Friday Finishes #1: Smiley Flower

Ah, much better!

Our first Friday Finish!

Welcome to the first Friday Finishes article… that isn’t actually coming out on a Friday!

This article focuses on the very first cross-stitch piece I ever did at eight years old. After an exhaustive search of Google and the Internet, on a journey that took me from unreadable and non-loading Chinese websites to eBay, I have discovered all the information necessary to write this article, finally. Considering I completed this when I was eight I have no idea what happened to the chart or the front cover and I couldn’t remember the name of the kit or who it was by. Now I know, so now I can write the article!

Name of Piece: Learn a Craft (For Kids!) – Smiley Flower

Designed by: It doesn’t say on the front cover, and since I don’t own the kit anymore I couldn’t tell you if it was anywhere else.

Distributed as a kit by Dimensions, under their “Learn A Craft” series. Kit is copyright 1997.

Kit Contains: 11 ct. white aida, 3 in. hoop, white cotton thread, needle, chart, and instructions.

Finished Size: 3 in (8 cm) round

» Read more

Term of the Week: Stash

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There are two things that make our term of the week pretty easy to cover. For one thing, it applies to any artisan who has a supply of materials, and for another, every stitcher has one. Whether small, large, or extremely large (as the case often is), a stitcher’s stash remains the same no matter what kind of a stitcher someone claims to be, and can often be a conversation piece or a bragging right.

So what exactly does ‘stash’ mean? Once again I turn to Dictionary.Reference.com for my technical definition:

Stash
2. something put away or hidden: ex. a stash of gold coins buried in the garden.
3. a place in which something is stored secretly; hiding place; cache.

A stitcher’s stash matches up to the technical definition for the most part: it is a stitcher’s supply of materials, charts, scissors, kits, magazines, needles, fabric, hoops, frames, etc., which is stored in any and all manners of ways. It is generally hidden away from non-stitchers and other family in the house because of the stash’s large size; ask anyone who is a passionate stitcher how large their stash is and often times the answer will be “more than I can stitch in my lifetime.”

Because I’ve only been wholly devoted to cross-stitch for about a year, my stash is very small. I did, however, inherit some of my grandmother’s and all of my mother’s stash, and ever since I’ve started a thrift store hunt for any and all cross-stitch goods my stash has swelled and is swelling. (It doesn’t help that my boyfriend’s parents gave me a generous amount of money for Hobby Lobby from Christmas!)

Here are some examples of a stash:

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“Term of the Week” is a weekly blog post highlighting a new word or phrase commonly used among cross-stitchers but not found in an ordinary dictionary. These posts are to help explain the words’ meanings in context and provide a resource for anyone wondering what a term like “frogging” means. Check back every Thursday!

Term of the Week: UFO

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UFO

Our Term of the Week may sound unusual to an outsider – and trust me, when I first saw ladies using it in one of my Facebook cross-stitch groups I had no idea what on Earth they were talking about. I had to Google it, and of course the results were all about aliens and space ships, so I didn’t find my answer until after I added “cross-stitch” to the search.

To the cross-stitch community, UFO stands for UnFinished Object. What does this mean? Whenever a person is working on a cross-stitch (or anything really), that project is known as a WIP, or work in progress. Sometimes along the road the project gets put aside or put on hold, for any length of time. That’s when the project moves from being a WIP to a UFO, or Unfinished Object.

The biggest use of UFO in the cross-stitching community is a part of what’s known as UFO Wednesday. It is an event that the community has created to help people fit stitching into their busy lives. While the title suggests that Wednesday is the best day to do it, it can take place on any day of the week whenever you have time to stitch. The object is to pick up a UFO or a WIP and get as much done as you feel like doing. Overall it’s very relaxed “rules” and it’s just a day to have fun and enjoy stitching! 🙂

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“Term of the Week” is a weekly blog post highlighting a new word or phrase commonly used among cross-stitchers but not found in an ordinary dictionary. These posts are to help explain the words’ meanings in context and provide a resource for anyone wondering what a term like “frogging” means. Check back every Thursday!

Term of the Week: Cross-Stitch

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Cross-Stitch

So I figured the very first term in our cross-stitcher’s dictionary should be the word the dictionary is based around!

What is cross-stitching? A simple search through a dictionary would give you the short-and-sweet technical answer. I pulled this definition off Dictionary.Reference.com:

Cross-Stitch
1. a stitch in which pairs of diagonal stitches of the same length cross each other in the middle to form an X.
2. embroidery or needlepoint done with this stitch.
3. verb: to work in cross-stitch.

cross-cross-stitch

An example of cross-stitch.


To put it simply the word “cross-stitch” covers three things: a type of embroidery stitch, the needlework that uses the stitch, and a verb for the act of making the stitch (although I’ve only ever seen it used like “I stitch” or “I’m stitching” but I’m sure they’re just shorthand for the word itself). Seems like a simple and easy enough concept to understand.

But I’d like to dip a little further into the term than just what the dictionary says. Term of the Week is supposed to be about words and phrases that can’t be so easily understood by a technical definition found in the actual dictionary (or they may not be in the dictionary at all), and I don’t want to leave a word with such a huge amount of meaning with only a small definition.

Ask anyone who cross-stitches what the craft means to them. In my Facebook groups about the craft ladies ask the question “Why do you cross-stitch?” all the time, and the answers are usually very similar. Cross-stitch is fun. It’s an easy craft that consist of pretty much just two stitches, cross-stitch and backstitch, and has charts and kits in all shapes and sizes for all levels of experience.

I own an old cross-stitch magazine from 1989 with a comic that reads, “Cross-stitching is my therapy!” Cross-stitch is so easy it can be learned completely by yourself, and if you poll people “self taught” is almost always the only answer. (I heard about a girl being taught in Girl Scouts once; boy I wish they’d done that in my local Girl Scouts!)

To round things off I think I’ll try to sum our Term of the Week up with this: cross-stitch is more than doing needlework. It is a joy, a passion, and a hobby for a lot of different people. It’s how some people relax and de-stress, and the pieces one makes for family and friends will last a lifetime.

Back many centuries ago, girls used embroidery and needlework to demonstrate their prowess in womanly skills, and the pieces they made became heirlooms passed down through generations. Now they hang or sit in museums on display for everyone to see. And who wouldn’t love a hobby that could do that?

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“Term of the Week” is a weekly blog post highlighting a new word or phrase commonly used among cross-stitchers but not found in an ordinary dictionary. These posts are to help explain the words’ meanings in context and provide a resource for anyone wondering what a term like “frogging” means. Check back every Thursday!

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