Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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A Stitcher’s Christmas #2: Embroidery Books!


Amazon Books

We’re back to A Stitcher’s Christmas, and this time, it’s embroidery books!

Remember last week when we chatted about the A-Z series of needlework books published by Search Press? Well, here’s your opportunity to win three beautiful and functional A-Z books for your own needlework library.

I’m also announcing the winners of last week’s Stitcher’s Christmas give-away – so read on to see if it’s you!

Stitcher's Christmas - A-Z Books Give-away

Stitcher’s Christmas #1: Thread – Winners!

For those of you who didn’t catch the announcement, Lorraine at Colour Complements decided to offer threads to three winners instead of just one, due to the enthusiastic participation in A Stitcher’s Christmas Give-Away #1.

The randomly drawn winners for the threads from Colour Complements are Tracie Denton, Ruth in PA, and AnnH in Canada. Yay! I’m sure you will love your new threads!

If you didn’t win but you have your heart set on some lovely over-dyed threads for Christmas (with the option of some really fun coordinating specialty threads), stop by Colour Complements and check out her selection. Careful, though – you just might get hooked!

A-Z Books Give-Away

Ok, on to A Stitcher’s Christmas #2 – Embroidery Books!

Today’s give-away is courtesy of Search Press, an independent, family-owned publishing house in the UK, with an extension here in the US, too.

Search Press publishes all kinds of arts and crafts books. Browsing through their website borders on dangerous for those of us who love arts, crafts, and books! I particularly like their needlework books, but I’ve got quite a collection of their drawing and painting books as well. Good stuff!

The give-away is for a set of three books to one winner: A-Z of Embroidery Stitches, A-Z of Embroidery Stitches 2, and A-Z of Embroidered Flowers. All three books (shown in the photo above) make a great addition to any needlework reference library. These books will teach you how to work heaps of embroidery stitches and some 100 different ways to embroider flowers, which you can then add to your own needlework projects.

Give-Away Guidelines

To join the give-away, please follow these guidelines:
This give-away has ended. Thanks for participating!

1. Leave a comment below. Comments left on other articles on Needle ‘n Thread or sent in via email are not eligible.

2. Please leave a recognizable name either in the name line or in the comment box, so that there’s no confusion when the winner is announced. You are not required to fill in the “Website” line on the form. This is for folks who have their own website or blog. Just leave it blank if you don’t have one.

3. In your comment, please answer the following question:

What was the first thing you ever stitched? (If you can remember…if not, just tell us about the first memorable thing you ever stitched!)

4. Submit your comment by Monday, December 5, 5:00 am central standard time (that’s in Kansas, USA). The winner will be randomly drawn that morning and announced in the next give-away. I’ll also notify the winner by email, so please make sure you enter your email address correctly on the comment form.

5. The winner will need to respond with mailing information within 48 hours, or another winner will be randomly drawn.

The give-away is open to everyone. You can enter each give-away in A Stitcher’s Christmas when they are published here on Needle ‘n Thread, but you can only enter each give-away once. Please don’t leave multiple comments on any one give-away.

If you’re keen to get your little paws on these three books, then feel free to join in! And I hope you win!

Don’t fret if your comment does not appear on the site immediately. Comments are queued for moderation, to avoid spammers. Sometimes, it takes a while for me to work through the list, but eventually, it will show up!


(1,107) Comments

  1. The first thing I ever stitched was a pear cross stitch kit for art class in school when I was about 11. Everyone in class had to get a kit and embroider it, boys and girls. I learned it and loved it then and there.

  2. The first thing I stitched was a stamped bib. I was 8 and just had a new sister born to the family.

  3. The first thing I embroidered was a simple green vine pattern on a green dress I wear for medieval recreation.

  4. My first project was in grade two – it was using hessian and wool to make butterflies on a pot holder – I still have it and I still think it is a skill that should be taught in schools.

  5. A horse cross stitch kit that I got for Christmas when I was… maybe 8 or 9? The completed project hung in my room for years!

  6. A lovely giveaway! I was just 4 and waiting the arrival of a baby brother and my grandmother came to watch me. She brought my first embroidery project, which I remember as having a sailboat… (missing her today)

  7. Congrats Tracie Denton, Ruth in PA, and AnnH in Canada! What a fun way to start the Christmas season 🙂

    As to the question… I can remember exactly the first thing I started stitching – a cross stitch sampler my art teacher decided I was ready for as I was always the first to finish crafty things at school so he decided I would enjoy cross stitch and showed me how to do it. He sent me home with fabric, threads and a sampler pattern I’d chosen of some lovely flowers mostly in DMC 995 – I never finished it as I made a huge mistake that would have meant unpicking 75% of my work and at 14 I just couldn’t face it. The pattern was probably too big for a first piece, and I didn’t know about hoops then either. I regret I no longer have that pattern as it was lovely.

  8. I would love to win the books. I have visions of embroidered peasant blouses. My first embroidery project was a stamped Brownie promise sampler.

  9. The first thing I ever embroidered was a needle book when I was 10 and in a craft summer group/class. I still have it 31 years later!

  10. The first thing I ever stitched was a handkerchief for my mother when I was in elementary school. It had a cat on it and it was *terrible* with huge stitches and no concept of what I was doing at all! I’m sure it was one of those gifts moms love because their kids made it but inside they’re trying not to laugh. For years, I thought I was terrible at embroidery and then I realized I maybe shouldn’t judge my skills based on being eight!

  11. The very first thing I stitched was a small sampler based on examples in Mary Thomas Embroidery Book. I used Needle ‘n Thread’s excellent videos to guide me through the process. Very enjoyable!

  12. My mom passed away in October. I found in her things a pin cushion that I had made in 1970. It’s a little pillow filled with lazy daisies, stem stitches, French knots and bullion. On the back are my initials and ’70. I was 10. I remember making 2 and giving one to my mom and one to my grandmother. I don’t know where the other one is. I don’t think these were my first, but I know they were the most complex. I was hoping to add a picture here but I guess I can’t.

  13. It was a cross stitched pillow and I stitched it at the age of 7. It was one of those kits for children with wool threads on canvas and if I remember well, the design was a dog.

  14. The first thing I ever stitched was probably a table scarf when I was about 9 yo. Wish I still had some of those things.

  15. I used to save my allowance and buy small crewel kits. So while I don’t remember the first one, it had to be one of those. Then I discovered cross stitch and I was very smitten with that. Now it’s thread painting and stump work. Oh and there was quilting and always knitting too.

  16. A girl can never have to many stitch books. Would love to add these to my collection.
    Nina Burnsides

  17. In 1970 when I was 15, I stitched a sampler which I still have! Maybe it’s now considered antique! The second piece I stitched was pillow of roosters in cross stitch, which my sister threw in the washer and almost every thread came out and the purple color ran!

  18. I made Barbie doll clothes by hand. This was was way back when Barbies were a new toy. I had no clue what I was doing, but it started me on the path to a life of hand sewing and embroidery.

  19. An 6×8 piece of muslin .. P E A C E. .. with groovy little flowers….
    I was 7-ish… it was framed and on t

  20. The first thing I stitched was a 5×7″ kit that came with a frame. I think it was a windmill and wheat field from the mid 1960s. Thanks for the opportunity to win.

  21. The first thing I ever stitched was a kit consisting of wool applique pieces and directions for embroidery stitches. Still one of my favorite pieces.

  22. My grandmother helped me stitch a small tablecloth that was running stitch border and different colored stars. Yes Gram, we use it on special occasions 55 years later, thank you.

  23. I found a Jacobean Crewel wall hanging in a shop when I was 12 and decided I had to make it. That was my first foray into embroidery. I still love those designs.
    Lauren Duff, Burtonsville MD

  24. The first thing I ever stitched was in Grade 6, Home Economics class. It was a dish towel with Sunday’s girl, reading a book, in cross stitch. I still have the towel many, many decades later!

  25. My first embroidery piece was a pair of pillow cases from my grandmother . I can’t remember what was on them tho

  26. Thanks for your enthusiastic encouragement in all things embroidery. My first stitchery project was a Jacobean Crewel kit that I did in college in the 60’s. I did quite a few more bc (before children). Since I retired from teaching I have added to my collection. Thanks for the opportunity to win one of these wonderful books.


  27. The first thing that I ever stitched would be the corner of a dresser scarf that Grandma was stitching. She allowed me to add a few stitches which made my day. The first thing that I ever completely stitched was a picture of a deer in a field – mainly in outline stitch as that was one of the few stitches that I knew back then. I had it framed a number of years ago and it’s hanging in my bedroom.

    Vickie (vjvl51)

  28. What a fabulous give-away—thank you Search Press and Mary! Some stamped cross stitch kits from my childhood is a vague memory; but as a young woman, I remember embroidering stamped 100% linen hand towels (remember those?) with Anchor threads. Didn’t know enough at the time to divide the strands! I still have a few tucked away in my “memory box.”

  29. The first thing I have a recollection of stitching was a stamped embroidery table runner. I don’t think it every got finished. Maybe I run across it at my mom’s house sometime.

  30. I have sewing and embroiding for over 50 years. The first thing I can remember was the little pack of iron on patterns for dish towels and such with kittens doing daily chores.

  31. The first thing I ever stitched was the Snug As A Bug Block 7 in the Splendid Sampler. I never thought about trying embroidery before and have found I really enjoy and can’t wait to learn more! Thanks for the chance to win! 🙂

  32. My first stitching project was a stamped cross-stitch picture of a girl in a bonnet wearing a blue dress. I was about six or seven. I come from a long line of stitchers. My grandmother got me started early and I have never stopped! I am currently into needlepoint where I use lots of embroidery stitches I learned along the way. Mary, thank you for your blog. I look forward to it every day!

  33. the first thing was a tea towel. The most memorable was the hobbie girls in the 70. It was my first major piece.

  34. No Embroidery library is complete without these fabulous reference books. The pictures, the illustrations and the step by step instructions are impeccable! The person winning these books will be a very lucky needle worker!

  35. I was very young when my Grandmother taught me how to stitch. She gave me some printed fabric, which I believe was toile, and taught me how to stitch around each figure (the running stitch). I loved it! I remember she had me use her spool of crochet cotton….oh how I longed for color! I loved sitting with her and stitching together….good memories!

  36. I have enjoyed embroidery since I was very small. When I was in high school we had to do a book of poetry complete with cover. I chose to make mine from cardboard covered with fabric which I embroidered, including the name in satin stitch. I think became interested in white work which an older woman in the community graciously helped me to start. I have recently bought two different books that were recommended on your site and have loved them both. Thank you.

    Sara Bush

  37. One of the first things, I remember fondly stitching was a purple gingham apron that I had made in Home Economics class. We had to complete the project by stitching a cross stitch pattern in the boxes. The design was flowers. I can still see it in my mind’s eye. This set me off happily in a future of embroidery and sewing!

  38. I got into stitching in my thirties, I had been a knitter until then. I took a class at a small needlework shop and did a small piece that had strawberries on it, little french knots to show the seeds. I was hooked at that point. Then I found the Tudor sampler from the Examplarary and I got completely reeled in. I’ve been at it ever since, mostly historic repro samplers. Meanwhile, I’m always looking for any info I can find on stitches, sometimes you just have to find the one explanation that finally clicks and gives that a-ha! moment. And these are the books I do not yet have in my library. Happy Holidays!

  39. My mother sent me to an embroidery class when I was about 10. I drew and stitched both an underwater scene and a garden lowers, which she turned into pillows. One of my earliest pieces was a preprinted sampler that my mother had beautifully framed. It still hangs in my bedroom. I love these books! I already own two of them, and have a wish list for more in the series. If substitutions are allowed I will swap the first two out, if not I will ask Mary to pull a second winner for the two books I already own. This is a great series! Mary is sooo right about that. Thanks for the chance to win! Happy stitching.

  40. Thanks for the chance to win these awesome books! I vaguely remember a stamped embroidery piece. But I clearly remember a crewel piece by Bucilla of a little white mouse in a strawberry patch. I still have it. It’s over 40 years old. Merry Christmas Mary! Happy holidays and good luck to all! Marianne Squire-Maszer

  41. The first thing I ever stitched was a needlepoint with LOVE written on it. I was around 10. I remember buying it in Ocean City, MD on a family vacation. I wonder where it is now.

  42. I remember embroidering a piece that would have been framed but it came to grief!
    I had some water in my embroidery bag, which leaked. I thought ‘It’s only water – won’t do any harm’ but it went mouldy in the heat and the black spots would not come out! Learnt a lesson there!

  43. The first thing which I remember stitching was a tea cosy cover that I designed myself for my Mum. It had her initials on one side and a cup & saucer and a teapot on the other stitched on gingham in cross and stem stitch and decorated with rickrack braid and herringbone with French knots. I know the details as I now have it 55 years on, complete with tea stains!

  44. My Mom had a needlepoint of a cat. She must have gotten tired of working on it and it was stuck in the linen closet as long as I ever knew about it. I was about 3 at the time. So I took it from the linen closet and hid it in my room and worked on it when I was alone. I didn’t want to get caught, I was pretty sure I wasn’t supposed to have it. It was the first project I ever completed and I still have it.

  45. The first thing I remember embroidering was a perforated paper(I think there’s another name for that but I’m not sure what it is) cowboy on a galloping horse with a lasso. It was a bookmark and I didn’t do it well, but using the punched holes helped to keep my stitches the same size. My mother embroidered a lot and she was my first teacher. It was mostly cross stitch but I remember doing the lasso in chain stitch.

  46. One of the first things I stitched were simple monogrammed tissue holders that I made for my family for Christmas. I love making handmade gifts and learning to embroider has opened up a whole new world of possibilities!

  47. The first thing I remember stitching was for my dolly! I was 7 or 8 and it was chain stitch witch my mom had thought me. I was so proud of my stitching!! Every time I do a chain stitch it brings back found memories of the doll and Mom!!

  48. Love these giveaways! Thank you! The very first item I stitched was a tea towel made from a flour sack many years ago.

  49. Hi Mary! Thank you for all this fun Stitcher’s Christmas!

    The first thing I ever stitched were multicolored concentric hearts and a black P on a scrap of Liberty, as a Father’s Day present. I must have been 5 years old, it was my first time with a needle, and I did it all alone since it was surprise, so it was very wonky. There was love in every irregular stitch though, and I wouldn’t be surprised if my father still had it. Later, there would be dolphins so wonky they would not have been able to swim for my first cross-stitch, and a flowered doily after my grandma’s first embroidery lesson, but the ugly, barely recognizable red and yellow hearts on pink and green fabric were my first “master piece”. Thankfully, I’ve improved a lot since then!

  50. It’s been a while since I’ve done any embroidery and I’m hoping to get back to it. I think one of the first things I stitched was a design on an apron.

  51. I have seen these embroidery books in the bookstore and they are fabulous. I would love to own them. Right now, I’m working on the Wendy Williams “Oh Christmas Tree” quilt and I’m just in the process of finishing the embroidery of all of the elements. It’s been a great opportunity for creative embroidery that’s for sure, but will I finish in time for Christmas? That’s a good question….

    The first thing I ever stitched….well, my mom and I agreed that we would embroider the state birds (remember those iron-on designs!?) — that’s how I was taught to embroider. My mom embroidered a few of the birds but I did the majority. At first I stuck to realistic colors, but by the end (I guess I was getting bored), my birds were done in fantastical colors. I still have the birds, but I have slowly gathered the materials to make them into a quilt finally! Maybe I’ll get this done in 2017? We shall see.

    Thank you for producing one of my favorite blogs! I usually follow every link and read every word. Your blog is a lot of fun. Thank you!

  52. One of the first things I stitched was a pillowcase from a kit. I was looking for something to do and was intrigued by hand stitching. My mother showed me some basic stitches and I was on my way.

    How I wish I would have stuck with it. I probably would have been much better at embroidering than I am now. I’m glad I found this hobby again, it has brought me joy.

  53. The first thing I ever stitched was kitchen flour sack dish towels in 1980 for my mom. She was still using a couple of them before her death in 2013. Amazing that my stitching held up and that the towels were not just rags.

    I am loving this blog! Thank you and Merry Christmas!

  54. A to Z books are so great..would love these three~ My first embroidery was a cross stitch pillow case of flowers. I was so proud of my achievement…the thread was very thick and lumpy while the colors were bold and flashy…..but it was mine!!!
    Carolyn S.

  55. I attended an English primary school that taught us basic embroidery and sewing skills, and I created a needle book for my mother when I was about 9. I still have it! It is made of lined Aida cloth with a felt insert for the needles.

  56. The very first thing I stitched was a pre printed cross stitch of little birds. I still have it! From then on I was hooked on embroidery.
    Thanks for the opportunity. How I would love these books! Pick me!

  57. The first items I ever stitched were a set of dish towels, probably about the summer of 1950 when I was about eight years old. My grandmother bought the pattern and transferred the designs to the dish towels by ironing them on. I used embroidery thread to do the stem stitch and French knots. Many years later when my father passed away, I found a couple of those towels in his belongings.

  58. Michelle H in Knoxville

    I don’t remember the exact project but my first memory of embroidery stitching was when I was 5 years old. I remember sitting right next to my Grandma as she taught me how to stitch a running stitch and a back stitch. I also remember her teaching me to do french knots and daisy chain stitches. The first real project I remember was a crewel Christmas ornament set.

  59. Aside from a mishmash of practice stitches the first project I ever stitched was a Combat Infantryman Badge for my husband which I then turned into a pillow for him. I only started stitching August 1st of this year but since then I’ve been happily stitching away!

  60. The first thing I ever stitched (many moons ago) was a set of four embroidered napkins-yellow, with strawberries in the corner. I still have them! I can see how much my embroidery skills have improved since then.

  61. The first thing I ever stitched was a cross stitch bookmark in middle school as part of a home-ec class. It had a frog on it. I’m sure I still have it somewhere. I still love making bookmarks. 🙂

  62. The first piece I stitched was a needlepoint kitten. It was a piece that the kitten was already stitched in peti point and you filled in the background. I was 5 years old. My mother would not buy me another piece of needlework until I finished this one. I really miss my Mom.

  63. The first thing I ever embroidered was an apron for my mother on Mother’s Day – it was a school task in the 4th grade 🙂

    Happy New Year to all

  64. My very first stitched piece was a needlepoint monogram for a straw purse when I was in high school. I used wool and I believe the canvas was 12 or 14. It was also a charted piece.

    In recent years I have stitched mini stockings and used embroidery with my quilting.


  65. I stitched a stamped cross stitch picture for my godmother for a Christmas present. I was 8 years old. I continued to Zurich something for her each year until I went went to college.

  66. The 1st thing I embroidered was a needle case at school !! It had all different stitches In lines and I was hooked from then on to embroidery

  67. Ha! The first thing I ever stitched was a purple panther head on the back of a men’s purple shirt. It was my high school mascot and I embroidered it in our purple and gold colors when I was a sophomore. Just enlarged the school mascot logo and traced it on the shirt by holding it up to a window, then looked at something embroidered that I had been given to figure out how to do the stitching. Loved wearing that shirt despite what I now know was terrible stitching. At the time I thought it was the cat’s meow… er, roar. Lol.

  68. My first embroidery piece was a stamped dresser scarf,which I still have. I was eleven years old.I was the oldest girl ( second of 8) .My youngest brother was quite sick at that time So I stayed home from school to help with the other young children. Mom taught me to embroider while the little ones took naps.By the way my brother is fine and is now a grandpa. Carol M Krencik

  69. I think I was twelve or so when I did my first crewel embroidery. It was a flower kit from Michaels. My mother did not sew nor embroider so I had to teach myself by following the directions. That was 50 years ago!

  70. The first thing I ever stitched was an ear of corn on a piece of flannel that was destined to be a pot holder. I think I was about 6 or 7 years old. I did finish the embroidery but I don’t think it ever made it to the pot holder stage.

  71. Hi Mary, The first thing I ever stitched was a 18×24″ Old World Santa. Ugh, I have a bad habit of never doing anything small. LOL Took a year, but it’s beautiful. Have a wonderful holiday.

  72. My first embroidery was done when I was in elementary school. I was visiting my grandmother, and she gave me a small picture, which included a piece of prestamped fabric with a cowboy, mounted in a plastic frame. While visiting her, I embroidered that piece with her help and still have wonderful memories every time I look at it. Yes, I still have it, more than 60 years later.

  73. The first thing I ever stiched was a cross stitch kit for my mom as a Mother’s Day gift. I was so inept….still am…ha! But my mom hung it up and I always smile when I see it.

  74. I probably wasn’t any older than 10 and was already stitching…something, anything! I remember a favorite aunt complimenting me on how tiny and precise my stitches were. That has stayed with me all these 50+ years later.
    One early memorable project I attempted was a large spray of flowers on black velvet. It was supposed to be a gift for my mom, and would have been gorgeous if I’d finished it. Even tho it wasn’t finished, it gave me experience, practice, and incentive to keep on stitching.
    I love embellishing, especially w/crazy quilting.

  75. The first thing I ever stitched was when I was 10. A lovely lady at church taught a group of us to back stitch “I love you mom” for Mother’s Day.

  76. I think my first embroidery was when I was about 7 years. I made different rows of stiches and colours on a floor cloth and my mother made it into a cushion.

    Kind regards
    Jette Sauerberg, Denmark

  77. I still remember my first thing that I stitched. I was 10-11 years old and I stitched an edge of white skirt with flowers. I still like stitching flowers the most. If I don’t stitch I garden in summer so flowers are always around me.
    Happy stitching and happy holidays !

  78. Being the youngest of four girls I started sewing early. My mother bought little printed quilt squares, They were just a square of white cotton with a picture of a baby animal on it. We did a simple out line stitch. I was five. My mother found them recently and framed two of them for me. My first sampler was around the same time. It took years to finish. I will never forget the verse. With numbers red and letters blue my needle flies from hue to hue I have never stopped, and I always want to learn something new

  79. My mother taught me how to embroider using the stem stitch, lazy daisy, and french knots and for years those were the only stitches I thought you used to embroider anything except for the satin stitch. Boy has my world since opened up! The first thing I remember stitching was a set of dishtowels which were used for years in my home growing up.

  80. The first thing I remembered I stitched were flowers on a blue cotton shirt. It was in the early 70’s so that hippie look was in. I had a large purse and I carried the project around and worked on it when I was bored. All the threads I used were DMC. This happened when I was in Jr. High. Trudy Garza

  81. I am not new to embroidery. When I was a child I was taught embroidery and worked on a stamped fabric that read…. “Greet the day with a song, Make others happy, Serve gladly”. It was cross stitch and I still have the piece and just had it professionally framed. I finished it on my birthday when I was 10 (1959) and dated the piece. I have picked it up again and I am learning many new to me and very fancy stitches and loving it so much.

  82. My first stitched piece was a gym bag sampler done at primary school. And I still have it! It is stitched on navy blue cotton fabric with coloured threads demonstrating buttonhole stitch, fly stitch, cross stitch and whipped stitches. I then made a felt kangaroo which is about 8 inches tall and has various sampler stitches on his powerful legs. And I still have him tucked away carefully. I must have been about 8 or 9 when I made these and still remember how much I enjoyed sitting stitching then as I do now 50 odd years later.

  83. The first item I stitched was a table centrepiece/doily….not large but to me it was huge! It was trial and error but I did finish. Now, after years of stitching, I look back on my first attempt with fondness and a few chuckles.

  84. I have strong memories of embroidering a pillowcase when I was a teenager. It was beautifully completed before I noticed I had sewn through both sides of the pillowcase. It was completely shut. No pillow would ever enter that masterpiece.

  85. My first stitching was in 4 H, I was taught to do embroidery. I went on to do crewel and crosstitch. I recently decided to start embroidering again. One of the books would help immensely!!!!!!!!

  86. The first thing that I remember stitching was a towel for Sweedish Embroidery which I have come to find out that is the same as Huck Embroidery. There was an older lady in my neighborhood who taught the girls how to crochet at 8 yrs. old. If you were younger than that she still wanted you to come to her house but taught the younger girls Sweedish Embroidery. I still have a few towels that I made back in the 1960’s.

  87. I do remember it well!
    I was confined to bed, eclampsia, pregnant with my eldest daughter.
    It was 1973, Avon sold two different wool embroidery pillow kits! One a beehive, and the other a floral sampler. I really had fun doing them, while watching General Hospital, those of you who remember, Luke and Laura!
    I was hooked, on embroidery that is!
    Thank you for your website!
    I recommend it to everyone!

  88. I was 8 years old when my great-aunt gave me a kit to stitch a rose. She LOVED roses and had them everywhere and she was completely resourceful being a farmer’s wife! She was patient getting me started and I finished the kit. It still hangs on my wall. Now I do the same with my little cousins.

  89. the first thing i ever stitched was a christmas stocking from a kit when i was 16 and it was a gift for a friend.

    mary sue c

  90. The first memory of stitching was embroidering pillowcases with my Aunt. I still have some of those early efforts, as well as some she made.

  91. I learned to cross stitch on gingham fabric as a child to make an apron and a pillow, then graduated to printed embroidery designs on table cloth and pillow cases. And never stopped!

  92. I first learned to do stamped cross stitch at a very early age,maybe 5 or 6. My mother would iron the designs on leftover scraps of muslin and I would practice. Later in life I learned counted cross stitch and crewel work, mostly from books with a little help from my mother. The most memorable project I made was a beautiful clock made from a kit that had a strawberry theme.

  93. The first thing I stitched was a pillowcase. I got a kit at the store and made a little one with lots of little daisies on it. Then I got another pillowcase, and another…
    I had to give them away I had too many and had to start using another medium!! There’s only so many pillows in one household!

    Love love your blog and it always gets me in the stitch mood!

  94. I’m new to CQ but have been doing embroidery for years. I don’t remember my first but do have some ornaments I made before children were born (my oldest is 34). I still put them on my tree. They are all cross stitch and in small frames. I enjoy sitting and working on embroidery it’s so relaxing.


  95. The first thing I ever stitched was a little fawn on green cloth. Mother brought it home for me one day when I was around 12 years old. She said if I liked it she would get me another kit. And I did!!

  96. The first project I stitched was a stamped baby quilt for my new baby cousin. I think I was 12. Thanks for the chance. Teal Elder

  97. The first thing I ever stitched was a ‘Friendship Scarf’. My Brownie Troop leader was an embroiderer and she felt every little girl needed to know how to embroider. She had us write (or print) our names on a large piece of muslin with crayon … one for each of the girls in the troop. Then she ironed the muslin to set-in the wax. After that, we all got a needle and some embroidery thread … and we learned to do a stem stitch. We stitched over the names and when that was all done … it took several meetings … she showed us how to pull out threads to fringe the scarf. I wish I knew where that scarf went.

  98. I learned to embroider on pillow cases and dish towels. I still use the pillow cases and love them for a quick, travel project. I still have the towels and they are in the crazy quilt pile.

  99. Super great giveaway! Thank you so much!! I have seen these books and they are super great!
    Thank you and Have a super great stitching day!

  100. My grandmother always have an embroidery project in the making. I would sit by her and watch in fascination of her work and in awe of the threads and colors. She was my first teacher when I was six years old. My first stitchery was embroidering a blue-ink-stamped pillowcase.

  101. This is so Fun! The first thing I remember stitching was on plastic canvas with yarn. It was a cross with yarn attached to make a book mark.
    Thank you for this fantastic giveaway.

  102. My first stitching was a embroidered pillow case at age 10. My grandmother taught me. Wonderful memories and my love of stitching was a wonderful gift from her.

  103. The first thing I stitched was a set of tea towels – the days of the week with little girls doing the daily jobs. Monday wash day, Tuesday ironing, etc. etc.

  104. My first memorable was a piece of pulled work. A friend talked me in to taking this class with her. She was much more accomplished than me, but I got it completed. Framed. And, it still hangs on the wall in my house some 30 years later. Obviously I love it and I’m very proud of it.

  105. When I was 7 or 8 for Christmas I received a color and stitch kit of a kitten with a saying. I can’t say it started my love of embroidery, which didn’t start till my 20’s, but I do look back on it fondly.

  106. I grew up in the bottom floor apartment of a three decker house in the mill town of Lawrence Ma. Bertha Audet worked in the shoe mill and she lived on the top floor. My Parents owned the house and we had a small back yard with a couple of Pear and Apple trees. There, under the Pear Tree she showed me and my two Sisters how to embroider. I was the one who loved it. There were no Summer Camps or activities back then and I spent my time embroidering Table Cloths,
    all which I still have.
    Writing this, a memory just appeared in my head. The very first time I sewed was in the first grade, with the Nuns at St. Lawrence O’Toole School. We sewed little kind of white Dutch hats, by sewing a binding around it, my binding was yellow.
    I remember sitting at my desk,having the needle in my hand and trying to make my Stitches look small and perfect. Yes, that is when I became the ‘Needlewoman’ I am today….Corinne Kerns

  107. G’day Mary,
    I remember stitching a pin cushion for my Mum using embroidery instructions from a set of old Arthur Mee Encyclopaedias. I used 2 colour ‘magic’ chain stitch to embroider the word MUM and back stitch for a cartoony sort of ant looking thing I drew myself! No pretty flowers for this tomboy! I was probably around 8 or 9 yrs old. I’ve no idea where I got the thread from, probably snuck it from a doily in progress of hers! It was a surprise. I found it amongst Mum’s things after she passed away 5yrs ago. I doubt it’s ever seen a pin. Mum was one not to use ‘good’ things. It would be over 50yrs old now.
    Cheers, Kath

  108. The first thing I stitched was a pillow case. It had a zipper enclosure. The design was strawberries. it was a good design for earning outline stitch and lazy daisy.

  109. Even though I have done surface embroidery on and off since I was a child, my most memorable stitching experience was learning to cross stitch on linen. I taught myself with a book and loved it. That opened a whole new world of stitching for me.

  110. The most memorable item I have ever stitched was a table runner for my best friend. It was composed of a danish design, four square panels showing a tree in the four seasons with birds as their bird-family grew. It was counted cross-stitch on a natural linen. I think it took me the entire time we were in seminary to complete it ( a couple years, anyway, early 8o’s), and I finished it with a Scotch-Guard finish so it could be used and enjoyed.

  111. The first thing I ever stitched was a bread cloth on red aida, worked with white stranded cotton. I was about 8 years old and it was a school assignment. I hated it then, but I have still got the cloth and now it is one of my favorite things from my childhood:)
    Thank you Mary

  112. What a wonderful thing it would be to win these three books!

    My memory of the first thing I embroidered would be from Primary school. We all were given a piece of coloured counted thread material and we stitched simple patterns through the holes to make chains and woven thread work through running stitches, using coloured embroidery thread. Boys and girls all made their own table mat.
    It remained displayed on our hall table for many years. 🙂

    Thank you for the oportunity to join in this competition.

  113. The first thing I ever stitched was a cross stitched house very very simple. I I still have it in a little frame.

  114. The first thing I ever stitched was a picture of a ceiling fan with the caption “Whatever Hits the Fan will not be Evenly Distributed.” I did this piece in the 70s, and gave it to my boss at the time. I still have the pattern, that I bought when I went to my first stitch shop with a friend. One look at all the patterns and I was hooked. I knew immediately that cross stitching was for me. I also do Hardanger and Ukrainian Whitework. I tried crewel embroidery once and wasn’t fond of it, but I love the fireplace screen you’re working on, Mary.

  115. The first thing I remember stitching was a a little girl, I must have been younger than 8 because my brother was not born yet. My Grandma gave me a little embroidery kit for children and helped me with it one Christmas. I remember the fabric was permanently attached to the frame which was used as a hoop and a display frame both. The Frame was bright red and colors of the threads were so pretty. I do not remember what the design was but I remember not wanting to eat dinner because I did not want to put it down. Thanks Grandma for the gift of creative doing!

  116. the first thing I remember stitching was a crewel work of a little blonde girl picking flowers. I made it for my mom.

  117. The first thing I ever tried to stitch was a Holly Hobby crewel kit when I was 8. It was a schoolhouse scene with a blackboard behind the Holly Hobby. My mom really enjoyed crewel embroidery at the time (I remember that she was working on a morning glories piece on a country mailbox with a cardinal on it). I ran out of thread on the filling stitches and then never finished it which started me on a real aversion to crewel embroidery.
    I then restarted stitching with needlepoint in college from a chair cushion kit that my grandmother sent me from Germany. I have loved needlework ever since, but still tend to avoid crewel projects.

  118. My grandmother tried to tach me to knit and crochet when I was about 10 and when that didn’t work we moved on to Candlewicking and I was hooked. I did a lot of cross stitching and now I’m trying embroidery.

  119. The first thing I remember stitching was the yoke on the back of three chambray shirts I made for my boys. I had no idea what I was doing but the shirts I embroidered had cowboys and horses running across the back yoke using a satin stitch. I was not intimidated by it at all — now I think twice or maybe three times about doing a satin stitch as I want it to look perfect. Hummmmm I think not truly knowing how to do something gives you the innocence or freedom to just do it. I truly love embroidery.

  120. As far as I can remember, the first thing I stitched – embroidered – was a line of cross stitches on the pocket of a blue gingham apron I made in 8th grade Home Ec. class!
    Mary in MN

  121. The first thing I ever embroidered was a dressing table runner, my Mother bought it for me and was teaching me how to embroider it had a stamped pattern on it. In fact I had two both which I finished and when I married my Mother gave them to me. They needed some repairs they are now over 60 years old. Some of the embroidery had unraveled and the edges had frayed but I mended the frayed edges and repaired the embroidery and they are now proudly used on my dressing table along with many memories of my Mother helping me with the stitching…

  122. The first thing I ever stitched was a prayer for my mother that was framed and hung in her kitchen. Now it is hanging in my home as a remembrance of my time with a wonderful mother.

  123. The first thing I embroidered was a sampler that my mom had made for me; she had drawn some lines and she would show me how to do a stitch and I would practice it. I was probably 7 at the time; I would come home at lunch time from school and would start working on it. I remember one day I was doing really well on one stitch and I had done quite a bit; when it came time to put away to go back to school I realized that I had embroidered my skirt with it. Mom showed me how to undo my stitches and I got to start all over again the next day this time I made sure that my skirt was not part of my embroidery. Chantal F.

  124. A lone star quilted wall hanging about 45″ x 45″ was my first memorable stitching project. The pattern was given in a Family Circle magazine around 1970 or so. It was years later that I found out this was NOT a beginner project. Made me proud that I had accomplished it from the magazine article. My niece still has it.

  125. I watched my mother stitch every night, but I was more drawn to play the piano or sew. Then I watched my 3 year old son develop a love of stitching in Montessori school, but I still played the piano and sewed.

    It wasn’t until I saw a special segment on the BBC about Chiara Vigo, the last woman in the world who knows how to spin a sacred fiber from the hair of clams, that I became interested in embroidery, as this fiber is used exclusively for sacred stitching.

    Last year, I traveled to a tiny island off Sardinia to meet her and spent three days learning about this sacred fiber called Byssus. Since then, I’ve embarked on ecclesiastical embroidery, monograms and goldwork in the ancient tradition. My first real piece of embroidery was earlier this year when I sewed and then stitched an Amice for a priest. I’m now stitching his corporal and have plans for his vestments.

    It took a few years for me to develop the courage try stitching, but it was certainly worth the wait.

    Thank you for considering me. Christine

  126. My mother taught me to embroider. I remember a pot holder, my first embroidery many years ago. I still have that first piece of embroidery stitched when I was about ten years old. Thankfully, my stitches have gotten better.

  127. I was very young and my Italian grandmother had me work in a kitchen towel.
    Frustrated but resumed in my twenties w pillowcase edges. Decades later I still have fun with bits and pieces of stitchery.
    Ann M

  128. There was a day when schools tought Home Economics and sewing. We had to make an apron. Mine was lavender gingham. Next we learned basic embroidery. Pretty yellow dasies with French knot centers. After that I was hooked.

  129. I really do not remember the first thing I’ve stitched since I was a little girl when I first started.
    I do like my first peacock which I gave away to a mission. I turned it into a bag for a child. It was so beautiful!

  130. I remember learning to do embroidery stitches on kitchen towels. The kittens, women doing weekly chores, etc. I started 50 plus years ago. Now I have a grand-daughter old enough to start learning her embroidery stitches. (My sons never showed any interest) Thanks

  131. The first thing I ever stitched was a needlepoint kit of a Siamese cat on a red background. It was all in tent stitch, and so, so boring. I was a teenager and had no idea then that I could have changed the stitches to make it more interesting.

  132. My next door neighbor taught my mother and me to embroider, back when I was very young. We worked on crewel work kits. I remember finding one that had a lamb made of french knots, which I love to stitch. I also remember that I got a bit tired of french knots by the time I finished that lamb. But I still love them!

  133. The first thing I ever stitched was from an iron on pattern set of cute kitchen appliances and foods that had been personified. The scene I chose was a happy bottle of ketchup and mustard who looked like best friends. My stitches were primarily back stitch and satin stitch and the backside was an absolute mess. I’ve come a long way since! Thanks

  134. The first thing I ever stitched was aged 5 in primary school. We stitched patterns onto binca to make coasters, my dad used it for his tea until it disintegrated.

  135. WOW – what a wonderful giveaway…I am heading in the direction of doing some crazy quilting along with my other hand embroidery projects. It would be wonderful to have these wee books to refer to for ideas and techniques. One can NEVER have too many resources. Thank you for keeping us inspired.

  136. I remember that as a kid I embroidered doileys and pillowcases that were pre-stamped. I still have my old metal hoop.

  137. My first stitching project was given to me by my mom’s friend while I was in college. It was a crewel kit of 2 kids. I loved working on it. I don’t think I did any of the stitches recommended because i didn’t have any stitch guides. The books look so helpful.

  138. I had been a sewer from an early age, but one year when I was a young teenager I stitched a pillow for my mother for her birthday. It has three chirping baby birds in a nest among some lovely branches and flowers, and I even put some fringe around the pillow’s edge. I forgot all about the pillow until about seven years ago when it made its way back to me. I remembered how much I enjoyed working on it, and so some fifty years later I started stitching again and am still going strong.

  139. If I am remembering correctly, my first embroidery project was tea towels. The towels had something for each day of the week including the name of the day to embroider. I remember being perplexed because there were seven days in a week, but only six tea towels. My mother told me that Sunday was a day of rest and there was not a towel for it. I think my sister may have embroidered some of the towels in the set.

  140. I would absolutely love, love thoughs 3 books for my library!! I do believe the first project I stitched was in junior high school back in the 60’s for a home economics project. It was a pillow with a large embroidered flower on the front. I don’t know what ever happened to that pillow.

  141. The first really memorable thing I stitched was a winter nightgown I made. I embroidered the entire yoke in vines covered with flowers and leaves. I know my mother taught me sewing and embroidering before that, but this piece is the first that I remember the most; I must have been in my early teens.

  142. The very first thing that I remember stitching was at an after school crafts class. A friend’s mom that cross-stitched and made all of their clothes- even swim suits- brought in little cross-stitch kits of teddy bears. Mine had the caption, “Shop ’til ya Drop”, a motto I still like to live by! Ha, Ha!! But, that little project got me hooked and since my mom was always stitching something it was a good hobby for us to share.

  143. I made clothes for my daughter and hand embroidered motifs on them. I now knit sweaters for my grandchildren and they pick what they want embroidered on them. The hardest was a spotted octopus.
    Debi P

  144. At age 5, am now 68, I embroidery-stitched a little set of ‘Mary Had a Little Lamb’, plastic framed, stamped, 5 x 7 wallhangings. Today they hang proudly in my studio, even w/jump stitches reaching inches across the backside. lol! Today, yes, my stitches are much improved, and I still love the craft. So glad my precious Mother saved these little treasures all those years!

  145. For some reason I don’t remember what was depicted on my first stitching project (a childres cross-stitch kit) but I vividly remember that it was stitched in a shiny, bright red oval hoop that later also served as a frame for the finished project.

  146. The first thing I ever stitced was a simple needlepoint piece which at that time was simply Continental. It was a Red House set in a country setting. I still have the piece. When I found it, it was horribly mishapen so I blocked it best I could and used it as a centerpiece in a very quirky, fun tote bag.

  147. I’m not from a family that stitched, knitted, etc. In a summer crafts program for preteens, I learned to make a Sunbonnet Sue pincushion- blanket stitch, lazy daisy, french knots, outline stitch. I have loved embroidery ever since!

  148. The first thing I stitched on was my “blankie” – a worn out rag by that time that needed some holes stitched up. Mom had been mending some jeans so the blankie also got a blue jean iron on patch. My first actual sewing project was a tea towel and then onto clothes through many years of 4H. Some of those projects had embroidery on them.

  149. My first stitching was a small needlepoint and I was 12. My grandfather framed it and I still have it.


  150. The first thing I remember stitching is a, printed on linen, map of the united states using red and
    black floss. It was done about sixty years ago with guidance from my grandmother, an excellent stitcher. I am happy to still have that piece of needlework.

  151. What a great giveaway! Books!

    I am domestically- and artistically-challenged, so the first time I saw counted cross stitch in Wal-Mart, I thought, “Hey, I could do that!” So I bought this beautiful mother fox & kits kit. Then I bought a Kount on Kappie book of small Christmas ornaments. (I really don’t remember which I did first.) I still have a few of the ornaments. Needless to say, I was hooked!

  152. A simple Red Work project. I’m needing more inspiration and you fill that perfectly. Thank you for your tutorials they are wonderful! The books would serve as great inspiration and reference. Send them my way and I will certainly put them to good work.

  153. I remember it well it was a needlepoint cross stitch pillow. I’m sure the crosses didn’t go the right way all of the time, but I was 12 and it was something to do on cold winters nights.

  154. A beautiful monogrammed letter B from one of your collections!

    Merry Christmas!

    Catrina Byrge

  155. The first thing I stitched was a stamped picture when I was about five, and hated every minute of it. I still remember it vividly, since it put me off cross-stitch for decades.

  156. Good Morning Mary!
    Boy do you know how to bring back memories! The first thing I every stitched was a hanky. My Mom taught me how to do basic embroidery stitches–chain stitch, daisy stitch, etc.. when I was 10. Since then I have taught myself how to do many more, and branched out to Brazilian, Crewel, Cross stitch.

    Thanks for the Memories, and to Search press for the wonderful giveaway!

    Terri P, Albany NY

  157. My very first stitching project was a tiny petite point broach for my grandmother. I think I was about 12 years old when I stitched it, and after my mother (and grandmother) had passed, I found it amongst other treasures in her jewellery box. It brought back many memories 🙂

  158. My first foray into stitching was a little Santa cross stitch ornament I found on clearance at Michael’s for a dime! But half way through, I realized I LOVED stitching so I went back and bought a kit of a blue featherweight sewing machine which I stitched up and gave as a gift to my grandmother. I also stitched a southwestern cactus for my aunt and flowers for my mother. I still put that little Santa ornament on my tree every year!

  159. I began stitching when I was in fifth grade. My fifth grade teacher held an after school class, and it was there I fell in love with needlework! After she taught us some basic stitches, the first thing I remember stitching was a set of Peace and Love designs with the words in chain stitch embellished by flowers and other small designs. I went on to do counted cross stitch, pulled and drawn thread work, and a little hardanger. I haven’t stitched for a while, but I would love these books as an inspiration to begin again the needlework I love so much!

  160. I did my first needlepoint kit at age 8…..my mom had it hanging in its plastic frame until her passing. Unfortunately, I don’t know where it ended….

  161. I used to think that my first stitching project was something I stitched when I was 14 from a learn to cross stitch book – a woman hanging quilts on a clothes line. However a couple years ago I was going through things as I was getting ready to move. I found a bookmark I stitched at summer camp, but had completely forgotten about until I found it. Once I found it, I had vague recollections come back and I’m pretty sure I know who taught it.

  162. I honestly can’t remember what it looked like. I was real young. It was from an embroidery kit my Aunt Dot got me for Christmas. She helped me with it, telling me how to use the floss and thread the needle and how to stitch it. That was when I fell in love with embroidery.

  163. My first stitch was on a small felt needle book from my children craft book. I was about 10 years old. The motif was a small angel, blowing the horn. I made 3 or 4 same needle case, just trying to achieve perfect stitches for the motif and the outer edge finishing.

  164. I don’t remember the first thing I stitched, but I do know it was in stem stitch, because it was the only embroidery stitch I knew existed! I am *so* enjoying getting to know (and try!) various other stitches by way of your newsletter and website.

  165. The first thing I remember stitching was a girl skating. I think it was about Grade 2 and was on burlap! I still have it. I stitched this because I loved skating.
    I also love embroidery, and believe it or not, do not have these particular books!

    Love your blog!

    Linda L. (Canada)

  166. The first thing I ever stitch was a table runner as a teenager, 40+ years ago. I copied the repeating pattern from an embroidery my mom received as a gift. Mom prepared the fabric for me, and I worked the pattern around it. Mom kept it in her room on a dresser. She recently passed away. She always encouraged me to embroider as a way to relax.

  167. Thanks for this opportunity to win the books! My mom taught us older kids to embroider on tea towels and that was my first project. My older brother learned along with me; we worked stem stitch to outline the simple figures. I remember thinking my stitches were neater and more consistent than my brother’s, but wouldn’t dare say that out loud!

  168. My husband and I try to stick very closely to the traditional anniversary gifts. Year two is cotton, so i googled and found some etsy cross stitch family portraits. I thought that was cute and I thought I could do it. A friend of mine had just started cross stitching (so I thought) so I was sure she could teach me. Turns out she embroidered. I decided to have her teach me anyways. I also did a lot of googling, which is what lead me to this wonderful site. Short story long: my first embroidery project was a family portrait of me, my husband, and our two dogs.

  169. The first thing I can remember stitching was a skirt in our sewing class in school. During the lesson it was announced that King George VI had died. Yes I was in a British School and yes that shows my age!!
    Christine Owen

  170. My first embroidery attempt was a sampler that my mother bought for me in Williamsburg, VA. I was 8 years old at the time.


  171. My first ever piece of sewing was a small embroidery sampler which I have to this day. I’m not sure I can remember how to do each stitch. the fact I did it once at the age of about 9 does give me great satisfaction though.

  172. Mary, you are an important part of my days as I look forward to your knowledge and beautiful stitching. I enjoy your cheerful writing through even the challenging times of this past year. I enjoy stitching every day and was “hooked” from my first project when I was 10 years old – over 50 years ago! This first project was a sampler that read, “I will bring the light of the gospel into my home”.

  173. Thank you for the chance to win such lovely books. My first memorable cross stitch piece was when I was a teenager. It was a set of 3 scenes from Sleeping Beauty all in pink! This now hangs in my teenage daughter’s room.

  174. I don’t remember the very first thing but I do have a girl scout sampler that I stitched and I know I quit girl scouts in 7th grade so, befoe I was 12. I found it some years ago, it was stamped and not quite finished. I finished it and was tickled at how well I had done. The back was a mess, of course, but still.

  175. Started my embroidery love in the Girl Scouts. We started with basic stitches and cross stitch samplers. I love hand work and have gone on to counted cross stitch, crewel, and English Smocking. I don’t own an embroidery machine because I love the hand work so much!

  176. My 1st stitching was a stamped dresser scarf set, one longer than the other given to me by my grandmother as a learning piece. I was so excited, but then soon thought I would NEVER get them both finished. It soon became a never-ending “thing” to a young girl. I finally finished both pieces and still have them. Somewhere inside me, it left a love of stitching that I cherish to this day.
    Mary Kay from Montana

  177. Congratulations to the winners!! My mother initiated me to the world of stitching when I was 9 or 10 . She purchased a book of cross stitch design s and a piece of Matty cloth and we started on it together. I still remember the colour of the cloth – it was light green. The book and the sampler was with us for about 20 odd years. Eventually it got lost.


  178. Love, Love, Love the A-Z Books…I have a few others but not these 3, would be very excited to “Win” them. :-), Paige Davis

  179. When I was about 10 my mother kept me busy in the summer working on a stamped pillow case. The most memorable part was when I dropped the needle on the rung and stepped on it thread end first. Ouch! After a tetanus shot it was back to stitching.

  180. The first thing I remember embroidering was a nature scene with grass, a snail, a ladybug and a butterfly on a piece of white fabric. I drew the elements myself and I think I used mostly straight stitches, and a few French knots. This piece became a doll blanket, but I think my mother must have sewn the border onto the white ground for me. I was in gradeschool when I did this piece, so maybe eight to ten years old.

    Thank you for this very generous giveaway. Whoever wins will be very lucky!

    sue m.

  181. My first embroidery was of simple 5-pedal daisy-like flowers. I was going to use them on a doll’s dress so I cut them out from the old dish towel that I’d used for the background. The doll’s dress never got the flowers attached, but I still have those three embroidered cut-out flowers in the same old tin sewing box, along with the embroidery floss and needle I’d had when I was 10.

  182. Mary,

    What a wonderful give away. I have several of the A-Z books. Love them.

    I think my first memorable things I made were needlepoint Christmas Stockings for my daughter and son. Think they still have them after 53 and 55 years.

    Merry Christmas to you and your family.

    Louise Keene

  183. I remember wanting to embroider a group of patterns that my grandmother had featuring girls dressed in native dresses from different countries. I embroidered Tweety Bird on my bell bottom jeans in early 1970’s.

  184. Hello! I stumbled upon your website about 10 days ago. Haven’t stopped drooling since! My mother started me on embroidery when I was 5 – just simple cross stitch first. I branched out into crewel work in my teens. Have continued to do both over the years although it suffered a bit during the family’s growing years. At the moment I don’t have anything in a hoop, but do have several projects on my knitting needles. I’m still working as well but looking forward to retirement next June so I can actually indulge working on my hobbies!

  185. The first thing I ever stitched–and this will date me–was a banner that read “David Bruce Cassidy.” My grandmother was stitching a tablecloth and decided that giving me a piece of muslin and some thread, and teaching me how, was better than me hanging over her shoulder!

  186. The first thing I ever stitched was a kitty shaped pajama bag. I remember stitching color of the rainbow features on craft felt: yellow chain stitch eyebrows, blue back stitch whiskers and so on. I had that piece for many years and am actually hoping it is squirreled away in my memory box in the basement. I have not thought of it in years.

  187. oh the first thing I ever stitched was a cross stitched item…but am part of the embroiderer’s guild in Rocky Mount, NC now for over ten years and love to stitch on canvas related items….Paige Davis

  188. The first thing I stitched was a dresser scarf my grandmother gave me. She would always ask me what “fancywork” I was doing.

  189. What a great gift it would be to own these books. I would help me so much as I have a seeing problem. I would be able to work the stitches easier.

  190. Summer of 1959, when I was 9 and asked my Mom what she used to do when she was bored, she came up with my first embroidery project: a white muslin pillowcase that I ironed on a pattern of a basket of flowers, bluebirds and the word MINE! I had a tiny book of embroidery stitches and decided I would use every single stitch in the book somewhere in that basket of flowers, in as many colors of DMC as we could afford…and I did, even though many were very difficult to learn. When I embroidered it’s mate, with the word YOURS, my Mom suggested I keep them in a “Hope Chest!” I still have those pillow cases and other items I embroidered over the summers growing up. When my Mom passed away, she left me her sewing basket and to my surprise I found she had saved the remainder of the iron-on patterns, the needles and thread I used that summer, and directions and samples for a Cathedral Window quilt. It’s a treasured memory of my Mom and childhood. But the Stitch Book is missing, so thank you, Mary, for this happy opportunity #2 of a Stitcher’s Christmas! So excited!

  191. I received a brand new wicker sewing basket of my very own for Christmas in 1957 ( I was seven years old). It was just like my grandma’s so I had to have an embroidery piece in there too – just like my Grandma had in hers. On a piece of cloth ( old pillowcase?? – I don’t know) Grandma and I traced a small picture from my Heidi colouring book. The scene included a rabbit and flowers – and I embroidered that with floss. And I moved on to pillowcases and dresser scarves and much more. Still have a house full of threads and fabric for all sorts of needlework!

  192. I can’t recall the first thing I stitched. However, I remember spending time with my Mom while she taught me the stitches. So, in a way I guess the first thing I stitched was a beautiful memory.

  193. I so enjoy all the info you share and always look forward to your next posting.

    Boy, I still remember the first pillow case I did. So many years ago that I can not remember when. Only that my grandmother bought them for me and shared the joy she always had.

    Enjoy your holidays!!!!!

  194. I was about 10; my Mom bought for me a beautiful (small) embroidery sampler kit. It’s been a great passion for me since that first finish.

  195. I still have my first embroidery project. It is something you don’t see very often in homes now….we called them “bureau scarves”… a decorative cloth to prettify and protect the top of a chest of drawers. My father brought me the stamped linen cloth and a handful of floss in bright colors and black. There was no color key, so it was a child’s exuberant mishmash of color (I was about 5 yrs. old). There are plenty of knots and tangles. The most interesting part to me is that my father taught me outline stitch, lazy daisy and running stitch. He came from a family with four sisters and a resident grandmother, besides his parents. As he crossed into the feminine arts to teach me how to stitch, he later invited me to experience hunting and fishing with him. What an exceptional Dad!

  196. One summer day when i was about 10, my grandmother decided to teach my two younger siblings and me.
    to embroider some old pillow cases and I did both a Mexican sleeping against a suaro castus, and a pineapple
    which my mother kept for years.. my nom de SCA is Denis de Dijon

  197. I don’t remember the very first thing I stitched, but I do have many of the things that I did starting around the age of 10 or 11. One of the first things that I did that I really was proud of was of a bouquet of lilacs. I used wool on linen which started my love of crewel. I still have this and cherish it still.

  198. My first project was a little kit from Michael’s of a cat playing with a ball of yarn…it was so small I’m surprised I haven’t lost it. I think I was around 11/12?

  199. The first thing I stitched was a doll quilt with my grandmother when I was 12. Right
    after that I stitched an embroidery card with violets. I love handwork. I learned to
    crochet next. I was already stitching clothes and pillows. Handwork is soothing,
    calming and relaxing. Thanks for all you show and tell us. You’re wonderful.

  200. The first thing I remember stitching was a quilt block I designed for a quilt for a long-time pastor of the church. Each family &/or individual was asked to design a block and embroider it. I remember I stitched several versions of the block until I got it the way I wanted it to look. I still have one of the versions.

  201. I can’t remember the first item but I bet it would have been a stamped pillow case or bureau scarf . My mother was into those types of needlework and still have a few of her items.
    I do remember working on several crewel kits by Erika Wilson and learning much through her instructions. Thus began my love for the needlework.

  202. First thing I ever stitched were pillowcases – satin stitch with my initials – I was likely about 7 or 8 & taught by my mom.

  203. The first thing a ever made was the map of the Netherlands, with all the sightseeing, windmills, wooden shoes, cows, rivers, and tulips etc….
    It was a work of 90 by 75 centimeters with almost 60 different colours and it took me about 3 months to finish.
    I still think that it is one of the best things that I have made.

  204. The first thing I ever stitched was a stamped dresser scarf. I was probably 11 or 12. My mother taught me Lazy Daisy, Stem, Outline, French Knots, and Satin. I wasn’t a “girly” little girl but I did like creating things. I didn’t stitch anything else until I was about 15 when I discovered crewel embroidery and lost my heart. This led to Elsa Williams and Erica Wilson, and then into needlepoint, and on and on. I joined EGA when I was 18. Ultimately I owned a needlework shop for a number of years, became a Life Member of both EGA and ANG, and volunteered for ANG which included being Treasurer and President. Be careful when you start stitching – you don’t know where it will take you!

  205. I have done crafts as far back as I can remember. So I can’t say for sure what my first embroidery project was. The most memorable thing was a pair of white pillow cases for my husband and my bed when we were married 21 years ago. It had hearts and vines. I also hand crochet a lace trim around the outer edges. I simply love learning and adding new techniques to my repertoire. Whether it is sewing, crocheting, embroidery, quilting, jewelry making and home diy.

  206. An ambitious needlepoint pillow composed of pink tulips in a variety of pink shades was my first stitching project. This was in the mid seventies and it was recommended to cover the edges with masking tape! The tape was almost impossible to remove. I have done near to zero needlepoint projects since. I have however learned a great deal from following book patterns, and incredible teachers like yourself you show the beauty of a simple stitch adding so much to our daily lives. Thank you, Mary. Marta A.

  207. OOOOH i would love to win these books! The first thing i remember embroidering was a piece of burlap during Miss Pinnock’s, third grade class on American Indians. I do not remember what we made of the finished piece, i just remember the burlap and yarn for the stitching. From there my grandmother took on to pillow cases…lol.


  208. I had just joined the Bluebirds in an effort to eventually become a Girl Scout. Our first project was an embroidery project. I completely failed this project hence I was so embarrassed I never went back. All these years later I have dabbled with embroidery and now I have the time to really learn the craft! I’m so excited!

  209. The first thing I remember stitching was a small cross stitch cheerleader. Thank you for this giveaway. That is a good series.

  210. I think my first embroidery project was pillow cases when I was 7 or 8. My dad’s girlfriend taught me.

  211. Hi Mary,

    Those books seem fantastic. My first stitching experience took place a long time ago, when I was a little girl of 7 or 8 years old, : a child canvas with a white dog on it. My second one took place few years after when I tried to copy part of a chinese embroidery I had on a dressing gown on a night gown … without the correct threads … A memorable experience ! Now I laugth about it, but then I was not that happy at all …

    Best regards,


  212. My first stitching memory is…sitting on the sofa in our living room, my mother in her apron, dish wiper in her lap, sitting beside me…patiently encouraging me to weave the needle and floss up and down through the pre-printed fabric while I juggled the hoop in one little hand and the needle in the other. I was probably about 5 or 6 years old. I can’t remember the outcome of that early stitching or the design I was working on (probably just as well), but I’m sure band-aids were involved. The strong memory is of my mom and her patience and encouragement.
    My first memory of an accomplished design was a puppy all done in straight stitch…many stitches ago.

  213. The first thing I stitched was probably a pair of pillow cases. I made a lot of things for my “hope” chest!

  214. The first thing I ever stitches was when I was 7. I did a little needlepoint canvas figure. Of course it was lumpy and out of shape before blocking, but I covered the little canvas well!! Then in graduate school I did what felt like an enormous crewel garden, with huge leaves and lady bugs. I still have both of these!

  215. When I was a little girl I would hand sew doll clothing. Younger than 8 years old. I found some recently and was really surprised by how creative they were! I didn’t have patterns or anything and I figured out sleeves. Along the way I would make quilts to be like my mom. Sewing is something that has connected generations of my family.

  216. A long, long time ago, my mom bought a new Hi-Fi (yes, that long ago) record of inspirational tunes. One of the songs, with a line of ‘God bless the folks I love, God bless us all!’ went round and round in my head.
    Visiting my grandma in the tiny town of Altamont, KS, I wanted to somehow capture these words on fabric. My grandma had been trying to teach me some embroidery skills- (Thanks, Grandma!) and helped me take a small piece of light green cloth and an emerald green embroidery thread, and together, we printed out the second part of the line- God bless us all- and a picture of the world with the continents stitched-
    My grandma was so proud of me! I was pretty happy, too!
    A continuing love of handwork was born.

  217. a piece of green counted canvas with lines and crosses on at little school in the Cotswolds

  218. Hello Mary,
    My first Embroidery memory was when I was in junior school, I’m 66 now. We had to embroider a tea tray cloth. It was in gingham and I was told off, constantly, because it was not neat enough. Fortunately it did not put me off.

    Thanks for such an inspiring website. My resolution for 2017 is to explore Whitework and drawn/pulled work and I’m busy gathering threads, patterns and needles together to begin work over the Festive Holiday.
    Best wishes to you and your followers,

  219. I loved those cardboard sewing cards when I was very young where you “sewed” a shoelace-type cord through pre-punched holes that followed the outline of a design. When I was six, I stitched a stamped pillowcase.

  220. The first things I remember stitching were stamped cross stitch on a table cloth. I branched from there to cross stitch, crewel and embroidery. I love doing wool applique and embellishing it with hand embroidery. Thanks for all the knowledge and experience you share and for the chance to win this wonderful give away.

  221. The first thing I ever stitched, hmmmm… I was about 4 or 5 years old. My grandmother and mother sat me down at their feet and placed a loaded embroidery hoop in my hands with a drawing upon it. A needle in one hand, I think the thread was blue, and showed how to do a running stitch. Up and down, up and down. I loved it. My older sister, not so much. When finished with the design, my mother praised my work and hung it on the wall. I sat at their feet every chance I could. Now look at me, teaching my grand children!

    Thank you for offering the chance to win these!!
    Barbara Downey

  222. I remember the first thing I ever stitched was a flower drawn on a piece of cloth my grandmother drew for me. I remember she didn’t really sew garments or anything like that but she did teach me to embroider. So later I remember stitching a printed piece and framing it for her. I think she was pleased. Thank you grandma for being so sweet.

  223. I have several of the A-Z books and consult them whenever I’m stumped for a stitch and how to do it. They are easy to use. The first piece I ever stitched, and I still have it, was a piece of cotton taken from a discarded pillow case of my grandmother’s. On this I stitched a couple of stick figures, a dog and a flower. I was 5 years old at the time and have been stitching ever since.

  224. First thing my mom taught me was tea-towels. They were penguins. That was in the late 50s. Another was chicken scratch. They were animals. One was a squirrel. Anyway I really am happy my mom passed on her
    skills. I thank her almost daily!
    Deb Fick

  225. The first thing I ever stitched was a dressing table set when I was about ten years old. I remember there were a lot of flowers in daisy stitch.
    I may still have it tucked away at the back of a drawer.

  226. My Momma drew lines, dots, daisies, Xs, etc on pieces of fabric to teach my sister & me stem stitch, French knots, lazy daisy stitch, cross stitch. Then she bought us stamped “samplers” to work; mine was “Now I lay me down to sleep.” I was hooked!

    I still have my scrap of fabric & my sampler (both framed) lo these 5+ decades later.

  227. The first thing I remember stitching was a large cross stitch sampler for an aunt — I think I was 11. She had it archivally framed and it is hanging in my dining room now.

  228. The first thing I ever stitched was something cross-stitched. I think it was a blue monogram. I was probably about 7. I havent thought of that in years!

  229. Palmyra, PA. The very first thing I remember stitching was my name on a scarf in various stitches as my grandmother taught them to me
    I was 5 years old. Each letter of my name was done withe a different stitch. The small scary was a cotton one and I still have it. It went around the neck of a stuffed clown she had given me. We lived in Sydney (Bondi Beach) At the time in 1965.

  230. Wow it is going to be a lucky Christmas for some Christmas reading
    Enjoy the Festive Season!
    With much love and blessings !
    Teresa Unthank

  231. I wrote a long post on my early projects, and then I remembered the pig. As a kid, I loved reading mom’s needlework and craft magazines. When I was a young teen, I made a wall hanging of burlap with a design of a pig they see in one of them. I did it all by myself and had a wonderful time. The pig was not outlined, but the shape filled in with felt flowers, made of stacked felt cutout shapes. The burlap was avocado green with bright colored flowers…very 60s! The flowers were held to the burlap with pronged paper fasteners. It hung in my room for years. No embroidery on it, but it gave me such pleasure and confidence the embroidery soon followed.

  232. As many others did, I learned to surface embroider at my grandmother’s knee at the age of 5. My first piece was a handkerchief with a teddy bear in the corner. A;as, I no longer have that piece. However, I do have the next pieces- 3 gingham towels with cats inspired from “three little kittens have lost their mittens”nursery rhyme.

  233. I did a little embroidery when I was a child but can’t remember what was stitched.

    When I got back into embroider the first thing I stitched was a Flower Day of the Week set.

  234. the first thing i ever stitched was a quilt with my grandmother. she is the one that has taught me. now i teach my children, and grandchildren they love do things together as a family.

  235. The first thing I stitched was a pair of jeans that was starting to develop holes but was so Cindy and I didn’t want to give them up.


  236. My first embroidery experience was very memorable and inspired a love of needlework that has stayed through the years. When I was in 5th or 6th grade, a friend of mine’s mother began a few embroidery classes for a small group of girls my age. This family had immigrated from Mexico and the mother did beautiful needlework. I think we worked on handkerchiefs; but far beyond that, we learned excellent techniques. I wish they had gone on beyond the basics. I would love to have these books to build on skills I’ve learned over the years.

  237. While I can’t remember my first embroidery project, I remember embroidering pillowcases and days of the week towels. My sister gave me some embroidered redwork blocks for my birthday one year, so I decided to embroider a few of my own and include them all in a quilt. Love it.

    Thank you for the opportunity for someone to win these embroidery books. Would love to add them to my collection.

    Nancy L in IA

  238. The first thing I ever stitched was a redwork Santa that my mom had started. I think we turned it into a wall hanging. That was when I was little, so it was nearly all backstitch. The first design I chose on my own, in high school, was a Goldfinch as part of a state birds set of designs.

  239. The first thing I ever stitched was a stamped cross-stitch set of pillowcases when I was 6 or 7 years old – and I’ll bet a lot of others started this way! 🙂 I don’t know whatever happened to them, but I sure enjoyed spending that time with my mother, as she taught and guided me.
    Judy in SC

  240. The first thing I stitched was a detailed flower on a little lavender sachet. Considering my utter clumsiness in arts&crafts , everyone -including me- was surprised at how well that turned out.

  241. I love the A-Z books, they are my favorite go to books when I need stitching help. My first hand stitched project was a smocked pillow I made for my mom when I was in high school. I ordered the pattern from the newspaper. I used a baby wale corduroy fabric.

  242. What was the first thing I ever sewed? Can I remember that far back! It would have to have been some clothes for my dolls. I do remember doing cross stitch on a gingham apron at school too. I have never stopped since

  243. I did my first embroidery when I was about 9. It was a tray cloth with some simple flowers in chain stitch and stem stitch which my Mum had drawn for me. I’d love to win these books as I already have a couple in the series and they are so informative with beautiful illustrations.
    Alex Penny Taunton UK

  244. the most memorable thing i ever stitched was using satin stitch to fill in letters. previously i had only done back stitching as outline. love love your site, thanks so much!

  245. I don’t remember the first thing I stitched but I do remember the first thing my daughter stitched, when she was 12. My mother helped her design and make a mackintosh style seat for a stool. I still have the stool.

  246. I honestly don’t remember the first thing I ever stitched, though I was probably around 10 years old. My grandmother taught me to crochet about then, and as she also embroidered, she probably gave me an embroidery project to work on as well. But the first thing I remember stitching was tiny yellow flowers on the bodice of my wedding gown, following the pattern woven into the cloth. And the second project was a violet and leaves on a bib for my first baby, just done in a chain-stitch outline. 1978 and 79, so it’s been a while 🙂


  247. I embroidered a sampler when I was about 11 or 12, I don’t remember who showed me how , must of been my mother. Her favorite was knitting and crochet. She did do embroidery at times, I have a full size embroidered quilt on my guest bed they she made. All in red and white. Nice memories this morning.

  248. The first thing I embroidered was the shape of a square on a tea towel. With my grandma right beside me. 65+ years later I still embroider!

  249. Oh how I would love to have these books! The first thing I remember ever stitching was a little bag with a girls’ group in my neighborhood–I don’t remember now what the bags were for, but I have a very distinct memory of carw fully “embroidering” my initials onot it (in running stitch) because I understood that was The Thing To Do with hand-sewn items.

  250. I don’t remember the first thing I ever stitched. I just remember thinking I was horrible at it. But then again, I was comparing my seven-year-old work to my sister’s 14 year old work. For years and years I thought I was horrible at embroidery, and I didn’t like it. Then a couple of years ago I decided to do a project for one of my friend’s housewarming, a Tardis with embroidery around it. I found out that when you’re 7 you can’t look at your 14 year old sister’s work and compare it to that. I’ve been stiching ever since then and even do it more than quilting, which surprised me. It’s also cool to look at what I’ve done and say, “I didn’t know I could do that!” (Of course, that’s after picking things out a gazillion times!)

    I just finished a sampler of quotes for my sweetie of things we say around the house, you know things like, “what about second breakfast,” which took me months, and a whole lot of frustration! But I’m so very proud of everything I learned in doing it. I also learned why it’s important to do a sampler, it’s learning for the sake of learning.

    As to the A to Z books, I have the crochet one, and I absolutely love it. I picked it up while working on some crazy project project and now I love crochet too.

  251. My first embroidery was a leafy pattern on a pillow case. I was about 10yrs old and after 60 yrs, that’s about all I remember. I’ve done a few cross-stitch items since then, but really branched out after joining an EGA group in Washington about 10 yrs ago. Since then I’ve learned all kinds of new ways to stitch and loving every minute. The down-size is that I now have 3 notebooks full of patterns I want to stitch and a stash of thread and fabric just waiting for a project. My favorite thing to stitch is Christmas ornaments.

  252. Hello Mary and as we say here in the UK “Happy Christmas”. The first thing I ever stitched was my nightshirt. After I had made it myself I decided to decorate the pocket with my initials in cross stitch. I used waste canvas and it took forever to pick out all the strands of canvas from the design. Live and learn, I soon found water solvable “canvas” to work with!!

  253. So hard to remember back that far! I have a distinct memory of crocheting religious skull caps for boys on whom I had a crush at about age 12, which is also about the same time I learned to sew. I also remember self teaching myself to needlepoint since at age 19. I didn’t focus on embroidery until my 20’s, when I combined it with smocking.

  254. Mary…For my first item stitched…that I can remember…I was about 7 or 8 years old and I was in Girl Scouts…and our Scout leader taught us how to embroider a Christmas tree ornament. Funny how I remember that!

  255. The first thing I ever stiched was a little counted cross stitch owl sitting on a branch. I was 8 and I must have made a dozen mistakes and had to keep pulling out stitches and re stitching it! We turned the tiny gold frame it was in into a magnet and it is still on my Dad’s refrigerator. (I’m almost 50 now.)

  256. The first thing that I remember stitching, and completing was a chair back when I was 11. It was on a large piece of cream Aida and I cross stitched Christmas trees and deer alternately across the bottom the trees were a dark green and the deer were a bright orange! They were about 3″ tall. The joy on completing with three sided stitch around the (very long) turned edges was unbelievable.

  257. Thank you Search Press for your generosity. Congratulations to whoever wins!
    I remember in Grade 8 stitching on an apron we were making in our Home-Economic Class.

  258. The first thing I ever stitched was a kit from the Avon company of a mouse riding on a turtle, it was about 36 years ago and I still have it!

  259. First thing I really remember was working on a quick howling design on a skirt when I was about 10. Whole family got involved my Mother did some of it, my sister worked on it and an aunt who was visiting worked on it. Probably about 1962.

  260. In HomeEc class we were required to stitch a kit. My mom bought me one and I did it. I don’t remember well what it was other than a bird and a tree. I look back and my biggest memory is struggling to do it with do little help and limited instructions. Such a better world!!

  261. My grandmother exposed me to embroidery with a simple outline picture of a canary on a branch (probably because I had a canary). She framed the finished piece and hung it proudly near the entryway of our home. I always feel like embroidery was “our thing” and makes me feel connected to her in a private and personal way. I still have a bag of threads and hoops which belonged to her after she passed away (long ago). Thanks for the opportunity to reflect on and share a good memory.

  262. I basically do CCS, but I love to add touches of embroidery to my pictures, like lazy daisy for leaves or turkey work for hair, bears and of course french knots for sheep. Christmas is my time of year! Presently unpacking my Nativity collection, many of which are needlework stitching.

  263. Good morning fellow stitches
    The first thing I ever stitched was lazy daisies.
    I had to have been 10 or 11 and I found a 6 page guide
    How to Embrodary. I sat in my bedroom on the floor looking at the directions and illustrations of how to stitch. I was in 4-H and had made my first doll blanket ( it was hemming the 4 sides) and felt very accomplished receiving my first blue ribbon!,so I thought I can do this all by myself! And I did make those lazy daisies! Happy stitching julie

  264. The first thing I ever stitched was a cross stitch teddy bear ornament. I remember having a lot of fun with it. Thank you for bringing back the memory.

  265. A wonderful giveaway! (Not entering; I already have the books, thanks).

    A cautionary tale to ANYONE who wants to each a child embroidery:
    The short version is make sure the project fits the child and NOT the other way round.
    The long version is below.

    My first memory (between 6-10) is a blurred white square with an enormous jumble of knotted red embroidery thread and some non-related adult who was impatient and seemed to think stitching cross-stitch was instinctive in little girls. I can still feel the frustration and how much I hated that little white square. I ditched it as fast as I could.
    I was off embroidery for life, in spite of being surrounded by beautiful table cloths cross stitched by my mother as I grew.

    But 10 years ago I discovered surface embroidery. The amazing choice of stitches and even more amazing choice of thread captivated me. I wasn’t very skilled and I still enjoyed it. And about 6 years ago I found your website, Mary and now I love almost everything about creative embroidery. I am very creative, still not great at making my ideas a reality, painfully slow. But I really miss it if I don’t stitch something or learn something new every day.
    I hope this helps anyone who wants to pass along this ancient art.

  266. This first thing I ever stitched was the hem of a hand towel. I embroidered four sweet little mittens on it in Christmas colors.

  267. I may have stitched as a child, I’m sure I did but I don’t remember. As an adult I did a small cross stitch of a pig. It was a present for my mum who has always embroidered and done tapestry or cross stitch. I laboured over that cross stitch (it was a tiny kit that would take 3-4 hours to stitch now) and it took me weeks! I was very proud of it in the end though and it sparked something in me…

  268. I don’t remember my first creation but I was in love with Erica Wilson so I am sure it was something with crewel embroidery. I started back doing surface embroidery while my Mom was sick. Coloring books are all the rage, but I couldn’t get into it. So, my solution was embroidery! The first piece I did was “Peace Love Paws” from an Aunt Martha packet. Now I am hooked and doing crewel again and anything else I can get my hands on and embroider!

  269. My first stitching piece, at about six, was stamped cross stitch, like everyone started with. In those days no one ever found anything else! It was a flower piece on a little doily. I was given a limited supply of thread, an admonition not to waste any and a large needle. There are spots where the thread was short, the needle too long to get it back into the cloth and I learned the art of “puckers. ” Luckily, I have improved since and so have the designs!

    Like you, I live in a desert of stitching supplies and these books would be wonderful to start designing my own pieces!

    Paula in VA

  270. My first project was a sampler with my Grandmother, how sweet is that? I enjoyed embroidery as a child, took a long break, and now am back at it. I have bought a couple of reference books but there is always so much more to learn. My family and friends are quite happy to be the recipients of my recent efforts now that I am “embroidery obsessed”.

  271. The first thing I embroidered was an alphabet sampler kit for my niece while she was away for the summer. Even though that has been over thirty years ago I continue to stitch and learn new things about embroidery. Who knew there was so much to “simple cross stitch”!

  272. Oops, didn’t read down far enough. The first thing I ever stitched was a stamped bowl of flowers in early 60’s, moved on to crewel and needlepoint and discovered CCS in 1975, when I stitched a Nativity bell pull. I had asked my LNS owner if she thought I could do CCS and she handed me a kit and said try this, 22 count fabric, LOL. Still hanging it up for Christmas 41 years later.

  273. My first project was a crewel kit of a grandfather clock. It was stitched for my dad who was in Korea for the army as a welcome home gift. I even managed to complete it in time. It still hangs in their house even after another 15 moves.

  274. The first thing I stitched was a patch on the knee of some pants I ripped. My grandmother drew balloons on the fabric and had me pick out the colors, which I loved, and then she showed me how to back stitch the drawing. Then I stitched it to my pants. I will never forget that day because it started something that would stay with me for life. Kristine Butorac.

  275. The first thing I remember stitching is a case for my crochet hooks. I found some zodiac pictures and though I am not a Virgo I loved the image so much I embroidered it in stem stitch. I still have that little roll up case 40 years on and I can remember where I was sitting while I made it. I was a teenager at the time, and making and embroidering that little case all by hand made me feel connected to something. The act of taking the time to create and be peaceful. It connected me to the past while I made it, using “old fashioned” methods while in the present of today whenever I come across it, I am connected to the past of who I was. A wonderful bridge through time.

  276. The first thing I can remember stitching is a small flower on a doll’s dress. I am 75 now and that was done when I was 5 or 6. I can remember sitting with my Mother who was trying to teach me how go do it. She was left handed I am right handed so we sat knees to knees and I watched her and learned upside down.

  277. Hello! The first thing I stitched was a wool crewel pillow as a gift for my sister’s wedding some 40 years ago. It came out very well and after all this time, I have it now.

  278. It was in Junior High during the winter when “mini courses” were offered at school. I learned to do a simple cross stitch. Those courses exposed me to many wonderful artsy things. So grateful to have that enrichment in my life.

  279. The first thing I ever stitched by hand was a small crewel picture of a mushroom and flowers that came in a kit with a needle, yarns and directions. I followed the directions and pictures to complete it. I believe I was eleven years old. That was the first of many.

  280. Wow, the first thing i stitched? hmmm i think it was a denim jean shirt. I had little embroidery designs all over it. I remember it being so fun and calming. thanks for the chance at these books.

  281. When I was about 12, I stitched 2 hippopotamuses: Hippo and Hippa. I think it may have been for a Girl Scout badge, but I am not sure. I stillness have them, somewhere!

  282. I can’t remember the first thing but the most memorable is doing a cut work table runner in white thread and the second most memorable is doing the Mayberry Mill in counted cross stitch and giving it to my sister who lives near it in VA.

  283. The very first thing I ever embroidered was when I was in Brownies and I embroidered a cross stitch Scottie dog in the corner of a Dish Towel . I can still see it, funny don’t remember what I had for supper last night though.

  284. My Grandmother taught me how to embroider. She was working on a baby quilt for when my Mom was pregnant with my brother , and my youngest sister and finished the quilt in time to give to me when my oldest daughter was born. I still have that quilt and treasure it.

  285. The first things I ever stitched were sets of twin sheets and pillowcases for my 2 sets of grandparents. I was probably in high school (sooooo many years ago) and I bought sheets from JC Penney, iron-stamped floral patterns onto the edges and embroidered them. I still have a pillowcase or two that came back to me, years later. I remember how hard I worked when setting up that pattern in order to NOT have to do any satin stitching!! LOL….I still try to avoid that stitch, although Mary has taught me a great deal about how to improve it.

  286. I stitched a butt-ugly stamped cross stitch bunny. It was my first and you could tell it! I didn’t finish it as it was huge and well, exceptionally ugly. I just remember my great grandmother fussing at me for stitching on a Sunday, saying come Judgement Day I was going to have to remove all those stitches with my nose for working on a Sunday. I explained to me it wasn’t work, but she didn’t want to hear it. I moved on to lots of counted cross stitch smalls after that.


  287. I would love to have these books…
    The first thing I every stitched was an iris. I wondered if it was even recognizable but I was assured it was.

  288. The first thing I really stitched seriously was a birth sampler for my son, who has just turned 30! I have all these books on my Christmas wish list! Would so love to have them in my library!

  289. The first project I ever stitched was probably a dress for my “new” barbie doll,
    (obviously, I am not young). Her clothes seemed sooo expensive. I was about
    eleven, and my mom had sewn for my sister and me, as did both of our grand-
    mothers. I was familiar with using patterns and hand stitches, but it was my
    first time sewing at the sewing machine. And, although I did not think I was
    good at all, it started a life-long love of sewing, embroidery, needlepoint, quilting
    and arts and crafts in general. I consider my pastimes to be the wondrous and
    life-saving gifts of the women in my family.

  290. The first thing I embroidered was a small owl which was in a kit a friend who taught me gave me.I then passed it on to a friend who had just moved in to a new house

  291. Hello there,
    Thank you for this chance to win. The first memorable thing I ever stitched was an embroidered pillow I made for my niece Fern for her birthday. It featured her and my two daughters (her cousins) and came out really cute.
    Dana Laviano

  292. A Stitcher’s Christmas #2

    I was 11 years old and it was my first encounter with embroidery. I stitched a landscape with grass, flowers and trees using the stem stitch.

  293. My first piece was a long stitch of the 4 seasons.
    Thank you for the great newsletters you send.

    Ada Dougherty

  294. I, Judith Lawrance, jblawrance@embarqmail.com, do not really remember the first memorable piece I ever stitched. I think perhaps it may have been a “crewel” type piece I embroidered in the early days of our marriage–in the 60’s perhaps. I used a picture (pattern) of a bird on a limb; but finances were poor at that time and I did not have quality threads and fabrics to work with. I used scraps of whatever kind of yarn I had on hand and a piece,of a velvety type fabric for the background. Lo and behold, I,won a ribnon on this piece at the County Fair!

  295. The first memorable piece I did was a cross stitched letter to my mother. It fit our situation and it had lovely yellow roses! My favorite! I had it framed and gave it to her as a Christmas present. I’ll never forget the feeling it gave me when I walked into her apartment and saw it hanging on the wall!

  296. Embroidery was my mother’s passion, and she started teaching me to embroider when I was seven years old. The piece was a tray cloth stamped with a cross stitch design. I don’t remember much about it except that I did at least part of it in a colorful variegated thread, which I loved. I still love variegated thread. She had me give it to my grandmother, and I was very disappointed when she died that the piece either wasn’t found, or wasn’t saved for me. Since that time, I have learned many more kinds of needlework, and am still learning more as an avid consumer of Embroiderers Guild of America Correspondence Courses. I have inherited my mother’s passion for embroidery.

  297. I have been embroidering for many years. I would love to have these 3 books to use as reference when I have a stitch that I am unfamiliar with.

  298. I stitched a small pencil case for school ( I still have it), some of my old coloured pens and pencils are still inside, too…. I’ve just realised it will be over 50 years old! Crikey.

  299. The 1st thing I ever stitched was ace stamped sampler. I got hung up on the French knot and never finished it. The first thing I ever finished was a pillowcase with my monogram cross stitched on it. My dad drew out all of the X’svfor me to stitch.

  300. The first thing I ever stitched was a cross stitch project. It was so long ago I don’t remember what it was. This year I followed a link to to this blog and was hooked immediately. Jacquelynne Steves bom hooked me into actually stitching. Being a newbie, any and all products which I can win is a huge bonus to helping with my stash, which is growing with every shopping trip.

  301. The first embroidery work I did was a large posy of violets. I started stitching after having had a heart attack and found it so theraputic that I haven’t stopped since. Embroidery, cross stitch, all sewing is the best thing ever.

  302. My Mom started me embroidering around 5 years old. My first big project I did was for a Girl Scout badge. It’s the Girl Scout emblem with an eagle in it, two replicas of the sewing badge and Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. Be prepared. I did this in 3rd grade. I didn’t know my Mom had it and she framed it and surprised me with it. I’m 61 and it’s hanging on my wall.

  303. The first thing I stitched was an embroidered bib for the forthcoming new baby when I was aged seven and a few months. This was at school. I still have it with JANE beautifully stitched in red – so neat, the teacher must have done it I feel sure.
    It is now about sixty three years old.

  304. My first project was when I was about six. My mother loved hand work and I would do it with her. I am now over 80 and still enjoy it very much.

  305. My first memorable stitchery project was in 1974 for my baby daughter’s bedroom. It was a Holly Hobbie picture. It had many different stitches to learn and was so pretty when finished. She still has the picture and is hanging now in her 13 year old daughter’s bedroom.
    Wendy Held in San Diego

  306. The first thing I ever stitched was a very simple owl in back stitch and running stitch. After discovering Mary Corbett’s website, I got very excited about learning to hand embroider! I went out and bought a bunch of thread and other supplies. I am now working (very, very slowly) on a tree of my own design and an abstract flower and leaf design I got from Mary’s site. Thanks Mary!!

  307. The first thing I ever stitched was a felt needle holder in the shape of Sun Bonnet Sue. Her lace trimmed petticoat held the needles. I stitched the petticoat with the lace on the wrong side. I made this needle case 70 years ago and I still have it which is an amazing thing for an ex-military wife.

    Judith Peckham, Canada

  308. The first thing I stitched by hand was an Ohio Star quilt block when I was exchange teaching in Camden, Australia in 1987. This was the beginning of a quilting passion which is still going strong, here in ?Canada, only I switched to hand appliqué in 1998.

  309. The first thing I can remember stitching was some sort of needlepoint (or maybe cross stitch) kit for children. It had a plastic grid and yarn, and instructions for stitching a design. I don’t think I ever finished it, I think in part because I’ve never been fond of counted stitch needlework. I didn’t attempt any form of embroidery again until I was in my early 20s, when I wanted to embroider names on felt Christmas stockings for the new additions to my family. Somewhere in the process of learning how to use stem stitching for letters and transfer patterns to felt, I decided this surface embroidery stuff was pretty fun.

  310. My grandmother, whom I spent my summers with, had me embroidery a 6″ × 6″ square of beige linen with different stitches around the square. It was colorful, it was fun and I loved the time I spent on it so much that I have never very stopped doing something in embroidery.

  311. Oooh, books! And congrats to the thread winners!

    The first thing I stitched was a kit to make a little decorative pillow. It had four different leaves on it, and I’d say it was about five inches square. I gave it to my mom because the colors and theme were perfect for a bench she had in her entryway.

    It was quite frustrating, as I had no clue what I was doing and my mother has never been interested in any kind of art or craft so she was incapable of answering the many questions I had. But I persevered! It’s not perfect, but I did manage to finish it. I think it’s still around somewhere, and I’m still stitching 14 years later.

  312. My first embroidery project was tea towels. I was 6 years old, my grandmother took me to Ben Franklin in Keota IA to buy my threads, thimble and scissors (the thread was 3 cents per skein) I picked watermelon, parrot( it was a bright blue), dk green, orange and bright yellow, she insisted that I get black and white too. I still love those colors! I gave them to my mother for her birthday. I have given away almost everything I’ve embroidered over the years.
    I hadn’t thought about that in years, Corena was a great grandmother.

  313. My little paws are itching to be on these books. It’s such a great series!

    My first embroidery project was (if I recall correctly) was when I was about 9 or so and was a stamped dresser scarf with lots and lots of lazy daisy stitch flowers in shades of blues and violet with green leaves. It’s probably still lurking in all it’s beginner project glory somewhere.

  314. At age 7 I made an owl hand puppet out of pre-cut felt in a kit. It was too difficult for me; it used sewing thread in a single strand to overcast pieces together; should have been crewel wool or 6-strand to make things simple. I never finished it. And when I look back, I see that I never thought of switching threads because I believed in following exact directions. As soon as I stopped following exact directions I became an avid embroiderer and sewer.

  315. My very first stitching project was a teddy bear when I was a little girl with my Grandma. He was the same color as my teddy bear 🙂 I still have it!

  316. My first embroidered work was on the first dress I made for my baby. And after she was born I was delighted to see her wear it.

  317. First project was a stamped cross stitch. Not sure, bunnies maybe? My most memorable is a cristmas wreath from an old Canadian Living magazine. I still rummage it out every Cristmas, working on it through the holiday season. This year, with your encouragement Mary via newsletter, I am going to work on it a bit each day and next Christmas it will hang proudly over my fireplace.

  318. I stitched a Jacobean bell pull 50+ years ago. My mother loved crewel embroidery and taught me. I still have the bell pull and some pillows my mother stitched. Sue Clark.

  319. The first thing that I ever stitched was in school, I think it was on green Aida cloth and we had to do a boarder making up our own stitches. I remember it was great fun, I think we made it in to a needle book.


  320. The first work, accomplished at age 10, was a small map of Girl Scout Camp Ledgwood, hand drawn in pencil on muslin by my mother, stitched in wool like crewel. The stitching was sparse and when a color was repeated in a new location, I efficiently went directly there on the back side without tying off. Stitched paths, trails, and little images of main features of the camp, which I had attended, were the happy beginning of an enduring friendship with embroidery.

    Thank you, Search Press for your generosity. Independent and Family-owned! Good for you.
    Thank you, Mary for cheering so well for embroidery.

  321. Thanks for this opportunity to add these wonderful books to a stitchers library. The first thing I recall stitching, at age 11, was a flower design on napkins to go with a tablecloth my mother stitched.

  322. The first embroidery I stitched was a flower motif. Unfortunately, I used poor quality fabric and floss. No internet and no NeedlenThread back then.

  323. The first thing I ever stitched was a my daughters initial for her christening dress. It was awful and I learned a much better way to stitch everything since learning about your site. Wish there were computers “back then”. Lucky life is long!

  324. Two of my most memorable early stitching projects were a Temari Ball and a crocheted and beaded purse necklace, but my first completed stitching project that I remember was a redwork picture for the 4th of July of a cat holding an American flag.

  325. I don’t remember my first stitching project, but my most memorable and most fun has been stitching Santas, Christmas Trees, Snowmen, etc that I use for making fabric postcards. I then mail them to special friends instead of regular Christmas cards. The projects are fast and easy and with the addition of fun Christmas fabrics make great, and much appreciated, little gifts.

  326. The Christmas I was six, 1954, I received a child’s embroidery project from Santa. It was not a sampler, but a pretty little design with three or four flowers and leaves. While my mother was finishing the Christmas dinner, my aunt took me into the living room (to get me out from under foot?) and taught me the lazy-daisy stitch, the straight stitch and the satin stitch. The flower I worked in satin stitch was purple. No one told me that was a hard stitch so I just poked the needle in and out and it was decent. Everyone in my mother’s family did some kind of stitchery so it seemed perfectly normal to me to be sitting on a stool sewing. I remember a yellow flower in lazy-daisy, but I could not do a French knot to save my life, one piece of thread was always too loose. I did well enough that my grandmother liked it so I became a stitcher for life.

  327. I don’t remember the first embroidery I did but my mother and grandmother put a needle in my hand at a very early age. When my mother died and we looked at the treasures tucked away in her cedar chest, I was amazed to discover a small linen tablecloth that I had embroidered when I was still quite young, probably under ten. That early project now graces my table and brings very happy memories of learning to stitch from my mother and grandmother.

  328. I think I stitched some stamped cross-stitch pillowcases as a young girl, but the first major project was a sampler I embroidered when my son was first born, in 1975. Lots of different stitches, flowers, alphabet, numbers surrounding a beautiful doe lying peacefully in the middle of the piece. I believe I ordered the pattern from a magazine. I framed the sampler and it hung in my living room for many years. I still have it, only I made it into a pillow top. I still love it!

  329. The first thing I ever stitched was lazy daisy flowers on a pillowcase transfer purchased at the “Dime” store. Sure would love to be lucky enough to win those books. Kay H.

  330. The first thing I ever stitched was either a face on some kind of hand puppet, or a stamped cross stitch kit. It’s been a little while (ha-ha), so I don’t remember exactly!

  331. My first stitching project was when I was five. My mother gave me 2″ squares of calico and white fabrics and showed me how to use a needle to stitch my first doll quilt. I have never looked back and am happiest with a needle in my hand! 🙂

  332. Dear Mary,
    Thank you for yet another wonderful give-away! I don’t recall the first thing I ever stitched, doing surface embroidery as a teenager (very long ago!). My most memorable project though, more recently, has to be a Brazilian embroidery design by Debbie Kelley, called Berry Bouquet. It took me about a year and a half to finish stitching it, but I was, and am, still so very pleased with how it turned out! So far it remains my favorite piece!

  333. Congratulations to last week’s winners!! The first thing that I remember stitching were the little Vintage yarn sewing cards that my Aunt gave me to play with while she smocked fabric for my little dresses she made. I also remember doing “Chicken Scratch” on gingham for aprons with her. She gave me my love of using needle and thread!

  334. The first thing I ever stitched was a white pillowcase when I was about 7 years old. I loved all the colors of floss in our local 5 and 10 and I asked my mother if there was something I could “sew”. She bought the pillowcase and she let me pick out the floss colors. My mother didn’t embroider and my grandmother loved to crochet and tat, so there wasn’t anyone to teach me. I was on my own. I took a pencil and drew lots of flowers with stems and leaves and colored them in with thread. I didn’t know the right stitches but I had such fun!

  335. My first “stitching” was making small doll dresses when I was five or six. I began embroidery as an extension of that with stamped pillowcases and dresser scarves. The first one that I actually remember the design was Mr. and Mrs. pillowcases for my “hope chest” (back in the day when girls had hope chests). I was probably fourteen by then. It seems as though I have always sewn and stitched. Can’t imagine life without it.

  336. Ohhhhh the first thing I embroidered was a small pillow… A pillow with appliques of brightly colored animals that my mother taught me to sew. I still keep it, I did it when I was a very young girl and today I am 41 years old and my own daughters, whom I have taught to do the same.

    Kisses, Karyne
    (From Colombia)

  337. The first thing I ever stitched (and I still have it, too) was my favorite stuffed animal when I was four years old. His name is Puffy, and the three-inch stitches hardly hold in his stuffing, but I had fun playing with the needle and decorated him with more terribly straggly stitches in lines. I’m happy to say I’ve improved some over the years!

  338. The first thing I ever stitched was a lovely little throw pillow for my parents. My mother still has it on her couch 30 years later.

  339. During chemo 4 1/2 years ago I decided I wanted to learn to embroidery stitch. I took a wool crazy quilt class. You can really tell where my first stitches were! It’s still not done because I’m working on other stitch projects.

  340. My Mom taught me to embroider by making Christmas ornaments when I was very small. She had me trace cookie cutters onto cotton and embroider on them. I remember a bell in particular. We stuffed them with batting and hung them on the tree for years. Books would be amazing but you sharing your wisdom is gift enough if I don’t win them.

  341. One of the first things I ever stitched was a needle case. It was recently discovered about 6 months ago in her home. We believe I stitched it about 60 years ago. We both still enjoy stitching. I like embroidery and she enjoys quilting!

  342. The first memorable items I remember stitching were two pictures of parrots as a gift for my mother.

  343. The first thing I ever embroidered was an Aunt Martha’s iron-on transfer of flowers. I think I was about 8 years old. My mom had me try pillowcases and dresser scarves, too. Now I do much more involved projects!

  344. I do a lot more felted wool embroidery so the A-Z of Embroidered Flowers woud be my choice. Thank you for all these fun offerings you are doing.

  345. The first thing I can remember stitching is a stamped cross stitch pillowcase taught to me by my aunt that lived right next door to us. She started me on needlework as a child and I have always loved doing stitchery. Whenever stitching I think of those days long ago being taught by my aunt.

  346. I stitched one of those white pillowcases that you could get at the five and dime store that had big blue X’s for crosstitch. The design was pansies and my mom gave me green and purple thread to use. I was probably 10 years old and it was 50+ years ago. I thought it was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.

  347. This time I will get it right! One of the first things I ever stitched was a needle case discovered about six months ago in my sisters home. She lives 170 miles away from me and found it among her sewing bits and pieces. We think I stitched it about sixty years ago. We both still stitch. She enjoys quilting l enjoy fine embroidery and stump work. I have several other sisters and we all stitch in some form.

  348. The first thing I ever stitched was a cross stitch on an apron I made in 4-H. The apron was a blue gingham fabric with white cross stitches and although it was almost 50 years ago I remember it well!

  349. I made a small patchwork cushion at school with some of my Mum s old skirts and have loved sewing ever since mainly patchwork throws ,blankets and crochet blankets for my grandchildren and its my mission to populate each new child born of friends and families with at least one!

  350. The first thing I ever stitched was technically a pillowcase with a butterfly motif that my grandmother had given me for Christmas when I was about 12 years old. I didn’t know what to do, and I never asked, so it was a kind of whipped stitch/straight stitch combo, sad to look at now, but embroidery always held a magical place in my heart as I grew older. Flash forward many years later, and thanks to the internet I find your website Mary, when I am alone in a new country. It was so exciting to finally learn how to do so many different things. My first project now was a tote bag for a friend, as I couldn’t find linen anywhere, but a few years and many projects later and I’m still in love with threads. Thank you Mary, you changed my life and gave me the confidence to learn new things 😀

  351. I learned to stitch as a little girl, watching my mother do counted cross stitch. I believe the first piece I made was a pair of little hooped ornaments picturing a fawn and a bunny. I have kept up with my needlework over the years, and now quilt and embroider custom children’s clothes. I would love these in my stitching library!

  352. The first piece I stitched would have been something printed in blue ink and was probably purchased in the local dime store. It was a long time ago and my stitching has definitely expanded and improved since then, but the enjoyment of stitching is still at a high level for me.

  353. I don’t get to stitch as often as I would like but your blog posts feed that need for color, beauty, history and inspiration. Thank you for coloring my world.

    The first item I ever stitched was a black cross stitch on red and white gingham apron for my doll. My mom was a good athlete and did as little sewing of any kind as possible. It was only a money saver. The point was to get me out of her hair. I still have the apron and I am still addicted to all needle arts.

  354. I was 6-7yo and bought a tiny owl cross stitch kit with my allowance. It was all of $0.25. I was hooked. It was the start of a life-long obsession with all sorts of needlework.

  355. The first piece I remember stitching was a little crewel kit of an armadillo! As I was in college in Austin, TX at the time, the armadillo was most appropriate. Wish I still had it so I could see how far I’ve come with my stitching life!

  356. The first thing I remember stitching was a double-sided door hanger pillow when my daughter was born. It was a kit from Leewards in Kansas City. It read “baby asleep” on one side and “baby awake” on the other side. And I still have it 30 years later. Thank you for your blog posts and giveaways. I always enjoy your information and enthusiasm…contagious!

  357. The first thing I ever stitched – well it is so far back I can’t remember. I grew up with my mother stitching and sewing so it was probably at her knee. She said that she made everything that I wore until I was about 8 or 9. The first thing I really remember was when I was about 7 I knitted a teddy bear at school, (everyone, boys and girls learned to knit at school in those days), and I stitched a face and claws on it. After that it was sewing simple clothes for me, embroidery at school, doilies and a gingham skirt with chicken scratch embroidery around it. That is up to the age of 11, then after that at senior school (in England) I did sewing and embroidery as my elective.

  358. The first significant project I stitched was a quilt made from the pictures in a coloring book from when I was little. I started the project in high school and worked on squares over the years. It was pieced by my mom about 10 years later and quilted by my grandma. She passed away 1 row from finishing the quilting and we set the frames up for different family members to add stitches to that last row so it was not only my first project but has become something of a family heirloom.

  359. My grandmother used to mail order from a company called Lee Ward. Anybody else remember them? She ordered me a kit of counted cross stitch ornaments, and that was the first hand stitching I did. I still hang them on my tree every year!

  360. When I was eight my mother gave me fabric scraps to make my dog (yes dog, not doll) a blanket. I cut squares of similar sizes, stitched them together with a doubled thread and if any of the seams matched it was a lucky accident. With what passed for a stem stitch, I stitched my name, my dog’s name, and some flowers. I thought it was beautiful but my dog was surprisingly unimpressed.

  361. I briefly tried my hand at embroidery when I was a young girl – many, many moons ago. I do not remember those projects but I would like to share my rekindled love and appreciation for embroidery after seeing the wonderful works on your Web site and others. What really inspired me to try embroidery again was your Secret Garden Hummingbirds project. I have stocked up on most of the supplies and book I will need to tackle this beautiful project. This will be one of the projects I will take with me as we embark on a five-month road trip next year. I am excited about our travel adventure and the relaxing evening hours I will spend on the Hummingbirds project, which will definitely be the first memorable thing that I will have stitched!

  362. I think that the first embroidery I did was at school. It was just a small, square sampler stitched with random bits of wool. I remember being really pleased with what I’d done, until I tried to stand up and realised that I’d stitched my trousers together!

  363. The first thing I ever stitched was a dresser scarf for my grandmother. It was stamped, but I used floss from my mother’s stash. I think I was about 10, I remember it took a long time to complete.

  364. The first thing I ever stitched was a stamped cross-stitch Merry Christmas piece. I believe that every stitch I made on that piece was done while I was sitting in my mother’s lap.

  365. The first thing I ever stitched for fun was a needlepoint sampler done in Ohio by the happy homemakers club back in the 70’s. It was done with yarn and basic basketweave. I remember thinking this can be so much more. I went on to doing hardanger, mixed media needlepoint goldwork. I have done many beading projects and designed my own beading projects. I would love to have the embroidery stitches books because I feel I can use a new set of ideas which I invariably can use.
    Thanks, Susan

  366. I’m pretty sure the first thing I ever stitched was a few stitches on a pillow case my grandmother was making. I vaguely remember her showing me how to lazy daises and how to make a French knot. But the first thing I made myself was a small tablecloth for my mother. It had brown stems and orange flowers (because she liked those colors). For some reason I have it (and it’s pretty awful).

  367. The first memorable thing I stitched was a large crewel work kit featuring two colorful birds sitting on flowering branches that I ordered from a magazine. I made it as a present for my mother while I was away at college. It hung in my mother’s house until her passing, and now hangs in mine. Even after almost 50 years, I still enjoy it and marvel at how brave I was to attempt it when I really knew very little about embroidery.

  368. Hi Mary, Thank you for another giveaway.

    The first thing I ever embroidered was a bouquet on burlap in art class. I remember it hung in the kitchen for the longest time. I think I was in the 7th grade at the time. I was hooked ever since.

  369. The first thing that I remember stitching was when I was 5 or 6 and my mom put a iron on pattern of a bunny that she got out of the old Workbook Magazine. She put it on a pillow case and taught me very basic embroidery.

  370. I stitched my first piece of embroidery at the age of about 6-and I still have it. Under the direction of my schoolteacher, Miss Schofield, I made a simple case for my savings book which we took into school each Monday morning to make a deposit in the school bank. I used hessian and with something akin to perle I used blanket stitched in blue to hold down the hems and hold the sides together and decorated it with green chain stitch stalks, topped with detached chain stitch in red and yellow for flowers. Yes, it is a bit grubby but still very much intact and I am rather proud of it too.

  371. Hi Mary,
    Thanks for your wonderful blog. I look forward to it each day.

    During a recent move, I found my mother had kept the first thing I ever stitched–a dish towel with a simple glass pictured on it, along with the word “glass” (to be sure that the towel reached its intended purpose and no other, I guess). It’s in very good condition, and I’m quite proud of the outline stitch I did 70 years ago! I remember her beside me, stitching “silverware”…

  372. I was probably 6 or 7 when my Grandmother taught me to embroider and I did a set of iron on blocks of baby animals in varigated thread. Over 20 years later my sister set the blocks together into a quilt for my son, the first child born into our family from my generation. I still have that quilt and my son just had his 40th birthday. Hand embroidery is still one of my favorite passtimes. I just finished a 14 inch picture of Santa holding ‘the List’ and put my son’s name first. I made it into a pillow with a border of fabric with Santa faces on it. This brings back lots of great memories and you can imagine my surprise at that quilt!

  373. When I was small, my mother let me have a square of her fabric, a blunt needle and one or two of my very own little skeins of thread. I was thrilled. My first stitches produced an awkward, top heavy flower poking out of some stubby, knot-filled grass. I was pleased, yet felt it wasn’t quite right somehow…but her eyes lit up as though she’d never seen anything so beautiful. Mine was a talent to be reckoned with! Her great acting skills and kind encouragement still inspire me.

  374. The 1st piece I stitched was a c ross stitch kit sent to my by my grandmother in Holland. It was a black and white silhouette – pretty boring. It was only years later when I discovered all the colours that I saw the possibilities!

  375. The first thing I ever stitched was a bookmark cobbled together from about three different patterns. I was about 10 and sat and stitched for 6 hours straight to get it just right. It’s still the favorite bookmark in my collection

  376. The first thing I ever stitched was artwork traced off of a Grateful Dead album onto the yolk of a denim shirt of my husbands.

  377. Hi Mary,
    My first little project was a needlepoint whale spouting on a bed of waves…I drew the design myself but stitched the background backwards! Ha! I was about 19 years old- I do have it framed and it hangs in the guest bath- proudly!
    Merry Christmas!

  378. I don’t remember what the first thing that I stitched was, but it was my grandmother who taught me how to embroidery. I did not embroidery for the longest time, but have taken it back up again. So, there are points, when I’m embroidering, that I can remember my grandmother teaching me how to make that stitch.

  379. The first thing I ever stitched was 2 little bear embroidery pictures for my first daughters room. 2 of my daughters each have one for their children’s rooms. It’s perfect because one has a girl and one has a boy and the bear pictures are a girl bear in one and a boy bear in the other!

  380. The first thing I stitched was a preprinted sampler my mother bought me when I was about seven. I remember sewing buttons on the flower centers. Thanks for this chance.

  381. I, Allyne Holland, remember that the first thing I ever stitched was a skirt in the fifth grade. One day, my teacher, Miss Hawthorne, a stern, no-nonsense woman came into our our class struggling to carry a bolt of a pretty red paisley fabric. She said that each of the girls would learn how to sew and would make a skirt. I was excited to do this as I have a tradition in my family of sewing. My mother, though a professional nurse, did a lot of sewing when she had time to spare, made a lot of my clothes, and my great grandmother had been a professional dressmaker. Anyway, Miss H. struggled w/the project…measuring each girl’s height, cut lengths for the front and back…allowing for a 3 inch hem and 2 inch waist band. We did it…had a lot of advice from my mother, and I got an A for my finished skirt. I wore it proudly but don’t have happy memories of the occasion. My teacher was not a likeable person, and she didn’t make the project fun as it should have been. Right after this I made some shorts out of a chicken-feed sack with Mama’s help and loved the project and have good memories about that occasion.

  382. The first thing I stitched was a small cross-stitch that says ‘Sisters Are Forever’ with a wooden frame. My sister still has it in her kitchen 33 years later.

  383. The first thing I remember stitching was a little embroidered mouse holding a strawberry. I was about ten years old.

  384. Oh my! I am 66 years old, so it was over 50 years ago that I stitched my first doll clothes for my Shirley Temple Doll! Have been happily stitching ever since! Thanks for the chance 🙂

  385. Oh, my goodness, I’d love to have all three of these books. I’ve seen all three and could have spent hours on each one.

    The first thing I ever embroidered was a “punchbowl set”, which my grandmother used to teach me embroidery. It’s a stamped design on linen with a large circle to sit under the punchbowl and small circles to sit under the cups with a flower border on each circle. I know I worked on it more than once, but never came close to finishing it. I still have it. The first thing I embroidered on my own, and finished, was a train design I stitched up the side of my jeans when I was in university. I decided the side seams could be railroad tracks. I drew the design, transferred it, and stitched it with bright colour thread. It’s pretty rough looking, after surviving constant wear and washings. When I got rid of the jeans, I cut the legs off and saved them. I still have the design, too. They’re very dear to my heart.

  386. The first thing I every embroidered was a pillow case flowers and baskets. My father would bring home blue prints (made from fabric) from work and we would boil them to get the stiffness and print out then sew the pillow case up after we had embroidered them. We also made small table cloths and I still have one today!
    Thanks for the give away.

  387. The first piece I embroidered was a pink bag at school, age about 8, it was mainly chain stitch, herringbone, running stitch and back stitch.
    Yes, the bag was used for many years as my gym kit bag.
    However my favourite piece is a stump work piece, with lots of chickens.

  388. Hi Mary, Thank you for the opportunity to participate in the drawing for the wonderful embroidery books. My great-grandmother taught me embroidery as a child, I was 11 years old. She gave me a wooden embroidery hoop, DMC threads, and a pair of simple pillow cases from Herschner’s back in 1970. She taught me simple stitches, i.e., back stick, satin stitch, daisy stitch, french knots, etc. My grandmother and mother also did embroidery. We worked dresser scarves, doilies, pillow cases, etc. My grandmother would crochet the edges of the items after we completed the embroidery. I still have several pairs of the pillowcases after all these years. A part of my great-grandmother, grandmother and mom will always be with me.

  389. Back in the early 70’s I embroidered cowboy/western motifs on the yokes and cuffs of a shirt for a boyfriend. I used wool crewel yarn (I didn’t know any better! Of course it did not wash well).

  390. It’s been so long, I certainly can’t remember the first thing I stitched! I made many baby blankets as a teen, but also embroidered shirts as gifts. I especially remember a baby blanket of toys that were outlined in split stitch. I did everything in split stitch back then! That was a loooong time ago. I’ve just returned after a decades-long hiatus.

  391. My first stitching experience was when I was a small girl I embroidered a small handkerchief. A few years ago my mother gave it to me. Over 50 years ago, she had saved it all those years. Now I have it back to cherish.
    Nancy Root

  392. I recently discovered a table runner that I had embroidered when I was 12 years old, folded up in a box of “special treasures”. That was stitched a few years ago. LOL!! It is now on a tabletop in my sewing room. Since I have recently taken up redwork by hand, as well as, machine embroidery, I am chuckling about how ‘what goes around, comes around.’

  393. My first embroidery, at about 8 yrs old under my Baba’s guidance, was a set of dishtowels. In the 50’s. Seven. Cross stitch. Kittens doing daily chores. You know the ones!

  394. Hola! Lo primero que bordé fue una pequeña tela blanca en la que me iban enseñando mis primeros puntos de bordado. Lo aprendí en la escuela a los 10 años. Lo recuerdo con mucho cariño y emoción. Muchas gracias!

  395. My first embroidery project was a printed canvas that I made for a friend. I still love to look at printed embroidery projects. Mary

  396. A friend persuaded me to join her for a beginners class in crazy quilting January 2016. On my “some-day” list was learning embroidery stitches in order to enhance my appliqué quilts. I’m hooked – first crazy quilt was hanging by summer and three embroidery/appliqué projects are lined up by my comfortable chair. A Scottish mother and grandmother must have passed on the gene that makes sure your hands are always busy! This poor old creative brain is never at rest. I find how-to books so valuable for encouraging the creative process. Thanks for bring these back.

  397. The first thing I ever stitched was a boquet of flowers on a pillow top. I still have it.
    Linda Given

  398. When I was about 9 0r 10 (60 years ago) my mother was embroidering dresser scarves. I don’t know what type of embroidery, but the design was stamped on the scarf and she wove the threads through the interior of the design. It was very simple, fast embroidery and she had me do a couple of the designs with her. When my father passed away a couple years ago, I found the scarves we did and also her stash of DMC pearle cottons she used in the embroidery. What a memorable treasure. The scarves now adorn my dresser and I periodically use some of the threads in my creations. Thank you for this opportunity.

  399. I had to laugh when thinking back such a looooooooooong way to the first thing i ever stitched….and remembered my mom teaching me to make doll clothes. The doll had been her grandmas(can you imagine it!) and was hand carved with movable joints. The joints were joined with little pegs that over the years got rplaced with cotter pins here and there. But i digress, i loved learning how to gather fabric with a running stitch..at first with heavy thread of some sort and later with regular stuff.The “later” part was when i progressed to yo yo’s and i was taught how to make lazy daisy stitches to adorn them..adorn is probably not the right word, but there it is. Thanks for this trip down the years….and the opportunity maybe to add more than lazy daisy stitches to circles of fabric.Very big smiles out here today.Hope you are well and happy…ktj

  400. I don’t remember the first thing I stitched, but I’m sure it was something cross stitched when I was younger than 10. My most memorable project was a set of 3 needlepoint pillows that I took everywhere with me to work on while I was pregnant with my daughter. I finished the last one 2 days before she was born.

  401. I do not remember what my first embroidery project was, but it was probably a dresser scarf or a pillowcase.

  402. The first thing I ever stitch was when I was around 8 or 9 yrs old it was a printed cross stitched panel. That I turned into a pillow and added lace around the edges and gave to my grandmother. Which she kept in her spare room on the bed till she passed and I now have back.

  403. My first embroidery project was, at the age of about 8, stitching a simple design (I didn’t think it was simple at the time) on a flour sack that became a very useful tea towel. My mother made sure her daughters learned to embroidery, even though I much preferred being outside climbing trees, playing in the haymow, or any other fun outside activity. But I’m glad mom insisted that I learn various needlework art, and I love it now.

  404. My daughter and I took an embroidery class (probably10 years ago) and we each stitched a Christmas ornament – mine was a dog and hers was a cat. I actually found them the other day while cleaning up my quilting and sewing area. I need to get them on the tree! 🙂 Thank you for the opportunity for the free book!

  405. The first thing I ever stitched was a sampler with Holly Hobby on it. I was about 10 years old. I still have it and it hangs proudly in my home as a reminder of how far I’ve come.

  406. My first project was the dish towels that Woolworths sold with the day of the week and the job you did that day. I was 6.

  407. The first things I stitched were little cross stitched animals when I was about 10 years old. I remember stitching a turtle and a fish. My best friend and I also sewed Barbie clothes too with her mom’s fabric scraps.

  408. Ooooh! A trio of Embroidery Books! How delicious!
    The first item I ever stitched was a stamped cross stitch doily. I was 10 and found it in a Woolworth’s store in 1962. I knew nothing about embroidery except that my beloved Nana was a needleworker and sewed; she was my needworking and sewing inspiration and role model. Since she had already passed on, I bought my very first stitching instruction booklet that day also.
    I finished that doily and gave it to my mom, who lovingly displayed the wretchedly-stitched item, then stored it for posterity in her cedar chest. She must have valued that highly because not everything made it in there. Dad was in the Navy, so we moved often; as a result, we had to be judicious about what we accumulated.
    Thanks for the lovely trip down one of my favorite parts of Memory Lane. Whether I win the books or not, it’s been a pleasure.
    Have a beautiful day, all!

  409. The first thing I remember stitching were two embroidered insets to turn a pair of overalls into a dress. (Just take out the inseams.)

  410. The first thing I stitched was a cross stitch pattern, and it was 40 years ago. I gave it to may mother and she always have it on her wall at 93 years old.

  411. I first began stitching in grade school. My grandmother gave me a set of floral pillowcases with thread and a hoop. I know I didn’t finish them for a very long time (and the back wasn’t as neat as it should have been;)). But that was the beginning.:) And full of fond memories.

  412. Ann M. of wrightstown would love this set of 3 books to add to my library. Embroidery is a new passion for me so all the information I can gather is a big help. Right now all the different ways of making flowers is so interesting and time consuming I’m afraid my Christmas preparation will suffer. Perhaps I should find pointsettas to study instead of summer blooms. My first embroidery was mushrooms near a log.

  413. First thing I ever stitched was a stamped sampler that my mom taught me to do in cross-stitch. I have three that I did when I was about 12 or 13 and I framed them and they are on my walls now. I find it funny that I couldn’t master a french knot back then and none of the i letters are dotted in my samplers. Now I can do french knots!

  414. The first thing that I remember stitching was a card table size table cloth. My grandmother taught me to do cross stitch on the squares in a design. I believe I still have that somewhere, but no clue where at this point. I may need to go digging.

  415. The first thing I ever stitched was a cross stitched baby bear for my niece-to-be! I was 16 years old and so excited about finally having a niece after 3 nephews!

  416. I do remember the first item I stitched and it has a very special meaning to my oldest daughter who now has it. I made her a baptismal dress and slip and stitched on the slip her name and date. It was a very wonky line in back stitch but I thought it was great. That was almost fifty years ago. Now this year I took a class that our guild put by Susan O’Connor on stumpwork…I’m hooked!!! So many stitches to learn and so many ideas to use them on. Your blog has been both an inspiration and and a great reference. Thanks from new stitcher…….

  417. The first thing I ever stitched was a simple dress for my dolly. I stitched by hand with some flowered fabric my grandmother gave me. I was so proud of it!

  418. Tha A to Z books that I already have are fabulous . A great deal of work has gone into the instructions and photographs . I have collected most if the Inspiration Magazines that were the fore runner of these books and still love having the collected in an eady to read format all in ibe place. At 70 sewing is still a passion for me and I would love to add to my library. Thank you for this opportunity. Nancy

  419. The first thing I ever stitched was a Fisher Price Needlepoint kit of a flower. It was on a snap together plastic frame and I think it had a green background with blue and purple petals. I think I was around 5 or 6. My love of stitching has continued throughout my entire life. It has led me to finish the most memorable piece I have ever stitched: My original piece for the American Needlepoint Guild’s Master Needle Artist Program. I stitched it on a properly dressed slate frame (thank you so much Mary, your post on slate frames was SO helpful). My project is entitled Blessed Bee and is a Spanish style blackwork sampler that includes a central motif of a bee skep.

    Thank you for this opportunity! I love that series of books!


  420. I’m new to needle work so not alot done yet….I started with canvas work (still in progress) a sampler scissor case. I also have taken a Hardanger class! (actual finished and started another). I have also used stitches on my rug hooked/ penny rug table runner.

    T. Morneau

  421. Tha A to Z books that I already have are fabulous . A great deal of work has gone into the instructions and photographs . I have collected most of the Inspiration Magazines that were the fore runner of these books and still love having them collected in an ready to read format all in the place. At 70 sewing is still a passion for me and I would love to add to my library. Thank you for this opportunity. Nancy

  422. The first project I ever stitched was a sampler of leaves from deciduous trees as a gift for my mother. It was about 11″ by 17″ and seemed overwhelming as I worked it. I visited my mother last month and saw that it was still hanging proudly in her living room!

  423. I don’t remember the very first thing I embroidered but one of the first is hanging on the wall in front of me. A cross stitch picture of a flower garden and the words, HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS, LOVE IS WHERE THE HOME IS. When my sister and I were growing up we received a nickel or a dime at a time for helping a neighbor. When we had 15 cents or even 25 cents, we walked many blocks to a store that sold stamped embroidery. I must have been around 9 or 10 when I did this picture. I used variegated blue floss for the words and a bird. I had one wing still to do, should I use the light end of the thread or the darker blue of the other? Probably was the first decision I ever made on my own. The bird has one light blue wing and one dark blue ring.

  424. The first piece I ever stitched was a tulip that a baby sitter had sketched on a piece of cloth for me. I was 7 years old. I have been stitching since then, some 45 years or so!

  425. The first thing I can remember stitching was gift for my, now late, father. It was a counted cross stitch design worked on black 28hpi over two. It was a rectangle design (like an open British letterbox) with a realistic tiger looking in. Only the eyes and a little of the surrounding area is shown.
    My Dad died earlier this year which is probably why this memory is so sharp at the moment.

    Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share this precious memory Mary xx

  426. The first thing i ever stitched was probably some little cross stitched thing. My first attempt at embroidery was an outline of a ballerina I drew myself, never did finish it.

  427. The first thing I ever stitched was a dresser scarf, purchased at the dime store, when I was probably in the 4th or 5th grade. I specifically remember my mother helping me make the lazy daisy stitch. I still have a number of those old pieces embroidered by me or my mother or grandmother and they are priceless.

  428. Long ago in a galaxy far, far away. Okay, maybe not that far away, but it was a while ago. When I was in girl scouts we made napkins for someone or something and I remember learning how to sew them all by hand. Stepping forward in time and I am taking the time to re-learn the techniques from back then and more. I had forgotten how nice if feels to complete an embroidery pattern.

  429. For a tomboy who jumped into needlecraft at the age of nineteen, candlewick embroidery, needless to say the whole family shook their heads and laughed at the fact that I picked up a needle and thread. My first project was an embroidered quilt with cosmos flowers Thirty years later, I am a self taught stitcher, quilter, smocking enthusiast and still love it with a passion! A day without my creative projects, is like a day without sunshine and laughter.

  430. The first thing I embroidered was a sampler on a piece of green satin for my Mom- something only a Mother could love. I think I learned the stitches in Brownies-( junior Girl Guides). That was about 65 years ago and I’m still stitching! Evelynne

  431. How fun! The first thing I stitched was an embroidered tablecloth kit. I was engaged to be married and felt oh so domestic! I still have it..

  432. My first project was a crewel work pansy when I was around 8 years old. I ordered it through a catalog, without asking my mother first! It arrived, COD, and when my mother asked what I thought I was doing, I told her I wanted to make it for my grandmother. She paid for it, then kept and framed the finished piece. Said she wouldn’t let me give away my first project. I am 53 now and it still hangs on a wall in her home! I would be honored to own this collection of wonderful technique books as I still continue to learn new stitches!

  433. My mother got me started on a dish towel when I was about six years old. I still have that first attempt. I don’t use it any more, but it is fun to look at occasionally, just because.

  434. My first stitched projects were a matching set of napkins and table runners. One had Santa faces the other was cornucopia. Pre stamped and loved every minute I spent working on them.
    Theresa K in LaVista

  435. The first thing I ever stitched was at Girl Scout camp when I was around 8 or 9. It’s a primitive cat on old upholstery fabric my Mom had leftovers of. I still have the pillow and love it as much as I did then! It started my addiction with needle and thread. Thanks for the chance to win!

    Mary in Billerica

  436. I find the A to Z books I have so helpful, what a wonderful prize!

    The first thing I stitched was a piece of red cotton cut into the shape of a heart and embroidered in black. It was a project from a Sunday school class and intended to be a valentine for my mother. I was 8 or 9. I still have it, pathetic as it is. I did not learn to love embroidery until much later. I did not hate it, rather I was disappointed in the esthetics of my work (yes, even then).

  437. I don’t remember the first thing I stitched but it was probably a stamped design of some sort. I do remember embroidering pillowcases when I was young.

  438. I was in the 7th grade when my grandma taught me how to embroidery. Thanks for the chance to win!

  439. The first thing I ever stitched was a stamped pillow case. Whenever I am at a second hand store I always look for stitched pillow cases – they take me right back.

  440. The first thing I stitched was the cuff on a pillow case.Way back in the ’70’s. My grandmother, was very good at embroidery. When she passed, my Dad brought her pillow cases, doilies , etc. home. I always admired them. I didn’t even know her. I guess there was a kindred connection. I guess it was meant to be that I would carry on her love of needlework.

  441. First thing stitched was the ‘required’ cross stitch apron in Jr High, most memorable is yet to come!! My bucket list is loaded, but on the top is using your beautiful alphabet designs incorporated into quilt labels.

  442. Looking forward to learning even more about my favorite addiction—embroidery! Christmas blessings to everyone.

  443. The first thing I remember stitching was a muslin doll. I was around 6 years old and my mother made the outline and showed me how to embroider the face and then I hand stitched it and filled it with cotton and she showed me how to stitch it closed. Thanks for helping to awaken that memory since I have begun to stitch again decades later.

  444. I was very, very young…probably could not even thread the needle but embroidered free lance stitches on a piece of muslin. The cloth was soft and old, I’m sure. My grandmother helped me and she is from who I got my love of embroidery.

  445. My first needlepoint project-once I got back into it, was a three dimensional pig which is still sitting in my living room watching anyone who walks in through the front door!
    Cheryl Sivak

  446. My very first project was a Sunbonnet Sue outline on a flour sack towel when I was 8 yrs old. My Mother used it all the time. It was also my last hand embroidery project till last year…. 60 yrs went by before I found your site and started again so Thank You very much for that.

  447. I learned to sew at the age of 4 or 5 and began with simple, plain sewing projects like a small gingham pillow or a little bag. However, I think my most memorable project was a simple alphabet sampler stitched in cross-stitch using alternating colors of DMC floss. It was not so neat and the back was a mess, but I still treasure that little piece as a reminder of how far I have come!

  448. There have been so many projects. The first thing I can remember was a fairly small crewel owl wall hanging.

  449. The very first thing I ever stitched was in the mid-70’s. As a child my Aunt Carolyn gave me a crewel hippo kit – and the hippo was bright orange! Oh so very hippy! It started my love affair with embroidery as it captured my imagination.

  450. My first embroidery project was a traditional cross stitch “Mother” sampler done all in black floss. After my mother passed, that piece was given back to me. It is precious in my sight – a child’s cross-stitch for her mother.

  451. This is a great set of books and I cannot believe that I don’t own them!! My grandmother started me stitching by hand many, many years ago and I’m guessing that I probably embroidered a dish towel as my first project. My grandmother was adamant about my learning to hand stitch (both sewing and embroidery). I think I had my own thimble at the age of 10!!

  452. When I was in 6th or 7th grade, a friend knowing that I was a dog lover, gave me a kit to stitch a basset hound. I’m sure the kit came from the local 5&10 (remember those). I was so excited, I dove right in. Imagine my dismay when my 6″ long satin stitches didn’t look like the picture. I mean seriously, is there such a thing as 6″ long satin stitches? Sadly, I put it away til some day in the future when I would know more. Fast forward about 50 years. I dug that old kit out and had a good cry. I realized I was never going to make 6″ satin stitches. It was my first UFO and the first one I finally admitted I was not going to finish! I gave to the good will in hopes that someone might at least want the yarn.

  453. Hi Mary ~
    I have 2 sisters and back in the early 1980’s each one of us embroidered a picture from an old western set for our Mom. There were 4 pictures in the crewel set and so Mom also made one. She still has them framed and hung up in her cabin in Northern Arizona!
    I have the A-Z Books for Quilting and Knitting and I absolutely love them. Would love to have 3 of needlework books to add to my collection!!

  454. My first embriodery project was a print on linen of the old Master painter “The Gleaners”
    Hated every moment of doing it. I was 8 years old.
    Thankful now, I love embroidering.

  455. The first thing I can remember “play-stitching” were those lacing cards done with yarn when I was very young. As far as real stitching, my first projects were stamped pillow cases done with JP Coats embroidery thread. I was taught by my fraternal grandmother when I was about 8-9 years old.
    Thanks so much for the chance to win these books. I would love to add them to my library!

  456. The 1st thing I stitched was a cross stitch called “peace love music (have pic). Been doing cross stitch ever since. Eventually moved over to embroidery and am currently working on a peacock. Wish me luck 🙂

  457. I remember ….it was the Erica Wilson, Beatrix Potter crewel embroidery kit, Home Cooking. I still have it hanging on our kitchen wall!

  458. I am an avid stitcher, finished pics, pillows, etc, etc all over the house. I use every book I can get my hands on to help with technique and how to. The A to Z books are the best.
    The first piece I stitched was a rug for my baby’s room. It was a tiger and was supposed to be punched but I chose to stitch it flat. Sure wish I had kept it.

    Love your emails, blogs and books.

  459. My very first stitching project was a needlepoint pillow in white and blues oriental motif.
    That was over 45 years ago. I was on a plane and the stewardess was helping learn to stitch the correct way.
    I ended up doing a series of pillows which I still have today.

    Needless to say, I still stitch everyday on various projects when I get home from work.

    Love the end results.

  460. I think the first thing I stitched was probably a dresser scarf with a transferred design on it. This was in the 1950’s when they were abundant. My grandmother was trying to keep me busy!

  461. Remember the needlepoint canvasses with the center completed and the stitcher finished the background? Mine was a little girl and I finished the background. My mom framed it and I still have it.

  462. What was the first thing I ever stitched? I remember being about 7 years old and wanting to do what mom did so used an iron on transfer and helped me thread m needles and showed me how to make an X and i stitched away at one of the old time bonnet girls with a X-stitch house in the background and a tree on the right. The apple intimidated me with the promise of satin stitch so I ended up using a marker. :). The best thing was when mom made a quilt she put my first cross stitch block right in the middle.

  463. Mary, thanks for the chance of another giveaway and congratulations to the winners of the threads! I first thing I remember stitching is a felt pincushion and needlecase which I made for my mother. That was over 50 years ago and my mum still uses them! Love your blog and enjoy all your stitchy news! Jean.x

  464. My first embroidery project was a sampler with the Lord’s Prayer in cross-stitch and the pictures mostly in outline stitch with a few fill-in stitches. I received this for Christmas when I was about 10 years old and it was the beginning of a love for embrodery. I still have the piece, 60 years later, framed and hanging in my bedroom.

  465. I first learned to embroider when my grandmother taught me a few basic stitchs to embellish dish clothes, when I was 10.

  466. I can’t recall the first embroidery item I did. My all time favorite is making baby quilts. I google baby animal line drawings to get my pattern then I’m off and running. I started out just embroidering the line drawing but now I fill in the whole design. I call it coloring with thread instead of crayons. I love it. My biggest problem is scaling back. I want to add all kinds of animals so the quilt gets way to big. I average 20 hrs/square so it’s certainly a labor of love but one I will do until my hands are old and knarled and won’t hold a needle.

  467. I was 7 when my Grandma taught me to use the Singer sewing machine. I stitched little purses from felt… enough for all my friends.

  468. I remember buying a crewel kit of a crossed-eyed cat with babysitting money when I was about 14. I knew nothing about needlework, but powered through the instructions, no hoop but all heart. I’ve been hooked ever since…

  469. My first stitching project was a cross-stitch kit that my mom gave to me when I was in the hospital after an auto accident that left me sitting for nearly a year. It kept my hands and my mind busy. I fell in love with stitching then. My interests in all things embroidery has not left me. Aren’t moms great?!

  470. The first thing I remember stitching were tea towels for my mom. I was probably 7 or 8 and my grandmother taught me simple embroidery stitches as well as cross stitch.

  471. My first real embroidery stitch was a French knot. I love the A to Z books. And never stop to loving look at them in book shops. Their pictures, instructions and explanations are incredibly clear and easy to follow. I always feel so inspired to do a new project.

  472. I do not have any of these books but would love to add them to my library. I just started dabbling in embroidery and this would definitely be an inspiration!

  473. This very first thing I ever stitched was a little folded purse, made under the watchful eye of my Grade 3 teacher, Mrs Queenie Gilby. It was stitched in decorative stitching in different-coloured wools using tapestry fabric. I gave it to my darling Mum for Christmas that year! I was aged 7, and she a youthful 30! Both Mrs Gilby and my Mum are sadly no longer with us now, but the little purse came back to me amongst my Mum’s possessions when she died at age 80, seven years ago. [I could even e-mail you a picture of it, if you’d like to see it!]

  474. The first think I stitched (that I remember) was a wall hanging for my brother for Christmas. It was a cross stitch. The fish was in the middle jumping out and the boarder was different fishing lures with bobbers in the corners. I was about 8ish when I started my mom helped and did some of the work. I didn’t finish it for that Christmas. I lost interested (it was taking too long). It took me 5 years to finish and get it to him.

  475. The first thing I ever stitched? I don’t remember. But one of the most memorable thing maybe the crewel embroidery panel that I make for my on-the-way baby. It will be framed and hanged on the wall of my baby’s very first room. Thank you. (Mai Phuong from Hanoi)

  476. My first piece of embroidery I can remember stitching was at school, age about 12, stitching my name in red on an apron and cap in red for cooking classes. My memorable peice which I still have was a cross stitch of a girl with a butterfly net in hand chasing a butterfly. I was about 17 years old when that was done over 50years ago!

  477. My first piece was a cross-stitch I started as a girl scout many years ago. The pattern was printed on the fabric. It has a border of cross-stitch roses and two old fashioned girls with the saying, “Make new friends, But keep the old, The new are silver, The old are gold”. A few years ago, I found it in an old box, all crumpled up and half done. On a whim I decided to finish it. It’s now framed and hanging in my stitching space with a little card on it that has a Winston Churchhill quote, “Never, never, never give up”. It only took me 29 years to complete it! ~ Liz 🙂

  478. I took up embroidery after having my first baby. It was a wonderful way to have some “me” time. One of the most memorable projects I did at that time was a set of embroidered Christmas cards. I donated them to my local church Christmas Bizarre. I loved being able to make something beautiful that helped support the church’s Ladies Society.

    R Krec Retired and living full time in our recreational vehicle. Home is literally where we park it. Currently wintering in Florida.

  479. The first thing
    I ever remember stitching was a crewel kit way back in the day. Next I went to heirloom stitching on baby clothes. That was what got me hooked. Love hand work,and remember my grandmother stitching pillowcases.

  480. I just started stitching! My first was your freestyle holly leaves with evergreen and red berries. Thanks for your blog!!

  481. Oh gosh thank you for the chance to be the owner of these lovely stitchery books. I can’t remember the exact first stitchery piece but maybe the second and most memorable was a piece I made for my husband when our first child was born. It was about being a good example to this “Little Fellow Who Follows Me”. My son is now 40 and it still holds true. Thank you, Pamela.

  482. My first needlework project was an embroidered tea towel. My Aunt Mary taught my sister and me to do embroidery and to crochet. She was a treasure.

  483. The first thing I ever stitched was when I was around 5 years old. My Grandmother taught me Hungarian embroidery which looks the same on the front and the back. No knots! It was a colourful Hungarian floral sampler. Ah, the memories of my Grandmother! Gloria

  484. Mu first stitches we’ve some chain stitches in a bird detail to put in the room when I was waiting for my first boy. I was in 2011

  485. To earn a badge in Girl Scouts I made a sampler of basic stitches. That was sixty years ago and now I love to learn new stitches.

  486. The first thing that I ever stitched was an embroidered leaf on a table runner. I was about 10, bored stiff, so my mom said “Here – do this”. She showed me how to do the stem stitch, and I have been hooked ever since. I am currently focusing only on handwork as I left my sewing machine behind in Canada. These books would be an awesome start to my UK library! Thanks so much, Mary

  487. First real embroidery I did was at a class for making a hussif thirty years ago. I’m still using it, and am just working on another to the same pattern having recently rediscovered my class notes.

  488. The first thing I stitched was an oven cloth stitch sampler on hessian when I was at shcool, we were probably 6 or 7 years old. Sadly I don’t have it – I would love to see what I produced back then. The next thing we made was a cross stich mat of a rose on Aida which I still have nearly 50 years later.
    Catherine in New Zealand

  489. Sunflowers! Cross stitch kit and it was difficult! After 7 years of hard and embroider retichello and filet lace 🙂
    Thank you!

  490. I love your website and wish we had something like it in England but alas not.
    The first embroidery I did was many years ago and was a tray cloth which I still have and use today. It looks very old fashioned now in comparison with modern day embroidery.
    I often look T the beautiful threads which you use and have in the past bought some but if the order is over £35 we have to pay import tax which is quite high and makes the threads to costly. Keep up the good work and I will continue to enjoy your emails.
    Many thanks. Jean Marshall

  491. My first embroidery project was a tea towel that my mom had ironed on the transfer pattern. I loved making it and made the whole set of the days of the week. I was 9 yrs. old. Now, I’m 67 yrs. old and still love doing it.

  492. The first thing I ever stitched was a small counted cross stitch Christmas tree, which I made into an ornament, and I still have it, and display it every Christmas.

  493. It was so long ago, I think it was a little stamped cross stitched scarf and learned very quickly that the stamped cross stitch is not for me. I moved on to counted cross stitch which I love then on to crazy quilting stitches and the Brazilian stitches and am going crazy with them, love, love , love them. Love finding books and articles that will help me learn more stitches and improve my skills.

  494. The first piece I stitched is a house with fireplace, a tree, birds and sun on pink linen my Mother had when I was about 5 or 6 years old. I still have it. Unfortunately, over the years it got a purple ink stain on it that I have not figured out if I can ever get that out. You know little kids with stuff. Mixed up my sewing with my ink pens.

  495. I think the first thing I ever stich ed was a sampler of flowers that my mother helped me make into a pillow. It’s long gone, but not my love for embroidery.

  496. The first thing I ever stitched was a petite point group of pansies on silk gauze and a matching roses design when I was 13 or 14. My mother had them until she passed when they returned to me. They are now over 60 and I still love doing all kinds of embroidery but doubt I could work on silk gauze these days!

  497. When I used to visit my Hungarian Grandma when I was little, we always went to the Five and Dime, where I’d pick out a stamped item and some floss. The earliest one (that I remember) was a monkey stamped on a piece of muslin. Awful!! But I stitched it up and “put it in my Hope Chest” to use when I grew up! I also remember the printed cross stitch designs and how confusing it was to “see” the crosses — which leg went to which cross. I still have one of those samplers with the middle of the deer a muddle of stitches where I lost track!! It is good to compare and know how far one has come!!

  498. The first thing I stitched was probably a pillowcase when I was about ten years old. I’m retired now and hand stitching is still my passion. I can do almost anything in the sewing/crafting area, but always go back to hand embroidery and I’m still learning the amazing array of new stitches and techniques.

  499. The first thing I remember embroidering were pillowcases . They were given as Christmas presents to my parents. That would have in about 1969. Still stitching today! It’s my relaxation and creative outlet.

  500. I know that I stitched lots of pillowcases and dresser scarves but the first piece that I remember really excited me was a crewel embroidery kit — mostly flowers and I WAS HOOKED!! I LOVED all the different stitches — even satin stitch was a fabulous-fun challenge. My mother still has it hanging in her house. Learning and teaching myself was both engrossing and exciting. I couldn’t get enough after that! Now, I do so many other types of embroidery… but I always love the start of something new.

  501. I was in my mid – teens in the 1960’s era of peace and love when embellishing clothes was in style so the very first embroidery that I did was to cover my jeans – bell bottoms – with swirls of flowers, butterflies and a Winnie-the Pooh. I’m not sure whether it is the threads, the amazing colours or the stitches that I love the most. Oh it’s all of them in a wild whirl of pattern.

  502. When I was about 9, my mother gave me a pre-printed sampler, a hoop, some thread, a needle and little pointy scissors. I remember working on this all summer–I don’t remember finishing it but those scissors were used a lot! I have no idea what happened to the sampler. However, I learned basic stitches, the ones that are still my favorites. The hardest? French knots, of course.

  503. Mmmm, it’s a long time ago, but I think it was an apron at school. Not very good! Though I couldn’t get on with ‘sewing’ as such ( clothes never fitted!), the first ’embroidery’ type of work, about 40 years ago, was a tapestry sampler. I think it was being able to choose my own design and colours that got me hooked. Haven’t looked back! I’m still learning every day, and enjoying the huge variety of different types of needlework there are and the range of threads and colours available today. Definately addicted!

  504. The first thing I remember stitching is a printed cross stitch sampler. My mother had it framed and it is hanging in my guest bedroom.

  505. My first stitching project was embroidering on a flour sack tea towel. I had watched my mother embroider and I wanted to also. I loved the bright colors and then using it to dry dishes.

  506. I remember stitching as a young girl on a stamped cross-stitch piece of cloth, what ever it was has been lost in time, but the love of the needle has never left me.

  507. I don’t remember what was the first thing I stitched but I remember a blouse on which I embroidered a rose design in cross stitch. It is memorable because people on the street used to turn to look at it as they passed.

  508. The first thing I stitched was a little kit I received for Christmas. There was a bird and daisies. I was ten years old and I still have the piece–I’m now a senior. Beverly from Halifax

  509. The first thing I ever stitched was a fairly large and involved unicorn crewel kit. Talk about jumping right in! But it was a great way to learn stitches and some tips for working a kit.

  510. The first project I completed was a butterfly on a pillowcase. It was s requirement for a Girl Scout badge. Fifty years later I still have both!

  511. I love sewing!!!! Embroidery work to me is timeless. My first piece I recall was a baby gown that I hand sewed because I had no sewing machine. I smocked a little on it, then embroidered some tiny flowers and vine. My grand baby has also worn this gown!
    Love your help and beautiful work- Pam Wesselink

  512. The first thing I stitched would be a flour sack dish towel using just an outline stitch. We used them for drying the dishes so many were used over my growing up years. Later I went on to pillow cases for my ‘Hope Chest’.

  513. The first thing i seriously, stitched was a gingham heart that was “Chicken Scratch” stitching pattern. I designed it and printed it (via typewriter, no computer yet) into a kit form and my sister taught the technique in the family, ceramic, business, classroom, It was a rousing success and the start of many more learning to stitch kits.
    Dayan Cameron
    Sleeping Giantess Studio

  514. The first thing I stitched was the edging of a bleached out flour or sugar sack that was then used as a pillowcase. I think I was about 8, and learned how to embroider from my English Nana. I think I used it later on as my Halloween sack!

  515. My first ever project was a quartet of primary-colored balloons in cross stitch. I finished it at about age 7.

  516. Over 50 yrs ago, when I was 6years old, I embroidered a dresser scarf with a design of the head of a horse in the winners circle. I still have it. I’m grateful to my mother for introducing me to the needle arts before she passed away.

  517. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. I will, hoping to someday receive one of your wonderful giveaways. I believe the first thing I every stitched was a cross stitch Christmas ornament from a kit. I don’t remember which one, but as I decorate our tree I’ll look at the ornaments carefully to bring back memories.

  518. The first thing I ever stitched was a dish towel. Wow! What a thought. It was along time ago. Used the outline stitch. Always studying types of stitches to try and add variety. Hope you are having a grand time on purpose leading up to Christmas.

  519. The first thing I really remember stitching was a short apron that tied at the waist, when I was 11. It was on green gingham and we had to decorate it with cross stitches. We had done some work on binca before (a bookmark, I think), but this was the first time I had stitched and made my own holes in the fabric. I felt VERY grown up using a sharp needle!! When we finished the cross stitch we oversewed the edges, turning up the bottom so it formed a huge pocket. I was one of the first to finish, so I was allowed to choose some printed fabric to make a hankie sachet. I chose red with white stars, and I embroidered round the stars. I still have both pieces. The apron is too small for me, but I keep my tissues in the sachet, in my handbag. That sachet is over 50 years old!

  520. I can remember very well the first thing I ever stitched. It was a bib for my very first niece. I was probably about 11 years old and my grandmother patiently taught me the embroidery stitches. It didn’t turn out very good. But it was a bib and meant to be spit up on.

  521. Oh what a wonderful gift! I have some of the sewing books and love them!

    My first memories of stitching would be doing Aunt Martha’s transfers that my Mom would iron on a piece of muslin for a tea towel.


  522. My first stitching project was more than 60 years ago when I made a cross stitch message as a Christmas gift for my father. He loved it and it was in his office until he died.

  523. Thanks for another great give-away, Mary! The first things I remember stitching were monogrammed handkerchiefs for grandparents, aunts, and uncles as Christmas gifts. I’m sure they’d look pretty rude to me now (if they lasted this long), but it was a start.

  524. Stitched some little flowers on a pillowcase, as I recall, using stem stitch and lazy daisy stitches. It was a long time ago, but I still love embroidery.

  525. Grandma took me to the Emporium in the “City” (San Francisco!) when I was eight years old and wanted to make my own Christmas present for Mother. We bought “days of the week” dishtowels to embroider–and the needle and thread love affair was on! In inherited those treasured dishtowels in 2003 when Mother passed away.

  526. I had been stitching bits onto crazy patchwork squares, but wanted to do more.
    So my friend and I signed up for weekly classes with Hazel Blomkamp, and in her classes you didn’t start off at the bottom! So my first project was a country cottage with a border of perfect flowers. I still love it!

  527. The first thing I ever stitched was a cross-stitched card for my mom. My Grandma taught me how to do it and then helped me complete the gift for my mom’s birthday. The first “non-cross-stitch kit” thing I stitched was a group of three men playing Caribbean instruments. I was trying to teach myself an old Haitian form of embroidery in order to teach some young women.

  528. I’ve been reading about how wonderful this series of books is for some time and am now so excited to participate in a possible give-away of 3 of these remarkable books. There isn’t a stitchery club in my community, so I learn via your website, Mary, videos and ….books. There are a lot of “how to” books available but these seem to be among the best.

  529. I remember we were doing a little needlecase at school. At that time it was hard for me to do a nice evenly spaced buttonhole stitch around the edges (which sometimes is still causing troubles, haha) I would never have thought that embroidery would become so special for me.

  530. Me lembro bordando na escola com 8 ou 9 anos, e me apaixonei pelos bordados desde então e estou até hoje bordando e costurando…o primeiro bordado foi em pano de prato

  531. The first thing I ever stitched was a Christmas wreath crewel. From a kit made by Sunset, I think. I had no idea how to stitch and picked a huge project that even today would be daunting. It hangs in our house every Christmas!

  532. I don’t remember the first thing I stitched, but I suppose it was either a tea towel or a pair of pillow cases. My mother taught me to embroider when I was young.

    Thank you for this chance to win books that would improve my skills!

  533. The first things I ever stitched were the embroidered designs on 7 flour-sacking dishtowels–52 years ago–in anticipation for my wedding. I still use those dishtowels! Back then, “embroidery” seemed to consist of doing a simple chain stitch as you followed the outline of the design, perhaps with a few french knots or other simple stitches thrown in. How different is was back then, and how boring! Your column renewed my enthusiasm for embroidery.

  534. It was a bee, sitting on a flower as the top of an apron which I entered into the MN State Fair and won 2nd place.

  535. Hi Mary,
    Once again, I try to leave a comment. Never know, I could win a book that I could put under the Christmas tree under my name!
    The first thing I ever stich was when I was in fifth grade (that would be 50 years ago). While the boys where at the gym we, girls have been given a piece of blue canvas and red thread and where taught the basic embroidery stiches. The one that I remember where the chain stitch, the stem stitch, the buttonhole stitch and a few others. It was the only sampler I ever did.
    I remember Ireally enjoyed doing it and thought it was easy and I was too fast and finished before the others. Lots of my friends were having problems learning.
    But I had been holding a needle since I was 5 years old. I was experienced in sewing and it felt great to decorate the piece of canvas like that.

  536. My grandma embroidered all the time. At 7 she taught me how to cross stitch on a red checkered apron. That started me on a journey that continues today.

  537. The very first thing I can remember stitching was a doll dress for my beloved doll..Baby Susie, stitched with the help of my favorite grandmother. I still have the doll but not that first attempt at dolly couture!

    Sherry S in Mo.

  538. The first thing I stitched was a stamped cloth with flowers which was done using the lazy daisy stitch. I have seen some of the A-Z books and they are excellent. Someone is going to be very lucky!

  539. My first stitching was 60 or so years ago at about age 10. I stitched the initial “L” on a felt needlecase as a gift for my mother for Christmas. I was introduced to this embroidery endeavor through a dear friend and neighbor of my mother and remember the joy of completion to this day. I had not stitched for years and have recently come back to embroidery in part due to your lovely and informative website. Thank you!

  540. The first thing I ever stitched was a sampler for the embroidery Craftsy class I took to learn embroidery. I was hooked instantly!

  541. The 1st thing I ever stitched was a poem surrounded by children’s toys for my son who is now 26 years old. I still have it and it, as well as my other projects, bring back so many wonderful memories!

  542. I stitched an oh-so-seventies crewel kit, full of all the harvest gold and deep avocado and acid-trip oranges of that era. Long since gone, but a great beginning to a life of creative enterprises.

  543. I am an avid quilter. My favourite quilts are the ones with embroidery added. I am constantly searching for new and beautiful hand sewn stitches to incorporate to my quilt tops in order to add zing, beauty and interest. I am always learning. I love the look!

  544. The first project I finished was a small 5×5 cross stitch of a lighthouse.

    It whet my appetite for a creative outlet for stress. But I really did not do anything more creative until maybe 2007 or 08. Helped me quit smoking after 35 some years of smoking.

  545. I was about 5 years old and sat cross legged in the middle of our dining table so that my younger brother couldn’t snatch at my threads.
    I stitch very badly a crinoline lady on a small table mat and I was hooked on needlecraft especially sewing.
    Brenda Beer

  546. Thank you for the chance to win! My most memorable needlework was “the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” tutorial by Mary Corbet with my four-year-old grandson helping.

  547. The first thing I ever stitched was when I was 6, I did a blanket stitch around a rabbit my grandmother cut out. The stitching was terrible and uneven, didn’t hold the stuffing in at all and looked like someone tortured the little rabbit. I loved that thing and carried it around for years. I still have that little rabbit 35 (plus) years later and it’s more worse for wear now than it was when we made it.

  548. I remember doing a stamped cross stitch dressing table set. It had pink and burgundy roses on it. It may not have been the first thing I stitched but is one of my earliest memories. I had my own little sewing box to keep all my supplies in.

  549. The first thing I ever remember stitching was a lamb outline on the old fashioned cardboard sewing cards I got for Christmas. This was over 50 years ago and I am still sewing and embroidering.

  550. I got an embroidery kit for my birthday when I was a kid. It had a pre-printed elephant standing on a ball, and that was my very first piece.

  551. Hi Mary, would love to have these books for my stitching info library. The first thing I ever stitched was a crewel kit with a cat face done in Turkey stitch. I was 14 at the time. I liked it because the Turkey stitch looked like real fur when I was done with it. I think I had to actually brush it when I was done stitching.
    In Christ,
    Gail J.

  552. The first thing I stitched was a handkechief for my one and only unclewhen I was about six years old. I put a “monogram” (a plain T) in the corner of a scrap from an old sheet. That poor man, getting all kinds of weird gifts from my brother and sisters and I! After that, I don’t remember anything until high school, when I covered an old work shirt from my father with all kinds of designs and wore it as a jacket.

  553. The first thing I can remember making was a handkerchief for my mother when I was about 8. Made of fairly fine white linen, a hand sewn hem with machine stitched narrow lace around the edge. (I can still remember the bits of yellow tacking caught in the stitching.) In the corner, the piece De resistance – a little blue bow.
    Some months later when cleaning out her drawer I was given some hankies that she no longer wanted. Among them was my hankie with the knobbly blue bow in the corner.
    Yes, I was a little hurt at the time, but it was a good lesson on ‘what not to do’ when my three girls presented me with things they had made in later years.

  554. Would love to have these books!! I’ve never stitched/embroidered anything by hand but would really love to learn, and the reviews on these books suggest that they are the place to begin. Hope I win, and Merry Christmas to you all!

  555. Thank you for the opportunity to win. The first items I stitched were dishtowels, the iron-on dancing vegetables!

  556. Your question stirs wonderful memories. My first stitching project was a set of linen runners for my bureau and chest. My mother found me trying to work on her current project (don’t remember what it was). So she decided it was time for me to have my own project. I must have been 6 or 7 at the time. So we made a trip to the local mall (Cherry Hill Mall in New Jersey) and headed to Kresge’s. There I selected my runners which were stamped cross stitch and teal cotton floss. A hoop and needles completed the supply list. At home, my mother taught me the basics of cross stitch and a life long passion was born. I still have the runners. When I look at them I see that the size of the cross stitches were evenly stitched but the crosses were not all completed in the same direction. But it matters not, what I really remember was my mother’s love and patience along with the big bird cage in front of Kresge’s filled with noisy active tropical birds.

  557. Hello Mary – I would love to win the set of Embroidery Books A – Z! I have been sewing and embroidering since my age was in the single digits. Among the first things I ever stitched were doll clothes sewn by hand for Madame Alexander and other dolls.

    When I was 12 my parents bought me a sewing machine and enrolled me in a Singer sewing class. There I learned the finer points of sewing garments.

    As a young mother I began knitting and received inspiration from McCall’s Knitting and Sewing magazine. One issue had directions for a beautiful needlepoint sampler. I went to my local knit and embroidery shop to ask if they could teach me how to do needlepoint. Their response set me on a lifetime of embroidery fun. The shop owner said: You have taught yourself to knit with written instructions; I think you can do the same thing to teach yourself needlepoint. It was great advice because I was able to learn at my own pace rather than in a structured class.

    I now stitch on canvas and linen and belong to both EGA and ANG. These organizations offer in person teaching and seminar classes and make correspondence classes available to me. I’ve come a long way from that first needlepoint sampler which still hangs in a spare bedroom.

  558. The very first time item I accomplished in hand embroidery was a stitch sampler from a class on Craftsy. It was a quite basic piece just teaching some of the basic stiches. I’m still fairly new to hand embroidery and looking forward to my first ‘big project’.

  559. The first thing I can remember stitching was a small pre-printed doily. I was about 4 or 5 years old and my grandmother was teaching me (she was a fantastic embroiderer). It was such a long time ago (56 or 57 years) and your question brought back the memory, for which I am very grateful, as it is such a precious one.

    Jenny Wilcox

  560. The first thing I remember stitching is a few weird-looking “flowers” on some canvas in assorted really horrible shades of tapestry wool. I must have been about 7 or 8 and it was some kind of school thing, if I remember right, and I gave it to mum for Mothering Sunday. I think she may still have it, poor woman!

  561. I can’t remember the first thing I stitched but I do remember a series of fall flowers that I did and my Aunt liked them so much that she paid for the framing and put then on her dining room wall.

  562. The first thing
    I stitched was a crewel sampler during lunch breaks as a medical technologist in a hospital lab in 1987

  563. The first thing I remember stitching was sequins on a doll’s outfit. Kept sticking myself and making mistakes, so it was quite a while before I tried anything with needle and thread again. I’m so glad I did!

  564. The first thing I ever stitched was a pre-printed cross stitch floral pattern on a doily. My mom got it for me so she could teach me how to do it. I chose pink and lavender with green, for the leaves and stems, of course. I still have that thing…makes me remember my mom 🙂

    Thanks for the chance to win. This is a great giveaway!

  565. A friend of mine sketched a picture of a manatee holding a shell; I traced it and embroidered it and gave it to her in pillow form.

  566. The first thing that I remember ever stitching was a small plastic canvas piece that had a flower design in it.

  567. The first thing I stitched was a pillow case. I bought a Stitch it Kit, by Jenny Hart and stitched my name and a cute cat. I was surprised at how good it turned out and I was hooked!!

  568. Hi Mary, My first stitching was to learn cross stitch – on a piece of gingham, at my grandmother’s house in central Wisconsin. I was 4 or 5. Even now, I remember the concentration of directing my needle to the very corner of the weave. A gingerbread man sampler out of felt, appliqued onto a piece of velveteen, designed by my Mom soon followed. I have both pieces and have been stitching ever since – which is starting to be a long time, as that was around 1960 – ha! Thanks for the giveaway and the chance to share the memory.

  569. I must have been 7 or 8 years old when I stitched an stamped Jack and Jill picture and poem. I have it today framed in my sew room.

  570. The first thing I remember embroidering was a cross-stitch on an apron. I used an iron-on pattern of Christmas designs and stitched them on a blue apron. I was about 19. I still have the apron.

  571. The first thing I ever stitched was a pillowcase for my cousin’s new baby- I’d have been about 8, so my teddy bear wasn’t very neat, but I was really proud of it

  572. I do remember the first thing I ever stitched! We had a Colonial module in the fifth grade, and my teacher taught us to embroider the edge of a handkerchief with stem stitch. But I was absent that day (and I was so disappointed) so when I got back to school my friend showed me how to do it. I pulled that handkerchief out of storage just the other day, because I was going through boxes. 🙂 I’m so glad I still have it! It’s one of my favorite memories.

  573. I can remember stitching as a pre-schooler – my mother was doing some handiwork, and gave me a bodkin and some wool, and I stitched ‘pictures’ on my doll’s bed blankets… I can remember the ‘stitched’ blankets for years afterwards.

    1. And that was over 60 years ago, and I still love stitching. Thank you opportunity to win the awesome prize.

  574. THe first thing I stiched was a postbag for christmas cards, stitched in cross stitch. I was ten and I loved it. I enthusiatically made all kinds of christmas calendars, bell pulls and pictures the next following years… and then I stopped when I turned sixteen. I’m now forty eight and do mainly embroidery. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Mary, for doing your fine work.

  575. My first project was a stitched picture to give to my friend who had moved away. It said “The road to a friend’s house is never long.” I have also done crewel work, counted cross stitch and beading. I would like the A to Z books to learn about some different embroidering stitches. This way I would feel more confident trying something new outside my comfort zone.

    Thank you for offering such great give aways.

  576. I have been doing needlework nearly all of my life. As a 7 or 8 year old I recall my Grandmother helping me make doll clothes and teaching me to make hand made button holes.

  577. Definitely not the first (I started when I was 5), but the first memorable when I was 12 – I made a canvas bag with at the snake/apple/garden of Eden motif. I completely made up the design and stitches as I went along. This was for a school craft class.

  578. My mauve tray cloth with pale flowers and fringed border, which my mother used on her telephone table for the next 40 years.

  579. The first stitching I remember FINISHING, was a tiny cross stitch with a picture of a house on it. It then was put into a little oval box which would have been 2″ in diameter. I was probably about 8. I did also have a long stitch Elephant and a cross stitch K which both got finished at a later date.

  580. First thing I ever stitched were some huck towels doing Swedish embroidery. I was 8. Found the little owl I cross stitched after that much easier. Lol.

  581. The first thing I ever stitched was an apron – it was embroidered along the bottom and smocked along the waist. It was a great project because I learnt so many embroidery and smocking skills. I was in High School in the ‘sewing’ class. I gave the apron to my mother to wear when it was finished, but she cherished it and saved it because she could not bear anything to happen to it.


  582. The first thing I remember stitching is doll clothes. They were so much fun to make and then to add some embroidery made them, oh, so pretty, in my eyes. 60 years later it is so much fun to watch my granddaughter, learn to embroidery and enjoy her creations. What fun it is to see these skills passed down the generations.

  583. The first thing I remember stitching was a guest towel that I have in my linen cupboard. I showed it to my stitch group only the other night. It was done at school when I was about 8 – worked on binca and used back stitch, chain stitch and running stitch. It set on on a life time of enjoyment nearly 60 years ago.

    Megan F
    Central Otago NZ

  584. Wow! A long time ago I needed a sample of needle work for an art class that was part of the curriculum for my Bachelor’s degree in elementary education. I started stitching at random and it turned into a sampler of stiches done in beige tone on tone. I still have it hanging on the wall of my sewing room. I would love to have the set of books and make another sampler.
    from deep in the heart of Texas

  585. The first memorable item I stitched was a cushion cover in wool on pink Aida. It was memorable because it was my first school stitching project I finished! I was 11.

  586. The first item I vividly remember ,is the handkerchief case I made at school when I was 8 years old. I remember it really well because my teacher would not let me put it in the display at the end of the year as it was not good enough.
    Unfortunately this has coloured my feelings and confidence about my needlework abilities to this day.

  587. When I was about 4, my mother cut out an orange cat shape and drew eyes, nose and paws on it. I did some running stitch for the paws andnose and she did the satin stitch eyes in purple thread because I wasn’t making a very good job of it! then she sewed the 2 sides together to make a bag. I still have it!

  588. Not sure it it was the first but I remember stitching flowers on my dolls white shirt… at the age of 5. My mum said my embroidery was more beautiful than hers but I was stitching much slower 😀

  589. The first things I stitched were clothes for my doll using scraps of fabric, both suitable and unsuitable, from my mother’s left over pieces. To start with they fit only where they touched and I had no idea about finishing, but I thought they were good. Sadly my experience of sewing at school put me off for years and it’s only now that I’m retired that I’ve started doing it again and thoroughly enjoying patchwork, embroidery, crazy patchwork and picture painting with threads and mixed media.

  590. As a child I embroidered pillow cases that my Mother was working on. My first adult piece was a crewel birth sampler for my first child.
    JoAnn Edwards

  591. The first thing I ever stitched was a crewel embroidery piece that my grandmother (Gran) helped me with. It was a kit with little flowers and a butterfly. I still have it. It was the beginning of a wonderful experience. And I got to share it with my Gran. Now I am working on a piece with my granddaughter. I hope she will enjoy stitching through the years as much as I have.

  592. It’s been too many years to remember what I first stitched, but one of my memorable ones was a cross-stitched German Shepherd. I was a young adult and it took me a long time to finish it but I was so proud of it when I was done. I actually just found it in my garage the other day, which is pretty amazing with all the moving from place to place I’ve done. I don’t have a lot of stuff from my younger days, but I held on to that German Shepherd I did in honor of my favorite pet ever.

    Thanks so much for the give-aways and the web site. I’m a beginner in most forms of embroidery and there’s nothing I can’t find on your site; it’s so helpful.

  593. I honestly remember my sister’s stitching better than my own first attempts. My sister made me some pretty barbie clothes and added some hand embroidery to them. They meant the world to me. I really must tell her that!

  594. I did my very first stitches at the age of 3… I wanted to “help” my mother, so she gave me a big needle with some thread similar to pearl cotton. She made some holes on paper and I stitched on it. Of course, nothing is left from these my works. But this was my first embroidery experience (now I understand that my mother was very brave…)

  595. I believe the first ting I ever stitched was probably a cross stitch Christmas Ornament, I also remember doing a sampler with various stitches that I learned. It has been far, far too many years to be sure anymore! lol But I am still stitching and will be till I can not longer hold a needle in my hand! Now I’m teaching my grand daughters how to sew and do embroidery. I learned from my Grams and now I am the teacher! it does come full circle!

    ~Gin K.~

  596. I learned to sew before I started nursery school – at about 4 years old. My mum and grandmother taught me by example really because I used to watch them. The first thing I believe I made was a needle case in primary school at about 5 years old in the early 50’s. All girls did. We stitched two rectangles together and turned them inside out and slip stitched the opening closed. Folded the bottom third up and whip stitched the two sides together. Folded the top third down and marked where to sew two poppers to keep it closed then stitched those on. We stitched a small rectangle of flannelette on the inside of the top flap to keep needles in, and put embroidery floss in the bottom pocket. I still have mine and use it to keep the floss I am using on a current project. It got smoke stained a bit in a house fire we had but I will never throw it out. Pauline

  597. I don’t remember my first project, but I do remember saving money so I could buy supplies to learn how to stitch at the local store in the German village we lived in when I was in the second grade. Seemed liked forever at the time before I had enough money saved. The project that is most memorable to me is a crewel kit I bought at Grants in Washington state. That was the first time I got to stitch with wool and used a variety of new(to me) stitches, gave myself a BIG pat on the back when it was completed. I was 15 at the time.

  598. The first thing I ever stitched was a cotton shirt for myself with my grandmothers help, God bless her.

  599. Wow, what memories. My grandmother was the one who taught me how to stitch. My Mom knew how, but was more than occupied with 7 children.
    My grandmother was quite a stitcher, she was an accomplisher sewer, knitter, needlepointer, cross stitcher and from her heritage she did handanger too.
    The first piece she had me work on was a needlepoint ornament stitched on plastic canvas with a plastic needle and thick yarn. It was a santa head on a red background!
    Since she taught me many skills, I have continued to use them for pleasure and I enjoy the guilds I belong to and learning new skills.
    Thanks for bringing back the memories!

  600. The first memorable thing I stitched was the scull of “Stan”–the T-rex at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science where I was volunteering. I searched the internet for many days before I found a photo I could turn into a pattern!

  601. My first stitch project was a tray cloth with variegated blue forget me nots. I was only about eight years old so my nana had a huge influence on the finished product. It still survives today some 54 years later.

  602. I have just started to teach myself embroidery. I find your site really useful. Your advice on books and stitching techniques is very helpful. I tried to learn years ago and it was so difficult. Now with the web it’s as if the embroidery world has opened up to me with support available for learning my journey.
    Many thanks for being there

  603. Hoping for better luck in Draw #2!

    The first needle work project I remember doing was a little kit of a lady in a long dress done in canvas stitch on a rigid plastic background with punched holes in it. Not sure how old I was but probably about 6. My Mum wanted us to get a sampling of needle work. She did a lot of crewel work in later life, but was a lifelong seamstress for herself & for my sister & I until we started to do our own sewing in our early teens. It stuck, although I do not so any sewing of clothes I have worked through crewel, embroidery, petit-point, cross stitch & now I do mostly quilting & enjoy embellishing with embroidery. I am also starting to dabble in stump work & find that to be very enjoyable.

  604. The first thing I stitched was a cross stitched quilt! I started big, lol. I was watching my grandmother do a cross stitch quilt and told her to make me one, she said make your own. I will buy it for you. So began my love of any needlework.

  605. The first thing I ever stitched was a little owl counted cross stitch kit (“do it all in the space of a class” sized project), which I still have stashed. I eventually noticed that I had skipped crossing one of my stitches….(ah well, it’s still cute and it was my first ever project!).

  606. I was 5 when I stitched a tiny design on one of the corners on each of 4 serviettes. They were stamped designs and I proudly gave them to my Grandmother for her birthday. I never did see them in her house but she still had them when we cleared out her house after her death. I guess they meant something to her.

  607. My first stitching project was a gingham sort of table cloth done in cross stitch just follow the large dark squares that was when I was about seven years old at grandma s kids were seen and not heard at the time . I’m 53years now and thanks to grandma enjoying the experience of hand embroidery and the memories of my childhood.

  608. The first thing I stitch was a cross stitch (big surprise) of a sunflower with a smiley face in a pot.

  609. I can remember being given as a child, a card with holes around an outline of a Dolly Varden lady and a needle and wool. I loved doing it and was sorry to finish. That would have been my very first sewing experience when I was probably about 5 or 6 years old. May have been younger?? I worked my way through several other cards and even made some of my own.
    Thanks for asking me to rack my brains. I had forgotten. I still love the variety of things one can do with just a needle, thread and a fabric. Just finished hemstitching four table mats and cross stitching a husif for my widower son who didn’t have a needle in the house when we visited him in Australia in August.

  610. When I was eleven I hand stitched a dress for myself. I asked my sister to draw around me while I was lying on the floor and then I cut out the dress from some old draperies I found in our basement. I had just finished reading Gone With the Wind so I think that’s where the drapery idea came from. I insisted on wearing it out to lunch with my Mom. Bless her heart, she told me my paper doll cutout dress was beautiful! Need I say more? The year was 1955.

    Joanna Sarkin

  611. I was about nine years old and stitched a small tablecloth with a simple version of chicken stratch on a green gingham check with yellow thread. I gave it to my Grandmother and when she passed away it way returned to me, however the best thing was the cloth was well used.

  612. Oooo-la-la! I just added the A to Z of Flowers to my wishlist last week in preparation for stitching up some thistles. To answer your question Mary, my first needlework was a Blue Poppy that I needlepointed right after my wedding. The hand painted picture on the needlepoint was of a red poppy but I’ve never been all that great at following instructions! I still have this piece, most of mine I give to family, and it remains my favourite even if it isn’t my best. Best of all, to my mind, since finishing is not always my strongest suit, is that I completed it into a pillow that I trimmed with antique ribbon and hand sewed onto silk. Thank you for the opportunity at a fun give away!

  613. Just a few years ago I stitched my name on a quilted name tag for our guild. I didn’t stitch again until this year when I enrolled in Kathy Shaw’s Basic Crazy Quilt course. I’ve continued on with her intermediate courses and I’m learning so much. Thank you for the chance to win something that I need so desperately.

  614. I first stitched daisies on a feed sack pillow case. I was visiting my grandmother in a small town. Not a farm but she had a garden and chickens.,! The feed sacks were used for linens, quilts and towels!
    I was eight years old and learned the chain stitch to make the petals and leaves with French knots for the centers!! After she died I was given a box of her embroideries. Some were finished and some not! Have enjoyed stitching ever since and I’m now 85!! Maybe I can teach my great granddaughter this year…she just turned six!!

  615. Thank you for the giveaway! The first thing I ever stitched was a cross stitch ‘M’ monogram for my name! 🙂

  616. The first thing I remember stitching was a doll dress. I put some little embroidered flowers around the skirt. It was very basic but I loved it.

  617. Not sure what the 1st thing was however did start a “Grandmothers Garden” quilt with my Grandmother at around age 12

  618. After years of collecting floss (it comes in a million colors!) and giving it away (I’ll never use this), I finally started actually stitching. The first thing was a random flower, but the first thing I actually *worked* on (having bought a hoop, proper needles and a book) was the “La Broderie Blanche” flower alphabet letter “J”.

    I’m out of control now…

  619. I had always admired stitching, but thought it was beyond me. One day I found a kit for a Christmas ornament that fit into a tart shell when complete…it was on final sale for $2.50. I thought I could stand to throw away $2.50 if I couldn’t do it so brought it home. Could. Not. Put. It. Down. !! LOL