The theme for the May Giveaway was how I learned to needlepoint and we got some great responses.
I’ve contacted the winner and I wanted to share with you today the great responses.
My friend Donna learned just the way I did:
I first learned to needlepoint as a teenager in the 1970s from a kit. Just basketweave and tent stitch stuff on painted canvas. At some point in this decade I’ve become a huge fan of charted canvas work mostly through the influence of people I’ve met in the EGA. It’s because of the charted stuff that I’ve finally stepped off into using different stitches on handpainted canvas.
And from all this you’d be right assuming that I’ve spent most of my time in the counted thread world.
Needlepoint was the “IT” craft in the 70’s. That’s why there are so many books in thrift shops from that period. So many of us can relate. I’m going to do a post about what to do with these books for tomorrow.
Lots of us also learned from family members, as Becky did:
My grandmother lived with us and taught me many forms of needlepoint. Alot of her friends had beautiful needlepoint in their homes. I wanted to do it. So my Mom bought me a kit. I’ve been a needleworking nuts for about 40 years now.
As did Sally:
My mom and aunt got hooked on needlepoint when I was in my 20s in the 1970s and I picked it up from them. I still have great psychedelic pillows that I stitched back then!
Like a lot of people I learned needlepoint when I was an itty bitty thing from my grandmother and my mother. My mom did more cross stitch, and my grandmother was the needlepoint queen. She did all tent stitching pieces — I think I remember a bargello or two among her finishes. To be honest, I appreciated the work she put into needlepoint but it never called out to me. Only within this last year, quite by accident while surfing the net for something else, have I discovered the whole wide world of different stitches, techniques, canvases, threads, books — and I am completely hooked for the rest of my days.
I also learned needlepoint from my grandmother. My little sister was born when I was five. I went to stay with Grandma, had always admired her needlework and lace, and was thrilled when I found out I was old enough to learn. My mother was also thrilled. As soon as she had time she bought me samplers and patterns. I sat with her while she nursed my sister and made a special sampler for the nursery. I hope to someday pass down my love to my daughter and nieces.
While many of us found our way in needlepoint mostly on our own (I’d been stitching for more than a decade before I took a class, some of us, such as Jacquie, learned from teachers:
I first learned to needlepoint by taking a class from a wonderful teacher named Pat Moore at the local YWCA. I was pregnant with my first child. I went on to Pat’s Bargello class, followed by her four-way bagello class. Finally I took a class where we did an “original” and I came to grips with the idea that a painted canvas (even if mine was just a felt tip marker outline) didn’t need to be all tent stitch. You can use different stitches!!
That child turned into a wonderful young woman coming up on 36 (help!), who since a young age, has been a terrific cross stitcher who has made some wondeful, realistic masterpieces of some of our family’s treasured memories.
Diane learned a Day Camp (I wish mine had been like this):
I learned to knit and needlepoint at the age of 10. We grew up in the city of Detroit and the only summer camp available was at the YMCA, and one that my parents could afford. My mom would take us for approx. 4 hours a day and they offered different “fun” things for you to learn and do. Well, she picked swimming lessons for all of us and we got to pick to other classes to go to, so I chose needlepoint and knitting. I knitted my first hat and mittens that summer and needlepointed a small sampler of stitches. I have continued with a passion ever since. I worked in a needlepoint/knit shop all through high school and went on to become a Home Economics teacher and have won two ribbons for my needlepoint. I can’t begin to tell you how much I love to stitch, it is more than a passion!
Sometimes, like Emilie, we are lucky enough to learn from the combination of family member and shop:
My mom started a needlepoint store in our house when I was 5, so I learned from her. I had my own little lessons, and had to be reminded not to bother them when she was giving her classes after supper, LOL! (I thought I could “help”…) Later she and her cousin moved the store out of the house to be a “real” store, and working there was my first job!!
Thanks everyone for sharing your stories.
About Janet M Perry
Janet Perry is the Internet's leading authority on needlepoint. She designs, teaches and writes, getting raves from her fans for her innovative techniques, extensive knowledge and generous teaching style. A leading writer of stitch guides, she blogs here and lives on an island in the northeast corner of the SF Bay with her family
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