First Stitch

It’s been three months since we’ve been in our house. I’ve sewn curtains, made cushions, hung paintings; my husband has painted walls, assembled and fixed things; the boys have claimed their spaces and left toys and books lying around – all of us contributing to making ourselves feel truely at home. But there are still dozens and dozens of boxes in the basement to unpack…

A few days ago, I came accross a very lovely treasure in one of the boxes. This little red gingham bag, with a teddy bear cross-stitched on the front. It was the very first counted cross-stitch project I ever did!

I was nine or ten years old, living in Tokyo at the time. I must have received this as a birthday gift from my parents, who have always supported and encouraged my passion for sewing and crafts. I vividly recall going to Tokyu Hands with my mother to pick out the kit and remember sitting at our kitchen table, counting the ‘X”s on the chart and then counting the squares of the aida cloth and stitching the ‘X”s while my mother cooked. As with most imposed, first-time projects, I was reluctant to learn this new craft. As my mother explained to me how to read the chart, start in the middle and count out, how to seperate the six strands of thread to use only two, I remember thinking this is going to be more tedious than fun… I was gladly mistaken! After working on this little teddy bear, a new passion was born and I haven’t stopped counting stitches since then (though I have been on hiatus from my other three current, on-going, never ending cross-stitch projects…)

It is always a treat to come accross a piece of our childhood, items filled with precious memories and happy souvenirs. It is not often that we hold on to these details of our past, first accomplishments of things made or done. You can see that this was a first time project for me because I didn’t cross all my ‘X”s in the same direction, the tension of the stitches are irregular, and I remember miss counting and making mistakes around the ears… I suppose these irregularities are what give this little bear its character!

I used this bag on train trips and family vacations, tucking in the handmade project I was working on at that moment and a book to read if I needed a break from counting stitches. I think that I will use the bag today in the same way – for my stitching projects on car rides, instead of trying to cram everything into my purse. It is a fabulous reminder of my begining and the progress I have made over the last twenty years as my passion has grown, a wonderful souvenir of my creative, happy childhood and how these elements of my past have carried over into my present…


About Alexandra

wife, lover, mother, sister, daughter, friend, teacher, blogger, scrap-booker, cross-stitcher, photographer, designer, multi-lingual speaker, dual-citizenship holder, world traveler, dreamer... hopeful, happy, blessed
This entry was posted in counted cross-stitch, reflections. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to First Stitch

  1. Caity says:

    Oh that is so adorable! I love that bag so much! It’s great to keep reminders like that. I kept the first large friendship bracelet I ever made. 🙂

  2. Catherine says:

    I love the fact that you have kept things like this from your past!

  3. Julia says:

    I totally agree; it’s wonderful how your whole family keeps things from the past!

    Eric is now using Albert’s furniture, toys, clothes, Papa Eric’s school chair and bookcase. And he is enjoying Grandpapa’s wheelbarrow so much!

    The sentimental value is priceless!

  4. Pingback: たからぶくろ Takarabukuro | XandraExpressions

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