Since focusing on machine sewing for the past year, I’ve often missed having a handwork project for the backyard lounge chair or for in front of the TV. At the beginning of the month, I decided to have another go at cross stitch using the same piece of 28 count linen I bought late last year. Browsing on Pinterest, I’ve noticed the popularity of seasonal cross stitch and Christmas motifs across national boundaries. Besides English language charts, French and Russian (Cyrillic alphabet) are the two languages I have seen the most. Motifs I see again and again are houses, flowers, birds, rabbits, sheep, letters of the alphabet, words and phrases. Judging by cross stitch blogs, prim style, patriotic themes, and samplers that are replicas from early America are favorites of American stitchers.
Do Americans love patriotic themes for quilting and stitching more than other countries do? Is it because of the colors of the red, white, and blue flag, the artistic possibilities of the stars and the stripes? Or is it because of the recent founding of our nation, what it stands for, and the fact that most of our ancestors journeyed across the ocean to come to this New Land? I think it’s all of those, plus the early summer seasonal association with patriotic decorations due to Memorial Day falling near the end of May, Flag Day on June 14th, and then Independence Day on the fourth of July.
I enjoyed stitching this free America download from Glory Bee. There was less counting required in this design, and I was able to see the stitches using the magnifier I had bought previously. The changes I made to the design were to change the word “America” to “liberty” and change the border to a simple running stitch. After storing the completed piece in the drawer for a few weeks, I researched finishing techniques and found gluing, sewing, pinning, and taping to be the options.
I cut 2 pieces of foam board and two pieces of cotton batting 4 x 4 inches. I laced the finished piece on one piece of foam board using carpet and button thread, then laced the backing fabric onto the other piece of foam board, added an embroidered name and date panel, sewed the two halves together, glued on the ribbon trim, and braided hemp cord for hanging. I had trouble cutting the board, and didn’t get it even, which is why my finished piece is a little uneven.
Here is the finished result next to the colonial clothespin doll I made several years back.
my embroidery board on Pinterest
flat ornament finishing from the Twisted Stitcher – glue
needlenthread finishing – lacing
with thy needle and thread finishing – pins and tape