how did you start?

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how did you start?

by Tabbz » Wed Aug 03, 2011 7:16 pm

i dont know if this thread is already somewhere else, if it is im sorry for duplicating it.

I thought it would be interesting to hear how everyone started there stitching journey and what projects you started with.

I am really new to stitching but i will go first. :) hopefully to get the ball rolling.
When i was young and lived at home with my parents, my mother used to cross stitch constantly. She would create a lot of pictures for the walls. The biggest one i can remember was a piece with dolphins that she did for my grandmother. It covered a huge space on the wall big i do not know the actual size of it.
Moving on about 10 years later, I meet my girlfriend and like mine, her mother and father are cross stitch crazy! My girlfriend has picked up the hobby now and is completing many of those small projects you get from magazines. She loves it!
I finally decided to take up the hobby when i had a week off work and found that i had nothing at all to do. I tried it just to pass the time but now i wish to carry it on.
So far i have only completed one piece which is my name, Tabbz shown in my avatar.
Unfortunatly due to problems with her hands my mother can no longer stitch, but after speaking with her she has agreed to give us her huge collection of thread and stitching materials!

I know i drippled on a ittle there but i think it will be interesting to hear how everyone was influenced to take up the hobby. :)
Looking forward to hearing your story.

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Re: how did you start?

by mechie » Wed Aug 03, 2011 7:59 pm

What a cool idea for a topic!

My mom always cross stitched when I was little (she still does, but not as much). She taught me how to stitch when I was about 8 or 9 years old. The first thing I really remember stitching was one of those little kits that comes complete with the frame to finish it in. I made it for my Dad. It had a duck and said "Any man can be a father but it takes someone special to be a Dad". I wonder if he still has it?

I've stitched on and off since then. I remember making monogrammed hand towels for my teachers at the end of 5th grade, but I don't remember anything else until high school or college. Although by that point I stitched so rarely that I probably completed only 1 or 2 projects in that time frame. I started stitching more often about 5 or 6 years ago.

Now that I've rambled on enough I'll let someone else have a turn. :D

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Re: how did you start?

by Busy_B » Wed Aug 03, 2011 9:20 pm

Growing up as an only child living with my mom, grandma, and grandpa, I enjoyed spending my time doing crafts and reading. I'm not sure if I did any embroidery/cross stitching before my mom decided to work on a tablecloth for my grandparent's anniversary. I'm thinking I was in 3rd grade when we were working on it. We would sit on opposite ends of the couch or mom would be on the couch and I would be on the floor working on opposite ends of the piece. When I would get home from school and finish homework, I would spend an hour or so working on it up in the spare bedroom with the door closed. The table is gone, but the tablecloth is still at the house.

After that, I did some stamped projects here and there and then found/bought (?) a small counted cross stitch. I didn't want to go back to stamped after that. I really didn't do much stitching through high school because of my schedule, but I picked it up again in college as a stress relief.
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Re: how did you start?

by tiffstitch » Thu Aug 04, 2011 2:47 am

I didn't really start until college. My roommate in first year undergrad taught me how to do counted cross stitch when I bought a small kit. I had received a stamped cross stitch kit as a gift years before, but could never really get into it. In fact I still have that kit somewhere.

I started out going 6 over 1 and quickly ran out of the included thread in my kit. We returned to the LNS and I purchased my first 2 skeins of thread for cross stitch. I had a box of thread already from when I used to make friendship bracelets in high school, but they were organized by colour, not DMC number! My friend kept her thread in a Ferrero Rocher box. :)

Since then I have only increased my stash and the size and quantity of projects I have on the go. It's even worse since I joined this forum and I love it!!! :wub: for my enablers!
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Re: how did you start?

by rcperryls » Thu Aug 04, 2011 3:06 am

I don't remember exactly, but I saw an old sampler kit (the original had been done by a young girl in the 1700's) which was stamped embroidery. I finished it and still have it, though I never framed it. I really enjoyed it and then did one or two crewel projects, which were okay, but I never really enjoyed. Then I started crocheting and probably did that for 10 or more years. When my nephew was born (25 years ago) a friend who cross stitched suggested I make a sampler for him. I have been cross stitching since then. Gave up crocheting.
tiffstitch wrote: It's even worse since I joined this forum and I love it!!! :wub: for my enablers!

Ditto for me. Especially to those who have introduced me to HAED addiction. Who knows what is next?

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Re: how did you start?

by curly sue » Thu Aug 04, 2011 4:28 am

Prior to learning cross stitch, I had done embroidery, needle point, and crochet.

In the 80's, my sis taught my dd and I, and I just love it. I mostly do 5x7 pieces and smaller. I've gotten many good ideas here at the things I'm anxious to try. Likely, I won't get into doing HAEDs though.
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Re: how did you start?

by BizzieLizzie » Thu Aug 04, 2011 11:14 am

Great idea for a topic!!

My mum has been sewing all her life and taught me to do embroidery (little flowers etc.) when I was about 5 years old. I just kind of carried on from there, really. I remember once when I was about 8 years old, Mum was nagging me to tidy my bedroom but I didn't want to. Then she had to go and do the grocery shopping and dragged me off with her (I didn't want to go - I must have been a nightmare child!). She needed to get some buttons from the local haberdashery shop and there, hung on a rail behind the counter was the most beautiful tapestry kit I'd ever seen. It was similar to the Hay Wain. Wow!! I HAD to have it. I begged and begged and begged Mum to buy it for me but she pointed out that I hadn't tidied my room as she'd asked, so the answer was no. I promised that if she bought it for me I'd tidy my room as soon as we got home, so she gave in and bought it for me on the understanding that if I didn't tidy my room she'd take my beloved tapestry straight back to the shop. That afternoon I had the the cleanest, tidiest room in the land, and ever since that day Mum has always known how to bribe me!!!!! :lol:
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Re: how did you start?

by kell » Thu Aug 04, 2011 12:03 pm

I must have been about 14 or 15 years old when my Mam taught me the basics (although she knotted the thread to start it at the back - tsk tsk!). I did a little stitching on and off till my early 20s when life started getting in the way. It wasn't till after my son was born (September 2008) and a friend stitched a picture for him that I remembered how much I had enjoyed it. I picked up a few small bookmark kits and started stitching in February 2009 and I've not looked back since!

After about a year, I started designing my own charts and I'm hardly ever without a WIP close to hand, if not IN my hands. ;)

I like to think I've come quite a long way in a short time and have picked up loads of great tips from members on this forum (how on earth did I ever manage before I heard about the loop start method???) and have discovered countless designers I now love. I've also picked up loads of different stitches - most of which I'd never even heard of before coming here - and many new styles.

So, a belated, but HUGE thank you to all the members of this forum, because without you guys, I might have done those couple of kits and then forgot all about cross stitch all over again!
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Re: how did you start?

by presty » Thu Aug 04, 2011 12:53 pm

My nan always used to be doing something with her hands, she came from a very thrifty background where you did everything yourself and she was my inspiration for trying new things throughout my life... (although the thrifty side never materalised in me unfortunately!)

After going through a very tough time just before my school exams (won't go into grisly details) my dad started buying me a stitching magazine to try and take my mind off things which had little projects in it every fortnight, in fact I still have some of the patterns around somewhere...

Best moment, making a sampler for my Nan's golden wedding anniversary which she proudly displayed on her living room wall and that now lives in my memory box after she passed away.

Miss you nan but thanks for being my inspiration to do better x x
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Re: how did you start?

by Nachstenliebe » Thu Aug 04, 2011 1:13 pm

When I was around 7 or 8 we had recently moved. To top it off my dad deployed and at that time he was my world :cry:. I didn't really meet any new kids until school started so I had a very lonely few months of summer. My mom taught me to cross-stitch.. I remember picking up small projects every so often, but not really having the patience to finish anything ( I threw them against the wall in frustration and would leave it there for months lol).. It wasn't until high school when AC Moore opened up that I became serious in stitching. I loved all the fantasy kits and Dimensions had tons! Then in 2004 I discovered the beauty that is internet shopping.. :shock: I found various websites and became a mostly chart orientated person. Built up my DMC collection.. but the best blessing was this forum! I've been introduced to amazing designers,hand dyed fabrics, specialty threads and most importantly: people who love to stitch! :wub:
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Re: how did you start?

by missvintage » Thu Aug 04, 2011 9:56 pm

I've been cross stitching for many years, I started with really small projects as a young teenager, I'm 32 now, my mum used to do little cross stitch projects when i was small, and I used to love to watch her stitch and see the finished designs she used to do. She taught me to stitch and I will always be thankful to her that she did.

My Nan used to love watching me stitch, as she knew my mum taught me, my mum is no longer with us, and it was nice that she left a little bit of something in me, my love of stitching. In my early twenties, I used to stitch Lavender and Lace designs for my Nan, I gave them to her as I knew she would treasure them. sadly as my Nan is no longer with us either, I don't know what happened to all the designs I stitched for her.

Just after my nan died, I lost my stitching interest for a few years. I was also getting bored with all the designs that were available, and I was looking on the internet one day and saw some HAEDs designs, well I couldn't believe how far cross stitching had come in the few years I wasn't stitching, and I knew I had to start my hobby again. So I looked up HAED and went on the site and bought a few charts, and now my stitchy bug is well and truly back, I think from now on I will always stitch, and look forward to the day I finish a HAED.

Great stories everyone, its so nice to share stories with other stitchers :)
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Re: how did you start?

by Corey.G » Thu Aug 04, 2011 10:40 pm

Love everyone's stories.

I got into cross stitching after I was blindly introduced to a friend, when I was 17. I seen her do it one day, tried it. I got really competitive and thought "this isn't that hard, ican easily out-do her" and attempted a Mona Lisa portrait. It didn't work out well. Took me about a year or more to want to try again.

I found that after I was t so competitive I found it actually quite relaxing. I love it so much. And that friend and I are no longer friends, but the fond memory of introducing me to this hobby will always remain.
Last edited by Corey.G on Sat Aug 06, 2011 12:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: how did you start?

by katydid » Fri Aug 05, 2011 2:39 am

Hi! I started cross stitching about 30 some years ago. I started when both my last child started kindergarten. My neighbor took up the hobby and I wanted to learn how to stitch. I love color so this was down my alley. I proceded to some florals and then a bit larger projects. Taught my daughter and my mom at 72 how to stitch. Mom can't hold a needle now and misses her stitching. About 10 years ago I started designing my own patterns and sell them on Here is a link if you are interested in looking --" target="_blank" target="_blank
I am also a DMC Mentor and love teaching others how to stitch. A few months ago I finished two 16" X 20" stitcheries of Gen. Grant and Gen. Lee for my hubby's office (he is a Civil War buff). I am now working on my 190th piece called Gramma's Willow Tree that I designed for myself and my two grankids who used to play under my willow tree in my backyard. You might say I've been hooked on stitching! :)
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Re: how did you start?

by mauveme » Fri Aug 05, 2011 2:40 am

I started out with embroidery, I used to do pillow cases (not very well as I hated the satin stitch.). I went to craft party and they had a couple of small kits for cross stitch so I tried one and loved it. Much more fun that embroidery. That was about 35 years ago. I did those two kits and nothing for several years until I found a cross stitch book in the second hand store. So I started again and still loved it. So after that I started collecting stash (addicting or what :roll: ).I found a couple of scroll frames at yard sales and some old cross stitch magazines too. --- That was when Michaels had lots of cross stitch stuff and there were a couple of small LNS in our area. Now I rely on computer shopping for my stash.
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Re: how did you start?

by Kjers10 » Fri Aug 05, 2011 9:49 am

My mum introdused me to x-stitching, I think I was around five when I made my first pillow, and around 10 when I made my first counted x-stitch. I stitched now and then from I was 5-20, then I turned into a stitchaholic when I was in bed for 3 months because of my back.
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Re: how did you start?

by rachdun » Fri Aug 05, 2011 1:31 pm

My friend introduced me to cross stitch 5 years ago as something to occupy me after my Mum died. She had set up a cross stitch club in the village and urged me to come along. I went along that first time and loved it - the club also has a lovely atmosphere - we all help each other out if we need it.
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Re: how did you start?

by thatrabbitgirl » Fri Aug 05, 2011 4:31 pm

My mom did needlepoint when she was younger. I remember a framed alphabet sampler that hung in our kitchen for many years when I was growing up that she did in needlepoint. She taught me how to do cross-stitch when I was about 9 or 10 years old. I believe my first cross-stitch project was something we did for Girl Scouts -- my mom, who was the troop leader, had us all stitch some simple Christmas ornament kits. My ornament was a reindeer, and I still have it somewhere.

I did cross-stitch on and off through my teen and college years, then dropped it for a long time. It has only been in the past couple years that I've gotten back into the hobby again. It has been such a revelation to find so many new products and patterns and pattern designers and to see how much more is available now. I've discovered overdyed fabric, variegated threads, and many new favorite designers. I have enough patterns and stash now to last several lifetimes, I'm afraid, but I'm enjoying every minute of it. :D
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Re: how did you start?

by Theresay » Sat Aug 06, 2011 1:24 am

I was in high school. It was summer recess and I was bored. One day I saw this cross stitch kit in Walworth and thought I give it a try, took me two weeks to finish it and I was hooked. I began to buy cross stitch magazines and searched for other projects to do. I forgot what my second project was, but my third one was Earth Angel from Lavender and Lace (saw an ad on a magazine), that was also the first time I stitched on linen.
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Re: how did you start?

by LadyS » Sat Aug 06, 2011 4:40 am

My mom has always been a crafter in some way. So when I was around 8 her craft was cross stitching, so she taught me how to. As she moved through crafts I tried learning it too but cross stitching is what I really enjoyed so years and years later when I was 16 I saw a design I loved and decided I wanted to try it. It was my first large project and from them the bug gets me on and off, the past 5 years being a constant in my life.
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Re: how did you start?

by YoungStitcher » Sat Aug 06, 2011 4:55 pm

My dad started me off when I was 7. It was just after my mum and dad divorced, we where in safeways and there was mini cross stitch kits on the end of the isle. It was a little brown bear and it came with a card frame to store it in. I called it Zac. :)
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