I’ve been a cross stitcher for many years. I think I did my first (stamped) piece some time around 1991 or 1992, and very quickly afterwards moved on to counted cross stitch. I tried regular embroidery a few times, but discovered I wasn’t very good at it. I’ve also tried my hand at sewing a few times, but I’m pretty much just able to manage simple things like draw-string bags and ornament finishing. I’ve also done a little bit of scrapbooking, but I’m not overly fond of it.
In the past eight months I’ve added a couple of new hobbies: knitting and crocheting. I love the precision of knitting and the speed of crochet, but neither bring me as much joy as cross stitch. (Although, there is something super cool about wearing socks you’ve made yourself.)
Getting more heavily into these hobbies, and increasing both my yarn and fabric stashes, has helped me feel closer to my paternal grandmother who passed away when I was in high school. She was the one who tried very hard to teach me to sew and crochet and all those other things long ago, but I wasn’t a very good student and didn’t have much skill. I think that she would be very proud of me now, knowing that her time did not go to waste.
One thing that I lack, though, is a box of buttons to rival my grandmother’s. Honestly, I can’t remember how she stored them, but I do remember running my fingers through what must have been over a hundred buttons of all different types. My button collection is made up of those extra buttons you get when you buy sweaters. They are stored in their plastic bags in my jewelry case. How uninspiring.
My grandmother’s collection took a lifetime to build, so I suppose mine will too. It is a shame, though, that the buttons on clothes today are often so cheap and plastic. They don’t seem to have the charm of all those mother-of-pearl and Bakelite and shell buttons that my grandmother had. Nonetheless, they are good start to a button collection that I hope will one day, many years from now, inspire my own grandchildren.