Saturday, June 4, 2011

Learn Something New this Summer: Cross-Stitch in 5 Minutes

When pioneer women and girls crossed the plains to settle in the western United States, they brought with them their knowledge of homemaking skills and crafts. Many of them were converts from Britain, Scandinavia, and Europe. Traditional needlework was one of the skills they carried with them.

Learning to use a needle and thread to stitch unique designs on small pieces of cloth was often part of a young girl’s upbringing. In this way, mothers, grandmothers, and schoolteachers taught girls the art of needlework. While the girls were learning different stitches, they also learned numbers and letters by stitching and reciting them. These pieces of creative stitching were called samplers.

Stitchers often sewed a favorite saying, quotation, verse, or scripture onto their samplers. Some samplers were decorated with images of birds, animals, trees, fruits, flowers, temples, schools, or houses. The beehive as well as the likenesses of Church Presidents and other leaders were favorite pioneer designs.

After deciding on a design, the stitcher drew it on cloth with a pencil or pen. Then she began sewing, frequently using cross-stitches, as well as outline, stem, satin, and chain stitches. Quite often the stitcher would include her name, age, and the date the sampler was finished. (Julie Wardell, "Stitch a Sampler," Liahona, June 1998)

Go to this site to learn how to cross-stitch, a favorite past-time for me since Jr. High:'ll be able to print out the instructions, but if for some reason the link is
broken click on the copy to the left.  Go to: for more help from the Friend magazine.

I haven't done this one, but it looks like it would be very easy, especially if you use Aida 14 cloth. I found it in the Liahona magazine (Feb. '07). Go to the link for the instructions or use four coordinating colors of floss--one for each symbol. I would use 2 strands on Aida 14 cloth.

The Sampler

Curled up on a hassock
Priscilla ties her thread.
She is making a sampler
Of orange and green and red.
The words are marked in cross-stitch
“Love everyone,” they say.
Her thread goes in, out, and in,
Priscilla works all day.
At last she wearies of tangles
And stitches that won’t stay small.
“I’ve only one word,” she says—“LOVE—
“But I guess that says it all.”
Mary L. Lusk, (Friend, Feb. 1975)

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