Sunday, 19 October 2014

A flashaback

Were you into sewing when you were 16? Had you already started quilting and stitching while you were still at school?

Although I took piano lessons, played the clarinet and oboe in an orchestra, played tennis at the weekends, and was a young leader at Girls Brigade (like Guides), I somehow found time to embroider this cross stitch when I was just 16 years old.

DMC Pako embroidered by me when I was 16

I certainly wasn't into quilting when I was 16 because I wasn't really aware of it then. I could use a sewing machine, and I had made some clothes and bags during compulsory sewing lessons at school. Back when I went to school, all the girls in New Zealand did cooking and sewing in Years 7 and 8, and all the boys did woodwork and metalwork. We swapped over for one quarter of each year so we could get a taste of what the others did, but these lessons were firmly segregated along gender lines at my Intermediate school. (Dunedin North Intermediate in Dunedin, New Zealand)

However, my mum always did a lot of knitting and embroidery in the evenings and she taught me how to do cross stitch when I was quite young.

You might wonder how I had the patience - well we didn't have the internet as a distraction back then. I saw this kit in a lovely embroidery shop in Auckland's High Street back in the early 1980's. I can't remember the name of the shop, but it was a basement level shop and it stocked beautiful Permin, Lenarte, and Eva Rosenstand designs. I loved poking around in that shop. The fact that it was underground added to the intrigue and mystery of it all.

I must have been given this kit for Christmas when I was 16 and I just plugged away at it, a little bit each night. I loved doing it, and I still love it now. It doesn't hang on the wall in my house at the moment, but it might again one day.

Here's another large cross stitch sampler that I stitched when I was in my 20's. I like it too, but it's also taking a break in a back room at the moment.  This design is Permin Flower ABC. Sorry that the photo isn't clearer, but there is glass in the frame.

Permin Flower ABC

 I'd be interested to know if you what your hobbies were when you were 16, and if they involved much sewing.


Yvonne @ Quilting Jetgirl said...

I actually made my first quilts when I was in high school. As a junior in high school, my paternal grandmother offered to do the hand quilting if I would make the top and back for a quilt I could use in college. It turned out to be the last thing she hand quilted, and I treasure it (I did use it for 2 years in college, too)! I also made a quilt as a project for a school assignment as a senior in high school and another as a gift to a boyfriend. I liked cross-stitch, too, but I did that more in college when it wasn't practical to have a sewing machine with me. I took home economics in 8th grade for a quarter and sewed a duffle bag that I loved for years. To date, it might be the only thing I've ever done that had a zipper. :)

Alison said...

I had the creative urge from a young age, taught myself to crochet and knit. My mother could not do anything other than take up my father's trousers under much duress. It wasn't until I was married that I got a sewing machine. Made a quilt then but there was no such thing as batting I used washed stockings to stuff it. Not very successful. That was in the late 1960's. I must have been a quilter waiting for the passion to hit New Zealand. Took my first course in 1984 and have literally not stopped since. Other needlework such as cross stitch, hardanger and embroidery have made appearances but my first love is hand applique and hand quilting.

seabreezequilts said...

My mum was into knitting and tapestry when I was young and seeing of course, well she was a great starter, just like me. I started sewing clothes but could do the tapestry and knit and crotchet from a young age, quilting came a lot longer away in mid 20's

Granny Maud's Girl said...

I was in a knitting frenzy at 16. I started to sew sometime before I was 10 (not too sure when, but I got my first machine for my tenth birthday, and I had been borrowing mum's for a while by then). Like you, I credit the lack of technology!
Love the cross-stitch – especially the floral one, but I can imagine a 16-year-old me choosing something like the farmyard too.

Sue said...

Your blog and crafting is fabulous and your cross stitches are gorgeous. I had forgotten about Permin of Copenhagen. Their designers produced exquisite designs. I have a framed garden sampler I did in the eighties (?) under the stairs, with my other embroideries (my partner is not keen on too much wall space being given to cross stitch) When I was sixteen in the early seventies I did dressmaking for me and was crocheting afghans, or granny squares as they seem to be called now, for a bed quilt.

margaret said...

2 very nice pieces so much to see on the first one. Not doing embroidery when I was 16 but I was making my own clothes, shame no photos from those days or maybe just as well there are not any

Wendy said...

I actually loathed sewing of any description until after I got married when I had an urge to sew. I started with cross stitch and then learnt to sew on a machine and the passion has only got stonger. I was crafty as a child though, I was always making something, from being very little up until... well now! I went through stages of papercraft, making jewellery, quilling, fimo, glass painting...

NickiJ said...

I didn't have a stitching bone in my body when I was 16! I hated sewing classes in school, mainly because of the grumpy teacher. I only took up quilting in my 40's. I think I collected stamps and loved to roller skate at 16!!