It’s been almost three years since my Grandy taught me how to needlepoint and I’m more thankful than ever to have a hobby that keeps my mind and hands occupied and off my phone. My dedication to carving out time for needlepointing definitely comes in waves — some months I’m exceedingly determined to finish a project and others I neglect it entirely. I’d been particularly neglectful of needlepoint since having Teddy six months ago, but lately I’m seeing so many people pick it up and it’s inspiring me to turn off the news and pick up my half-finished canvases again. I realized I never posted after I finished the needlepoint belt I made for Will’s 30th birthday (which admittedly he received closer to turning 31…) so I thought I’d round up a few of the projects I’ve completed, a few I’ve started, and a few more I’ve ordered to keep me busy during this extra time at home.
I ordered a custom belt canvas from Needlepaint and worked with them to incorporate icons representing Will’s favorite places and things, including a photo of our dog Rory that they painted onto the canvas. It took me over a year (again in fits and starts) to finish needlepointing the belt… and I told Will that he better stay the same size because he’s not getting another one anytime soon.
After finishing Will’s belt, I was happy to have a quick and easy project to work on at the beach last summer. My mom bought me this canvas from House of Needlepoint in Darien, but here’s a similar canvas available on Etsy.
Nantucket key fob
Another project I finished on the beach last summer (pregnancy and needlepoint are much more compatible than a newborn and needlepoint apparently!). I bought this canvas from Lycette Designs in Palm Beach and love getting to use it every day! It looks like their website is down at the moment but I just ordered two of these similar canvases and am planning to make one for my mom and one for my brother Camden. Depending on how much longer we’re quarantined, I think I should be able to tackle them fairly quickly over the next few weeks.
Teddy’s Christmas ornament
I was determined to needlepoint something for Teddy and didn’t quite finish this ornament canvas before he was born, which meant it will have to wait for next year’s Christmas tree. I’m planning to stitch an ornament for each of our future babies so they all have one to hang on the tree each year.
My mother-in-law gave me this Nantucket ornament canvas for Christmas this year and I started stitching it during a virtual stitch club with Ashley, Carly, Carly, Elsa, Maddie, and Venita a few weeks ago. I’m waiting for navy thread to arrive in the mail so I can finish it off!
Rose fence ornament
While waiting for the thread to finish the above project, I started on this rose-covered fence ornament, also a Christmas gift from my mother-in-law. It makes me happy to think of all the rose-covered cottages in ‘Sconset while I stitch!
I didn’t needlepoint this collar myself but I had to include this story! You may recall the needlepoint collar and leash that my Grandy stitched for Rory to wear as the ring bearer in our wedding. I had decided to frame one or both of them and sent the collar off to the framer earlier this year, only to learn they’d lost the collar and had no way to replace a one-of-a-kind keepsake. I was absolutely devastated and thought I wouldn’t be able to replace it as Grandy isn’t needlepointing as much these days and I would never have asked her to replicate a project I wish I’d never let out of my sight.
Thankfully we still had the leash she’d made and I thought maybe one day I’d needlepoint a collar in the same colors, but my angel mother gave me the best surprise this past Christmas. Without me having any idea what she was up to, she’d gone to our local needlepoint store and had them create a new collar canvas matching the threads from the leash, then sent the new canvas to Grandy to stitch a corner of it. Grandy then sent the partially finished canvas to my cousin’s husband David who is absolutely amazing at needlepoint (also thanks to Grandy’s tutelage; he made his own canvas and needlepointed our wedding crest below!!!) and finished the canvas in time for Christmas morning. I was confused when I saw a gift tag from my mom, Grandy, and David (we each buy presents for only one family member so only my mom was assigned to give to me) and immediately burst into tears when I unrolled the finished canvas they’d all collaborated on. We’ve since had the new collar finished in the same leather as the original and I can’t tell you how grateful I am to have this piece restored. While I still love the idea of framing and preserving it, we decided to have Rory wear the collar every day so we can enjoy it more often and never let it out of our sight. I smile every time I catch a glimpse of it and I like to think it’s where it was meant to be all along.
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