My mom has been doing cross stitch for as long as I can remember. One of the first things I remember her doing is a series of Norman Rockwell pieces that had the pattern printed on the fabric. I know it wasn't the first thing she ever cross stitched, but they're the ones that stick out in my brain. It was this particular Norman Rockwell painting that I recall most vividly.
There were a couple others, but I can't remember what they were and they get mixed up in my brain with the jigsaw puzzles we had of three different Saturday Evening Post covers as well. But anyway, my mom's been at this a while. I don't remember when she graduated from the cross stitch that is printed on the fabric to "counted" cross stitch which involves a plain piece of fabric with little squares on it and a pattern printed on a piece of paper, but that's all she's done for years now.
I've lost count of how many different things she's done, but she's very quietly proud of the work she does. Some of her best work has been done for Anna. She did one of angel watching over a sleeping child around the time she was born. She has made several sweatshirts with cross stitched pictures on the front of them - all of which, to Anna's dismay, were too small when she went to try on fall/winter clothes prior to school starting. And last year, for her birthday, my mom gave her a cross stitched picture of a princess with a unicorn (one of Anna's most favorite things). It was matted and framed and the whole bit. Anna loves it and it hangs in her room.
Well, I should say that it used to hang in her room. Right now it's hanging in the Fabric and Threads display section in the Varied Industries Building at the Iowa State Fair. She had talked all summer about entering it into competition at the Fair, and she almost didn't. Well, it's a good thing she did because it took third place overall!
What I think is really cool is that my mom has never really entered a contest like this ever, and right off the bat, she places! How cool is that? And now, in a life full of accomplishment an d success (which includes raising an incredible set of kids), she has a State Fair ribbon to boot!
And what's even cooler is that as soon as the Fair is over for another year, that fair-worthy picture will hang again on my daughter's wall. And we'll always have the story of how her Grandma nearly didn't enter at all!
Way to go, Mom!