Just Another Rabbit Hole

Almost 50 years ago, my maternal grandmother taught me how to embroider.  She started with a simple line drawing and a simple running stitch, but through this medium, she taught me to make tiny, even stitches that were straight and true.  Of course, she taught me this by making me rip out over and over those stitches that weren’t to her standards, but she had shown me some of her own mother’s, my great-grandmother’s, embroidery and they were works of art to my 8-year-old eyes.  I wanted to be able to make something as beautiful one day.  While I might have resented each time I had to rip some stitches out, I knew I had not been as careful as I could have been, and the experience made me work harder to try to emulate what Vada Ambrosia Cotner Gillum had once done.

About the time I got married, life became very busy and I stopped doing much handwork.  I sewed, made clothes and dolls, but the only embroidery I did was the dolls’ faces, but I haven’t even done that for over 20 years.  Life just got in the way, I ended up working multiple jobs, and going back to college to work on an accounting degree.  But, in the last couple of years, I have been itching to pull out my stash of DMC threads and some cloth.  Not to do cross-stitch as that is too constraining for my current tastes, but to just have fun.  As I cleaned out my sewing closet over the weekend, I came across several items that just struck the right chord, and I went to JoAnn’s Monday night just to look around.  And I bought this:


Now, mind you, the suggested way to embroider this is not how I am going to do it.  While I do want to practice different stitches, I want a filled-in, completely stitched picture that I can frame.

So, here is what I did Monday night when I got home:


So, some satin stitches, some running stitches to fill in an area, and I started couching the blue circle.

And last night, I did this:


I finished the couching, did another section of satin stitches and a chain stitch around another circle.  While I am not up to my grand-mother’s standards again, yet, I have the feeling that, by the time I finish this, I will be well on my way to having my stitching chops back.

I already have my eye on another one at JoAnn’s that I want to stitch.

2 Responses

  1. Cindie Says:

    I have never seen these mandalas to stitch anywhere. Can you tell us what they’re called so I can check out my local JoAnns?

  2. DelightedHands Says:

    Beautiful! I always loved to do handwork like this! The new threads make it a dream-enjoy!

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