. . . people we know are making babies.
Granted, my precious boss Amanda is at least a couple of years older than me. And she’s also a more grown-up, generous, responsible, and better person than me in toto. So I guess now is as good as any time to be producing offspring. And while my friends are responsible for raising, feeding, cleaning, weaning, and educating their children, I just get to squish the babies for an hour or so and then go home. Not a bad deal.
But we also get to give gifts. And for Amanda, I’m working on one of the cutest projects I’ve ever actually completed.
Does anyone else still cross-stitch? Growing up, my next-door neighbor was a woman named Dot–and she taught me to cross-stitch when I was ten years old. It’s one of the easiest and cutest handicrafts I know of, and I’m pretty sure anyone can do it if I can.
So for several weeks now, I’ve been working on this “Baby’s First Christmas” stocking front for Amanda and baby Reid. Problem is, it only occurred to me about halfway through the project that:
- this was a lot of work for a gift that was ultimately impractical, and
- I don’t know how to sew
So, sure–you can only use a Baby’s First Christmas item for one year. So what? Most baby clothes and shoes will be outgrown in a year also. But the sewing part? That was a problem. I had already bought a couple of yards of blue cotton calico to line and back the stocking, but I didn’t know what to do with it next.
Rather than trying to muddle through it myself (and potentially ruin it), I hired someone to do that part. Is there shame in that? I sure hope not. So I asked Rachel–a lovely girl who had made my friend’s wedding gown–to sew it together for me with a lining (and maybe piping around the edge). And she’s only going to charge me $15-20 for her labor. *Note that making cross-stitching gifts does not always prove to be the most time or cost-effective. 😉
For those of you who are interested in learning how to cross-stitch, the method is the easiest in the world–and any how-to book you find in a store will be more than you need. In fact, I found this website with a “Learn to Cross-Stitch in Five Minutes” video from yarntree. The narrator lady’s voice is a little monotone, but otherwise the video is pretty good: http://www.wikihow.com/Cross-Stitch
The only problem I have with cross stitching is finding patterns I like. Generally I’ve had more success finding pattern books at Michael’s than Hobby Lobby, and I’ve also not really explored my area much for a good needlework store. But I have raided my mom’s collection and have found a Christmas stocking book I really love.
In fact, I really like a lot of Linda Gillum’s designs after looking for more of her books. See the “baby girl” version of the stocking I just finished on the cover? How precious! There are a few copies of this book on Ebay, along with many other books of her design.
While cross-stitching can be really cheesy and unattractive (IMHO), it can also be really cute and festive–mainly when the patterns are baby and/or holiday related. And if you’re curious about floss (thread) colors and using your embroidery thread for a standard cross stitch pattern, this website has a great conversion chart: Floss Conversion Chart (about.com)
I’ll post pictures of the completed stocking when Rachel’s finished sewing it.
Cheers, and happy stitching!