Mary Corbet

writer and founder


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

Contact Mary

Connect with Mary



2024 (53) 2023 (125) 2022 (136) 2021 (130) 2020 (132) 2019 (147) 2018 (146) 2017 (169) 2016 (147) 2015 (246) 2014 (294) 2013 (294) 2012 (305) 2011 (306) 2010 (316) 2009 (367) 2008 (352) 2007 (225) 2006 (139)

A Stitcher’s Christmas: Monograms & More!


Amazon Books

Today, a little lull in the excitement of new and thrilling give-aways, and instead, something quite and subtle … but fun!

You see, much of today’s give-away will be a mystery. Why? Because I’m either very busy, very lazy, unprepared, or some, or all, of the above. You choose!

I’ll tell you what it’s all about, and then I’ll announce the winners of Monday’s give-away from Inspirations Studios.

Monograms & More!

A few things I guarantee two winners:

1. A copy of A Sea to Stitch by Elisabetta Forza. I have a few more copies of this book in stock, so if it’s on your Christmas list, now’s the time to get it! It won’t be re-stocked before Christmas. (Sorry for the plug, but it’s my last chance to let you know!)

If you already own the book, don’t worry! You can always gift it to a stitching friend, donate it to your local library or guild, (or even sell it – I will never know!).

2. A piece of linen – but not just any linen. I’ll include a nice piece of the same linen that Elisabetta uses on the models in her monogram book.

3. A finished Christmas ornament (by me), from one of my Christmas collections: Twelve Trees for Christmas; Snowflakes; or Mini Sampler Stockings. I’ll randomly choose one of the models prepared for one of those e-books, and pack it up in your box.

4. Other Stuff – little things I have squirreled away here in the studio, just for occasions when I can include them with packages. Who knows? It could be a new pair of scissors (very likely, hint hint); maybe a needle minder (also very likely); maybe some fun tools. Chocolate. A beeswax something or other. Whatever occurs to me as I pack up your box and wrap your prezzies! (I happen to love putting packages together for Christmas, so I promise it’ll be fun to open!)

Give-Away Guidelines

If you’d like to participate in today’s give-away, please follow these guidelines!

This give-away has ended. Please check the article on December 11 for the winners!

1. Please leave your comment below, on this article on Needle ‘n Thread. If you are reading this in the newsletter, you can reach the comment form directly by following this link.

Comments left on any other post on Needle ‘n Thread or sent by email are not eligible. Please do not leave your comment as a reply to someone else’s. Replies cannot be included in the count. If you are unsure how to post a comment without replying to someone else, please just click the link provided above to go to the comment form. Thanks!

2. Make sure you leave a recognizable name or nickname on the Name line on the comment form. Anonymous comments don’t count. Please do not leave personal information like email addresses, mailing addresses, or phone numbers in the Comment part of the form. When you do, I have to go in and edit that information out – unless you want spam, or strangers picking up your phone number, email address, mailing address (which you don’t, I’m sure!).

…but please do make sure that your email address is entered correctly on the Email line of the form. This is not visible to anyone but me, and it is not used for anything except the purposes of this give-away (if you win, I need to be able to contact you).

3. You may only enter once.

4. In your comment, please answer the following:

Describe the first thing you ever stitched! If that’s not quite possible, what’s your earliest stitching memory?

5. Leave your comment by 5:00 am Central Standard Time, Friday, December 11th. The winner will be randomly drawn and announced on Friday morning, when the next give-away in the series takes place. I will also contact the winners by email.

Please note that your comment may not appear right away on the website. I review all the comments that go on the website, to keep unseemly content off the website. If your comment does not show up immediately, please don’t fret. It will show up as soon as I have a chance to moderate comments.

Inspiration Winners!

And now, the winners of Monday’s give-away, which includes the gorgeous book A Passion for Needlework, Blakiston Creamery edition and Jewel of the Sea, the fabulous goldwork turtle project by Georgina Bellamy – all courtesy of Inspirations Studios.

Incidentally, for those looking for the Jewel of the Sea kit on their website, you will find it here.

The three randomly drawn winners are Faith Gerhard, Alicia Foster, and Pat Broome. I’ll send you an email – please look for it!

Many more lovely give-aways to come before Christmas! Keep an eye out! Share with your stitching friends! Tell everyone – the more, the merrier!

Needle ‘n Thread Studio Updates

Things are hopping on this side of the computer screen, but they’ll be slowing down a bit soon.

I’m preparing more ready to stitch towel sets this week, so you’ll be able to find them on the website by this weekend or early next week. I’m concentrating on Christmas Cheer, Vinterfolk, and (by special request) a set of “Let it Snow” (from Christmas Cheer), redesigned into a three-towel set, for those who really like snow! I’ll have a few of the latter available on the website, just in case others are interested, too.

Stitching-wise, I’m working on a few little gifts, including some of the towel sets. When I’ve had a chance to stitch, I really just want it to be quiet, relaxing embroidery right now, that I can do in the evenings while listening to music and sitting in front of the fire. The fake fire. The plug in heater that looks like a fake fire. But whatever – it’s all about atmosphere… and warm toes!

I’m also working on a beginner goldwork & silk project that’s coming out as a kit in January – I’ll update you on that after Christmas.

And by next week, I should be diving into my own Sea-to-Stitch monogram that I wrote about here. I’ll also update you on that after Christmas!

I’ve been reading two books that I’ll review on the website, too. One of them is completely different. It’s not a project / embroidery book, although it has to do with a certain aspect of needlework – and I can’t wait to show it to you.

We are tentatively expecting snow on Saturday, so here’s hoping for a cozy, inside weekend ahead! Since it’ll be 68 degrees today in Kansas, though, it’s the ideal day to get those Christmas decorations up!

Hope your week is flying along well!


(1,219) Comments

  1. My mother had 4 children close in age. When I was about 9 she sent me to a class where I learned to stitch. We had to draw a picture and then stitch it. I made two pillows, one an undersea scene and one a line of flowers. Let us just say that they were very naïve (I was only 9). While they are long gone, I am still stitching over fifty years later, and I am the only one of the four of us who stitches.

  2. Hi Mary!
    The first thing I ever stitched was a pencil case as a present for my flatmate. She is obsessed with pandas, and I couldn’t find one I liked, so I decided to make one!

  3. I guess my earliest stitching memory would have to be sitting next to my grandmother. Her showing me how. I really don’t remember a time when I didn’t have a little something to push a needle in and out of…

  4. Sounds like a fun bunch in this giveaway! The earliest thing I remember stitching were some preprinted cross stitch napkins. I don’t have the earliest ones anymore but I do still have a set I stitched a couple of years later! I’ve recently embraced the use-the-good-stuff mentality and have enjoyed getting those napkins out!

  5. The first thing I stitched was probably at infants school on Binca, but I can’t remember what it was, probably cross stitch. The first thing I remember is an apron that we made in Brownies (probably I was about 6 or 7), and my Dad wrote my name on it in his beautiful copperplate script and I embroidered it. I’m 60 now and I still have it. My dad died 30 years ago and my mum 28 years ago. Mum machined the waistband on the apron (I blanket stitched the hem). Its a lovely reminder of those times, and something that me, and both parents worked on so a lovely reminder of them as well 🙂

    1. That’s so beautiful. Shame you can’t post a picture with your comment. What lovely memories to cherish though.

  6. Stamped cross stitch pillow cases showing roses embroidered in pink. I was 12 years old (1946) and really felt I had accomplished something ! I keep this treasure previously in my cedar chest for my grands to share when the time comes. Merry Christmas !

  7. My second grade teacher taught us how to cross stitch during down time at school. I loved it. Something that really sticks out in my mind is the day I accidentally sewed my fabric to my shirt.

  8. The first thing I ever stitched, so very long ago, was my dad’s initials onto some handkerchiefs for a Christmas gift. It was a lot harder than I anticipated at the time. He still had one left, though well worn, when I gave him a new set a few years ago.

  9. Hi Mary, my first project was a tea towel in home economics class in elementary school. I must have used pretty good quality linen, as I still use it! A little frayed, but brings back memories.

  10. When I was four, I stitched tulips and butterflies on pillowcases at preschool while the other kids played. I didn’t understand them, and they didn’t understand me.

  11. I can’t recall my first stitching project but I’ve tried it all! I have enjoyed many great project through the years!

  12. My earliest stitching memory is stitching a tapestry kit of a seaside scene. The stitching was awful but luckily over the long and many years since I have improved.

  13. I still have the needlepoint piece I did when I was 3 years old. A simple coloring-book like image of a train on tracks (my mom must have done) and I worked on the sky.

  14. My furst embroidery project was a linen runner with pink floss for my bedroom dresser with lessons from my grandmother, Anna.

  15. The first thing I ever made was an address book covr for my grandmother when I was 17; the next project was a hand smocked an embroidered dress for my then six year old daughter (now 46!). Last November I was in Halifax, Nova Scotia where a booth was set up with ladies demonstrating lace making and embroidery. I swooped right in to watch them work and chat, mentioning that I follow Mary Corbett in the states, and they were all over it. Clearly, I had mentioned Embroidery Royalty. They were, in fact, working on Christmas squares. I wished I lived close by and could have joined their guild!

  16. The first thing I ever stitched was a needlepoint picture for my uncle. Looking back, it was terribly mis-shaped( I stitched it in hand). But I personalized it myself, and was very proud of it. He passed away this weekend, so it is too if mind lately.

  17. 5 or 6 I would spend the weekends with my grandmother and she would teach me o embroidery it was the cutest gray white and black kitten pillow I remember working so hard to get everything right. To my surprise when Christmas arrived and my sister got this cute kitten pillow for Christmas that my mom said grandma made it for her. I still smile when I think about that summer and then Christmas.

  18. First thing I stitched was a Cross Stitched picture of Horses around a Well I love cross stitch and embroidery it was in 80s

  19. My earliest needlework was probably some stitching on coloured Binka at school to make a mat for Mum and Dad for Christmas, loved doing it, not stopped sewing since.

  20. The first thing I stitched was at the knee of my grandmother. It was a preprinted, blue-inked kitchen towel. Grandmother always had her stitching kit with her when she visited and I was in awe of the gorgeous threads and colors. She first recognized my love of embroidery and taught me my first stitches. How I miss her.

  21. I am so hoping to be lucky enough to win a hand embroidered ornament by Mary herself! And the exquisite book is the best bonus!

  22. The earliest thing I remember is working on a pillow case. It was a stamped cross stitch. Not the best work but I finished it.

  23. I am pretty sure that the first thing that I ever stitched was a Jane Sneed sampler.I think I even have is somewhere. It was never framed, so now I think I’ll have to take a look around and see what I can do about that. It’s interesting that, in the 60’s these samplers where the only kind that we knew about. They were the ones that were pre-printed. My mother stitched samplers, so I wanted to stitch one too. I am lucky enough to have 5 of her samplers hanging in my sewing room that remind me of her.

  24. The first thing I ever stitched was a Crewel Sampler. I’ll bet I was around 9 or 10 years old. I LOVED it. Despite having attended lengthy workshops by stitching artists as an adult, I think it’s the childhood experience that most informed my latest decision to take up stitching again, and see where it can take me.

  25. I am old enough to have learnt to stitch at school, I do remember stitching a grey felt elephant and the blanket stitch going on forever!

    Loving these give always, I wish the monogram book was shipping to Canada

  26. My grandmother and mother did beautiful needlework and then there was me. I couldn’t sit still when the outside beckoned. There were trees to be climbed, streams to wade in and a myriad other things to do. My mother persisted and I was made to sit to embroider a towel. Sunbonnet Sue was unusual looking when I was finished, but I had managed to learn a stitch and contain my energy enough to make a treasured memory. They would be pleased with my efforts now!

  27. The first piece of stitching I did was a pirate flag of the “Straw hat Pirates” from a japanese cartoon called “One Piece”.

  28. The first thing I stitched was a needlepoint picture of a kitten. I was % years old. My mother would not give me another piece to do until I finished this one!

  29. The very first thing I stitched was a multi-doll sleeping bag!
    I was watching my mom sew, and asked for a piece of leftover fabric. I cut out a big rectangle, and folded it up almost in half, then threaded a giant needle with yarn, and started sewing running stitches up from the bottom in channels!
    I could slide about five Barbies into the channels when I was finished. They had a great time at their slumber parties!

  30. My first stitching memory is from second grade. Miss Megers had us stitch a picture on red gingham of a house. I have it hanging with my samplers.

  31. A little bookmark at summer camp – unfinished. I think my first 2 projects are unfinished. I figured out how to finish projects by the third one (it was planned as a gift).

  32. The very first thing I stitched was a stamped dresser scarf when I was 12 years old. Little did I know what was ahead in the needlework world.

  33. My earliest stitching memory; was making clothes (or attempting to)for my dolls. I tried adding bits and bobs of ribbon, lace and things. Wish I had those now just to look at. Carol bu

  34. Dear Mary,
    Good morning!
    I always enjoy reading your email updates. I know that you really put your heart and soul into your work. It shows and shine brightly.
    Because my schedule is rather hectic and unpredictable, I do not take the time to pursue all the embroidery projects I would like or the hexie projects as well. (Yes, I am a hexie addict, too!)
    This past year I tried the “Work on it 15 minutes a day” plan and it has been a boost to finishing the endless list of UFO’s at a reasonable speed.
    Again, thank you for your art, advice and encouraging words. Have a very blessed day!

  35. I don’t recall early hand stitching, unless you count darning socks. I did a lot of machine sewing and knitting early on, all practical, functional stuff. For decorative stitching I suspect it was cross stitch in a kit from the craft/hobby shop

  36. I know I was under six years old. I had a plastic doll, a piece of cloth, needle & thread, and a button. I don’t know if I actually created something but I remember being very content sitting in the chair. I must have been born loving doll clothes!

  37. The first thing I stitched was a giraffe with my grandmother teacher me how. It’s nothing special but I had it framed years later

  38. I remember stitching on a piece that was a piece of fabric with a design stamped on it and mounted in a plastic frame. Before that I think I had stitching cards.

  39. My first memory of sewing is sewing with my mother. I worked on threading the needle and knotting it, then in and out on a remnant from Mother’s scrap pile.

  40. I was in early elementary school when I discovered the joy of embroidery. I embroidered preprinted cross-stitch on flour sack dish towels for my mother. She liked having “fancy” dish towels and was thrilled that I lover making them.

  41. My first stitched project was in Junior High Home Economics class. It was a counted cross stitch little girl on aida. I loved doing it and went on to cross stitch many pieces in high school and college and then moved on to learn other techniques when I joined the Embroiderers Guild.

  42. My earliest memory is of stitching a small square of yellow binca with a bunch of cherries in the corner for my grandmas’ birthday which was proudly displayed on her sideboard.

  43. the very first thing that I embroidered was with my Grandmother. She gave me one of those small, navy blue and white wicker sewing baskets as a Christmas present the year we moved into our new home (I was 8 years old). She, herself, always had some handwork to do in the evenings – either knitting or embroidery. So I needed to embroider along with her. I remember our looking through my colouring books to find a suitable design. We found – in my Heidi Colouring book- a wee side drawing of a rabbit hiding in greenery. We transferred the design to a small piece of white cotton fabric and then my Grandmother introduced me to the world of embroidery stitches. Sadly, I do not have that wee piece of embroidery, but I do have many of my Grandmother’s pieces.

  44. The first thing I stitched was a dresser scarf (a long-ish doily) in about 1955, under the loving guidance of my Nana (1890-1962). I still have that piece! It’s vines, leaves, and little birds in rather uncoordinated colors as chosen by my 6 year old self.

  45. I love monograms and anything Christmas. Thanks for the opportunity to win a stitching book.

  46. Hi Mary,
    Happy Christmas.

    I know my first embroidery was on white kitchen drying cloths. But my first real stitching was a cross stitch piece of a cross section of a house. It was the first thing that I was able to frame and it’s something I still have. Thanks for all the information.

  47. My very first experience sewing anything was at a 4H class. After I took the class, I was hooked! I asked my Mom to buy me something (anything!) that I could sew. So, she came home one evening with a stamped cross stitch kit of 2 teddy bears holding hearts. I worked on it everyday and fell completely head over heals with having a needle and thread in my hand. I was 10 years old at the time and have been doing cross stitch, embroidery and quilting ever since!

  48. My earliest stitching memory is my Aunt Marlene showing me how to cross stitch during one of our many visits to her home for summer vacation. I recently saw the very same lime green pattern online with its primary color designs of a house and other really simple motifs. I will always be grateful to her for introducing me to this lifelong hobby.

  49. I just love this site! It is always so fun to see all the creative things Mary does. I just got the petite tree ornament kit and am very excited to start on it!

  50. My earliest memory of stitching was when I was not in school yet, my mother would draw a design on a piece of old sheet and put it in a hoop. My brother, 2 years older, and I would work outline stitches, cross stitches, etc. in the piece. One time, I accidentally caught the leg of my jeans in the stitching. That lead to both of us sewing the embroidery to our jeans. My mother was somewhat less than pleased.

  51. Give-away, Dec 9, 2020
    My daughter is being married on the beach next year. I would love to stitch a seascape monogram in surface embroidery for the top of a ring box for her wedding.
    I first remember stitching with Mrs. Detweiler in home economics class in 7th grade. We stitched cross stitches on gingham to be made into aprons.

  52. My first memory of embroidery I was maybe 8or 9. My mother teaching me to embroider pillowcases for myself and my 3 sisters. We used iron on transfers and she wrote our names for me to stitch over. I loved all the attention but also began a lifetime love of all needlework.

  53. The first piece i ever stitched was a kit with 6 ct herta cloth and yarns to do the stitching. It was a Christmas scene with a church in the country and trees around it. This was back around 1980 and I had the piece finished into a 18″ square Christmas pillow that I still have! I have been working on fine linens for many years now!

  54. The first thing I remembering stitching was embroidering a kitchen towel for a Girl Scout badge. My mom taught us girls and the towel had fruit on it… I remember it had a bunch of purple grapes that we had to chain stitch. I’m hoping to be one of the lucky winners for this very special and generous drawing. Thank you for your wonderful emails & posts.

  55. My first project was a Captain Hook picture for my first Grandson. Had to do it twice to be presentable, but eventually came out fine. Lots of fun.

  56. Well, technically the first thing I stitched was on my Mother’s tablecloths. I learned to stitch as a small child (5 to 7 yrs.?). Mother stitched large, stamped embroidery/cross stitch tablecloths. She would leave her current work sitting on the sofa and I would sneak in and put in a few stitches – until I knotted the thread! Mom did teach me to stitch on stamped kitchen dishtowels. I later stitched the kits available at the .05 & .10 stores, then found stitch shops, EGA and the rest is history – in my sewing room. I still knot threads….

    Best Always,

  57. The first thing I remember stitching was a set of Christmas Stocking ornaments with my Grandmother… wish I still had them …?

  58. The first thing I ever stitched was a stamped dresser cloth. It had lazy daisy flowers and chain stitch stems. I was probably 12 years old. My mother and grandmother taught me how to embroider and sew.

  59. What a great way to do this … I love surprises! My first recollection of doing any stitching-wise was on plastic canvas (fifty years or so ago). My pop did a lot of that (along with tin can crafting and wood work and pretty much anything he could get his hands involved with). I still have a number of his crafted Christmas pieces! But I think it was cross stitch that got me started down the path towards embroidery, and I’m pretty sure I crafted little cross stitch ornaments. I really had to think for this response!! 🙂

  60. The first thing I ever stitched was a tea towel. I was about 5 years old and my mother taught me how to do an outline stitch, a lazy daisy stitch and a chain stitch and some cross stitch. She also showed me her method of separating floss into 3 strands and how to make a knot in the thread; how to hold the needle, how to put the cloth into a hoop; how to be very careful about needles. She also scared the daylights out of me by saying that if you step on a needle it could get in your vein and go straight to your heart. She was an immigrant from Poland and actually believed that. So…. I was very careful with needles.

  61. A little orange felt needlebook. I was 5 years old and we had a lovely teacher who taught us the basics of sewing and knitting. We were each given a pair of scissors, a tiny thimble, and a pair of short, blue, size 8, 4mm knitting needles. I still have all of them! The needle book has a bunny rabbit embroidered on the cover and a piece of pinked blue flannel for the needles.

  62. The very first thing I ever made was a pincushion and I embroidered my name on it. I still have it! And that means I have had it for over 65 years.

  63. My first piece was a Christmas cross stitch for my mom. I was around seven years old and loved stitching with my Grandmother. I was so excited and my mother loved it. Sigh! They are all gone now — my beloved Grandma Goldie, my beautiful mom and the infamous cross stitch but these beautiful memories last forever! I’ve shared them with my granddaughter to pass on❣️

  64. A cross stitch clown fish! It was definitely not A Sea to Stitch-worthy and the back makes me cringe but it got me addicted

  65. My earliest memory of stitching is my mom drawing some X’s on pice of fabric and me stitching them (I think it was a table doily for my grandma).

  66. I remember stitching a kit in 6th grade when a friend’s mom taught a cross stitch class. It was of a bear in a pink dress with lots of bags that said, “Shop ’til You Drop.” 😉

  67. My sister and I were given a stamped fabric with “Now I lay me down to sleep” sampler to stitch by our aunt. I was seven and she was nine. We actually finished them and mine is framed and hangs in my guest room.

  68. The very first thing I stitched was a birth record sampler for my oldest son 36 years ago. A co-worker suggested cross stitch was something I would enjoy doing. She was right !

  69. My earliest stitching memory was stitching the words “STRING” on a piece of fabric that my grandmother turn into a string bag. I was so proud ot that bag, I was 3 at the time. I remember my grandmother setting me up at the kitchen table and writing the letters on the fabric and getting me started. That bag was around for years, but I did lose track of it eventually. It took a long time before it dawned on me that Grandma picked out my stitches and re-did them at night. It took about a week to stitch, so she only had me do a bit at a time. I know I was 3, because at the time I had a baby cousin and an aunt who were not doing well in hospital and my grandmother had all the grandchildren at her house while all the other adults were running around between hospitals. She also started me on using her treadle sewing machine, I had to stand up to work the treadle and reach to pass pieces of paper under the needle to learn how to stitch in a straight line, and in spirals, and not run the needle through my fingers. My brother started learning how to play the piano, at that time, and I don’t remember what my cousin did, but we were all kept busy

  70. My first embroidery project was a picture of a white mouse with a little tuft of hair on his head riding on a turtle. It was an Avon Kit and I still have it. I am planning to have it framed as soon as COVID is done with us.

  71. My earliest stitching memory is doing a garden of flowers on a cushion cover sitting with my grandmother.

  72. I remember it clearly. I was in the Brownies and we stitched a hankerchief. I learned running stitch and lazy daisy. I was 9 or 10. I was hooked from then on.

  73. The first thing I ever stitched was a little “quickie” on burlap in 6th grade art class. My father framed it and it hung in the kitchen for many years. From then, I was hooked! 😀

  74. Super excited about the possibility of winning a copy of A Sea to Stitch!

    I’ve only been stitching since february but the first thing I stitched was an adorable dog team <3

  75. Mother had gone to town, leaving me to watch three siblings…I was 11 at the time, they were all younger. I decided to make a pair of shorts. I really learned how to unstitch that day.. No matter how carefully I planned, I kept stitching a SKIRT not shorts. At some point, I figured it out. I don’t remember anything else EXCEPT how to unstitch…I am still a sewist 65 years later.

  76. The first type of stitching I did was cross-stitch about 1986. There was a program like the pampered chef parties. I bought a kit and was hooked. But when I found embroidery which did not include counting and could be more free spirited, he cross stitch went to the side.

  77. My grandfather gave me a little embroidery kit, similar to a redwork penny square. I think it contained fabric with a printed design, an embroidery hoop, a few colors of floss, needles, and a needle threader. Clearly, enough to get me hooked!

  78. My first memory of stitching is doing cross stitch on gingham. My grandmother taught me to do this as my mom didn’t do any kind of stitching. I made a table cloth in a folding table size and I still have it!

    What a fun give-away! Thank you for continuing to inspire, teach & share your beautiful stitching!

  79. My first embroidery project was adding embellishments to my denim jacket back when I was a ‘tween’, I wish I knew what I did with that!! I remember in particular my “B” initial with a lot of flowers and French knots. I look back on projects from the past with such fond memories – learning so much as I went along. Thanks to my mom for instilling in me the love for so many crafts.

  80. The first thing I embroidered about 65 years ago was a felt needle case in blue and pink (my favourite colours at the time)! On the front of it I stitched my initials in wobbly running stitch and round the edges my first blanket stitch. I still use it today!

  81. This was an easy question for me, because I moved this past summer and came across the first thing I ever stitched, which I thought was lost. I was 9 years old and my grandmother taught me needlepoint. This was one where you purchased the canvas with the design already stitched, and just filled in the background. It’s a toad sitting under a toadstool, badly stitched and with a bit of a water stain, but still here after many many years.

  82. The first things I remember stitching are doll clothes for my troll doll (we are going back to the 60’s here). My sister and I used scraps of cloth and bits of lace and tiny snaps. We made hair ribbons out of mini rickrack. My mother wanted us to learn to sew by hand before we could learn to use the sewing machine. I still have these tiny clothes with their crooked stitches.

  83. Actually, I remember the first thing I really stitched (not the stitch samples)

    It was an image from Alice in Wonderland, the Queen of Hearts, using backstitch and satin stitch. It was my first attempt at redwork and I still love it!

  84. It was a basket of flowers. Age 8? Maybe. Kept me quiet while my grandmother was babysitting me one day. 🙂 Fun memory! Thanks, and Happy Holidays, Mary!

  85. The first thing I remember stitching was an iron on poem about the Revolutionary was. I never got it framed – It might still be around here someplace!

  86. Hi Mary, other than as a child the first thing I stitched was a cross stitch sampler. I was an exchange student in Japan and very lonely for my family. I happened upon a craft store in the town where I was living – Nara – and bought a cross stitch kit. The directions were in Japanese, but I persevered! Have been stitching ever since 🙂

  87. The first thing I ever stitched? Hmmm… that is a little tough to recall. However, it’s most likely a tea towel. Back in the day when my grandma had lots of flour-sack tea-towels (oh, how I wish I could find those now – the modern version just isn’t as strong and absorbent!) she used to let me pick which design I wanted to do out of her collection of iron-on embroidery pictures and I usually tended towards those of the kitten variety. I likely embroidered something like that. I do know that I have a picture of an embroidery that I did for her of a kitten asleep in a hammock with a lawnmower beside it. At the bottom of the picture I had embroidered in free-hand very primitive lettering the verse “We water the lawn to make it grow, and when it does we have to mow!” 😉 Perhaps that’s why I’ve never been very fond of large expanses of lawn – our yards have always consisted of very little lawn and lots of flowers, fruit trees, gardens and rock gardens. I guess the futility of the whole process impacted me strongly. Okay… that was a total rabbit trail… and speaking of rabbits… did I mention that what little lawn we do allow to grow is so our bunny can ‘mow’ it for us? All summer long the lawn is food for our hopper! now THAT’s a rabbit trail 😉

  88. The first thing I ever stitched was a traced tray cloth I received as a gift for being a flower girl at an uncle’s wedding when I was 5 years old. I was given the cloth, some skeins of embroidery thread and a needle. I asked my mother to show me how to work some stitches, (lazy daisy and stem stitch mostly, with a somewhat uneven satin stitch). I completed the cloth and gave it as a gift to a favourite aunt. It was the best present I’ve ever received as it set my off on a wonderful, life-long stitching journey.

  89. The first thing I stitched was a primary school. It was a cross stitched book mark on fabric that was about 6 holes to the inch! I remember it very clearly and was so unutterably proud of it!

  90. WOW, Mary, another year of amazing give-aways. You’re AWESOME!!
    I’m pretty sure the first thing I ever embroidered was a pre-stamped dresser scarf. It had lots of stem stitch, lazy daisies, and French knots. I was hooked. I loved the threads, so many beautiful colors. Little did I know what lay ahead …
    Happy Holidays to you and your family, Mary.

  91. The first thing I stitched was either a big orange pumpkin or the girl and the horse. I can’t remember which, but I do know that I was about 7 years old. My grandmother always saved her old sheets and aprons and she would cut them up into various sizes depending on what she was going to do with them. We didn’t have extra money for good fabrics, but she always seem to have needles and threads available. So this was not only my first practice piece, but also a great memento. The girl and horse piece I still have (61 years later) and it is a framed piece that sits on the shelves in my studio. Thank you, Mary.

  92. The first thing I ever stitched was a banner on red cotton which said “World Peace” and depicted a Chinese face, a Caucasian face, and an Afro-American face. I was eight years old and it won first prize in the art show. I still have it!

  93. Oh the first thing I ever stitched was a stamped piece to embroider – I think it was a puppy – I believe I was about 10 years old and I have had some sort of needlework in my hand ever since!!!

  94. I still have the first thing I ever stitched, probably because my family moved only once during my childhood, and that was a move across the street. This means I have all sorts of things from my childhood. When I was a Brownie (5 or 6 years old), I received a stamped embroidery kit of the (Girl Scout) Brownie Promise. It includes cross stitch and stem stitch. I still have it.

  95. Dear Mary,

    It’s such a joy to read your give away posts, and imagine the delight the winners feel when they read their names; Thank You!

    My very first stitching memory is of being a small girl at my grandmother’s house, finding my mother’s tin box of tangled embroidery threads and a bit of fabric, iron on transfers etc.. I remember untangling skeins of COLOR for hours on end, tracing back that color, one by one, and then learning to stitch a lazy daisy onto a pillowcase. It was MAGIC to me :).

    Cathy in PA

  96. The first thing I ever stitched was a pillow case. It was the kind that you ironed the pattern on and then stitched over it. My grandmother was teaching me how to embroider. I still have that pillow case.

  97. The first thing that I stitched was 2 projects at the same time. A prequilted prestamped baby blanket(Noah Ark) that was donated with 2 stuffed Polar bears for the hospitals Christmas employee assistance fund. The second was Bucilla felt Christmas stocking one for each of my 3 kids. I chose to sew the felt pieces on rather than glue them. First time I learned how to add beads and sequins . It was fun.

  98. The 1st thing I ever stitched were doll clothes for my Mitzi/Barbie doll. Very simple of course – hand sewing. And I also made a little quilt top for my dolls with a toy sewing machine that only did the chain stitch as it had no bobbin. Happy memories.

  99. When I was 3 I was given threading cards. I remember using the laces and go around the outside edge of the card instead of up-and-down like stitching. My older sister took the cards from me because she said I would never do it right. Truth was she wanted them for herself. Fun memory actually

  100. My earliest memory of an embroidery project was tea towels with hens doing household chores for each day of the week for my hope chest (do young ladies do these anymore)? Such fond memories….wish I still had them.

  101. My first piece that I remember was a cross stitched cover for a child sized card table. It white on green with a very simple cross stitch pattern, I was about 7 or 8.
    Funny story: it had a diagonal line of stitches. I laid down a long thread and then started making the crossing part of the stitches. Mother was, unsurprisingly, horrified and made me start over. 65 years later, I still laugh at the contrast between the joy stitching gives me now and the tears in that moment.

  102. I think I was about 7 years old. I stitched dish towels and pillow cases. I wanted to embroider because I fell in love with the shiny colors of floss at the 5 and 10 store several blocks away that I always had to look at whenever I was in the store. One Christmas I received and embroidery kit and I was hooked!

  103. When I was 6 or 7, my grandmother came to visit. She brought my sister and I an embroidery project each. They were printed onto fabric and encased in a plastic frame. I thought it was amazing to be able to stitch the picture. I think they were nursery rhyme pictures. Later she taught me to knit and tried to teach me crochet. Good memories.

  104. Thanks Mary! What a wonderful gift! I’d so love to win it.
    The first thing I remember stitching was a dead tree. It was a kit with wool thread, but not very nice wool thread, in shades of grey, brown and black. I don’t think I ever finished it. My first project became my first UFO! It was the first and last time I used wool thread………….and it was over 45 years ago. It was several years before I stitched again, and then it was a kit with cotton threads.

  105. Grade 8 Home Economics class, I made an apple shaped pin cushion out of red felt. On one side I stitched my initials in black embroidery thread using the outline stitch. This was out first project before we started learning to sew on the sewing machine.

  106. I was probably 12-13. My grandmother taught me embroidery on a purchased dresser scarf which I still have

  107. I was very young. I must have seen some embroidery and asked my mother to teach me. She gave me a small piece of window screen and some yarn. I had to lick the yard to make a “needle”. I tried to make a picture of my father.

  108. This one’s easy. My first nephew was on the way, so I bought a kit for a cross-stitch baby quilt of Bambi and Thumper. It came out great, and was saved for the next generation – and will probably last for another generation.

  109. My earliest memories of needlework are from the early 1960’s when I was a very young child. I was always fascinated by my mother’s sewing skills, making my sister and I “mother daughter dresses”, as well as my grandmother and great-grandmother’s sewing skills – teaching me to thread a needle, and make thread loops for adding hooks and eyes to dresses, hemming a dress. My father worked at a school supply company, and we were fortunate to be the frequent recipients of craft kits – I loved every one that involved a needle! I remember some white linen with stamped blue lines and packets of DMC thread or yarn. I immediately graduated to more complex crewel embroidery kits, counted cross stitch, garment sewing and quilting. For close to 60 years, my hands are never far from a needle, thread and a pair of embroidery scissors!

  110. First thing ever stitched was “Now I lay me down to sleep ….” I was 7 years old. The pieced was stamped with words and there was a picture of a baby’s head resting on the pillow. I remember using variegated DMC floss and thought it was magical how the thread changed colors and made the words and picture of the baby sleeping look so lovely. It was the start of my love for hand embroidery.

  111. My first project ever was a little project called “Home is where the heart is,” and it was on aida cloth. I did one big one after that which was a Scottie dog with a scarf and tam on which I sent to my mother in May for her birthday (meant to be a Christmas present). lol It was also on aida cloth, but after that I went to evenweave or linen. I’d love to win your package. Merry Christmas to you and hope that our 2021 is so much better than this year.

  112. My first stitching was cross stitch – on pale pink cotton gingham, with black embroidery floss. This was the late fifties. In a metal oval hoop. It took immense concentration and a bit of hand-eye coordination from the four year old me to find the exact corners on the gingham. I still have it – having found it among the things my mom kept.

  113. My paternal grandmother was a stitcher and was in a nursing home due to mini strokes at a young age. My father brought her surface work which often went unfinished and I would finish them. I still have several dish towels “we” did. I was probably 10 or so.

  114. The first thing I ever stitched is a little winter scene with a cabin, trees and a sleigh. I have it framed and I put it out every winter. It may sound complicated for a first project but it is very simple.

  115. My first stitching memory is trying to put stitches in bright wool on a dish cloth, as instructed by my Nan. I was about 5. After more than 50 years practice, my stitches are much neater and smaller now!

  116. The first thing I ever stitched was a sampler in art class that said “Good things come in small packages.” I still have that sampler!

  117. Hi Mary, I do not remember the FIRST thing I stitched but I do have a very old little turquoise velvet round box that I had made for my Grandmother at least 50 years ago. There are intricate flowers lovingly stitched by me, on the lid. I did such a nice job covering the box and lid with velvet and my embroidery is very pretty. It is such a sweet thing to have a gift you made so long ago, pass back to you after the person is no longer with us. Thank you for this chance to win. I really really want to win this one because it has an ornament by you. Merry Christmas and a happy end to this 2020 year!

  118. My first memory of embroidery is in the early 50’s doing a child’s project my mother gave me. I must have been maybe 5 or 6 and my mother wasn’t happy with my work…she was a perfectionist when it came to embroidery. It was a long time before I took it up again. Now I love it.

  119. My earliest memory was sitting on my Grandmother’s lap in her rocking chair while she worked on an embroidered quilt. The first stitches she taught me were a cross stitch and a French knot.

  120. The first thing I remember embroidering was my initial on a handkerchief with my bluebird troop when I was in third grade.

  121. I have a very early memory of a small silver hoop with a pre printed muslin and I was adding cross stitches in grass green–a very happy memory! Thank you for your inspiring words and insights!

  122. The first thing that I ever stitched was a stamped cross stitch design of daisies on a pillowcase. I remember using all 6 threads of floss. My wonderful grandmother, who was a very talented needleworker, tried to tell me I was using too many threads. I would not listen. I used the pillowcase for many years until the pillowcase was threadbare. And I always thought of my grandmother. She was right, but some things are learned by our mistakes.

  123. The first thing that I ever stitched was Hardanger. I had just discovered a local Embroidery store near where I had recently retired. She was having the class that afternoon. I signed up immediately.

  124. In my early 20’s I completed a (pre-stamped) cross-stitch baby blanket for my sister-in-law.

  125. I hope crochet counts as “stitching”. I think I was still in grade school – 5th or 6th grade – I crocheted a lovely apron for my mother for Christmas. It was – IS -as I still have it, white lace work with square turquoise edelweiss motifs stitched together in a U shape (down, over, and up from the waistband). I got a special satin ribbon for a tie. I was so proud of it and my mother loved it. Handmade gifts were very special in our home.

  126. My first needlework was a printed colonial cross stitch sampler, finished in 1972. It is framed and in my guest room.

  127. In thinking back, my grandmother started me stitching when I was about 9. It was simple embroidery on a tea towel, although I am not certain of the design. Although I remember having the iron on transfers being pressed onto fabric, so probably one of those te towel transfers from the 1960’s.

  128. My Mom taught me to embroider when I was very young, and watching her. I couldn’t have been more than 6 or 7 and “embroidered” (I’m sure it was a mess) a daisy. My first “real” project was embroidering a rainbow and cloud on a hand-me-down pair of my brother’s bluejeans in 4th grade. Waaaaay back then, there were no girls’ bluejeans to be found and wearing your brother’s was a “thing”. Yep, I’m old.

  129. Oh my, I have to put my thinking cap on for this one! I do believe my first embroidery project was a little doily. I remember embroidering it with the lazy daisy stitches. Now that was a long time ago!

  130. My first project was a hankie that my mother presented me with along with some colorful floss and a needle when I was about seven years old. It had daisies along one corner and tiny leaves, and mastering the lazy daisy stitch that summer was quite a challenge!

  131. Thank you for the wonderful giveaway!! I look at the book A Sea to Stitch since I first saw it in Inspiration newsletter. I would LOVE to win it!!! I remember very well my first introduction to stitching, cross-stitching in fact. My mother was always craftsy, but more in sewing and knitting. My aunts were avid knitters and petit point stitchers also, but for some reason, I never tried it, even if I learned knitting and sewing at a young age. But I always found needlework so beautiful.

    Fast forward 10-12 years, will I was working on my graduate studies, one of my colleague was from Ukraine and very involved in cross-stitching (she even had en “online store” to help ukranians to import American materials – that’s when internet was making its first steps). She showed me how she was doing it, but it’s not there that I jumped. It was a few months later, while in Lyon (France) for a scientific conference, that I visited a small milliner shop where I bought my first project. It was a small marine scene with children by the sea, very Bretagne-like, by Rue du port. It was on Aida. That was before I learn anything, so I didn’t know you had to separate this skein and keep 2 threads. So, the beginning was a bit backward, but after that, I never looked back and I’m still stitching 20 years later! I still have this first embroiderie. It is on my bathroom wall!

  132. I was ten years old when I completed one of my earliest projects. There was a sewing class in the park across the street from my house. My mother bought me some pink print fabric to make a gathered-at-the-waist skirt. I recall painstakingly hand stitching and fitting the waist. I proudly modeled my skirt in the park fashion show later that summer!

  133. The first thing I remember stitching was a counted cross stitch Christmas ornament. It was a star, about 4 inches across.

    It was the mi-1980’s and the color choices reflected the times. Purples and blues and lots of tinsel-y type floss.

    I should go check and see if I can find it.

  134. The first thing I ever stitched was a handanger doily. I loved doing it and was so proud. Never thought I had it in me.

  135. First thing I ever stitched was a mason jar lid cross stitch that said “Grade A Teacher” I was in the 3rd grade and made these for my teachers for Christmas. We filled the jars with candy. It was always so much fun to do this with my mother.

  136. I would love, love to win an ornament made by you. I love making ornaments and giving them to others! Christmas is my favorite time of hear and ornaments are particularly sentimental for me. Thanks for this opportunity, Mary!

  137. The first thing I stitched this time around (not counting when I was 12) was a small alpaca with a colorful blanket on its back. Very adorable.
    I would love to win this to gift to my Mother-in-law for Christmas! She is obsessed with beach-themed stitching, and she is the one who got me into stitching again.

  138. One of the first thing I remember stitching was a counted cross stitch design by P Buckley Moss. It was a girl carrying a basket of apples I think. I must admit I did not finish it but moved on to x-stitching replicas of vintage linen samplers using various stitches.

  139. My earliest stitching memory is sitting in the kitchen with my grandmother teaching me how to stitch a stenciled dish towel. I know that my stitches were too long but the memory has lasted even longer. She was my mentor, she was my Mama and a person of style and deportment.

  140. The first thing I ever embroidered was a prestamped table runner. Prior to this I had practiced a large variety of surface embroidery stitches on an old pillow case.

  141. The first thing I recall having stitched was a snowy barn surrounded by trees ☺️ I started it in 1994 and have yet to finish it! Very little left to do but not interested in barns anymore….oh well

  142. I was probably about 7 or 8 years old when I stitched my first printed cross stitch pillow cases!

  143. One of the earliest stitching was in Miss Merke’s (mandatory) Home Ec class. As a class, we made cobbler aprons. Always out of gingham fabric. I used embroidery to embellish the bib and border. So cute!

  144. The first successful project I completed was three baby nightdresses, pre baby grows. I was 10 years old, my mother instructed me how to make them, and then I decorated them with Dorset Feather stitch, which turns out to be appropriate as I was born in Dorset, and have lived here ever since. They were good enough to give to a friend who had her first baby back in 1963. And that was just the beginning……

  145. Who doesn’t like surprises? And lucky people to name you as a friend! They must get the best handmade gifts!

  146. My earliest embroidery and memory: I was about 3 or 4 yrs old, sitting on the floor at the feet of my grandmother, great aunt and mother. I was handed a piece of fabric and a needle with floss. I don’t remember if there was a design on it or not. I felt so privileged to sit with the grown-ups as my older sister ran around the house causing mischief. I now know that it was their way of getting some piece and quite as they stitched. I’ve been stitching ever since. My sister, not so much.

  147. I can totally remember the first thing i stitched! It was an oyster, because I live on the beautiful Georgia coast. I finally got my nerve to start embroidery when the quarantine came this spring. I made a lot of mistakes on that first piece but framed it anyway. It’s my reminder that I’m creative (a little!) and that I’VE GOT THIS!

  148. My great-grandmother taught to me to cross stitch when I was in kindergarten, which was a long time ago now. I can’t quite remember what I stitched (although I vaguely recall a little grey bunny), but I still cherish the memory of sitting next to her, stitching, chatting and watching her “stories” — I still hear the opening piano chords from “The Young and the Restless” in my head when I think of her!

  149. Mary… you always provide so much wonderful inspiration! I received my A Sea to Stitch and love it! When and if I get Holiday prep completed….(even though it will certainly be quiet)…we need some bright cheer at this time!
    I do plan to tackle a few of the shells to add to a project and I sure would like to tackle a monogram !!Can’t wait to see what you will be doing !

  150. I taught myself to do cross stitch so I could personalize onesies for my first niece who just turned 50! She still has the onesie which she put on her teddy bear when she was young.
    Can you imagine counting fine knit fabric? I started with something difficult.

  151. My earliest stitching memories are of the fact that my mom and grandma were always knitting, crocheting, quilting, sewing my clothes, etc.

  152. Not sure if this was my first but certainly one of my favourites. A Christmas kit that I stitched, I think, in the early 70’s. It is titled “Christmas is…..” followed by written meaningful things special to
    Christmas and a stitched border of Christmas symbols.

  153. My first cross-stitch was for my daughter Debbie who was a freshman at Oregon State University and living in a dorm. It was “DORM SWEET DORM”, put in a hoop and backed with brown paper. She loved it!

    I was hooked on cross stitch after that, especially as there was a cross stitch/embroidery shop in Corvallis where OSU is located.

  154. 40 years ago, I embroidered a crewel kit picture, 12″ square. It is heart shaped, entwined with shades of pink ribbon, various flowers (violets, daylilies, etc,) leaves of green, red hearts, and baby breath french knots, with a white dove holding the entwined pink ribbon in its beak at the top “V” of the heart.

  155. Reminds me of Mom………She started a stamped cross-stitch sampler…..worked on it off and on…..as we got older she showed my sisters and me how to add stitches for her….a good forty or more years forward and it’s still not done…..My youngest sister currently has it and has recently offered it to me to finish……..

    Thus my start to all sorts of stitchery….favorite being stumpwork…….

  156. The first thing I think I ever stitched was a little cross stitch key-ring, which I think my Mother still has. It was an outline of a house, with a tree and I think a rainbow. So the stitch journey began…

  157. My first stitching was stamped pillow cases when I was about seven or eight. My mother taught me the stitches as I went along. I did several pairs, then graduated to a quilt top, which I still have. I have been stitching ever since (about 55 years!)

  158. I must be getting old! (will be 70 next birthday)
    I remember doing a little alphabet sampler with a drawn-on butterfly
    with my grandmom. I don’t know how old I was, but maybe 8?
    I always wish I could stitch/ sew/ knit/ crochet/ quilt with my grandmothers now.
    They would be so amazed at the beautiful materials and tools we have now for our
    stitching! I learned to” make” things from them.

  159. I was at infants school (or maybe very early junior school) and I hated sewing – I was scared to death of the teacher, who also happened to be the headmistress. We each had to sew a pinafore/apron and embroider something on it. (It was so long ago – about 65/66 years – that I can’t remember what it was). I made such a mess of the whole thing that I lost my nerve and stuffed it in a dustbin at school. BUT someone found it and gave it to the headmistress, who confronted me with it. That’s as much as I can remember – I think I must have banished the rest of the happening from my conscious memory!

  160. My absolute very 1st entry to stitching: I was 10 years old in 1973 and loved Morris the cat. A t-shirt give-away that depicted Morris was underway. If my memory serves me clearly, contestants sent labels from catfood cans with an entry form. The entry date and winner’s selection came and went. I was sad. I was not chosen. Being a creative kind, my hands began to draw this cool cat with his collar and serving bowl onto a white t-shirt. His eyes were buttons, his whiskers believable, the long, noble paws so life-like. Two days later I was the happiest little girl donning my bright white shirt with the best hand-made improvisation of screen-printing possible in 1973! Since then, my hands and heart creating movement drawings on cloth with colorful floss of many colors
    breathes vibrancy and happiness into my life. Funny how my 1st artful and 10-year old purposeful stitching set a rule for me, to draw from my heart forevermore. I still have this t-shirt today, it’s a part of me.

  161. The first thing I remember stitching was a stamped cross stitch cat sampler that my grandmother helped me complete.

  162. My earliest stitching memory is of cross stitching a green vine with purple flowers. My moms friend thought it might be something I’d enjoy and she was right! She set me up with everything I needed and that project is stashed away with other childhood mementos. I haven’t thought of her in many years but this makes me think I should look her up and send a Christmas card! 🙂

  163. I don’t remember the first thing I ever stitched but I do remember encountering my first cross-stitch project via someone else’s work. My best friends mother had a cross-stitch project laying out that she was working on and I was so curious about this craft that I secretly picked up her project and worked a few stitches based on what I saw. I found out later that it’s important to cross your “x”s the same way every time!! She knew right away someone had been fooling with her project based on my sloppy stitches.

  164. The first thing I ever stitched was a sampler for my Mom, I was 16, and self-taught.

    Each row had a different stitch pattern or stitch before and after a poem which was in the middle.

  165. My sister taught me to cross stitch on napkins and then to table cloths. She would often take a European vacation during my birthday month and return with a beautiful cross stitch linen for me to do.

  166. My first memory of embroidery is of dishtowels, which most girls made for their hope chest.
    I have re-entered the embroidery world two yrs ago. I just finished Trish Burr’s black & white with color Kat. Not bad for an 80 yr old newbie.

  167. Hello Mary,
    When I was a child I had my mom, grandmother, and aunts who were always doing some sort of sewing, knitting,quilting, embroidery, crocheting- well you get the idea. I used to use leftover scraps and make clothes for my dolls (with mom’s help). My first ‘project was a bright turquoise paisley bag with white rope looking cord for the shoulder strap (this was the 1960’s). We cannot forget the A- line skirt in 7th grade home economics Gosh, I haven’t thought of that in yearsclass! Lol! Mrs. M, our teacher, used to make us stand up on the large sewing tables so SHE could pin the hem at “a proper length”! Mini skirts were ‘in then, so we would scurry back to our desks and un-pin them and shorten them! I had to stand up on that desk 3 times!!!

  168. I remember learning to embroider at an early age. My mom would iron the design to stitch on scraps of leftover muslin (she was an excellent seamstress!). The iron on designs were either from the local five and dime or sometimes from The Work Basket magazine as a bonus content.

  169. I have always stitched but the first project I designed and finished was for my first daughter’s newborn gown for our family photo. The design was based on a Croatian outfit that had been handed down by my grandmother who gave it to me. I wore the full hand woven linen apron filled with embroidered flowers over a simple dress for my 70s wedding in a flower garden. Later that baby gown was given to my second daughter for her first born.

  170. It can’t possibly be the first thing I stitched, but the furthest back I can remember is needlepointing Gainsborough’s Blue boy for my grandparents when I was a teenager. I vaguely remember a smaller winter cabin landscape too.

  171. My earliest sewing memory is of being in a needlework class in the U.K. and the teacher telling us that King George IV had died.I think I was making a pair of pajamas!

  172. The first thing I ever stitched was a child-version house, front walk and tree on an old piece of cotton, probably from a sheet. It’s long gone and I wish I still had it.

    Fun giveaway today, thank you!

  173. Oh my – this takes me back. The first thing I stitched was a black and white design that my Oma sent in a parcel from Holland. I was about 12 years old.

  174. My first embroidery project was one I did with my Mother when I was a child. It was a stamped dressing table runner with flowers on it I still have it and a second one that has a lady on it. Both are treasure memories. My Mother was not a big needlework person but she did teach me how to do it, she loved knitting, she taught me to knit and to do raffia work but I just enjoyed the embroidery most…

  175. The first thing I ever stitched was a Crewel kit I purchased at 12 years old. We were driving out to California ( from WV) to see family and I wanted to try have a little project on my own. I had recently been introduced to embroidery in my home economics class at school and was hooked on stitching!

  176. My grandparents had a piano, and as a gift for them I bought a piano bench needlepoint kit that had notes and I think some instruments on it, maybe a violin, but very detailed. I was quite young and with no guidance. I think I had the tent stitches going every which way with all kinds of knots and threads going everywhere on the back. It disappeared at some point over the years, but I still think of it occasionally.

  177. The very first thing I ever stitched was a stamped pillowcase–remember them?? It probably came from Woolworths or McCrorys — another couple names from the past. I would guess I was around 8-10 at the time. 60 years ago!

  178. One of my earliest stitched items ( that I still have ) is a needlebook case that showed off a variety of embroidery stitch types. I remember that I made it in Industrial Arts class in Grade 5.

  179. The first thing I remember stitching? That was a long time ago. I remember my mother trying to teach me the basic embroidery stitches- backstitch, stem stitch, lazy daisy, and French knots. But she had learned French knots incorrectly herself, so mine either pulled through the fabric or stood on little stalks above it. I only learned to stitch them correctly about 5 years ago, from watching videos like yours.

  180. ahhh….that very FIRST project….over 50 years ago dang Im old lol… But it was an alphabet sampler sort of thing with simple lettering and childlike objects in every color imaginable at the time. My grammy was stitching and I so wanted to learn and be just like her. It took me a long time to stitch it, but I treasure it to this day cuz of the memories I have with and of her time on the planet. Thanks for making me remember. The drawing sounds wonderful Good Luck Everyone! specially me! lol
    TY Mary… I just love your work, ideas, posts…just everything about you as does everyone else Im sure. I might be old but u have taught me tons! ty ty ty

  181. Oh my heart be still❤️. I would ❤️ to win this!!! The book is on my wish list. Winning this would mean Santa came early. I see next year’s Christmas gifts being made using this book.

  182. It seems as if I’ve always known how to embroider at least the basic stitches, and I must have learned them from my mom, who, of course, taught me many things about many things! I don’t remember my first embroidered piece, but I’ve been at it a really long time, as in decades!

    Thanks, Mary!

    Merry Christmas!

  183. My very first needlepoint was done 50 years ago…a stitch patchwork of a cat. It still hangs in my hallway!

  184. Very excited with today’s give away. Lots of surprises and especially one of your Christmas ornaments!

  185. My earliest memory of stitching is on pillowcases when I was about 12 years old. Mom did all our pillowcases with hand embroidery.

  186. The very first thing I stitched was an iron-on motif of a kitten. I was four and my Mother was trying to entertain me now that my brother had started Kindergarten. It worked. I can remember bending over the little embroidery hoop trying hard not to get the thread tangled for many a morning.
    Thank you for the chance to win, Mary!

  187. I learned how to needlepoint when I was young, but the first thing that I “made up” & stitched was a drawstring bag to use @ GirlScout camp. I can’t remember the special name they had for it? I used a white cotton print w/multicolored paint brushes arranged like a grid on it. I made the GirlScout emblem about the size of a lunch plate out of green cotton fabric that was stitched on using red DMC floss – buttonhole stitch. My initials were stitched in backstitch. I think this project went towards one of my badges. ☺️ Nice memory, Thank you.

  188. I remember exactly, and I still have it! It was on a piece of maybe 10 count aida, perfect for a 10 year old – my grandma taught me how to make little cross-stitch pine trees, probably using all six strands of thread.

  189. My first memory of needlework was sitting with our next door neighbor Judy. She didn’t have a daughter so I was the one she shared her joy of stitching with!

  190. The first thing I ever stitched was a little cross stitched Christmas ornament that came in a kit from the craft store. It was 2 little bells…that was over 30 years ago now!

  191. My first stitch experience was a kit that a dear friend gave me for my 13th birthday. Fifty years later, that crewel pillow still is on display!

  192. The first thing that I stitched ( as far as I can remember ) is a case for my savings book which I stitched when I was about 6. I took to the book, in its case, to school each Monday morning to make a deposit from my pocket money. I still have this canvas case and the stitching is all intact so I must have done a good job almost 70 years ago!

  193. The first piece of embroidery I did was a small garland of blue flowers in the corner of a handkerchief. That would have been about fifty eight years ago! Took me about another fifty years to start sewing again and now I have definitely contracted the stitching bug.

  194. The first thing that I remember sewing is a baby bib that was pre-printed with the design on it. I bought it at a little store by my house. After that I bought a toaster cover, a baby t-shirt and various other small items. I then found kits of crewel work at a local department store from Paragon and Dimensions and continued stitching those for a few years.

  195. My first memory is stitching in school at a very young age. We were stitching a circle round a drawn outline in simple, smallish running stitch (I can’t remember why) and my friend next to me kept asking me to help with the corners! Both the teacher and I were getting frustrated because we couldn’t make her understand there were no corners. I can still remember the look on her face when the light dawned, she was so happy 🙂

  196. We were taught needlework at school. So my first piece of needlework was on Binco with thick cotton. I was not very good and made slow progress. I still make very slow progress on any stitching. My mum bought me some Binco and thread for my birthday and I did a bit at home but had no books to inspire me. I finally got back to stitching when my oldest was two years old; my husband was away for three weeks and a friend showed me a cross stitch alphabet she was doing. There was a girl with each letter and she was apparently doing a letter a night! I went and bought a Lanarte kit on linen. Needless to say I wasn’t able to do a letter a night. The instructions were in Dutch which didn’t help. Fortunately it didn’t put me off!

  197. The first thing that I embroidered was when I was about 12. It was a picture of a girl with a broom. Probably an Aunt Martha Transfer design. I did it mostly in satin stitch.

    I didn’t start embroidering again until my early thirties.

  198. Oh I love surprises!!! I’ve got my fingers crossed on this one! To own anything that has come from your hands would be cherished! I love your work! About 10 years ago I bought a kit for a pillow to embroider and stitch, but then my husband became ill and I laid it aside. Afterwards it was hard to find interest in anything but then about 3 or 4 years ago I did pick up that kit and taught myself how to do several of the stitches. (Wish I had known about your site then.) So the pillow was my first creation and I haven’t stopped since. I love embroidery! Even though I’m a great-grandmother I’m still going to say: Pick me, pick me, pick me!

  199. First memory is getting in trouble and my mother making me sit on front porch and stitch using supplies from her embroidery scrap bag

  200. 61 years ago I began stitching for my hope chest! I embroidered hems of sheets and matching pillow cases. Still remember they were a swirl like design done in two tones of blue. Also did dish towels.

  201. I know that I did some doodling stitching with my Mom and Grandmother but I remember sitting on the front steps of our house watching my children play and doing crossstitch on a brown gingham apron. I used that apron for a long time. Diane

  202. The first item I remember embroidering was the “Love is” cartoon that was featured in the newspaper. It was during my teens and I always seemed to have a crush on someone. I traced the cartoon onto some fabric. I have no idea what stitches I used but it hung on my bulletin board for years after. The joy is in the stitching.

  203. What fun it would be to rott through the box and fins all those lovely surprises! Some would be very useful. Where did my needle minder go? Haven’t seen my favourite threader in some time. It would be a welcome respite from all the doom and gloom around us today

  204. I don’t remember my first stitching; my grandmother started me pretty young — I remember leaning on her to look over her shoulder as she showed me simple embroidery and hand-piecing. It was probably something in huck weaving. The first piece I have evidence of finishing was a snail from a series of blackwork kits McCall’s Needlework was offering in the early 1960’s.

  205. My earliest sewing memory makes me smile every time. My mother was teaching me to sew on a button. I watched her….then carefully tried on a big button of my own. I came up in a hole in the center of the button and then……went down on the outside of the button. Several times. I still remember my mother laughing as she praised my stitching but then showed me why that button would never button. So I learning sewing and ripping out all at once!


  206. Oh my heart be still❤️. I would ❤️ to win this!!! The book is on my wish list. Winning this would mean Santa came early. I see next year’s Christmas gifts being made using this book. My first embroidery was a pillow case with a stamped on design. My grandmother was looking for a way to keep me busy and quiet as I recovered from an illness. I was 10 years old.

  207. Merry holidays, Mary!
    I made a seahorse for my first project about one year ago.
    Thank you for the great website, I’ve learned a lot.

  208. My Mum taught me petit point when I was 16 years of age. I remember making a Siamese cat. I must have given it away. Can’t remember.

  209. I don’t remember a time when I didn’t know how to sew, either by hand or machine. But I do remember learning how to do crewel embroidery – my next-door neighbor taught me and my mother. I’ve been messing with stitches ever since. And I’ve got a cross-stitched table cloth my mother made in those days.

  210. I remember stitching on punched cards with my grandmother on the front porch at the lake. I was maybe 7 or 8. She was such a creative woman!

  211. This is an easy one! The first thing I learned to stitch was a cross-stitched red tomato on a tea towel when I was 7 years old. I don’t remember what the final project looked like — because that was 63 years ago — but I remember that tomato.

  212. I love reading and looking at your colorful posts. I would enjoy winning anything having to do with embroidery and appreciate being able to enter your giveaway.

  213. First ever? A little crosstitch bookworm. My father was an avid cross-stitcher, so he bought little kits for my brother and I, and spent a Saturday morning showing us the basics of starting and ending threads and following a chart. I loved the stitching more than the crossing, but it was a fun way to start.

  214. I recall making simple togas and halter dresses for my Barbie dolls, with decorative hand stitching on the hems. I thought they were terribly stylish! Decades later, that love of having a needle in my hand has not diminished one bit.

  215. My grandmother, who always sewed on a treadle machine, made me a pair or pajamas out of a feed sack. She guided me to decorate the top with a running stitch. I must have been 4-5. At the age of 83, I think of that dear lady when I thread my needle for another day of embroidery joy.

  216. The first things I can remember stitching were pillow cases some 53 years ago after I was married. Before that, as a child I would sew scraps of fabric together for my dolls dresses. Very crude attempts at “fashion design”.

  217. The first stitching I remember was a small “Home Sweet Home” kit with a little faux gold frame to hang up.

  218. The very first thing I ever stitched was a sampler with the prayer, “Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep.” It was all cross stitch. I don’t believe I finished it!

  219. What a lovely assortment of treasures. Especially an ornament by you. I must say that would be wonderful!

  220. I do not remember what I stitched, but I do remember that I cried and learned how to take stitches out. I must have been 5 years old, not in school yet back than. My mom was teaching me to embroider and I stitched the hoop and the design onto my skirt on my lap. I cried when I had to remove all my work and redo. Well I learned early how to undo and to be careful with your work from the very firtst stitch.

  221. I was pregnant with my Rainbow baby and decided to make a gown. I had no machine, so I hand stitched it. Every seam and hem. It had tatting around the neck. Embroidery on the sleeves. I still remember how calming it was to sew on that gown! I was hooked. Lol

  222. My mother taught me to embroider when I was about 10, starting with flour sack towels for the kitchen. And I still enjoy stitching kitchen and bath hand towels.

  223. My first project was when I was 12. I cross stitched the words merry Christmas in arts and craft at school. Unfortunately the teacher did not have enough hoops so I had work on it without one. Thankfully it did not deter me from continuing on my needlework journey.

  224. I believe my earliest stitching was making yo-yos to sew together for a doll blanket! Aah! The versatile yo-yo! I still love them to this day! The make great edging on projects, too! A great way to use up bits and bobs of fabric. Not sure if I ever finished that doll blanket, but the making of it lingers!

  225. The first thing I remember working on was a border on simple gathered skirt in blue huck towel fabric with gold thread. I was probably about 11 or 12. I don’t remember where I got the idea but I do remember that my Mother and a visiting aunt were both intrigued with the project and worked on it too

  226. The first thing I ever stitched was a pair of pajamas for my Tiny Tears doll. They were brown/beige in color & all hand stitched. I was about 6 or 7!

  227. Dear Mary,

    We all deserve Pajama days, so we enjoy those when they present themselves to us as an unexpected gift. You are giving away some pieces you have made, WoW!

  228. The very first thing I stitched was probably a children’s beginner embroidery kit. I don’t remember at all what is was. After a few years I picked up needle and thread again and started what was my most memorable first project. It was the 70’s and I loved the rock group Chicago, so I found some embroidery floss in my Mom’s basket, grabbed my broken in jeans and embroidered the “Chicago” logo on the back pocket. It turned out so well I removed the pocket on the other side and embroidered the lyrics to Color My World. Every single one of them. I wish I kept those jeans, I was so proud of them!

  229. I remember learning to embroidery with my grandmother making lazy daisies on doll clothes – I was 9. My godmother gave me a needlepoint kit when I was about 10 or 12. My first cross stitch was in my early 20’s when I learned at our Quilting & Stitchery Guild. It was a “stitching witch”. At the time it was very hard to do! But then I discovered aran style needlepoint stitches and I was off and running, designing my own project after that.

  230. Hi Mary,

    My first stitching memory, I was around 10 years old and one of my older sisters was teaching me to embroider a dresser scarf. There were flowers and leaves on each end and it all in a cross stitch. This was sometime around 1964.
    Thank you.
    Jean B
    Kent WA

  231. The first piece I ever stitched was the design of a little girl. What I remember most: all the chain and stem-stitches, throughout. It’s been quite some time! I wish I had kept it.

  232. I still have the first thing I’ve ever stitched. It is a little kitty tea towel with embroidery and cross stitching. The design is stamped–I must have been about 3 as my stitches are very large and don’t cover the lines very well. I love stitching–all types!
    Your monogram gifts sound lovely! I’m excited about your upcoming negative monogram patterns!

  233. Haha, what a fun question! In second grade (about 1979), I did two yarn-on-burlap projects: a posy of flowers, and a swimming duck. My mom hung them in the hall, so I remember them very well.

  234. The first thing I embroidered was a little monogram on a piece of scrap fabric that I kept in my wallet for years!

  235. The first thing I remember doing was a towel with a design printed on it my grandmother had prepared. I don’t remember the design but I remember sitting with my grandmother and watching her hands as she demonstrated how to make the stitches.

  236. The first thing I ever stitched? Oh, my. It was a stamped pattern of a shepherdess, partly cross-stitch and partly outline stem. My mother assigned it to me when I was a five-year-old tomboy, and I hated the thing. Seem to remember that I lost it on purpose.

  237. I actually remember that the first thing I ever stitched ( other than odd stitches at my mother’s knee that I cannot remember in detail) was a cross stitch needle book on binca (herta) canvas in yellow, purple and green floche type thread. It was at primary school in England when I was about 6 years old, at a time when there was a program that ALL children learned to stitch and knit at primary school. Wonderful! I had the needle book for years until it just disappeared. I have no idea what happened to it.

  238. The first thing I ever stitched was some flowers in the corners of a tablecloth that Mom and I worked on. So long ago!

  239. The first thing I ever stitched was a rooster my mother transferred onto an old bed sheet. I did it all in outline stitch, still my favorite stitch. I never finished the embroidery into a finished object, although I still have it somewhere in my collection. I am thinking of having it framed. The last time I saw it, I was pleasantly surprised at how well it was done.

  240. The first thing I remembered that I stitched was the outline of a sleepy kitty. It was all in straight/running stitch. It was just a piece of muslin and I think the cat might have been one of Aunt Martha’s transfers, that’s just a guess. My mother made it up as kind of a potholder that was never used.

  241. Growing up in Colorado, I was plagued with ear infections all winter long. When I was about 7 years old I had a particularly bad one and needed to stay home from school for a number of days. My mother in her attempt to distract me and keep me busy gave me a tea towel, thread and an embroidery hoop. She drew a little christmas tree on the tea towel and taught me a few easy stitches. I worked on that tree for days! My grandmother took over the lessons and I have been stitching ever since.

  242. Oh dear…I used the same answer for the last contest…it was a lemon tree on burlap , the design from a woman’ s magazine and done in split tapestry wool ( no crewel wool available) on a coarse burlap. The leaves and fruit were in a multiple of stitches learned from the same pamphlet. I was about 20 then.

  243. I’m one who can’t remember what my first project was but my guess would be an embroidered dishtowel. The only craft my mother did and the only one she taught me! I still do them today for myself, family and friends.

  244. The first thing I remember stitching is doll clothes when I was very young. Particularly Barbie clothes.

  245. My first stitching memory is when I was about 4 or 5 – there is a photo in evidence. It was a piece of cardboard with holes in it, and a needle with wool and you backstitched around the outlines of various designs. I’ve never looked back. 🙂

  246. The first hand stitching I ever did was a chicken scratch apron on yellow gingham and when it was done a plastic hoop was inserted so it clipped around my waist. A babysitter taught me needle and thread, and I have always loved it.

  247. I had just moved to Massachusetts and to avoid being lonely I found a great place called Threadneedle St. on Newbury St in Boston..they offered beginner needlework classes and I did a sampler of 12 stitches….I don’t know where it ended up..but it got me going on my stitching.

  248. To put it bluntly, I’m domestically- & artistically- challenged. So, in the early-to-mid 80’s, I saw something in Wal-Mart that looked like something I could actually do! Of course, it was counted cross stitch. I purchased a mother fox & kits kit (I think that was first), worked on it some, bought a Kount On Kappie booklet of small Christmas ornaments, made a bunch of them, and I was off and running! I don’t know what happened to the fox project, but I still have a few of the the ornaments. I still remember fondly the coppers & mahoganies used on the foxes — gorgeous colors!

  249. The first thing I remember stitching, I was 9, and embroidered a pillow case for my grandma, in the most violent shade of purple. Grandma, being the wonderful person she was, always had that pillow case on display when I visited.

  250. The first thing I remember stitching were 2 Christmas ornaments. One was a Christmas Goose and the other was a wreath.

  251. The first thing I ever stitched was a stamped floral embroidery piece on a pillow case when I was eight years old – for my “hope” chest. I’m not that old to really have needed a hope chest and I’m pretty sure that when it was completed it was used for my bed linens. I then picked up sewing on a sewing machine and didn’t embroider again until I was in my 20’s.

  252. My earliest recollection is being shown by my babysitter various stitches on Aida, creating a couple of dressing table mats.

  253. That’s not a giveaway. That’s heaven! The first thing I ever stitched was a stamped cross stitch doily for an end table. I was 4 years old, still at home while the older siblings were in school. My mother was trying to keep me occupied so she could get things done! She bribed me by saying that my Dad (and I was definitely Daddy’s girl!) wanted one for his table. I still have to this day and little did we know that stitching would become a lifelong passion and something that always feeds my soul.

  254. The first thing I ever stitched was a new felt shirt for my Winnie-the-Pooh stuffed animal. He was my absolute favorite and his original shirt was in tatters. My mom helped me with the stitching, I did a chain stitched “Pooh” on a new felt shirt that my mom made. It ended up being on an angle sloping downward. I was about 6. I still have it and treasure it for so many reasons.

  255. The first thing I ever stitched was a pillowcase! I had been watching my mom stitch for years and told her I wanted to try it so she took me up to the local dime store which still had an embroidery section and I got to pick out a pillowcase set. I was approximately 8 years old at the time and I’ve been hooked ever since.

  256. Another great giveaway Mary – thank you for the dream of winning! To answer your question….I know the exact first thing I ever stitched. My maternal grandmother made me a little doll-sized quilt when I was little and I decided I wanted to learn to sew just like her so I ‘liberated’ some yarn from my mother and did a very crude form of whip stitch over my grandmother’s stitches on the back of the quilt. I have the quilt still and my stitching masterpiece is still there.

  257. This was not my first experience with embroidery, but it is one I remember with joy. I was 11 and my best friend and I made small felt dolls with their clothing. The dolls were about 10 cm high, and we made all sorts of tiny clothing and furniture for them, and we embroidered on them. My friend’s mum was a seamstress, so we had access to a box of fabric remnants, felt and threads. I thought my friend was so lucky to have such a box, and I felt so grateful that she would share it with me.

  258. The first thing I remember stitching is the face of a little stuffed doll we made in Girl Scouts. It was a two sided doll, with one face sleeping and the other face awake and smiling. I still have her.

  259. I love this question…because I love to think about my grandmother, who would be 119 if she were alive. She set me up with my very first embroidery, a little line drawing of an elephant on a small blue square of cotton. I was perhaps 8? Not sure. She also tried to teach me needle tatting. Unfortunately that proved too frustrating and I never tried again, though I still have a nice collection of tatted hankies, doilies and pillowcases to enjoy–and I still have my little elephant. I love embroidery, and I still love my grandma! Thanks, Mary.

  260. The first thing I stitch was an apron. I was about 11 years old and I’m now 62. I still use the apron.

  261. Mary,
    Wishing you a very Merry Christmas! Also, a wonderful New Year.

    I am enjoying reading about your Christmas gifts….

    Sally S

  262. A tray cloth at primary school when I was 10 years old. It had a large pink flower and daisies on it. I still have it!

  263. I don’t remember the project but remember sitting next to my grandmother and trying to hold the needle just so.

  264. my earliest recollection was a embroidery of the Mayflower boat. Coming from the New England area, it was a fun way to start since I also, enjoyed history this made it a fine combination.

  265. This is such fun! I think the surprises you hinted at may be the some of the best gifts ever. Fingers crossed that I might win 🙂

  266. What a great give-away! I love surprises.

    The first thing I ever stitched was the Birds of Color coin purse needlepoint kit from Stitch and Zip. It was the perfect introduction to stitching. It was easy and fast, and the end product was lovely. Many needlepoint projects later, I dipped my toe into surface embroidery and never looked back.

  267. The first thing I stitched was a pillow kit from Erica Wilson when I was about 10 years old back in the 1970’s.

  268. The first thing I stitched was a button hole stitch on a piece of cut work I attempted to do. I had no idea the proper methods. I was about ten and had nothing to go by but a linen table runner my grandmother had left me when she passed and a few skeins of her embroidery floss. I was addicted for life❤️

  269. I still have the first thing I stitched which was a blue and white gingham apron. My mother thought the white checks would make it easy for me to learn cross-stitch and be able to do a little pattern with them. She was right and it started me on a lifetime of loving hand embroidery, needlecrafts and textiles.

  270. I think the first stitching project must have been the gingham apron that used “chicken scratch” to hold the pleats and hem in place. My family did not include embroiderers, and I was the only leftie, so I cannot say how I learned that. However, my love of working with needle, thread, and fabric led to a long and fulfilling career in the field of textiles and clothing. I retired nearly two decades ago, and my passion for handwork has grown exponentially. Thank you, Mary, for adding to my lifelong learning!

  271. The 1st thing I stitched was a table cloth and napkins, it was pre-stamped and it was cross stiches blue. I never finished it, my mother did and I lost it so I have nothing of that early work… just memories!

  272. I was very ill at age nine. When I was able to sit up in bed and get bored my mother drew simple figures on pillow case borders and taught me simple stitches. All me siblings had lazy daisy patterned pillowcases to sleep with.

  273. Although my older cousin taught me to knit when I was five, my first stitching experience was in upper primary school, my age being about ten, when our class was taught basic embroidery stitches. We produced a sampler. It wasn’t too marvellous I must admit but I have made some progress since then! I think it best to teach embroidery skills as soon as a child exhibits an interest and, with that in mind, I’ve taught some of my granddaughters to stitch. Two of them, then seven, designed and embroidered beautiful hand towels for their mothers during lockdown this year, when we spent several weeks together at our seaside house. If was a delightful experience for all of us.

  274. The first thing I ever stitched wasn’t decorative but functional…at least for my Sunshine doll. I made her a skirt, stitched by hand. I was twelve. My mother thought I was slightly too old for wanting more dolls, but she acquiesced and I had so much fun making clothes for her tiny body! Everyone else thought I was crazy!

  275. I love your designs. I have made the monograms for years and now am going to make the Christmas trees for gifts for the office.

  276. The first thing I ever stitched was an outlined cross-stitched kitty with a ball of yarn on a BIG count Aida. I still have it! It’s special not just because it’s the first but because we were missionaries in West Africa and it was given to me by one of the other missionaries, who drew the design herself, by putting colored dots in the center of the Aida squares and then mounted it in a little round hoop (with staples) that her husband had made out of a thin piece of wood that he had softened and shaped into a circle, then wrapped with a strip of tire inner tube to hold it all in place. It would have been impossible for her to get any sort of kit for me, so she made her own using fabric and threads she had brought with her. It’s unique and totally special to me.

  277. The first thing that I remember stitching was through preprinted cards with a blunt needle before I was of school age. I remember my mother gifting it to me and showing me how to begin. I remember loving doing that! Now, I’m finishing Elisabetta Forza’s “Waiting on 2021”. All I need to do is finish the numbers. She said, “It’s a grass stitch that turns into thrown points”. I don’t have a clue what this means, plus I’m left-handed. Do you have a posting that shows how this is done, please?

  278. The first piece I remember stitching is a stamped cross stitch table runner my aunt gave me for christmas. I ran out of the the pink (of course! I was about 9), and used a much lighter pink to finish.

  279. My earliest stitching memory was my Nana giving me a set of printed mesh fabric that you were supposed (?) to do needlepoint on and the strongest recollection I have was that one of them was a zebra and the ink from the printing had filled in the little holes in the mesh which made it frustrating to get a needle through.

    I returned the favour by making her a gorgeous peacock quilt a few years ago.

  280. The first thing I can remember stitching is a gingham apron for my mother for Christmas when I was about ten years old. It was a winter scene and you did cross stitch in each of the gingham squares. The only problem was that I did not know that you had to be consistent with the threads all going in the same direction. Thus my cross stitches go every which way on the same piece!
    I still have that apron and treasure the memories.

  281. The first thing I ever stitched was just 6 months ago, so I remember! It was a kit to make a cute little dog, that looked just like the dog my in-laws just got. So I added the dog’s name and gave it to them as a gift 🙂

  282. One of my earliest stitching memories is a baby gift for a good friend. It was a train with animals in the cars and instead of stitching them all as one piece, I decided it would be cute to stitch them as individual pieces and have the frames hook together like a train! Luckily even though I was a fairly inexperienced stitcher/finisher at the time, the piece came together as envisioned. She loved it!

  283. This is such a fun question!
    My great-aunt Kathleen and great-uncle Garfield gave me a Christmas present of a needlepoint rose – her favourite flower- on my seventh Christmas. I still have it hanging in my house because, of course, my stitching has blossomed since then (over 50 years ago). Now I see the mistakes and the colour choices of those days, and remember my effort, and it makes me warm and loved.

  284. The first thing I stitched as a child was either a needlepoint cardinal or cross stitch? serenity prayer, both of which were for my mother. The cardinal has special significance for me. One of my favorite childhood memories was of watching mom and dad cardinals build a nest through seeing fledglings fly away, right outside a window. All while sitting in my mothers lap for quiet time (just before or after nap time) for many days. I think it gave me an absolute devotion to birds and nature. Cardinals are still my favorite bird and when I see one, I feel my Mother’s love.

  285. The very very first thing I ever stitched was a bookmark on perforated paper using (I think) coton a broder; I seem to remember running stitch and possibly cross stitch and a few others, in bright colours. It was part of my needlework lessons at school, I must have been about 7, and my mother, with the blind love that mothers have, used it until it mercifully fell apart 🙂

  286. Hi,
    My first memory was a cross stitch sampler kit when I was 7. I think was a gift and it had a bouquet of flowers with my name and the date. I used the instructions to teach myself . I showed my mum and she very gently explained that all the crosses should go in the same direction. I still framed it and hung it on my wall and just modified my technique going forward. I don’t know what happened to it but I still love cross stitch.

    I also remember being gifted the needlepoint flowers my gran was working on when she died. I did the flowers and words but the sea of white was too much for me at 11. I need to dig them out and finish them. Maybe as a gift for my mum.

  287. The first thing I ever stitched was a bit of flower on a pillowcase edging. My grandmother was teaching me how to do stem stitch because I was apparently quite fascinated by her stitching.

    That and my great grandmother teaching me how to crochet are my favorite crafting memories.

  288. I remember shopping in Woolworths for floss and prestamped dish towels to stitch for Christmas presents.

  289. The first thing I ever stitched…I was maybe 6 or 7. The design was a winter hat, or toque. I remember some lines and maybe bubbles…I chose aqua cotton floss and I know I never did finish it.

  290. The first thing I can actually remember stitching were some cross-stitch Christmas ornaments my mother was making. She used to make an ornament every year, and one year it was cross-stitch. This was in 1981, and I was 14. I still have them on my tree, of course! She would make about 80 ornaments every year and send them hither and yon.

  291. When I was around 7 years old I stitched a small sampler which had part of the alphabets and some numbers. I stitched it in red and green. I still have it!

  292. My first introduction to embroidery was watching, at a young age, one of my dear Aunt’s cross-stitching on a lovely linen tablecloth and napkin set. Following the printed lines didn’t look too hard and with her help I was on my way. Sewing of any kind became my passion. I later was fascinated by counted thread embroidery, when another Aunt, from Denmark, displayed her lovely linens whenever we visited. A whole new world was opened up and at 84, I’ve hardly stopped since.

  293. I associate monograms with my mother–and it’s s a fond memory. Maybe it’s time for me to try it!

  294. The first thing I ever stitched was a reproduction sampler from Better Homes and Gardens. I was in the fourth grade. I still have the sampler, and I’m happy to say that my stitching has greatly improved!

  295. When I was about seven, I had a stamped cross stitch sampler and spent many long if also long-separated weeks working it. As no one I knew did any needlework, I have no idea who gave it to me, but I wish I could thank them again.

  296. My first memory of stitching is sitting by my mother as she made my dresses and I tried to make clothes for my doll. From there I progressed to embroider little flowers and loved it. This skill came in very handy years later in the ‘70 s when I spent many’s the hour embroidering flowers down the outside seams of my friends flared jeans. Thank you for all you have taught me over the years and I hope to try my hand at gold embroidery in the new year. Happy Christmas to you and yours Maura

  297. The first thing I remember stitching was on small cardboard “cards” that had holes around cute little pictures that you stitched with yarn. My first “real” sewing projects were clothes and blankets for my dolls on a treadle sewing machine.

  298. My first embroidery projects were stamped ‘dish towels’ that we purchased at the local Woolworths 5&10 store. The floss was certainly not DMC and I stitched with 3 or 4 strands! I was about 8 years old.

  299. Definitely interested in this freebie. I have done cross-stitch monograms….but have always wanted to do something more elaborate.

  300. My earliest stitching memory is being taught by my Grandmother on her farm in northern Idaho. She always had some form of needlework in her never-idle hands. There was always a large pile of completed crocheted afghans in the corner and endless pairs of embroidered pillowcases in her stash. Her wedding gift to me and my new husband was 10 pairs of much-treasured pillowcases. She started me out learning to stitch by making pillows out of two washcloths with fringe sewn to the edges. I remembered going to the store in the closest town to pick out the washcloths. Soon she put a hoop in my hands and got me hooked on making pretty things with as many colors and stitches as I could master. I loved looking at all the beautiful colors of floss! It was the start of a lifetime of stitching and gave me the courage to try new techniques. I wish I could show her where her teaching has led me over the last 50 years.

  301. I was 10 years old and my mother gave me a little kit to embroider. It was a 12″x12″ doily with a floral design in each corner on 28ct even weave cotton. Satin stitch, stem stitch and French knots were the stitches. Satin stitch was to follow the weave of the fabric all in the same directions no matter the design. We called it Ponto Chato. I still have the piece it is now 70 years old.

  302. The first stitchery project that I remember working on is a stamped cross-stitch crafting smock. I think I was 8 years old and found it almost too challenging…and my mother didn’t sew at all so I sort of had to teach myself.

  303. First thing I ever stitched? You didn’t specify embroidery, so I’ll go way way back to the time my grandmother was showing me how to thread and knot a needle, so I could mend something. I think I was perhaps 7 or 8 years old. She could make a circle with the thread end and just roll it between her fingers to make a knot. I never ever managed that skill, but it fascinated me and perhaps led to a lifetime of sewing and stitching.

  304. My earliest memory of stitching is a quaint flour sack towel with colorful leaves and flowers pre-printed on it. I was about 9 years old and living on Guam. My mother, who grew up on a farm in Nebraska, taught me to embroider. On that towel, I learned the lazy daisy stitch which I never forgot after that. I treasured that towel although we used it regularly in the kitchen until it was worn out. My mother has since passed away, and I am happy to have that memory of her teaching me this beautiful art.

  305. My earliest stitching memory is of my first large project. A design featuring various garden birds – I was so surprised I managed to complete it and was very proud.

  306. I love a mystery package!

    The first thing I remember (though certainly not the first thing I stitched) was a cross stitch we made at school for mother’s day. It had a picture of our house on it, and we had to fill in the whole background. Fortunately it was only 8pt aida (or maybe even 6pt?) but I do remember it taking forever. My mother kept it for years, though.

  307. The first thing that I remember stitching was a cross stitch pattern on red and white gingham using red floss and the white squares for the cross stitch. My grandmother prepared the piece for me in a hoop. The pattern was simple. The piece was to be made into an apron. I don’t believe I ever finished the piece but I pulled it out many times over the years and added more stitches. That was probably in 1963 or 1964. My mother was an excellent embroiderer and I have numerous samples of her work. I have done many pieces myself over the years. I really enjoy your newsletter and dream one day of doing a whitework piece or perhaps some needle lace.

  308. Let’s see. I remember looking my mind embroidery basket, so full of bright colored floss wound on cardboard cards. She gave me a piece of fabric, a hoop and a needle. I don’t recall making anything particular until I started doing counted cross stitch years later. I made her a pillow cover which still sits on her sofa “Always my Mother, Forever my Friend” surrounded by flowers.

  309. First was a folk design on a kitchen towel in as many colors as I could find. My dear sister said she loved it!!

  310. The first thing I ever stitched was a scarf. My Brownie troop leader was an embroiderer and felt we should also learn. We started with large pieces of fabric. We all signed every one of the pieces. Then, we learned to do the stem stitch and stitched all the names on the scarf. Our troop leader had sketched the Brownie symbol in each piece and we outlined that. Then we fringed the scarf. I just wish I knew what happened to it.

  311. The first thing I stitched was an ear of corn on a piece of yellow flannelette. It was supposed to end up as a pot holder but I don’t think it ever made it. I did finish the embroidery though. I think I was in Grade 3 then.

  312. I am sure my first attempt at hand sewing was a dress for my Barbie doll, but the one I remember was making by hand a princess costume for my younger sister for Halloween. I’m not sure she even wanted to be a princess, but it was what I wanted to make.

  313. The first thing I ever stitched was doll clothing. I had a little troll doll that I made outfits for. They were usually made of felt and I embroidered flowers on them. I was 3-4 and my grandma helped me. Everyone could tell the difference between her flowers and mine, bIt she never could

  314. Hi Mary, I cannot remember the very first thing I stitched but I used to play around with the bits of fabric left over from my mother’s dressmaking. She used to make all the clothes for me and my sister and the fabrics fascinated me, so she taught me to sew from a very young age. Later I started to teach myself embroidery from library books, and my maternal grandmother gave me a delightful embroidery book for my tenth birthday. The rest is history as they say! Thank you for the chance to win these giveaways, I know I probably won’t win anything, I never have been lucky in raffles, etc but it’s fun trying.

  315. When I was 8 I joined our 4-H sewing club. My first project was to hem a tea towel. I completed 10 years in my 4-H club.

  316. The first ever stitching was done with an online class and it was just rows of different stitches. The first project was a bicycle with a beautiful basket of flowers.

  317. The first thing I ever stitched was in the 1970s, when we all were stitching decorative doodads on our denim shirts. I enjoyed it enormously but took my time getting back to stitching as an adult! Thanks for all Mary!

  318. I have been stitching on and off since I was 8 or 10 years old. I think the first things I ever did was stitching in the corner of a cotton dish towel. I also remember doing some “huck” towel work. It was all a long time ago. Thank you for this great giveaway. I love the Mini Sampler Stockings.

  319. I remember one of my earliest stitchery projects ended in disaster! I wanted to make a set of pillowcases for my sister. I chose lovely colors for the printed-on design. It wasn’t until I was almost finished with the first one of the set that I realized I had stitched the pillowcase shut. Completely shut! There was no way a pillow could get into that pillowcase! I was so young……..

  320. When I was eight, my mother gave me a collection of six vegetables done in Crewel. This collection was “progressive” meaning that the skills learned in vegetable #1 would be used in vegetable #2 and so on. The last piece was broccoli which required a bazillion French Knots. To this day (some 50 years later), I still have those pieces and can still do French Knots in my sleep.

  321. My grandma taught me to embroider when I was nine years old. She helped me pick out a cross stitch ABC sampler and floss from the local Ben Franklin store. I remember struggling over the beautiful floss colors, trying to decide. I still have the sampler.

    Sadly grandma passed away when I was twelve. I learned much in those three years as we spent weekends together embroidering whilst we listened to music and often took a break to dance around the living room. Grandma left me her embroidery supplies. I use the wooden box (made by her grandfather) to this day to keep my floss and other bits and bobs. Such good memories, thanks Mary!

  322. At about age 8, I stitched a dish towel with a rooster. My mom (who taught me the basics) laughed at my colors but I was quite proud.

  323. My first stitching was in elementary school at 8 years old a small sampler size A5 with rows of different stitches.
    I am 60 now and still remember it. Was a joy stitching it.

  324. Bonjour Mary,

    Je me souviens très bien de ma première broderie ! Ma mère m’avait offert pour Pâques une boîte de couture. Elle était blanche à l’extérieur doublée de rose à l’intérieur, avec tous les petits outils.
    Et, il y avait aussi un tout petit napperon déjà dessiné. Les fils étaient aussi dans la boîte. Je me suis empressée de broder ce petit ouvrage avec des points avant pour l’offrir à ma mère. Je devais avoir 8 ans à peu près. Depuis je n’ai jamais lâché l’aiguille !
    À bientôt.

  325. My Aunt Eleanor had me start hand embroidery when I was five years old. The first thing I stitched was a heart decorated with ribbons and flowers. I may have it somewhere in the house!

  326. I cross stitched a birth sampler for each niece and nephew born and made photo albums for their baby pictures! Used all kinds of specialty fibers! It was challenging but fun!

  327. The first project I stitched was a little bear sawing. My grandmother helped me stitch this when I was quite young, probably 5 or 6 years old. I have been stitching ever since!

  328. My earliest and best memory of embroidery is my Mom teaching me how to do the stitches as a little girl. She was so patient with me and watched me as I stitched along.I don’t remember what the project was just that she was so pleased with my progress.

  329. The first stitching I can recall was a hoop-skirted, bonneted lady pillowcase when I was nine years old. She had a handful of flowers. Lazy daisy, backstitch, French knots and running stitch were all there and they still grace nearly every embroidery design I create, 65 years later. Bless both of my Grandmothers, my Aunt Ruth and my Mom for introducing me to this joy.

  330. Morning Mary, such tempting goodies you’re listing here.
    Oh my goodness that’s going back a few years. First stitching I did was to earn a badge for Girl Guides. Had to darn a sock, (who does that anymore) sew on a button and make a hand stitched buttonhole. This would be in front of the troop leader so she could be sure it was my work. Probably some other stuff too but I don’t remember. The next time was was years later, early 70’s, when I put some brown cross stitches in the white squares of some orange gingham for the bodice of a top for my young daughter. Came out kind of cute too. Used that same pattern for years getting larger sizes as needed for both my girls, lengthened the ‘skirt’ pattern piece to make dresses for them. And that’s what started my journey into cross stitch graphs.
    A peaceful happy Christmas to you – Brenda

  331. The first thing I ever stitched was a crewel embroidery kit I purchased from a catalog. It was a bouquet of beautiful, colorful flowers and was tied up in a pretty green ribbon. I figured out how to do all the stites on my own by looking at the pictures, but I couldn’t figure out how to do the French knot. I asked my Aunt Margaret, who was also an expert knitter, if she’s show me and she did. I felt so accomplished. I was in high school and worked on that flower bouquet during the summer. I still have it today.

  332. The first thing I ever stitched was a stamped doily I bought at age 10 from a Woolworth’s on the way home from school. I also bought a little pamphlet that showed how to embroider and some cotton floss. My mom kept that doily and proudly showed it to me when I was in my 20’s. I was horribly embarrassed because it was not up to my level at that time and asked her to throw it away. How I regret that now! I have granddaughters and would love to show them where I started, to teach that one improves only with practice. But I was very proud of it at the time and view that little piece fondly in my memory.

  333. The first thing I ever stitched was a cross stitch kit of a bouquet of flowers when I was 13. I begged my mom to buy me a kit to stitch as I really wanted to learn. It took another 10 years before I would stitch again as my education took up all my time. Remembering now, if it wasn’t for my dad convincing her to buy me a kit I would not be the stitcher I am today 🙂

  334. The first thing I remember making was clothes for my Troll dolls. We would sit in the shade during recess cutting and stitching. My first needlework project was cross stitching on Gingham making patterns on the squares. I think it is called Chicken Scratch, then it was just fun.

  335. I made myself a pink linen shift in home EC class when I was 12. Learned to use my mother’s Singer Sewing machine. Made all my own clothes for the next 10 years. At 20 I taught myself to needlepoint. First project was my own design: the women’s symbol with a clenched fist. All done in shades of burnt orange- clearly a child of the late sixties, early seventies.

  336. The first thing I remember embroidering is a small table cloth. I was eight years old and I still have it 65 years later. What lovely memories it holds.

  337. The first thing I remember embroidering was an iron transferred chick on a piece of fabric made into a doll blanket. I was about 9 years old and had begged my mother for several weeks to teach me how to embroider. She was a knitter, not one to do any other needlework, so it was a stretch for her. I still have that little doll blanket…55 years later.

  338. Describe the first thing you ever stitched! If that’s not quite possible, what’s your earliest stitching memory?

    My earliest memories of handwork is pushing the manual pedal on my grandmother’s sewing machine while she made Barbie doll clothes for me. I would stitch on the buttons or rickrack. I think I was about 4. At the same time my other grandmother taught me to crochet granny squares. I remember crocheting a huge square because I didn’t know how end of – I just kept going around and around. Finally about 5 or 6, I stitched with my mother on a Christmas cross stitch ornament.

    My love of handwork was instilled at an early age and I find myself turning to stitching as a way to pay tribute to these wonderful women.

  339. The first thing I remember stitching has a crewel owl and moon kit. I was in my teens. My mother didn’t stitch, she knitted and sewed. Neither of my grandmothers was proficient needleworkers. A friend purchased the kit for me. I was a crafter to the amazement of my family – doing beading, painting, braiding and anything else I found.

  340. I began stitching when I was pregnant with my first child – sometime during 1984. I started with x stitch and then moved into other embroidery. Love it.

  341. I don’t remember the first thing I stitched…over 50 years ago, but I do remember that it was with the Brownies in Girl Scouts

  342. When my daughter was little, I made all her clothes on my grandmother’s treadle. Then I would embroider little flowers and such and add cute buttons. I didn’t know much about how to embroider, but she felt loved. 45 years later, I still embroider gifts for her and have treasured embroideries that she has done for me.

  343. The first thing I stitched was a needlepoint fly swatter, totally useless but something my mother wanted. I not only learned needlepoint from an accomplished embroiderer but my parents, both of whom had stitched early in their married life once again took up needlepoint. My father, a doctor, stitched 5 needlepoint rugs among many other projects. I am now an accomplished emboriderer (mainly needlepoint) with multiple projects waiting to be stitched. I just can’t resist buying things I find interesting.

  344. I remember being in 4-H and hemming by hand dish towels. From there I went on to doing cross stitching on flour sack towels which were printed. I was likely in 4th grade.

  345. Mary:
    I always enjoy your candor and honesty – busy, lazy, or unprepared (I doubt lazy and unprepared apply to you). I can relate as we are in the midst of moving from WA to CO. I am really busy and in some cases I may appear unprepared, generally not since I’m an organizer, , but I hope others don’t consider me lazy!
    Such a busy time and as I read your article today, I remembered the first item I ever stitched. It was a needlepoint canvas of a boy on a rocking horse – this was for our 1st child and even more special the kit was from my mother-in-law. She was my first stitching teacher!
    I look forward to continued Time with Mary as I read your on-line subscriptions!
    Best Regards & Stay Well,

  346. I was 12 years old and had scraps of fabric from my mothers sewing box that I cut into squares and stitched a quilted doll blanket.

    I had never been taught to sew and it showed. But I was proud of it and my doll was warm.

  347. My first stitched piece was a small red necessaire with a line of white daisies underlined by a chain of back stitches. I still have it. My mother sew it with ziper closing. That made me so very proud and want to learn more and do more. I was 9 years old.

    Campinas, Brazil

  348. My earliest stitching memory is making Barbie clothes and doing some small embroidery projects for a Girl Scout badge!

  349. I don’t remember exactly the first thing I stitched but my mom used to drag me to the fabric store (Piece Goods). When I was around 7, they had some embroidery kits on sale so she got me one and I did it and then got more. My best friend’s mom decided to teach us how to do cross stitch one day when I was 10 but I don’t remember that piece either. I have a Christmas wreath with some of the ornaments on it that I made as a kid.

  350. I love your newsletter! So inspiring. The first things I embroidered were my beloved and worn railroad striped overalls. I was a geology major and one of very few women, so I wanted clothes that were both feminine and good for climbing about on road cuts. I embroidered the straps, pocket edges and pants leg bottoms with flowers and felt very seventies chic. The loop on the side held my geology pick, and the pockets held my Briton compass and praised samples.

  351. the first thing i ever stitched , was a rag doll with brown wool hair and a blue dress with flowers pattern.

  352. As a child I was surrounded by stitchers, including my father who gardened on summer weekends and stitched, counted cross stitch or crewel, in the winter. There was also a family friend, an award winning cross stitch artist who inspired me. So, I started early, but in the 1960s, cross stitch kits consisted of large Xs badly printed on cotton and I wanted to do better so I learned from the people around me. Mary, I admire the scope and variety of your work so much, especially the precision you demand of yourself. Thank You!

  353. My earliest stitching memory is watching my Mom embroider my Easter dress as a young child. It inspired me to get into stitching in college.

  354. The first thing I stitched was a stamped dresser scarf that I got at the dime store when I was about 7.

  355. My first stitchery memory is of a bright green needlepoint parrot….it took forever but I was so proud when I finished it.

  356. I was about 8 years old when I stitched my first embroidery items– tea towels for my Grandma. I taught myself by following the directions that came with the towels. I enjoyed it especially since my Grandma loved her gift.
    Later I began stitching crewel works followed by cross-stitch. I am now working with wool. I love all the stitches that can be used to embellish my wool applique most which I learned through your tutorials. Thank you for all the wonderful pictures and descriptions.

  357. The first thing I ever stitched was from a kit when I was in high school. It was a pillow with cute owls from the 1960s. I made it and gave it to my grandmother. 50 years later, I still have the bag that it came in, the illustration, the leftover yarn and the instructions!

  358. My first embroidered piece was a cross stitch pattern from Stoney Creek entitled “Wings”. The saying is ” there are two special gifts we should give our children – one is roots the other is wings.” I stitched it when my two children were very small. It has always hung outside their bedroom doors in the hallway. Though they are all grown up now and on their own , I still have it hanging in the hall and cherish the memories of their young days.

  359. My earliest stitching memory is looking at what my mother was working on at about 3 years old and seeing her beautiful stitches and thinking someday I want to be able to do that. It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. It was a blanket for my soon to be born baby sister. My mother never finished it because she ended up having 4 more babies in 12 years. She taught me to sew on the machine when I was 7 and I made my own patterns for my doll dresses. Boy did I learn about seam allowances fast! I was a fashion designer in Los Angeles and designed Lingerie, with lots of embroidery and lace) and kitchen aprons and accessories which appeared on the Bullocks and Bloomingdales holiday catalogues. Mary I love you work and I am now designing embroidery patterns for the Jewish home.

  360. The first thing I remember stitching was a stamped cross stitch Dachshund on a potholder. I think that the little dues pouch for my junior auxiliary uniform would have been first (yellow felt with green blanket stitch) but I remember the potholder first.

  361. I very much enjoy your writing and illustrations and have shared many of your daily columns with stitching friends. Everyone appreciates your love for beautiful stitchery, and we look forward to seeing more. Thank you!

  362. My first stitching began when my mom showed me how to embroidery when I was 10. It was a miniature snowflake. Been hooked ever since!

  363. Odd, I don’t remember much about early embroidery, but I remember the SEWING CARDS and I loved them.

  364. My grandmother taught me to embroider when I was about 7 (she also taught me to knit and crochet), so my first project was a little bird on a handkerchief for her for her birthday. I did get it back after she died, so I still have it!

  365. A few of my earliest projects were embroidered pictures of Hummel figures. My mother’s collection of these figurines is large and began when she was growing up in Germany. What was unusual about the pictures were the faces, which began as a layer of flesh-colored felt to which you added the embroidered details.

  366. My first real stitching memory goes back to the early 70s, when I was in high school. Between classes, or sometimes when skipping class, I would find a quiet stairwell in the school and work on stitching butterflies on my jeans. I remember being particularly pleased with a bright purple and turquoise combination… still two of my favourite colours!

  367. The first thing I can remember stitching was signatures on a white shirt. In grade school we put our names on each others shirts and then sewed them at home. Wish I still, had it ! They were just covered with messy writing and “embroidery” such as it was !

  368. I have looked at A Sea to Stitch and thought that the monograms would be fun to stitch. I am just exploring stitching on linen because a lit of my embroidery I do as enhancement for my quilts. And I would love to own one of your ornaments. Steph

  369. The first thing I ever stitched was a little brown owl sitting on a small tree branch. It is about 2″ tall. A friend paid for an “intro to cross stitch” class at a local cross stitch store for me, and that is what I made during class. It was the start of many enjoyable years of stitching.

  370. I stitched an old fashioned telephone on a striped tea towel. I still have it all these years later. My mother embroidered as well and taught me as a young girl. Thank you for challenging us to bring these memories back to life. We need to remember all the good times.

  371. I was 5 when I first learned to embroider at my Grandma’s side. I don’t remember exactly what I worked on but I remember my Grandma being so patient with me and I remember going to Ben Franklin with her to get embroidery floss. I also learned french knots from her at age 5. She must have been a skilled teacher. She was definitely a skilled stitcher. I felt very grown up getting to do this with her. I miss her so much!

  372. My first stitched project was a stamped cross stitch when I was 8 or 9. My grandmother taught me how to do the stitches and I still have them ( I did 2) framed and hanging in my sew room.

  373. The first thing I ever stitched was a cross stitched project. I don’t remember what the actual piece was. I was in my mid twenties when a friend showed me how to cross stitch, and that was the beginning of my love for needle and thread! I have moved on to many different forms of needlework now, but I am very thankful to that friend who opened the door to many years of happiness for me! PS…… I would love to win the book!

  374. When I was 12 I did my first embroidery of a sampler (that was about 70 years ago). I have been embroidering ever since plus quilting. If I had days to search I could find it.

  375. My mother introduced me to embroidery when I was seven, and I was hooked. After I demonstrated my ability with a few basic stitches she gave me a simple sampler for Christmas which I enjoyed completing and which has hung for years in my sewing room.

  376. That is a long stretch back! However my first piece of embroidery was edging on a pillow case. My mom and grandmother always had some stitching on their lap and so I also had to try that. I was about 6 or 7.

  377. The first items I ever stitched were a bright blue and white gingham apron and tray cloth. I was seven years old. Once made up I then decorated them with simple cross stitches in a pattern on the squares. I realised even then how much I enjoyed sewing, and the fun of making things. I found them in the attic the other day and was quite impressed at the standard of work by my seven year old self!

  378. The first thing I ever stitched was a little yellow cross stitch duck at camp. A counselor was teaching a Sunday elective type class and I was completely hooked at 9 years old! Other than that class I was a completely self taught embroiderer until I found your blog ten years ago!

  379. Last chance to win; could it be me; please let it be me. I need a piece of lovely linen to work a glorious pattern. Please let it be me……

  380. What a fun question! The first stitching I remember doing was under the guidance of my grandmother, seamstress extraordinaire. She helped me cross-stitch “Howdy Dad” onto a blue gingham pillowcase!
    LOVE reading your newsletter, and I love doing these Advent giveaways!

  381. I just love all the projects you have to offer. I would love to be the lucky recipient of today’s give away. I did make one of your snowflakes. Great directions and enjoyed the whole project.
    A great inspiration for staying inside and stitching.
    Frances O’Donnell

  382. The first project I ever stitched was a Holly Hobby cross-stitch picture in 1980. I was hooked! My mother had always sewed and embroidered and taught me the basics. I’ve dabbled with many forms of needle work ever since.

  383. My mother was raised by her Amish grandmother so I learned handiwork quite young. My first memory of a satisfyingly completed project is of a set of days of the week tea towels.

  384. Long ago and oh so far away….when I was a brownie (yes, that was very long ago) we did a project as a group. each of us with our piece of fabric stitching away. I think it may have been a mother’s day gift, but I remember trying to be so precise in my stitching. Even then I was a perfectionist without the skills to be prefect.

  385. I have been hand sewing all my life but have only decided to try hand embroidery a few years ago. I took an online class in embroidery and was so disappointed in the class that I almost gave up. I found your website and have been learning hand embroidery and enjoying every since.

  386. I don’t remember the first thing I stitched as I have been doing it since I was very young. I can remember some wonderful craft cards I received one Christmas before I was ten and there were some sewing projects (probably construction not embroidery) in those.

  387. The first thing I stitched is still on my wall, a colorfully stamped picture of Shirley Temple as Heidi. I outline-stitched around her yellow hair, her blue dress, the red flowers. I still catch my breath remembering my sweet Grandmother having me make 7 yellow X’s (I probably was 7?) along with my very crooked name. This silly little picture represents treasured years of memories–of stitching, cooking, and laughing with her.

  388. My first stitching memory is when I was around eight years old (64 years ago). I was a member of a Blue Birds group of young girls. We gathered in a circle each with needle, embroidery thread, hoop, and a simple Christmas design ironed onto a tea towel to make a loving gift for our mothers. The instructor was kind, knowledgeable AND very patient. It was the first, but certainly not the last, time I experienced the friendship, camaraderie, and joy that stitching in any group brings to its individuals.
    PS My mother treasured her crudely stitched tea towel for years to come…

  389. My Mom helped me embroider the pocket of a shirt I’d made, the summer before 7th grade. 50 years later it is framed in my studio. My own design, lol.

  390. The first thing I ever stitched was a surface embroidery piece of Holly Hobby (if anyone remembers who she was) . It hangs in my sewing room to remind me of where my stitching journey began.

  391. First thing I stitched was Wendi’s free cat after taking her free Embroidery 101 class online at Shiny Happy World.

  392. The very first thing I stitched was a pair of pillowcases. I was in the third grade and I still have them in my cedar chest. When asked what we did during summer vacation I brought the pillowcases to share and can still hear a few wows from some of my classmates. My stitching has come a long way since then but my love for embroidery has never gone away.

  393. The first thing I ever stitched was a small cross stich sampler when I was 5 years old. I still have it and bring it out from time to time just to remember. Thanks so much for the giveaway!

  394. If you count crochet, the first thing I ever stitched was a pair of booties, the pattern taught to me by my adopted grandmother when I was about 8. I have made them since many times. My first other stitching project was a needlepoint canvas of a golden retriever. It was way above my beginning skill level and still not completed (from 40 years ago). I mixed fibers I shouldn’t have and should have incorporated needle painting. I might get back to it some day!

  395. The first embroidery I remember doing would be a flour sack towel. It was a small set of herbs done in the corner of the towel. It was just enough to get me hooked on needlework.

  396. The first thing I stitched was a map of the USA. Each states flower was embroidered with in the state. It was stitched in DMC
    and I was about 25 and I certainly didn’t know what I was getting into. My sister loved it so she got it and it is still hanging on her wall.

  397. Do any of you remember the premarked pillow cases you could buy at JC Pennys in the early 1960″s? That was my first try at embroidery. I wanted to learn one summer and asked my Mom to teach me, but she was too busy (5 kids and a tailoring business does that to you). So, I got a book out of the library and taught myself. I was so proud to finish the project just like the girls I read about in books like Little Women and the Little house on the prairie series.

  398. I’m going way back to a favorite childhood activity- lace up cards/sewing cards. I loved these so much that I would make my own using pictures from magazines glued onto light cardboard, punching holes around and then stitching different colors of yarn throughout.

  399. My memory goes back till I was 10/11 years old and I stitched a sleeping bag for my baby brother in my school sewing class and it had an simple embroidered train with carriages going round the bottom.

  400. My aunts were designers and very busy seamstresses. They made and altered clothes for for famous people in New York City. I loved everything about sewing and at age 6 they taught me to blind stitch so that I could join in. My job was to do hems and I felt very important. My favorite person to hem for was Prima Ballerina Margo Fonteyn. She would always bring extra fabric so that I could also have an outfit and free tickets so that I could watch her perform. She was a kind lovely person.

  401. My very first stitched piece was a little girl mouse all dressed up with head bow and everything, to celebrate the arrival of my best friend’s first baby girl. I still have the photo is you want it.
    If I win your ornament prize, I am willing to pay for part of the shipping to Canada (hint, hint as you say), Mary. I don’t use linen at all and the book has very advanced projects that I will be unable to tackle.
    Thank you for these amazing prizes, Mary!

  402. Thank you for the opportunity to enter your giveaway. I enjoy receiving your blog newsletter in my email and the patterns i Have purchased from you. I hope you have a wonderful holiday season.

  403. The first thing I ever stitched was on the hem of a pillow case. My mother had transferred the simple design of flowers on the hem and then showed me how to embroider. I loved it. I have enjoyed embroidery but sadly I have severe arthritis in both of my thumbs and my sewing time is limited. But I still do it as much as possible. Thank you for all you do for our sewing community.

  404. My first piece of embroidery was a Jacobean crewel floral design , stitched to honor the birth of my daughter. It’s been hanging on my wall for 38 years!

  405. The first thing I ever stitched was a Holly Hobby sampler. It is a door pull with a long, narrow shape. Holly’s dress has many squares, a patchwork of different stitches, and then each stitch is represented below in a labeled line. I still have it hanging on my wall. I was 8.

    Pick me!

  406. Dear Mary

    My first stitching project was when I just turned 60 in 2010 and had just recently retired I decided I needed a hobby, I saw some Cross Stitch Christmas Cards advertised and thought I would try these as a starter to maybe a new hobby. Well I received the kit and started stitching these tiny Christmas Cards for various family members and I couldn’t stop stitching it was so therapeutic and I continually looked forward to the result of my sewing and was amazed at what I achieved. I couldn’t wait to see my finished projects. I gave them away and most of the people I gave them to liked them. But this started me on a trail of other embroidery projects and because I was newly retired it started me on a trail of looking on ‘you tube’ and learning all kinds of tips and techniques of the stitching world. Gradually I found you Mary and that was the start of my 1o years of stitching and learning form Mary’s Needle and Thread website and especially learning from your how-to-videos, So that was my beginning into the world of needlework and I have never regretted it.

    Regards Anita Simmance

  407. My first stitching was an ambitious wool jumper tackled on a sewing machine in home economics class. But my first embroidery (that’s what you meant!) was a cross-stitched alphabet sampler ordered from a women’s magazine.

  408. My very first stitched item was in about Grade 2 or 3 . Very roughly stitched outline of a simple house with smoke coming out of the chimney and flower that the teacher (or some kind parent) sewed into a bag. Still have it! Took me many years to start stitching /do embroidery. For many many years i did tapestry – so may school kneelers for friends and then friends’ children. So delighted to have discovered embroidery – love the gentle precision and peace that comes with working a piece of cloth.

  409. The 1st thing I ever stitched was a dress when I was 5 years old. I am now 65. 🙂 My Hungarian grandmother taught me how to cut out a pattern from newspaper and sometimes butcher paper for myself. I couldn’t reach the treadle so Grandpa built a little stool that was on top of the treadle so I could use the treadle.
    The next thing was to learn to crochet when I was 6. I ended up designing clothing in crochet and designing fabric clothing. I loved sewing and working with African fabrics and couldn’t keep them they sold so quickly.

  410. The first thing I ever stitched was a recipie for strawberry short cake in 1983. On4e should never be without a shortcake recipie.

  411. I’m sure my first embroidery was cross stitch on a dish towel as that is what my mom taught everyone, including the grand daughters and grandsons.

  412. I was maybe 8 yrs old when my mother, not a stitcher, gave me a flour sack dish towel to stitch. She had no patience for stitching, preferring to use those Tri-Chem tubes of fabric paint instead. The design stamped on the towel was of a cat with weird eyes that as I recall looked like wagon wheels. I never did finish it, a harbinger of future projects! I found it years later in my mother’s “rag bag.” I wish I had it now.

    In my adult stitching life, my first project was from a “Learn to Needlepoint” class I took through Minneapolis Public Schools Adult Ed in 1976 or so. It was a wool stitch sampler with maybe 20 sections, done in blue and green, true ‘70’s colors!

    1. OMG, I figured I was the only person in the world who remembered Tri-Chem!. My mom didn’t embroider either, but made decorative Pellon covers for all the light switches and embellished simple felt stockings with that paint.

  413. It was a hand sewn wool pin cushion that fit on my wrist. I was so proud of my accomplishment. The wool was left over from a shirt my mom had made for my dad. I was nine years old. I had it for many years. . .until our latest dog chewed it up. . . .

  414. I was in primary school and I made a felt needle case for my Mum with wool sections for the needles and a pocket on the back cover, then it was hand embroidered with felt flowers. My Mum died in June 2019 at age 99, she still used the needle case, my niece asked if she could have it, I’m sure she’ll take care of it, it’s in quite a delicate state, worn by years of love.

  415. My first experience with a needle in my hand was learning Swedish embroidery called hucking. Our brownie troop leader taught us eight year-olds how to embroider a tea towel as a present for our mothers on Mother’s Day. The fabric was dark blue, the thread was white, and the design was simple, stepped and classic. My mother was thrilled. How do I have such great recall? My mother died last year at age 90 and there in her cedar chest, wrapped in tissue, was my first effort at creating a thing of beauty for her.

  416. My first stitchery was a crewel kit which contained cattails, an owl and greenery. I framed it.

  417. The first project I remember stitching was a little crewel armadillo (from a kit). This was when I was in college in the early ‘70s. The earliest project I still have is a goose alphabet in cross stitch from the early ‘80s. My style has changed a bit since then!

  418. My first stitching memory is of my grandmother teaching me stitches for cross-stitching and how to sew a button. I didn’t use that skill for decades. But since having kids, I’ve picked up embroidery and have occasionally been mending clothes.

  419. When I was around 9 yrs. old, my Momma got me a little needlpoint kit to work on my own. It was a strawberry with a light blue background. She told me to thoroughly follow the instructions and to come to her with any questions, but she really wanted me to work it by myself. She was an experienced stitcher and I grew up watching her. Some of my best memories.
    She was proud of me when I finished 🙂

  420. When I was 8 years old I received an embroidery kit as a Christmas gift. I think the pattern was a kitten. Try as I may, my untutored work was a mess. I thought I would never learn to embroider, but I did…when I was 70. I love it and have made many gifts for friends. Mary Corbet is an inspiration and my current tutor!

  421. Primary school, aged 7 (?) is my first conscious memory of stitching. The class all received an oblong of a soft canvas all squared with regular holes (I’m sure there’s a name for this fabric but what it was called circa 1966 in provincial Scotland I have no idea!). We were allowed to embroider on this fabric using cotton thick threads and I loved doing it! We could use our own stitch patterns and colours. I have no idea how we learned to do the stitches – presumably the teacher showed us but I have no memory of that.

  422. The first thing I stitched was on denim jeans. I remember flowers with lots of color. Sure wish you still had those jeans

  423. I’m a very new stitcher. My first project was to embroider a shark onto a baseball cap for my nephew…a shark that he had drawn himself.

  424. The first thing I ever stitched was a pincushion (in 7th grade) on which we practiced our sewing machine skills for the finishing. The fabric had some tiny colored lines which helped keep the embroidery in straight lines. It featured an elastic band to keep it on the wrist. I’m still using it today nearly 60 years later!

  425. The first thing I ever stitched was a dresser scarf that my mother gave me. She showed me how to stitch the flowers and I loved it.

  426. My first memory of stitching was of my grandmother teaching me embroidery stitches, and giving me a prestamped flower embroidery design. I was around 5 years old.

  427. Thing first thing I hand-stitched was in fifth Grade. It was a stuffed red heart with white lace stitched to the edges. I stitched, in a running stitch, the letters “I love you” on it. I gave it to the boy I had a crush on, and he gave it back to me. 😉 I still have it.

  428. Hi!
    Other than sewing cards, the first thing I ever stitched was a preprinted cross stitch
    linen kit.
    It was a prayer of peace and I bought it with a hoop from the local dime store.
    I spent my allowance and the joy was born!

  429. Earliest stitching memory – my Nana from Brooklyn came to visit in Chicago, and taught me to darn, sew and my favorite- embroider. I wish I could remember what it was that we did!

  430. My earliest stitching memory is asking my mother to teach me cross stitch. It’s been my favorite stitching method ever since although I did eventually graduate to counted cross stitch. I find unparalleled delight in watching the design emerge on the blank canvas.

  431. What a great question! The first thing I ever stitched was in the early 1970’s and was a bright orange hippo. It was a crewel kit from my aunt who was visiting from California. I remember being so upset because I accidently sewed my pajamas to the back of my work and having to undo some of it! It was the start of a life-long hobby that has brought me such joy!

  432. The very first thing I stitched was a cross stitch border on a blue and white checkered tea towel. I was about 8 years old, and it was during a Brownie meeting at the Brownie leader’s house. I loved that session and was so proud of my work. Somehow, through countless moves with my parents from Ohio to Michigan, and then as an adult through many moves at two universities, and then, a move to Ontario, Canada, I still have that tea towel. It lives in the sideboard in my dining room, and has done so through 44 years of marriage after the many miles it has traveled.

  433. My first embroidery project was a handkerchief for my dad with HUGE red and blue initials down the middle. I was maybe 6. I was so proud of that, and Dad kept it forever.

  434. Hello Mary; gosh, I find it hard to believe it could be 68 in Kansas this time of year! Maybe somewhere in the southwest, yes, but that seems quite warm for Kansas; but what do I know.
    I’ve been stitching so long that I can’t recall the first thing I stitched, but I do recall learning how to embroider when I was a teen, outlining some design. I learned how using those classic “Learn how” books, and even still have one today!

  435. My first stitching memory– in the “old days” a child could walk anywhere without adult supervision. My mom would send me to the “dime store” with money to buy a stamped dish towel (probably around 50 cents and no sales tax). I still have the tiny baby bib with the image of a poodle all done in french knots sometime before I was 10 years old.

  436. My very first memory is of looking at a dresser scarf (remember those?) that my mother had that maybe, or maybe not, she embroidered. It was of some simple stitches; the one I remember in particular was, I know now, Lazy Daisy. I tried to teach myself how to do it and, because I was very, very young, after the first attempt or two and failing, I gave it up. About 18 years later, my husband gave me a needlepoint kit of a Great Gray Owl in a tree in a forest with snow falling: that one I did finish and it started me on a long, slow journey into stitching.

  437. I remember sewing a tube skirt for my Barbie doll, and then many years later, in high school, sewing a skirt…. as for stitching, can’t remember any time using cross stitch or others!! I don’t think my mom liked stitching very much, but she did knit a lot….

  438. My grandmother taught me the basics of embroidery when I was just 6-7 years old. I remember a piece of fabric, probably a pillowcase (those were big in the late 50s!), and a metal oval hoop. I remember learning stem stitch, back stitch, and my favorite at the time, lazy daisy stitch! I’ve been embroidering ever since!

  439. What a wonderful offer of amazing goodies, So hoping I’m in with a chance. I have never owned a needleminder, being a sticker of needles in use in the outside of my needle case or into work in progress. I try not to, but fail, odd times into the of the chair! Fingers crossed…..
    Thank you for your generously Mary, All good wishes to you and yours for 2021

  440. Hi Mary,

    The first thing I ever stitched was a hand-drawn map of Cyprus in dark green stem stitch. I was 5 or 6 years old and nagged my Mom to let me ‘help’ her and stitch on the tablecloth she was busy with… She drew the map, and got me started on a scrap piece of calico to keep me occupied and quiet . Well, it was very wonky as you can imagine – but that was the beginning for me!

    Thank you Mary, I cannot wait to read each of your posts.

    Kind regards

  441. The first thing I ever (remember stitching) was a cross stitch piece of apples on a shelf. I stitched it because of mom. She was the crafty person in the house (made clothes without patterns, knitted, crocheted, those kinds of things). Me, I was more like my dad–logical, literal, not creative at all. I came home one day and this piece of fabric went flying by followed by a few choice cuss words (very out of character for my mother). So I picked it up and thought, “If mom doesn’t like doing this maybe I might.” The rest is history. Cross stitch was just what this left-hemisphered girl needed–turns out it was also a gateway stitch to an amazing hobby.

  442. The first thing I remember stitching was a stamped cross-stitch piece that had a friends theme. I made this in high school (around 1970) for my best friend. I edged the piece with some crocheted lace made by my grandmother.

  443. Looking back from the vantage point of 62 years, I am SURE I stitched at least a little prior to my first memory, otherwise (LONG before the internet’s inspriation) why would I have thought to do this first project I remember? I embroidered little sprigs of flowers all over the front bodice of my wedding gown in 1978, matching the (polyester doubleknit, but really pretty 🙂 pattern knit into the cloth, all white. Yellow flowers and green leaves, to match my wedding bouquet, which was all yellow roses, and our wedding cake, which, guess what?, was decorated with both icing and fresh yellow roses! Did I mention yellow is my favorite color? Still!

  444. I have a vague memory of holding an embroidery needle and stitching over blue coloured lines with embroidery threads. My stitching was pulled too loose and too tight and I’m sure my perfectionist mother threw the piece away. Her talents overwhelmed my beginner techniques and it would be years before I found my zen in embroidering on my clothes and later embroidering huge tablecloths for my own dining room. I discovered for myself the fantastic power of the simple needle that ties us together across time, places and a myriad of cultures.

  445. The first thing I ever stitched was a simple skirt. My first embroidery was several years later , a flower bouquet on the pockets of a vest. Great memories!

  446. What a fun giveaway. I often enjoy your whimsy.

    My mom tried to teach me some basic stitching skills for years, but I refused to learn. I was a stubborn teenager, and it was decidedly not cool. So it was quite a shock to her when I wen to college, discovered historical recreation groups, and came home trying to sew and embroider.

    My first project was a Celtic knotwork design worked around the hemline of a skirt. I didn’t know anything about transferring designs or stitches, and I didn’t ask anyone for guidance. I just forged ahead blindly and with more enthusiasm than sense. I traced the design directly on the fabric with lead pencil and then I figured that if I laid thread across the ribbons it would cover the space, and so the most ragged satin stitch ever was created. I carried this skirt everywhere for NINE months.

    I’m still proud of it. Sadly, I don’t have any pictures. It wasn’t quality work, but it was an accomplishment, and now it’s a reminder of how much I’ve learned in the years since.

  447. Earliest stitching memory? Wow, so long ago. Just remember that I had just moved out from my parent’s house and was living in a studio apartment next to where I worked. Went into town to look around and saw a stitchery shop. Went in and started talking to the owner. I know I walked out with some stuff for a project, but it has now escaped me. I became a frequent customer to that shop, but only have one project left (that I know of) and that is a piece stitched on perforated paper with quilt blocks all around that says “One good turn gets most of the quilt”. Loved that saying.

  448. The first thing I ever stitched was a duck on a baby bib. I was 12 and my summer school home economics teacher told me to complete a project of my choice to make up for a one week absence. We were going on vacation to visit my grandparents. My mom took me to the Five-n-Dime and we picked out the pre-printed bib and all the embroidery supplies. My mom taught me embroidery on that family vacation.

  449. When I was six, my grandmother taught me a few stitches. The first project I worked on was an outline of a rose my mom drew on a scrap of an old sheet. I still have it tucked away.

  450. The first thing I remember stitching was when I was still pretty young (10?). It was a pre-stamped cross stitch kit ordered from Women’s Day magazine of the silhouette of a mom in a rocking chair with the saying “Mother, she dreams, she loves, she understands”. Even though it was pretty crudely done, and the blue pattern lines showed, it hung in our upstairs hallway for years!

  451. My very first surface embroidery project was a table cloth celebrating birthdays… designed by Sandy Jenkins. It was a wonderful beginners project and I use it for birthday celebrations still.

  452. My first piece was a Jacobean style wool preprinted embroidery kit that could be made into a cushion cover.

  453. I do remember–at age four, dragging my doll by the arm, I wandered over to a neighbor’s house. She welcomed me, got out some fabric, and cut out a dress for my doll. It was yellow dotted swiss. Then she threaded a needle and instructed me in sewing the dress. My mother was a master seamstress and embroiderer, but her tools and sewing stuff was absolutely forbidden to me, for she was afraid I would be injured by the needles, pins, and sharp scissors. When I showed up with my finished project she was amazed. I found the dress among her possessions after she died.

  454. My earliest stitching memory is of a Christmas apron (childsize). It was red and white checked and I cross stitched at the bottom of it. That was almost 50 years ago (guessing). I still have it, maybe one day I can wrap it around my granddaughter and we can make cookies.

  455. It was a little crewel kit of mushrooms on black velvet. Colors were very 70’s since it was 1976. Rusts, oranges, ochre. Still have it! I was hooked from then on.

  456. My very first embroidery lesson was from my dear Mother & we worked on a set of pillowcases. I was probably around 13 years of age.

  457. My mother taught my to stitch, a white cotton hankie with a forger me knot in the corner, when she passed, I found it in her handbag. Needlework brings such joy and I have used yours and other folks guidance to help me return to it after some 20 years of professional outdoor sports coaching…..I’m greatly enjoying returning to my roots. Thank you for all the help you give to all Mary and the generosity of your giveaways {[:-)

  458. My recollection of one of the first things I stitched was a foot stool cover in Crewel work. I loved it and had it for years until the colors started to fade and as I recall something stained it. I am sad because when I removed it I did not save it just as a memory of one of the first things I stitched.

    1. I forgot to include my first recollection of stitching which was a dresser scarf stitched with stamped crossstitch. Great Great Aunt Mildred had my sister and I sew them when we spent a week with her in the summer, mid 1970s.

  459. My favorite item that I have stitched is a Needlepointed Gingerbread House that has been set up yearly for about nineteen years. It is sewn on plastic canvas, and decorated with yarn fabficated lifesavers hanging from the eves, chocolate drops hidden around the house, and real candy canes and lolipops planted in the snow-covered lawn. Each Christmas season it has been enjoyed and visited by my five grandchildren who daily will look for little surprises left by one of Santa’s elves if he as seen that their behavior has been good. I have many photos of the children peeking through the front door of the Gingerbread House to see what has been left for them. It has been a delight for me to see their excitement and pleasure with this decoration that I made so long ago.

  460. Do I ever remember. Early 1970’s embroidery of a flower garden in gold, green and orange yarns on… wait for it… burlap. Sigh.
    Thanks for the opportunity to revisit that.

  461. My first embroidery, when I was 4, was a little bunny in a patch of clover. I had seen him that morning under the clothesline. It was done on the “blank” end of a linen dish towel (which itself had once been part of a skirt of my grandmother’s) which had on the “good” end a beautiful wreath embroidered by my grandmother. I got what was then called “a good paddlin’ ” by my mother; my grandmother took the beautiful towel away. I never dared ask about it. After my grandmother died, at 103, I was floored to find the towel, laundered, iron, carefully folded with my bunny on top, wrapped in tissue paper, in the bureau drawer where she kept what she called her “good linens”. My cute little bunny looked just like I remembered him! I intensely enjoyed both ends of that towel for 20 years before a house fire ended the whole saga, along with plenty of others.

  462. I don’t remember what it looked like, but I remember trying to embroider as a child and getting frustrated and quitting because the floss would get tangled and knotted.

  463. My first stitching project was a pillowcase or dresser scarf. My mom gave one to me and one to my sister. The story goes that she put one or two stitches in and the tossed it under the bed. Mine was finished but who knows where it is now!

  464. First thing, eh. Whenever I visited my Hungarian grandma, we’d go to Woolworths and I would pick out a printed “thing” (pillow case or dresser scarf) and some floss (Coates & Clark Brand). I had my metal hoop (with the cork lining), and some scissors. I can’t remember the FIRST actual project, but I still have a small “sampler” that was stamped cross-stitch. It is a deer leaping in the woods or something. Red and Blue. If you have ever seen a stamped cross-stitch piece, in solid-stitched parts, those Xs get all very confusing! And you can see how confused I got in the middle of the deer.

  465. I first stitching project was Swedish weave aroind age 10 or 12 . My mom taught me and I made tea towels for my Grandma. I still remember the thread color was coral on white fabric. I think I did a good job. It was fun and challenging and I was hooked.

  466. My first embroidery project was a decorative border on a gingham apron I made for my mother. I must have been about 10 years old; it was a project to earn a girl scout badge. I still remember the lacy white chicken scratch border on the crisp blue-and-white fabric. It was lovely, and got a lot of use. I’m still stitching today

  467. The first thing I stitched was a stamped embroidery when I was a small girl. I remember the tangled mess when I tried to do a French Knot.

  468. The first thing I can remember stitching was a pair of Mallard ducks, which was a cross-stitch pattern from McCalls (I think). That was 40 years ago. I was a newlywed and stitched it on the back of one of my husband’s blue work shirts for him to wear to Ducks Unlimited meetings. He completely wore out that shirt, then cut out the stitched piece and sewed it onto a new shirt.
    Last summer I redid the pattern on a piece of blue Aida cloth, framed it and gave it to him as a gift.

  469. After practicing the stitches I need to make, I made a cross-stitch of the serenity prayer and then used satin stitch and chain stitch around it. My dad helped me make the frame and my mom helped me stretch the linen and finish the backing. I was 10 years old and the gift was for my grandmother. It now proudly hangs in my house. It is 60 years old!

  470. Well the first thing I stitched was the Lavender and Lace pattern of the little girl and the alphabet for my first born grand daughter’s 3rd birthday. She is 30 now and still has it. Thanks Ann

  471. I can’t be sure it’s the first thing I did – my memory is not great and I started stitching VERY young – but the oldest thing I remember is a kit that was a hexagonal plastic box with a perforated lid and the yarn and (plastic) needle to stitch a unicorn onto the lid in tent stitch. I don’t remember stitching it, but I do remember owning and knowing I had done it.

  472. The first thing I ever stitched was a large pillow bolster. I was in college and the whole project was free-form with mushrooms and a positive phrase that I’m forgetting right now. It was done in wool on a corduroy backing! Who knew, I certainly didn’t. The thing still lives – but now it’s in my daughter’s breezeway gracing a wicker settee.

  473. The first thing I ever stitched was hand-sewing doll clothes but my first embroidery was huckweaving on a hand-towel.

  474. So many years ago! It was a set of seven stamped dish towels, I think the ones with little kittens doing household chores.

  475. My grandmother used to send my mom embroidered flour sack dish towels, so when I first married, I decided to make my own. I bought the flour sack towels and some of those iron-on decals and my first towel had two little ducks swimming in some water with a few flowers around the perimeter of the water. I still have that towel although the others eventually wore out and I tossed them. I favored my ducks so didn’t use it as often. That little duck on its 35+year old towel sits in my dish towel drawer. There is something about the little guys that tug at my heart so I’ve never been able to get rid of that towel, even though I now make towels out of Moda toweling fabric. I should find a way to cut away a piece of the cloth and crazy/quilt stitch it to a backing and frame it. And the stitching (mostly stem stitch) was NOT bad for a beginner! PS: I just remembered that I used to feed the ducks at Alondra Park when I was a little girl. I loved doing that so maybe that memory is embedded in that towel.

  476. Hello Mary,
    I cannot remember what my earliest stitching was..my grandmother taught me when I was young. I started stitching in earnest in my early 20’s, and my first project was a field of dandelions stitched in mostly wool fibers on a green fabric. It was a kit I ordered from Mother’s Day magazine. I gave the framed picture to my mother, and now that she is gone I have it back! That was more than 50 years ago…
    Happy Holidays, and thanks for all the Christmas giveaways, such fun to look forward to, especially this year☺️
    Helen in Tucson

  477. The first thing I remember stitching is probably also the first thing I ever stitched. It was the image of a cat done in backstitch and looked more like a snowman than a cat. I was probably about 9 or 10 at the time, and found a small piece of grey felt somewhere and some brown floss. Maybe my mother gave them to me. She sewed, but she had some embroidery supplies and taught me some basic stitches. I don’t think I drew a design on the felt, just stitched what I would have drawn on paper.

    Thank you for doing this! Have a Merry Christmas and stay safe!

  478. I had to laugh when I read your comments theme today. An aunt had taught me one needlepoint stitch: continental. My husband was going on an extended business trip and I decided that to keep me occupied, I would stitch a chair. Yep. I bought a rocking chair, stripped and stained it, had the springs bronzed and set about making a cover for the seat and the back. With my own design. Yep. We call the design “primitive.” But it has rocked two babies to sleep and is still used occasionally to still some of the anxiety and stress of they days.
    This giveaway sounds wonderful, Mary! Thank you very much.

  479. Mmmmm…. ,
    Had to go way, way back in the memory bank for this one, but I think the earliest needlework I can remember stitching is a table centrepiece done on red and white checked gingham. The squares of the fabric gave little fingers a good guide where to place the needle and thread, I think I was about 8!
    Much has happened since then, even though I didn’t really dive into my stitching journey till many years later, to my regret (all those wasted years….. sigh).

  480. The first project I remember is embroidering the yolk of a denim shirt with flowers etc. They were All The Rage when I was a youth (back in the Dark Ages of the seventies.)

  481. The first thing I stitched was a bookmark after signing up for a kids and Mom learn to stitch class…I was hooked from the first stitch.

  482. If I remember correctly, the first thing I ever stitched (not counting stitching in childhood, this I can’t remember for anything in the world), was a “quilt square”, or what I thought a quilt square would look like. It was a little mermaid with a ball, done with old GDR floss on a light blue synthetic from a charity shop. The outlines of the mermaid herself were worked in dark blue, turquoise and white (in backstitch, I believe), so that the little creature nearly merged with the background. After that I started stitching a second square with oak leaves and acorns, but never finished it. Means, I still have got no quilt. Not even a mini quilt.

  483. I had to laugh when I read your comments theme today. An aunt had taught me one needlepoint stitch: continental. My husband was going on an extended business trip and I decided that to keep me occupied, I would stitch a chair. Yep. I bought a rocking chair, stripped and stained it, had the springs bronzed and set about making a cover for the seat and the back. With my own design. Yep. We call the design “primitive.” But it has rocked two babies to sleep (the youngest is 37) and is still used occasionally to still some of the anxiety and stress of these days.
    This giveaway sounds wonderful, Mary! Thank you very much.

  484. My first thing I can remember making is the typical stamped cross stitched pillowcase. I have no idea whatever happened to it!

  485. The first thing I ever embroidered was a purse when I was 8 years old. I chose wild colorful colors and when it was finished I entered it in the Fair. I won first place!! I love embroidery and I love your emails!!

  486. The first thing I stitched was a Long stitch landscape kit as a present for my Sister. 30 years on and still sewing.

  487. My first stitching project was when I was about 8 years old and my mother taught me counted cross stitch. I made a christmas gift for my grandmother.

  488. I think the first thing I ever stitched was on a piece of scrap fabric – my initials. I was four.

  489. The first thing I stitched was an embroidery picture. I was 16 or seventeen when I started it. It was of Holly Lobby and used many stitches that I knew nothing about. My aunt showed me how to do some of the stitches and then I was off. It went with me to college, finished and framed. Enjoyed the stitching and still do today. It has gotten much better since then and I really enjoy other needlework as well.

  490. Well my first stitching was the Lavender And Lace alphabet with a little girl and her bunny, for my first born grand daughter’s 3rd birthday. She is now 30 and still has it.

  491. I don’t remember my first stitch but what I do remember is living in a small German village that had a stitch store in it when I was in the second grade. I saved my money and finally had enough to go in and buy some supplies. The shop owner taught me a few basic stitches and I was on my own after that.

  492. The first thing I ever stitched was a needlepoint kit of a cat wearing some kind of blue outfit. I was probably 11 or 12. Haven’t looked back

  493. I was taught to stitch by my mother when I was 8 years old. The first thing I stitched were boarders to pillow cases. I loved the different stitches! However, after stitching these, I thought they were too pretty to sleep on.

  494. My first piece of embroidery was a table runner ,blue linen with roses in three strands of Dmc so a bit bulky ! I still have it 70 years later !

  495. Hi, Mary! The first thing I ever stitched was in 1972. It was a needlepoint of a frog sitting on a mushroom, twiddling his thumbs while eyeing up a butterfly. It had those big daisies (like on The Dating Game) and was done in Paternayan wool in psychedelic colors. I did it for home ec. It now is on the wall of my Grandson’s room.

  496. I began stitching as a little girl. My first piece was a simple cross stitch kit that contained a small basket and the words “I Love You”. I had it all through College, but it has since been lost.

  497. The first thing I ever stitched occurred when I was 3 years old. It was a simple stack of cut 2″ scrap squares that I sewed together by hand, following my grandmother’s instructions. She then had me attach a waistband with a self-tie. It became my very first apron. I was so proud of that simple apron that I wore it daily for years, until it was way too small for me; at which point, I removed the waistband and turned it into a pillow. I just couldn’t bear to part with it. Because I loved that project so much, my grandmother also had me create my very first embroidery sampler that same summer. She was so very patient and meticulous that I learned 6 different embroidery stitches and recreated them over and over until I perfected each one to her satisfaction. I was so happy and excited that from that moment on, I was totally hooked on all types of handcrafts, and always had some new project in the works. She was a wise woman who taught me that speed was not important. I needed to focus on perfecting my skills and enjoying each stitch. I still follow all of her advice, and can hear her in my head reminding me that each project should be enjoyed while it is being made, so it can become a blessing to whomever I gave it to eventually. I loved working with her in her sewing room so much! We had such good times together! Our work sessions have remained my most cherished childhood memories. So much so, that her advice is the first thing I teach to young people who are just learning to sew and do all types of handwork — always remember to find pleasure in the process.

  498. When I was a teenager (I guess I was around 14) I knitted a sweater. It was bright green and rather plain therefore I decided to embelish it with emboidery. I embroidered an owl. Why an owl – supposedly because it’s a symbol of wisdom. Since that time I have been stitching occasionally to embelish my or kids garments. Now since I am retired I stitching regularly and learning a lot.
    I am very happy that I discovered your, Mary, home page. You are so lavish that one can find everything needed for an embroiderer. Thank you so much!

  499. My earliest sewing memories are of sitting on the small, trellised front porch of my Grandmother’s house, at the end of the day, with my Mother and my older twin sisters, being taught all kinds of handwork: crossstitch, tatting, knitting and sewing. It was almost the only time I saw my Grandmother sit as she was up with the rooster, pumping water from the outside pump, grinding the coffee beans, making bread and scrubbing clothes on the washboard. This was all done before full sunrise. Of the 5 girls in my family, I’m the only one for whom the sewing lessons took. How glad I am!

  500. The first thing I remember stitching was a small linen table topper with cross stitches in 3 different colors. I still have it.

  501. The first thing I embroidered back in the early 1970s, was a pillow kit by Elsa Williams of a Siamese cat and a bee on a linen with wool in the style of crewel. I loved it and it eventually it fell apart, but I keep it as a reminder. By the way, my stitches were a good attempt, but I’ve learned a lot! A couple of years ago I found that kit online and stitched it for my son’s ex-girlfriend who has a Siamese cat – they both loved it. ~ Liz B.

  502. What an exciting pack for today’s giveaway! I broke my leg when I was 7 and my mum bought me a canvas tapestry to help pass the time. It was a picture of a white house and garden very similar to where we lived. It was was eventually framed and I still have it 50 plus years later!

  503. The first thing I ever finished stitching was a cross stitch juggling teddy bear. It was bright colors and I gave it to my dad. It hung in his office until he retired.

  504. 10 years old. Sitting under the bushes on a hot bleached out street of pastel stucco houses. Cool slightly damp earth squished between my toes.
    A wooden hoop in my hands … stitching lazy daisies and stem stitch on blue printed cotton. Wondering what would happen if i stitched outside the lines.

  505. It started in the 70’s when my sister and I found some Bucilla kits for crewel stitching. I think there is still one of the finished products hanging in my mother’s house! Then I discovered counted cross stitch then needlepoint and bargello. Currently I am captivated by embroidery, and inspired by the Needle ‘n Thread blog and the facebook group. Thank you Mary!

  506. My first hand stitched piece was a sprig of roses printed on small holed canvas about 10 by 10 inches, in wool with no instructions, that was 46 years ago and I still have it. It’s badly stitched, took ages I didn’t know what I was doing, but did it in, what I now know, is tent stitch. When I found it again I made it into a cushion, it brings me joy and reminds me perfection is not always necessary to love something.

  507. The earliest stitching memory is making an apron in school when I was seven with cross stitch on gingham. The cross stitches did all the seaming.

  508. I love your website and the emails. My passion is hand embroidery. I took classes and by the time I got home I couldn’t make it work. Having you online with such clear directions has been amazing. Thank you so much. I am close to finishing a king size crazy quilt.

  509. The very first thing that I embroidered was a stamped baby bib for a cousin who was having a baby. I was about 8, and had never embroidered before. My mother took me to the local sundries store that had floss and pre-made items. She taught me the outline stitch and I used ALL of the primary colors I could. I was so proud of my accomplishment!

  510. First thing I ever cross stitched was an owl from a 10 cent kit when I was 8 in 1965. But I was learning huckweaving crochet and knitting around the same time. My dad had that owl forever but no clue where it is now. Thanks for sharing.

  511. My earliest stitching project that I can recall was a 4 inch square with a kitten in the middle playing with a yarn ball. I learned to embroider on this piece. It had various stitches to learn . I proudly displayed it on my dresser. Fun to remember! Cheers!

  512. The first thing I ever stitched was a colorful nosegay pattern, stitched with wool thread on a burlap-like fabric. I was around 9 years old. I felt so accomplished when I finished that piece and my mother framed it and kept it in her house for many years. I looked at it years later and understood what an integral part of my life that accomplishment was. It became a part of who I am today almost 50 years later. The finished product was good for a 9-year-old! I don’t stitch nearly as often these days which makes me sad. But I still look back on my nosegay with pride.

  513. My earliest sewing memories are watching my mom make clothes and soft toys for us. I helped out once by cutting the knees out of my pants – 5 years old. As I got older, mom and I shared many hand stitching projects. Mom would buy a kit for me and then help me if I had trouble. I still have my earliest stamped cross stitch samplers.

  514. A linen stamped cross stitch sampler (that I still have) that I received when I was in grade school; a gift I requested because I was (still am) very much into American history-related stories (oh “Little Women” and “Witch of Blackbird Pond”) and the young girls were always stitching samplers!

  515. The first thing I ever stitched must have been a baby’s first Christmas ornament. It was a small, simple cross stitch kit with all supplies included. Bought at the dime store because I didn’t know about needlework stores. It was for my brother’s or my son’s child.

  516. The first thing I remember stitching was a project for a Girl Scout badge. My recollection from 50+ years ago is pretty fuzzy, but I believe we each had to come up with our own design. Mine was a hot air balloon, done with acrylic knitting yarn on a burlap-type fabric – and the result was pretty homely, as I recall!

  517. My first embroidery project was when I was 5 on a summer trip with my parents. My mother was embroidering something and I wanted to do it too. I remember her drawing my initials on a scrap of her fabric and showing me how to do the satin stitch. I gave it to her as a gift when I was finished and she still has it on her inspiration board half a century later.

  518. The first piece I remember stitching was cross stitch on gingham (chicken scratch) for a small table cloth. First thing my mother taught me over 60 years ago.

  519. Happy Holiday Greetings!!! To answer your question request my very first embroidery stitching project was a modified sampler type where it was a ladder and each rung of the ladder had a different plant that highlighted a different embroidery stitch. This was after sitting with a piece of pillowcase that I practiced basic stitches on.

  520. The first item I ever stitched was a roses cross-stitch table topper, which I started when I was about 19. I put it away for awhile…perhaps saving it for my hope chest?…and pulled it out several years later, after having 5 children! I finished it, and have used it many times since. My daughter-in-law has now expressed an interest in having it, so it’ll be passed on to her.

  521. My first stitching project was from my grandma when I was 8 years old. It was surface embroidery of a rooster on an obnoxious blue background. And I loved it! lord, the knots and thread nests on the back of that thing! And I haven’t stopped stitching for the past 50 (good grief!) years. I may try other crafts but I always come back to needlework. It is my solace, my way of passing time.

  522. I started my handwork adventure about 48 years ago stitching printed pillowcases from Ben Franklin’s and haven’t stopped yet!

  523. My first embroidery was a patchwork cushion embroidered with a candlewick design in the center .My mother a wonderful embroiderer encouraged me to do a course and her intention was to join me in this venture.Unfortunately my mother passed away before the course began.I went ahead with the course and fell in love with this wonderful world of embroidery and whatever I embroider I do in her honour.

  524. My mother taught me embroidery while I was (at 6 years of age) hospitalized for several months.
    I remember sitting up in bed and stitching. Treatment worked. At 78 years, I am healthy. WooHoo.

  525. I started stitching when I was very young, about 8. The first thing I ever stitched was a bumble bee as the main part of a little square, I was making a cover for a stool for a tiny doll. I was fascinated with bees at the time. I remember being very happy with myself because it turned out so well. I am sure if I looked at it now, instead of the memory of a little girl it would appear totally different. 🙂 I was also given a pot holder with a picture of a flower covered wagon, and never worked it because I was afraid I would ruin the picture. I always have to remind myself that we are always learning, we don’t start out as experts. Now a days I will try something and if I don’t like it, I will just start over. I love to embroider.

  526. My mother taught me to cross-stitch in the early 80’s when I was in 7th or 8th grade – I can’t remember exactly. But that year, I made a piece for each of my close friends for Christmas with their names cross-stitched on Aida cloth and framed in a padded fabric frame that I also made (which was all the rage at that time). I secretly also cross-stitched one that said I *heart* Mom for my mother, which I found when I cleaned out her house after she died. I’ll be forever grateful for my mother introducing me to stitching!!

  527. I started sewing when I was very young – my mother was a home ec teacher. The first project I remember was a sock monkey, with embroidered face. I think it was for a Girl Scout badge.

  528. My first memory of stitching is sitting with my mom and aunt, holding a hoop with a paper towel stretched in it. I was learning stitches before moving on to cloth and stitching iron-on transfer designs. I think my younger brother had more talent than I did, but less desire.

  529. The first thing! My Mom started me off with dish towels. Those cute little towels that have pictures of animals, kitties, I’m sure, doing everyday chores for each day of the week. You know the ones. Monday we wash, Tuesday we bake, etc. I still hold a special place in my heart for those and always pick up the patterns and smile when I see them. I remember Mom ironing them on the towels. Yep, good memory you’ve triggered. Thank you.

  530. The first thing I ever stitched was when I was six years old. It was a very small, very ragtag, tote bag. On it I tried to emborder my mother’s name as a present for her for Mother’s Day.

    I thought it turned out so well, I proceeded to make the same tote bag for all and everyone I loved. My grandmother, my cat, my teacher, my sister…

    My mother intervened and saved me from myself, and help me move on to sampler, where I proceeded to spell almost every word wrong. Oh well.

  531. My earliest stitching memory was spending a Minnesota snowbound weekend indoors cozy on the couch embroidering items from an embroidery grab bag I had purchased. I had enough projects in that grab bag to last me all weekend.

  532. Hmm. I can’t remember the first thing I stitched. It might have been the face of a bear on fabric, that then turned into a stuffed bear? It might have been a stamped cross stitch design of a building from Williamsburg. Or, it could have been the decorative cross stitches that we had to sew on our gingham aprons that we made in home ec.

    The more I try to remember, I think it was the stamped cross stitch!

  533. My first memory of doing embroidery is doing some basic back stitching and stem stitching on old sheets on which we would draw our name, basic flowers, and other simple designs when I was in the sixth grade. My school had a period every week on Friday when we would work on it. At the same time, my mother taught me to do a lot more than I was learning in school. I was about 10-11 years old. It was love at first stitch for me.

  534. the first thing I ever stitched was a pre-printed cross-stitch saying “home sweet home”.
    I just kept on stitching after that!

  535. The first thing I ever stitched was at a children’s church group when I was 11– it was about 8 lines of cross-stitch, each a single color, on Aida cloth. I was too much of a tomboy at the time to really appreciate it. I really came into embroidery later, in college and my young married life.

  536. Love the gift ideas…just want to thank you for all your inspiration and learning videos. They have always been a big help when teaching crazy quilt classes!!!

    Merry Christmas

  537. Gosh, I started stitching a long time ago. Over 50 years. I’m afraid I don’t remember what I started on. I remember making some bibs when I was in 2nd half of my first decade. I still have them. The designs were printed onto the bib.

    Heather M. in BC

  538. I was a freshman in college when I designed and stitched a whale spouting in the waves. I have it framed today, and each time a look at it, it makes me smile at the juvenile stitches! But I love it and I have great memories from that start into stitching so long ago.

  539. I am not sure – but I believe the first thing I ever stitched was a tablecloth for my grandmother. The floral design was printed on linen and she had me stitch it entirely with gold embroidery floss. I must have been about 10 or 11 years of age – a VERY long time ago!

  540. The first embroidery I remember I was about 8. It was a preprinted pillow case I picked out at a Woolworths store. The case had cross stitch roses. At that time I was I in love with variegated color embroidery floss so each rose was a different color. The purple and red ones were my favorites. That pillowcase was in use until at least my high school years.

  541. Wow! What a good question. It triggered memories I had forgotten. I got the first floss and stamped crossstitch I think as a Christmas gift from my Mother. The patterns I am sure were Aunt Martha transfers. I remember a simple red tomato on the dish towel. Remember Mom doing the iron transfer. What I remember as Christmas was 2 picture sized horses that were stem stitched and a bunch of floss that was what my Mom had. I was probably 11-12 yrs because I was crazy about horses. (While Mom with some persuasion from her Grandma did some crossstitch in the 40s. It was too slow. She was an excellent seamstress).

    Don’t believe either picture was ever completed. I do have the first completed and gifted project – a bought stamped crossstitchdresser scarf in 4 shades of blue. A Christmas gift to my maternal Grandma. It returned to me still in the gift box when she died. probably age 12-13. Should see if there is a date on it

  542. The first thing that I embroidered was a small pattern for a stylized flower. I had planned to make it into a bookmark, but I marked on it with pencil which won’t come out 🙁 I think about redoing it in the future, but right now I have so many other projects on my plate that I know it will be a while.

  543. My first stitching memory is sewing doll clothes on my mom’s Bernina sewing machine back in the late 1970’s.

  544. The earliest stitching memory I have is a “Home Sweet Home” piece that was stamped on white fabric. I learned daisy chain, satin, running stitches, and cross stitches. I still have it!

  545. The very first embroidery I did was a pair of stamped cross stitch doilies with S pair of simple flowers and a few leaves. The second was a stamped pledge of allegiance to the flag. I have no idea where the doors are but the pledge is framed and hanging in my guest room.

  546. Describe the first thing you ever stitched! If that’s not quite possible, what’s your earliest stitching memory?

    I think it was a teddy bear with a Santa hat on it! It was very cute.

  547. My earliest memory of doing needlework is of stitching on “embroidery” cards with what I think was something like a shoelace! I must have been 4 or 5 at the time and I remember loving it. Have a safe and Merry (modified) Christmas, Mary!

  548. While it wasn’t embroidered, the first thing I remember making was a small doll size quilt when I was about 10. It was for a history class at school. We were studying the pilgrims.

  549. The first needle work project I can remember doing was a little cross stitch kit. It was of an old time telephone and included a glass dome top and felt for the bottom to make a paperweight. I must’ve been around 10 I think. My Mom still has it on her desk. She will be 100 years young in February.
    Thank you Mary for a chance at winning these prizes.

  550. The project that came to mind for me was an Avon crewel work kit of Noah’s Ark. I still leaved at my parents house and was a teenager I believe when I started it. When I finished it I had my own kids. It was fun and I’ve learned a lot since then and learn more all the time.


  551. My earliest stitching memory was in the 1980s with learning petit point. It has been only this year that I had a friend start me on embroidery. I love it. My mother’s story is more interesting. She lived in Edmonton, Alberta Canada. Just after WW2, in 1946, as a young woman in her 20s, she was in the Hudson Bay Dept store, where Jean McIntosh herself was doing demos to sell her needlepoint kits. This is how needlepoint was sold then and for at least another 50 years. My mom asked if Ms McIntosh could teach her over Mom’s lunch hour. Mom worked at at Veterans Housing Board. It wasn’t busy and she agreed. My mom learnt and became a very accomplished needlewoman. The irony is that I had to learn from a co-worker because Mom was too busy with 5 kids and a job. I am the only sibling that took up the needle too. I love it as much as she did and try to follow in her footsteps. Mom was proud of what I learnt and that memory of Ms Jean McIntosh was one she related to me many times.

  552. I was around 12 years old in the mid 60s and I stitched a crewel embroidery kit. I remember it had mushrooms on it. I was so proud since I was basically self taught. Wish I still had it.

  553. I don’t remember exactly what my first embroidery project was. Probably a tea towel or a pillowcase. Our neighbor taught my sister to embroider and she showed me when I was about ten years old. We only knew three stitches, but it gave us hours of pleasure for years to come. Imagine my surprise as an adult to find there were many more stitches and wonderful ways to use and combine them.

  554. My first stitching project was a stamped round pillow top from Lee Wards. I think my grandmother tried to get me interested, but to no avail. It had several lazy daisy flowers scattered around. Nothing about it interested me at the time. I still have the pillow top which was never made into a pillow because my mother saved it!

  555. First embroidery project was embroidering my father’s initials on handkerchiefs as Christmas gifts…. Until recently, the stem stitch and french knot were my only embroidery “skills”. As a quilter, I have avoided embroidery until this quilt.
    With Mary’s help, I have added many outline stitches (Quaker stitch my favorite so far) and my husband is concerned that I have caught the bug! And it’s not covid

  556. I do remember my first piece. It was 1969, my first trip to Holland, and first meeting with my husband’s family. My mother-in-law’s flat was filled with beautiful cross stitch pieces and I asked her to teach me. She picked a counted pattern on linen with one color thread. She got me started and I finished it at home. It was made into a pillow and at some point got so worn it had to be thrown out. She definitely made me a convert and in the early years supplied magazines with patterns. We didn’t have anything similar at the time.
    Thank you for this giveaway. Some stitcher is going to be very happy.

  557. The first thing I ever stitched was an Alice in Wonderland picture that I copied onto some jeans when I was about 15. At the time, I had read that drawing the design on the right side of the fabric and then embroidering over the lines was frowned upon, so I traced the design onto sheer interfacing and put that on the back of the denim. I was a complete beginner at embroidery, and went over the lines with back-stitch. I wasn’t happy with the broken line it made, so went back and whipped the back-stitch to make it smoother. I thought I had invented a new stitch! Oh, the things you think as a beginner!

  558. The very first stitching I did was a hand stitched dress for my story book doll. My father was a rep for a dairy company and visited farms throughout Western New York State. He was only home on weekends and once in a great while he would bring something home to my mother, sister and me. Oh how special those gifts were in the mid Forties. I still clearly remember my doll, she had blonde hair and wore a mauve taffeta dress.

  559. My earliest memories are of my mother embroidering individual quilt blocks for the various quilts the local womens Church group would assemble and quilt to raise money. She’d sit in her rocking chair by the sunny window in the kitchen, with a warm fire in the wood stove.

  560. Hi Mary,
    My mother had a box of thread and taught me basic stitches when I was probably eight years old. The first project I started was years later while stationed in Germany – I don’t think I was too ambitious – it was a crosstitch piece by Teresa Wentzler titled The Castle. It only took me thirteen years to finish it! It is still my most memorable piece because of the time invested, but I have since done many needlework projects and I love to learn new stitches and techniques!

  561. The first thing I stitched were some pillow cases – this was in the 60s and I was 8 or 9 – the ones I did were done in yellow lazy daisy stitches with brown french knots in the center (I am pretty sure my grandmother, who was teaching me, did those for me). There was a green running stitch connecting the flowers. I don’t recall ever using the pillowcase (although I must have) but they lived in my linen closet for years – folded so I’d always see the stitching. Having to downsize recently, I had to throw them out as they both had dry rotted (shhh – I didn’t clear out my linen closet very often). They weren’t very good and you could see the blue lines of the stamped design but I had done them! I don’t always use a stamped design now but when I do I am very careful to cover up the lines!

  562. I have to laugh when someone asks what the first thing I stitched was. I must have been about 6 yrs old and learning to embroider with the help of my mother and a church group. The little piece still resides in a box I’ve kept for many years labeled “Finnished pieces” (sic). It’s a stamped cross stitch on a natural linen that says, “Greet the Day with a Song…Make Others Happy…Serve Gladly.” I managed to finish the words in various colors of cotton thread, but never finished the embellishments on the sides and bottom of the piece. The needle (rusty) and a variegated purple thread are still attached. It makes me smile whenever I pull it out, but it’s definitely not my best work. Many years later, I started with a Vogue pattern for Christmas ornaments and started an annual tradition of making new embroidered ornaments every year. Which turned into a much more involved hobby bordering on obsession.

  563. Oh, wow. It was so long ago but I’m going to guess it was probably a stamped embroidery pillow case. I wish I would have saved some of my early works but I am lucky enough to still have some items stitched by my Mother that I cherish. Thanks for the chance to win such a lovely gift. I enjoy your emails.

  564. Hi, Mary,

    The first thing I ever stitched was a piece of burlap that my mother gave me to learn on when I was in primary school.

    I used a giant plastic needle threaded with yarn. There was no pattern that I can remember, just some basic stitches. I think I was quite taken with chain stitch.

    Wow, I hadn’t thought about that in a long time. I can still remember the scratchy, smelly burlap.


  565. I always wanted to stitch like my mother. She would transfer a kitty design (I loved cats) onto fabric and give me her tin of embroidery floss. She taught me the outline, chain and satin stitches and off I’d go stitching along. But it never lasted and soon the embroidery hoop was set aside and I was off to play outside with my brothers. When I was twenty I asked for another kit and mother complied musing whether or not I would finish stitching the design. She was most surprised and delighted when I did and so I’ve continued stitching to this day.

  566. The first thing I ever stitched was a black throw pillow with the names of my school friends on it, done all in cursive and in different colours for each name. I was in eighth grade, and wanted to use dryer lint as stuffing, which my mother forbade, and it turned out pretty well for a first attempt.

  567. My earliest memory of handwork was embroidering a pre-stamped baby sacque when I was about 8. I put it in my “Hope Chest”. These days no one uses sacques anymore but they were pretty back in those days.

  568. My first project wasn’t stitching, exactly. When I was five my mother sat me down with a piece of fabric and a straight pin, and showed me how to pull threads out to fringe the edges. She meticulously taught me to pull out the threads one at a time. Pretty sure that her motive was to keep me sitting still in one place for a goodly time. LOL A few years later my stepmom took me to the 99cent store, let me pick out a dresser scarf, and then gave me full access to her thread stash. Pretty cool! Have no idea what ever happened to either piece, but I enjoyed them.

  569. My earliest stitching memories are of stitching lines on Aida with embroidery thread when I was about 5.

    I am in the UK so don’t know if I’m eligible for this but I would love to get my hands on this book as I’ve thus far I’ve not succeeded in finding a source in the UK.

    Best wishes for a Happy Holiday season

  570. Oh my gosh, Mary, I haven’t thought of this in decades!! Grade 6. Home economics class. An aida cloth stitch sampler needle book. I can remember how awkward it all felt. I didn’t stitch again until four years later and I never really stopped after that. Thanks for pulling up that memory.

  571. The first thing I stitched was a small cross stitch something in grade 7 for a crafty elective. I don’t even remember what it was. I had done hand sewing prior as my grandmother taught me to knit and sew but it was all structural and not decorative.

  572. The first thing I remember is a hand drawn, small yellow bird on a brown branch, both done in outline stitch, that I made in Brownies. Also, I’m still using a dresser scarf of a horse in the desert that I made as a kid.

  573. I began teaching my oldest granddaughter, Anya, to stitch when she was 6. She diligently worked on bibs for her soon-to-be-born little sister. We had a great time. Anya is now 13 and we have begun working on counted cross stitch. She watches me stitch and wants to continue improving her crafting skills. And now her younger sister is joining the fun.

  574. The first thing I ever stitched was clothing for my Barbie doll. They weren’t exactly perfect but it gave me a bigger wardrobe for her!

  575. At around age 8 my mother taught me to do simple embroidery. Task was white kitchen towels that she purchased with stamped designs. I remember I was very impressed with my results; it was a huge ego booster. And we used those towels. This was in the late 1950s when embroidered towels were common in central Wisconsin farm country.

  576. My earliest stitching memory was when my Mom was teaching me the basics of embroidery. My mom did not really know much about embroidery but had tried several types of needlework. She showed me how to make a french knot, a straight/satin stitch, the chain stitch and the detached chain stitch. Then showed me how to make a little daisy with the french knot in the middle and the detached chain or lazy daisy stitches around it. Then she showed me a copy of Erica Wilson’s Embroidery Book and I carried on from there.

  577. When I was about five or six years old my mom had my twin sister and me sit down and make some drawings. I drew a steam locomotive, as I was obsessed with trains at the time. She took our drawings and traced them onto canvas and taught us continental stitch.

    I wonder if she still has that somewhere. I haven’t seen it in at least 25 years.

    Later she had us do some small needlepoint kits. I don’t think my sister finished even one; she just wasn’t interested at all. But I did several and later picked up cross stitch when I was around 10 or 12. (Then I got other hobbies and stopped for a long time, but then I picked up embroidery again a few years after college and set about learning lots of different techniques.)

  578. My first stitching project was stamped cross stitch table runner. I learned this while a patient in the polio clinic. We were always taught to keep busy with our hands and minds. It was all done in black floss and was an old time horse drawn carriage and driver. I gave it to my mom. I think I would have been around eight or ten years old.

  579. I started knitting, and stitching, and doing the round yarn spool when I was around 4. My mother taught me. I always remember having some kind of needle in my hand in my hand. I started with what is now called surface embroidery and expanded to crewel and then cross stitch when I was school age. I remember knitting my barbie her clothes and decorating them with embroidery. I only did “functional” needlework- things for use. I embroidered hand towels, hankies and then stamped cross stitch pillow cases. The earliest “gift” was a cross stitched ornament for my grand mother in Ireland. I remember being very proud of it. Then at 11, ( in the 60’s) I took a sewing class at the local Y and began making all my clothes and decorating them with surface embroidery. This continued until the hippo era when I decorated the legs of my bellbottom jeans with surface embroidery! I was sooooo cool!!!! I have four early pieces but they are framed and not “functional” pieces: 2 from the seventies. and two from the early 80″s.

  580. My first stitching project as an adult was a needlework picture of all of the grandchildren on my husband’s side. It had names and birthdates under each child. I have it to my MIL for Christmas…not sure it ever saw the light of day! Haha. Oh well. It did not deter me from embroidery, and now that I am retired, I have time to relax and stitch!

  581. The first thing I ever stitched was a rotary type telephone with my phone number backstitched below the the phone

  582. My first needlework piece was a Bargello pillow that I stitched in college for my grandmother. Although she has passed, I still have it.

  583. The first thing I ever stitched was a monogram A from one of Mary’s monogram collections! 🙂 Lexi Goertzen-Patin

  584. My earliest stitched pieces were stamped cross stitch sayings that I made for my 2 grandmothers as Christmas presents. I actually still have one of them. When my grandmother died my mother found the one I had made for her mother and gave it back to me. I was 12 years old (Mom told me to always date my work) and I distinctly remember being very dissatisfied with the way the printed crosses didn’t match up to the threads in the fabric. When I discovered counted cross stitch I was hooked! My need for preciseness was now gratified!

  585. I was about 8 years old when my Grandmother taught me to embroider. If I remember right, I think I tried to make a couple flowers in a cup. It was my Grandma’s idea and pattern. I don’t suppose I did too great a job but it certainly started me on a pathway of hand stitching. She also taught me to quilt and I discovered I could embroider something and then make a quilt out of it, albeit a small one, usually. To this day I think of her when I am stitching. I wish she could see how far I’ve come and that I don’t just do flowers in cups anymore.

  586. I still have the first item I ever embroidered, thanks to my dear mother who saved everything. It is the outline of my chubby little hand, outline stitched in black floss on a cotton kitchen towel–the kind with colored stripes woven down the sides, in about 1958.

  587. I was 5 years old and for my birthday I was given a shoe box full of small fabric scraps, pieces of lace and some little buttons.

    So I attempted to make a dress for my little doll, and was thrilled to bits with it. My father showed me how to thread a needle and how do do some straight stitches a d left me to it. That was the beginning of my life long love of sewing. And that was still the best present I ever received to this day!

  588. I have a memory of being about 3 years old and asking my Mother if I could sew – she did embroidery. She gave me a handkerchief and threaded needle and I began.

  589. Hi Mary! The first stitching I ever did was a “sampler” on burlap using craft yarn in my Girl Scout Troop. We had to use our own original design and 7 different stitches (I think) as part of the requirements for the sewing badge. All of my sewing relatives lived out of state, so I had to wait until I met my husband to really start learning. My (future) mother-in-law taught me cross stitching and I fell into quilting b/c I wanted to turn a book of cross stitched images into quilt for my first nephew. Recently everything came together when my daughter got married as I made hand monogrammed tote bags for the wedding party and an embroidered satin ring pillow. On a side note: thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and inspirations. I moderate one of the FB cross stitch pages and often link people to your YouTube videos when they have questions about particular stitches. Happy Holidays! – Betsy

  590. My earliest memory of embroidery was just before my son was born (he just turned 47). We had very little money, and I was making some baby clothes and embroidering little designs on all of the hand me downs we had. I also embroidered pockets of jeans and an entire jean jacket for a friend.

  591. The first thing I stitched, after a friend at worked showed me her project, was a piece for my husband for Father’s Day. It was on light blue 14 count Aida. There was a verse about a husband, a tree, a bird and some water I think. There was also a special mat for it with waves cut out that I bought. I used the dreaded “sticky board” and framed it myself. That was in 1985 and I’ve been stitching ever since.

  592. My Mom taught me to embroider dish towels, ironed on designs. Then I went on to embroidering pillow cases and dresser cloths. The backsides were so important then, and I still keep them neat but sometimes wonder why especially when framing. Old habits linger. Then to making my own designs for pillow cases in particular, including embroidering on printed fabric cases. In 1992 found EGA and really learned a LOT. Now in my early 80’s still loving my needle with particular favorite in hardanger, and blackwork though this one really challenges. Enjoy your site and learning, still, from that too!

  593. The first thing I ever stitched – many, many moons ago – was the letter of my first name in fuchsia on ecru colored napkins learning different embroidery stitches when I was in Girl Scouts. Happily, I can say I have very much improved my stitching since then. But I still remember it like it was yesterday.

  594. The first thing I stitched was a stamped surface work picture of a girl in silhouette holding a watering can. I did this when I was about 6 years old. I made it for my godmother for a Christmas present. I continued to stitch her something every Christmas.

  595. The first embroidery I did was a Christmas kit of an oriental design. Love the newsletter. I could spend all day here just learning new “stuff”. Thank you

  596. It was at school, for making a mother’gift, a needle pick . I have it always.
    I remember that I didn’t like de color of the tissue. ( ocher brown ) . The treads are yellow, blue and red. The stitches are right.
    I feel always the pleasure to stiche when I was 6 years old 🙂

  597. The earliest thing I remember embroidering was a pair of pillowcases from Zayre’s . I did baby blue daisies with yellow centers. I still have those cases 60 years later and they’re in perfect shape!

  598. Hi Mary

    The first thing I stitched was a cross-stitch image of a gooseberry-bush, when I was a teenager (I’ve forgotten the exact age). It was a piece my mother had started, before I was born. She never found the time to finish it. So one day I found it among all her fabrics and thread and decided I would finish it.

  599. The first thing I remember stitching in monogrammed pillow cases! What a coincidental tie-in to today’s give away! When I was probably 7 or 8, my mom got all new sheets, and she wanted to monogram the pillow cases. And I was all in on it! I remember the sheets were pink and yellow floral. Those things are long gone now, but I think they were my first foray into embroidery. I don’t remember anything else until I was in college in the 1980s and cross stitch was all the rage. And the first thing I stitched then was a sorority piece.

  600. The first thing I remember stitching was a prestamped pair of pillowcases. I completed one and used it but left the other one partially finished. My mother kept the partially finished case, as only a mother would do as the workmanship was pretty terrible. I must have been in elementary school when I worked on it as I don’t remember working on it. I did complete the unfinished case and keep it in my linen closet to remind me that there is hope for all UFO’s.

  601. My most memorable stitching project done at school was a blue Dorothy bag. This was decorated with Dorset feather stitch and ric rac.
    Sadly I no longer have the bag which I treasured for years.

    Susan b

  602. After completing a few cross-stitch kits, I wanted to expand my stitch repertoire so tried an alphabet sampler.

  603. A small crewel pillow with red, orange, yellow, and orange flowers. It was probably a kit ordered from a magazine.

  604. My first stitching project was a pair of pillow cases with bluebirds and ribbons when I was 10yrs old

  605. My earliest embroidery project was when I was a teenager and I sent away for a Crewel kit of woodland animals that was featured in Seventeen magazine. Boy, that’s a few years ago. I’m still stitching maybe because that kit turned out so well!

  606. Stitching for the first time …. remembering my Grandmother as she made me, my piano recital gown. It made me feel like a Princess.
    Sewing now with needle and thread, I remember the magic my Grandmother was putting in each stitch, the love she expressed when she saw the finished gown on me.
    Needles, threads ….. are magic to me.
    I am proud to say I see. I create!
    I thank you for sharing your love of needlework with us.

  607. The first thing I ever stitched was a very basic cross stitch project. My Mom bought me special fabric to make it easy for me and I stitched my name.

  608. My first sampler was when I was in second grade. It’s was a cross stitch piece that said “East West. Home’s Best.”

  609. First I remember is cardboard stitching cards and shoelaces to sew with, but then cross stitch on gingham for aprons, skirts and pillows.

  610. I stitched a chairback when I was at school when I was about 10 years old and I still have it. I am now over 70 so it is pretty ancient. The first thing I stitched after I had left school was an owl sitting on a branch. That was freestyle embroidery and he is still hanging on my bedroom wall.

  611. My earliest stitching memory is stitching into those cards where holes were cut for the needle to go through! I can’t remember any real stitching projects from childhood, but I know they were mostly just cross-stitch. I count as my first real project doing embroidery designs on old jeans back in the early 1970s.

  612. Happy Holidays!
    My first memory of a stitching project was an eyeglass case for my mother. My mother was trying to work outside the home for the 1st time and it was the early 1970’s. A middle aged neighbor took care of us after school and she taught me how to cross stitch. Since my mother wore glasses regularly the neighbor thought a case would be a good project for me. She was very patient with me and it helped to pass the time as I waited for my mom to come home.

  613. My first stitching project was a small button bag which I made in Year 3. I still have it. It is blue, covered with various forms of laced running stitch and has a twisted yarn drawstring.
    Little did I know at the time that stitching would become an obsession with me later in life.

  614. I remember walking down the street and peering in the window of a small needlework store probably 45 years ago! After spoting a beautiful cross stitch kit of wildflowers I had to have it! And the insanity was born.

  615. Mary, thank you for these give-aways! My first project was a handkerchief stitched in burnt orange, lime green, bright red and turquoise, popular colors in 1969 for a Girl Scout working on the embroidery badge. I gave it to my parents; my mom returned it to me a couple of years ago. Shades of remembrance.

  616. The first item I remember stitching is a frog and some flowers and leave using embroidery thread on cotton cloth. I followed directions from a book by Di van Niekerk. I was totally new to it all. Loved it.

  617. The first thing I ever stitched was a dresser scarf that had printed lambs and lazy daisy flowers. That was about 70 years ago and I still have it!

  618. Hi, Mary,
    This is really a generous giveaway! I am wishing “Good Luck, to Everyone!”, but truthfully, I am hoping to be one of the lucky ones! Surprises are fun, but how wonderful to receive a piece stitched by you! Thank you for the chance.
    My earliest memory of stitching is sewing the running stitch on a scrap of fabric Mother gave me. Some of the stitches were done properly – in on one side, back through from the other side, but I was a slow learner, and I often made stitches from the same side, thereby looping the thread around the edge of the cloth. It always baffled me! I have to say, when I am not paying attention, I still do it sometimes.

  619. My first piece was pre-printed pillow cases to embroidery. I still have them but they are not in use. I may gift them to my grand daughter. Knowing her, she will laugh, she’s almost 8!

  620. The first thing I remember stitching was pillowcases. They were fun to do and colorful and useful too. They were probably cross stitch and I still find cross stitch relaxing and calming to work on.

    I look forward to your games each Christmas. It is fun to read comments from other stitchers too. Thanks Mary and Happy Holidays.

  621. I was about 7 years old, and visiting my grandmother’s farm. On a trip to the town’s 5 and Dime Store, I bought a stamped pillowcase and cotton embroidery floss. The design was of flowers and leaves, and the floss I had selected was yellow, blue, and green.
    That was over half a century ago, but I remember it well!