleigh done in basic embroidery, then colored in with crayons.

Felicea asked me to do this one for a model for the store. So, I did the stitching, you know satin stitches and this crazy button hole stitch.  You added some bells, and... Well, actually I didn’t-- that’s why I brought it. I brought it in with just the embroidery. And Felicea added the bells and the coloring. I wasn't sure how much coloring she wanted. I think she put some buttons on the teddy bear for eyes. Then you framed it and it hung in the store for a bit.

So how many projects do you have going at one time?  Do I really have to admit this?  Oh my gosh, it's so funny everyone gets so guilty looking when I ask this question. I have 10 to 20 different projects started at any given time.

That seems to be the most common answer, we can't seem to do one at a time. No, never ever. Well, I have the Heaven and Earth Designs (HAED) that's taken me, what, 4 years now.

Which HAED are you working on? The Amy Brown Curiosity.

Oh. right, it is a Dragon with a little Fairy in his hand. Yep, and I haven’t made any progress on it.

You know what, that’s OK it's a HAED-- those take years. I have that one, a Joan Elliott, I have two Miras (Mirabilia), started the Blooming Bride and I can't remember the other one. That’s pretty sad. Just means you haven’t worked on them in a while.

I have a Hardanger started, the Boo that Embroidery Central offers. The Cross N Patch one.

And a bunch of primitive embroidery ones.


Kieryn Stitching Story


When did you start cross stitching? I started the Christmas before I turned 14. Which was how long ago? Five years ago. OK, so you have been stitching for five years. I got a Christmas present from my aunt that didn’t know what to get me. It was a little printed cross stitch pattern of a Lady Bug pillow.

Which you brought as your first. Oh, that's cute!

So that's what drew you to cross stitch? At first I just wanted to do something with my hands during Christmas break because I was bored. So, I pulled out the project I had gotten for Christmas and started working on it. And started working on it and thought "this is kinda fun, why have I not done this before?" And then after I finished my pillow, it just sat in my room for a while. Then I had this idea start in my mind, because I needed to get a project done for my youth group. What if I Cross Stitched the top of a Hope Chest or Cedar Chest or whatever you want to call it? I told my parents and they were like, "awesome, let's go get supplies".

Let me tell you.  You guys they walked in and were, like, "she wants to do this Cedar Chest". So, I asked "how long have you crossed stitched" and she said, well I did a lady bug. So I asked, "who taught you?" Nobody. "So have you ever done counted cross stitched?" Nope.

So, we pulled together … how many patterns? Three? Four actual patterns and the rest is me drawing dots on a chart.

So, this is not only her Favorite, it's only her 2nd project she has ever done. Let me see if I can come out so you can see the whole thing. This will be the top of a Hope Chest her Dad will be making her.

So, Patterns Included are ...

Left = The Magical Unicorn by Joan Elliott

Over the Top = A Beautiful Look Cross Stitch Book = Happily Ever After

Right = Woodland Fairies - Cross Stitch Book

Center = The Logan Temple in the Utah Temple Book

You decided you wanted to do something with your hands. Now that you have been stitching for awhile, what does Cross Stitch mean to you?

Cross Stitch is a fun way to pass time, and it's basically magic. You take these random things that are like thread and a needle and this random piece of fabric that you find that you think looks cool, but you're not sure. Then this random piece of paper with squares on it and symbols. Then you create something that is amazing and everybody's like "how did you do it?" Then I'm like, "it's actually easy".

So, in other stitching stories I have asked everyone how many pieces they have going at one time. Most of them have a guilty look on their face and say oh, 10, 20, 30 whatever. You have one... Ohhhh, that's not true! No it's not. You do have other ones.

I do, 'cause this one needed to go to time out.

You have Joan Elliott's Winter Fairy

and also a Kustom Kraft Unicorn Brook.

So you have three going on right now. Plus I have two printed cross stitches. So, I have five projects going on right now.

Which do you prefer-- stamped or counted? It depends on what I am doing.  If it's something that is supposed to be cute and baby looking, I like the printed better. It's a little bit more on the little kids' side.

But this (the hope chest cover) is just so beyond elegant. This is just refined and going to be hung on a wall or on a hope chest.

So are you add... I mean she's not done, she is going to backstitch the words, add some sparkle to it, and finish the temple. Are you going to add anything else? There will be grass going all the way along the bottom. Which is going to take awhile. I will be taking these bugs and speckling them throughout.

(I will post updated pictures once this project is completed)

I want to thank Melinda and Kieryn for sharing their stitching stories with us.  


Now I want to hear from you.  What is your stitching story? Comment below.

Enjoy Happy Stitching! -- Donnett

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