Since I took up cross stitching at the beginning of the year, I have become friendly with a few stitchy folks from all around the world through The Cross Stitch Forum. It’s lovely being able to chat with others and watch their various projects growing as I gain encouragement for my stitching from them. It’s also a wonderful resource – before ending up there I’d never even heard of evenweave (all my teen stitching was done on 14-, 16- and 18-count Aida in white, ecru or cream) or the dazzling array of hand dyed fabrics and silks that are available to stitchers these days, and once I did, I wouldn’t have had the first idea of where to look for them (oh, the amount of stash enabling that goes on at that forum is amazing!).
As a result of my world-wide circle of stitching friends, I’ve now started taking part in exchanges – another new thing for me! In September I sent off a little cushion to a new stitchy friend as part of the Stitchers’ Friends Exchange (my first ever exchange!) and received one from another.
This is the cushion I sent:
Everyone was to stitch the same design (or a variation on it) with the colour choices, embellishments and presentation format being left up to the individual stitchers. I chose to stitch mine entirely in one colour (Venus 2482) on Polstitches linen in Fallen Leaves, and added cream seed beads and a golden scissors charm. Mine went off to Sarah in Scunthorpe.
The cushion I received in return from Gemma in Leeds is stitched entirely in neon-bright colours (the photograph really doesn’t do it justice!). It’s backed with bright orange felt with a huge purple button!
Yesterday I received another lovely little stitched gift, this time from Mayne in the Philipines! I had sent a few cross stitch charts from magazines over to her and in return she sent me a couple of very pretty variegated flosses and this delightful little ornamental hanging.
There’s something especially lovely about receiving a gift someone has taken the time and effort to make specifically for you – it shows such a lot of thought and care. These gorgeous gifts from stitchy friends have inspired me to take part in future exchanges. In fact, I’m already signed up for the Stashmas Exchange (like Christmas, but as not everyone celebrates that, it’s been set for the beginning of December and we call it Stashmas instead!). I’ve put together a little package of goodies for another stitching friend on the forum and am including this little ornament that I stitched for her:
Again, I opted to stitch in a single colour,l this time in a turquoise variegated thread (Anchor 1211) on 32 count Dragon Hand Dyed Jobelan in Heavens Above, and added beads from an old broken necklace I had. I then made the tassel and added a ribbon at the top for hanging. I hope my Secret Stashmas recipient will get as much enjoyment from it as I did in stitching it!