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making :: my sweetie pie {counted cross stitch}

By Friday, December 4, 2015 , ,

counted cross stitch

Until fifth grade, we lived in the same little two bedroom house with the big willow tree in the backyard and the park right next-door.  We'd walk to school each morning and then home again in the afternoon.  When summer came, the school yard was just there for bike riding and perfecting my skills at spinning around the horizontal bar.  And I had SKILLS!

Each summer, though I distantly can only remember two, my mom would hire a babysitter for the whole summer - a college kid from HSU.  The first summer I remember this babysitter - paid just $3/hour for three kids (the going rate) - parked herself in a lawn chair with a book and told us, "Go play."  So we did, but we really wished she'd play with us instead of read her book.  What we didn't know is that she was setting us up for the best summer babysitter ever.

Lisa came next summer (and maybe we even had her back the summer after that... she was pretty awesome).  She played with us and engaged with us.  No nose in a book.  One day, she got permission from our mom to take us on an adventure.  We gathered our change and walked down to the corner to catch the bus.  I don't think we'd ridden on the bus before.  The bus took us downtown and dropped us off in front of a big blue victorian house.  The bottom floor of the house had been converted into shops and we entered the sewing one.  Inside, Matt and I both got to pick out a cross stitch kit.  I think Shawna was probably too little.  My kit was one with strawberries and Matt chose one with teddy bears.

I remember Lisa showing us how to make the stitches.  I was proud because she taught me the "real" way to do it instead of putting a knot in the end of the embroidery floss like she did for Matt's.  I remember working hard to make sure the backside was just a neat as the frontside.  Matt's was one big jumbled mess - but Lisa said that was ok.  I remember loving to work on my project but I certainly didn't finish it by the end of summer.

Summer did end and Lisa graduated and drove off in her new little red car.  She exchanged addresses with me and for several years we were sporadic pen pals.  When I was in high school and she had had her first kid we reconnected for a quick visit.  (That first baby is now in college!) We lost connection after that, but again, years later we found each other through Facebook.

Imagine my surprise to learn that this awesome babysitter, who introduced me to cross stitch and planted some seeds for crafting, was also a quilter.  And, the coolest bit... she just opened a quilting shop.  Some day, we'll have to make it out to Chicago - for pizza, to see Lisa, and to visit her wonderful looking quilt shop.

When I saw this cute ABC sampler from Alicia Paulson of Posie Gets Cozy I remembered learning to stitch with Lisa.  It was years later when I finally finished the strawberry kit she'd gotten with me.  And still years more since I'd done any cross stitch.  The sweet little designs were calling my name and I always jump at the chance to have a little handwork for my morning commute.  This project even made the trip with me to DC in October (though I hardly stitched on any of the plane rides).

The last stitch went in the night before I headed down to LA for the baby shower.  That morning, I popped it in the frame and then gently carried across the bay on BART and down the peninsula on Caltrain.  And all the way to Pasadena where it was gifted to the new parents to be.  





Alb04_005
goobers

My Sweetie Pie Counted Cross Stitch
the details

My Sweetie Pie Counted Cross Stitch
the details - xox

Other little bits of my life...

11 comments

  1. I love this story, Megan! And that cross stitch project!

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  2. One of my favorite pass times is hearing stories from when people were kids- this is one of the best, most detailed, and exciting one yet! I can't wait to read it to Ginger!

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    1. Thanks Ruby! I'm proud to read you think it's one of the best. I hope Ginger likes the story too.

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  3. That looks like a LOT of work! But very cute! Love the story too and of course the 3 munchkin pic is waaaaaay to cute!

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    1. Thanks Emu! It was a lot of work, but fun. I really liked doing each different picture for the letters. And because each one is just a small little thing it didn't feel like it took that much time.

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    1. Thanks Denise, I loved stitching on it.

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  5. What an interesting story of people making a positive influence in young children's lives. Love the project too.

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  6. such a great story Megan! What a lucky girl to get to play with YOU three all summer! xo

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