Stitching the Family: Ornaments and other Smalls

If stitching a sampler for a family event is just too much work for you, consider stitching something smaller.  Perhaps something ornament-sized.  You may not be able to stitch as many details on it, however, they can be just as effective.  They also take much less time.

Substituting Ornaments for Samplers

When you don’t feel like making a whole sampler for an upcoming wedding, birth or other event (or you simply don’t have the time), an ornament can be just as effective.  I have seen many people hang them on the wall year round instead of just having them on the Christmas tree.  As space is limited, you may have to plan on using two pieces of stitching fabric (one for front and one for the back) so you can have the design on one side and the details on the other.

Not sure what to stitch? Here are some ideas:

Weddings/Anniversaries

  • Whitework or hardanger
  • Two people looking romantic (I’ve seen some with snowmen in love)
  • Hearts
  • Churches
  • Houses

Births

  • Rocking horses or other toys
  • Creche/Nativity scene

Death/Memorial

  • Candles
  • Inspirational sayings/Bible verses
  • Clouds/Rainbows

Graduation

  • Owls
  • Cap/Gown/Diploma

Family Tree

  • Identical designs with a different person stitched on each one.

This is no means a comprehensive list.  Feel free to add ideas in the comments!  We all learn from each other in the stitching community.

The Ornament Per Year Approach

A few years ago when I was first laid off, I came up with this insane idea to make my daughters an ornament for each Christmas until they were 18.  It wasn’t terribly insane for my biological daughters because they were 1 and 2 at the time.  What was insane was that I decided to also make ornaments for my stepdaughter who was 15 at the time….starting with when she was born (to be fair, her mother is a poor excuse for a mother so I’ve basically become her mother and I wanted to show her some love that she never really got from her biological mother). I’m happy to report that it only took me two years to get all caught up with her ornaments (started Jan 2013, caught up June 2015).  My little ones are still missing an ornament each, but I’m hoping to get all caught up this year.

When I couldn’t find any “baby’s first Christmas” ornaments that I liked, I got creative.  Each girl has a nativity scene of the holy family, because since we are Christians and that is what Christmas means to us.

Here’s the front

Then I put the “deets” on the back.

I also created a baptism ornament for each of them (we baptize infants in my church).

I couldn’t find a design so I designed this myself. The “deets” are on the back 😉 If you can’t tell, I like the frayed Aida look when doing double sided ornaments.

We also like to have fun with Christmas, so I try to match the ornaments to my daughters’ interests.

My youngest (who is Autistic) loves Pooh. She kept going up to the tree and pointing at this ornament and saying “Pooh” (which was significant because she was mostly nonverbal at the time).

My older daughter (who is also Autistic) is slightly obsessed with her stuffed orange kitty cat. So I made her one on an ornament. She also enjoys pointing out her name (Z-O-E-dook! – where the dook is her accent).

I also decorated a wood box to keep the ornaments in.  My stepdaughter is the only one who has a completed box.

I hope I’ve given you some good sampler alternative ideas.  Happy stitching!

Stitching the Family: Modifications!

[The title of this post comes from the extremely funny Pixar short “Tokyo Mater” where Mater gets “modifications.”  What can I say, I have two small children and all I get to watch is Disney and Sprout.]

So, you want to stitch something nice for an upcoming birth or wedding but you can’t find anything you like in a traditional sampler.  What do you do?  Fortunately, for you, there are options!

Personalized “pictures”

When I got married, there wasn’t time to stitch a sampler because we eloped.  After we got married, I just couldn’t find anything I liked in my stash.  And then I found this:

It was a kit by Dimensions.

It isn’t a sampler per se.  It’s more of a picture of a bride and groom with room for personalization at the bottom (it came with the alphabet).  And it’s only 5×7 so I was able to frame it myself without much problem.  It’s simple, yet effective.  My husband loved it.  And it’s hanging in our dining room. [Read more…]

Stitching the Family: Samplers

Many stitchers use stitching to commemorate events in the family.  One of the most popular ways to do this is with samplers.

Samplers have been around since humanity has been doing the needle arts.  Many stitchers think of alphabet, motif, and border samplers when they hear the word “sampler,” but according to Wikipedia, a sampler is merely a demonstration of a stitcher’s skills.  That is a pretty loose definition.  For the sake of this article, let’s separate our cross stitch into “pictures” and “samplers.”  A bird “picture” would be a general cross stitched picture of a bird and a bird “sampler” would have motifs of birds with an alphabet and/or borders and/or specialty stitches.

Behold! The Sampler!


[Read more…]

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