Have Your Say

20th December 2019

In the last few issues of All Stitched Up! we’ve started a few conversations that the Inspirations Community were all too happy to continue, so enjoy the journey ahead as we share with you the resurgence of needlework that’s being seen the world over and the holiday traditions that are being enjoyed this festive season. 

Then to kick off 2020, we’ll share some ideas for the perfect stitching retreat that might be just what the doctor ordered after the busyness of the festive season has come and gone!

Cynthia Moncrieff

‘As a regular sailor with our 34’ sailing boat kept at the marina in Yamba, New South Wales Australia, I was thrilled to see a boat step in recently that had knitted covers for all its nine fenders. Done in several different colours – red, orange, green, blue and purple – with a chunky nylon yarn/rope, they looked fantastic. It was a woman at the helm who obviously used her sea time to great advantage!’

Lee Armer

‘I am a South African living in New York. I did ribbon embroidery with Di van Niekerk in Johannesburg many years ago and then attended classes with the late Leana Meintjies doing needle painting and modern crewel work. 

Whilst living here in New York I have come across Floss Tube on YouTube and there seems to be a revival of counted cross stitch all over the United States, United Kingdom and Europe, so I definitely think the art of needle and thread is not dying out! 

At the moment I am working on the Mill Hill Christmas Village, which is counted cross stitch and bead work. Take care and thank you for your wonderful articles which I receive via email in your weekly newsletter.’

Pam Magar

‘We have stitched in my family for generations. My daughter is a teacher in a charter school in Chicago in an underprivileged neighbourhood and has started an Embroidery Club to expose students to the craft.

It is a raging success! The kids LOVE stitching and have found it a wonderful medium for expression.

The beauty of stitching is that it has no boundaries and she is absolutely passing it onto the next generation.’

Mendy Bowman

‘All of our family live within a ten-mile radius of each other here in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, USA. This is a blessing – well, most of the time, but especially on Christmas Day! I still have two school age boys at home, so Christmas Day always begins with early morning presents at home. Then, we are off to lunch at my in-laws. 

My husband is from a large, loud, country family that is welcoming to everyone, so Christmas not only includes the 27 immediate family members, but others who need a place to celebrate. There have been so many people in the house that you could barely squeeze through. There are deep fryers full of oysters and shrimp going in the garage, sweet potato casserole dripping with marshmallows in the oven, and peppered bacon green beans frying in a cast iron pan already to be slapped on a heavy-duty red plastic plate.

There is plenty for all - both in food and shared joy!

Then, on to Christmas dinner with my small family where the table is perfectly set with Mom’s Christmas dishes. We all use cloth napkins, and everyone fits around the dining room table. The day is a whirlwind marathon of family, food, and celebration of Jesus’ birth.

Working in the local public-school system means that I get a good break from work over Christmas. I have been working on a Christmas piece from Victoria Sampler (Jingle Bells Christmas Tree Farm) for years during each Christmas vacation. I bring it out each year to add more snowflakes, another row of Christmas trees, or a wreath on a covered bridge. 

Some years I get more done than others, but this just might be the year that it is completed – what a bittersweet thought.

Thanks so much for making my Fridays brighter and my stitchin' goals higher!’

Shirley Phillips

‘I am the cookie baker for the family. I start in November with Springerle (a German tradition), move on to fruit cake cookies, then six or seven other family favorites. I have many handmade ornaments – some surface embroidery, some cross stitch. 

Over the years I have made lots of gifts including wedding samplers, sweaters, baby blankets and crewel wall hangings. I have taught my great niece to knit and we find time at the holidays to knit together.’

Jamie Bernstein

‘We celebrate Thanksgiving in the United States and it is a beautiful holiday with food and family. After the preparations for a large group are complete, we’re able to relax and talk about what we are thankful for. 

One of my grandniece twins said she was ‘glad to be unique’ a few years ago! It has become a tradition and we all have many things to be thankful for. Chanukah is also a holiday for us and is a great way to celebrate when it is cold and dark outside, and the menorah offers welcome light. I hope everyone at Inspirations has a wonderful holiday season.’

Margaret Mathers

‘Over the years various friends from the Embroiderers’ Guild meet one evening in December and have dinner together and swap gifts. The gifts have to be handmade, Christmas tree ornaments, so each year I am able to add another gift from a friend to my tree.

It's a lovely way to remember past and present friends.’

To everyone who’s joined in on the conversation, not only this week, but throughout the last year, we can’t thank you enough! It’s our absolute joy to hear from you, learn from you and share in your joy of needle and thread and we look forward to starting and continuing many a new conversation in 2020.

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