Cross Stitching My Heart Out

Of all of my crafting hobbies, cross stitch is the one I started first way back in fifth grade.  My mom, who is my crafting hero since she got me started with pretty much every one I currently do, was kind enough to keep me supplied with Aida, DMC floss, and embroidery hoops while I stitched every horse related pattern my allowance money could buy.  In college, thanks to the Internet, I discovered a bigger world than the Leisure Art and Cross My Heart booklets I could find locally and so started my infatuation with Mirabilia.  I bought all four of the seasonal Queen patterns with the idea that I would have all four on the walls shortly thereafter.  Well, I massively underestimated how long it would take me to stick with a project and finish it, but 16 years later I have half of those patterns done.  Not framed or anything useful, but completed and able to get out of my cross stitch project box.

I started Summer Queen while still pregnant with my daughter, who is middle school aged, and sadly, this was 99% complete two years ago, but got set aside in the shuffle of moving, and finished yesterday with maybe ninety minutes of messing with Mill Hill beads. As an aside, I love the effect that the beads create, but oh I hate putting them on the project. This may be why I don’t get my Mirabilias done as fast as I would like.

I love that Spring Queen takes me back to my fourth year at school, when I would pick her up at 8 in the morning and get some stitching done before my classes which that year all seemed to start at 9:30. I finished her in a mostly respectable span of four years, and she’s been parked in a dark box for the following twelve. Both projects are stitched on 32 ct Belfast Linen in white that I bought at the same time for what to a broke college kid felt like a ton of money- $33 dollars for two 20″ x 27″ cuts. I think I washed Spring Queen when she was done, but the linen is noticeably more yellow than Summer Queen, so Spring Queen will be getting a bath tomorrow.

Framing is the most annoying part of any cross stitch project because they never fit into the ready made frames and mats from Michaels, and if you get them to custom cut a mat, it’s insanely high priced. I have spent enough on custom framing in my life to know that my Mirabilia projects deserve it but that I not get them done due to cost, so I’m going to try my hand at framing them myself. Foam core is on its way to my house now and I have a mat cutter and point driver on hand just waiting to put both of these ladies in frames.

Found this horse project from junior high and the Aida is really stained on the left side where I used to death grip my embroidery hoops. It’s already been re-washed with dish soap and no joy so I’m thinking it’s time to spot treat with Oxy-Clean. I have several of its peers already in cheap Wal-Mart frames, so I kind of want to get this one in one too because I do love a wall filled with cross stitch pictures.