In Ireland over Christmas, I was very pleased to come across this cross-stitch of Irish Setters* at my father-in-law’s house. I hadn’t seen it for a few years, and didn’t know what had happened to it.
If every picture picture tells a story, the same is true for cross-stitches.
This was the first proper cross-stitch I ever made as an adult, way back in 1995 (though I had tried it before, at school, some years previously)! Alan and I were newly married and I wanted to give my new mother-in-law something truly special for Christmas. A colleague at work cross-stitched every day at lunch time. I loved her work and wanted to try it myself. When I saw this kit (sorry, can’t remember who by), I immediately thought of my mother-in-law, and the rest, as they say, is history.
My late mother-in-law had a wonderful way with animals. She loved them and they adored her. She always had a rescue dog or two loyally following her about wherever she went. While Alan and I dated, we bonded over a common love of dogs and nature.
At the time this was made she had the most beautiful rescued Vizsla, which I would have gladly taken home and kept for myself! Though a different breed entirely, the top dog in this cross-stitch reminded me of old Bill, and I knew my mother-in-law would love it no matter what type of dog it was. And she did.
15 years later, with many cross-stitches behind me, I’m amazed this was my first ever project. Whether brave or foolish, it worked, and I was hooked. I have made peace with the silly mistakes I know are there, because I learned so much from this piece and have gotten so much pleasure from cross-stitching over the years. To this day I smile whenever I see it.
* Excuse the bad reflections. At the time of framing I did not yet know about diffused (non-reflective) glass and this was the best picture I could get after trying all kinds of weird angles!