Hooked on Needles

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Our First Home - Counted Cross Stitch Wedding Gift and a Framing Tip

Counted Cross Stitch was all the rage back in the late 70s and early 80s. That is when my own Auntie taught me how to do it, and I along with a few of my sisters and even my mother stitched quite a lot of projects using this method of cross stitch.

As a wedding gift to me and my husband, one of my sisters worked a piece that I have always called "Our First Home" because it is of a home...not even remotely like one I will ever live in, but a home nonetheless, and it was the first one we ever owned!

Come on in and take a tour...

Counted Cross Stitch HomeIsn't it so inviting? If you click on the picture, you can see a larger version of it and hopefully will be able to make out some of the details. The front door is so welcoming with its little hearts on either side and over the door. The kitchen has a hutch with china on it, a kitchen table and chairs with a bowl of fruit on it and a stained glass lamp hanging over it, a cozy pot belly stove and a cat curled up on the rug in the corner.

On the left side of the main floor is the living room, or I suppose in this house it would be called the parlor! It has a lovely sofa and two side chairs, a fancy floor lamp and even a very old phonograph with the big brass bell on it. I know there's a name for those but I can't come up with it right this minute! Anyway, you know what I mean, the thing that the dog used to look into on the old RCA record labels! I'm dating myself here! Ok, back to the tour...

Upstairs is the little girl's room with the pink canopy bed, doll and cradle and the cat sitting in the curtained window.

In the middle is the bathroom with all the important bathroom fixtures plus a hanging plant. The fancy claw foot tub even has a shower! This is a very fancy house!

Then there's the master bedroom with the fluffy pillows on the four poster bed, the pretty lamp on the night table, the pictures on the walls, the fancy light fixture on the ceiling and the wash basin and pretty plant on the table.

In the attic you can see a dressmaker's form, a trunk which no doubt holds all the treasures of the past, and a beautiful stained glass window.

Two porches and some very fancy roof lines finish off Our First Home.

It's always fun to go back to places from the past and remember all the things about them that were special. This one goes back 26 years now and was one of my very favorite wedding gifts. It hangs proudly in our living room and still gets compliments today.

Framing Tip:

When this piece was framed, it was the recommended practice not to glass over counted cross stitch for fear of crushing the stitches by causing the floss to come in contact with the glass. After this piece hung on the wall for a couple years, it was clear that if we wanted to keep it for a long time, something else would have to be done to preserve it. I took it to my local frame shop and asked for advice. The suggestion I took was to have the piece framed using glass and a mat in the same color as the background fabric. This served two purposes. One was to keep the glass from touching the stitches, and the other was to cover the spots that had appeared along the edges of the fabric from dusting the frame. I also didn't want a colored mat to take focus away from the handwork. The original wooden frame was used again to frame the piece.

So there's a little tip for you if you are planning to frame counted cross stitch. Use glass, but make sure you use at least a single mat to keep some space between the glass and the stitches.

Do you have any treasures from the past that you have done something with in order to preserve them? Leave a comment and share your tips with everyone!

Happy Stitching!

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  • BEAUTIFUL piece done for you by your sister. It was nice of you to describe all the details and then I could look closely at them in the enlarged photo. AND....the old player is called a gramophone. I'm not old enough to have seen them in use, but I have a pretty good mind for trivia!!! LOL

    By Blogger Pat, At January 20, 2009 at 5:58 PM  

  • Do you remember the name of the designer or the name of the kit? It is wonderful!

    By Blogger Teresa, At May 22, 2011 at 4:34 PM  

  • Teresa, I do not know for sure the name of the pattern, but I do remember that this was a booklet with several different versions of houses and you could mix and match which rooms went where. If I had to guess, I would say it's either Leisure Arts or maybe Gloria & Pat as they seem to have been the most popular cross stitch pattern designers back then. Perhaps a google search would find something, or ebay maybe. I know for sure that it was not a kit, but the pattern booklet by itself and then she purchased the fabric and floss separately. Good luck with your search!


    By Blogger Mary Grace McNamara, At May 23, 2011 at 8:52 PM  

  • Where can I find the pattern for "Our First Home" I did one 25 years ago and want to do another one to match the first one. Thanks


    By Anonymous Anonymous, At October 28, 2014 at 2:51 PM  

  • Hi Barbara, thanks for writing! This is the second request I have received for this pattern in the past week! I am sorry to tell you that I don't have the pattern book or any information about it. I asked my sister who made the piece for me if she still had the pattern book, and she said she had gotten rid of all her cross stitch stuff years ago!

    You might have some luck on ebay or other such sites if you search for something like victorian house counted cross stitch pattern book, or similar wording.

    So sorry I cannot help you any further! Good luck on your search!


    By Blogger Mary Grace McNamara, At October 28, 2014 at 7:01 PM  

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