Fall in Love with Cross-Stitch

We’re delighted to introduce a new contributor to the PieceWork blog, our talented Digital Marketing Manager Nick Patenaude. When it comes to needlework, Nick is an enthusiastic student! One of his early forays into the world of needle and thread was to create a special cross-stich to commemorate his marriage. Here’s Nick to tell us more:

I remember my introduction to the world of cross-stitching quite well. Admittedly, it was only two years ago, so this really isn’t deserving of any accolades. What is, rather, is the fact that I remembered enough from my one lesson with Jeane Hutchins, PieceWork’s editor, to actually produce something worthy of display.

I was getting married and wanted desperately to give my wife a gift that would really take her breath away. I wanted to go above and beyond the perfume and jewelry traditionally given from the groom to the bride. I wanted to give her something handmade.

Cross-Stitch

Nick charmed his new bride with this cross-stitch commemorating their wedding. Photos by Nick Patenaude.

A Christmas or two prior to our wedding date I had woven a scarf for her. Nothing too difficult—a blue-and-white cotton scarf woven on a rigid-heddle loom—but, nonetheless, it was handmade, and it put a genuine smile on her face as we ate our Christmas frittata and opened gifts. That’s the kind of raw emotion I wanted to again capture when she received this gift on the happiest day of our lives.

I remember reading the first few chapters from Cross-Stitch to Calm by Leah Lintz and sitting in Jeane’s office thinking about which pattern to start with. I remember how therapeutic it was to ply a threaded needle through fabric and watch a pattern come to life (even if it was nothing more than a small, black bat). I knew then that I wanted to create a personalized cross-stitched gift for my soon-to-be wife.

One of my wife’s dear friends is quite skilled in cross-stitch so I called her up and asked her to help me craft my gift. After a few weeks, and several more glances at Cross-Stitch to Calm, we had made a wonderful cross-stitch that I knew my wife would love. And, of course, she did. In fact, the little gift with blue birds sitting on top of a heart above our names and wedding date sits on display in the loft in our home as a reminder of the love we share and the handmade life we’re building together.

I owe a lot to Jeane Hutchins for getting me started, my wife’s friend for helping me finish, and Leah Lintz for producing a book full of delightfully crisp and clean designs for inspiration. If I, a millennial, can find peace in stitching simple, yet elegant designs, I’m quite convinced anyone can. If there’s only one thing you say “I do” to today, make it a copy of this book. You’ll thank yourself for the wonderful read and your loved ones might also benefit from a handmade design stitched from the heart (even if it is just a little, black bat.)

Happy stitching,
Nick

Featured Image: Make something from the heart and cross-stitch a special gift for someone you love.


Fall in love with cross-stitch!

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