Saturday, April 23, 2022

Needlework - needlepoint from long ago

My mom grew up on a farm in a part of Finland that now belongs to Russia. She came to Canada after the second world war. 

This is a needlepoint that my mom did in school. I don't know anything more about it. It has travelled through time and distance. I keep it in my linen closet. It has a backing that my mom put on it when I was a teen because I recognise the fabric. It is stitched with the threads going up and down instead of a half cross stitch or tent stitch as it's called.

I love this needlepoint. My mom taught me how to do needlepoint and we worked on this together. She bought the canvas and tapestry yarns and perhaps she was hoping I would love needlepoint as much as she obviously did. I think that she framed it herself. The glass is now cracked and I will get it reframed - perhaps with a darker frame so that the needlepoint takes priority.

This is another one that we stitched together. Initially, the lady at the department store where we purchased the canvas and yarns chose a reddy-orange colour for the cheek highlight that was a match for the colour legend. Once it was stitched, my mom disliked it. She ended up taking that section out and replacing it with a more suitable, lighter shade. I remember when we went to get it framed, she let me choose the frame and this is the one I picked. I wanted something that looked like driftwood. 
For anyone who has ever done needlepoint, it can be a very expensive hobby. The canvas is hand painted ($$), the yarns are wool ($$) and the framing costs quite a lot too. My mom raised my brother and me on her own after my dad passed away when I was just 13. She cleaned houses for a living and didn't make much at all but she was frugal. This was one thing she did spend money on. Later, she stitched more. Each of my three daughters was given a pillow that she stitched and a foot stool had a new cover that I remember. It had African violets on a black background. A smaller stitched floral canvas was framed and my middle daughter has it in her home now. I do love needlepoint and have recently purchased kits and canvases. It goes quicker than cross stitch and I just need to find the time. I prefer stitching with wool yarn as opposed to embroidery floss. I have seen the needlepoint of today and they are sometimes done with silk thread or cotton and the stitches are quite different and elaborate. I'm fairly 'old school' and prefer using just the tent stitch.


  1. Beautiful, subtle threads, and a new frame will set off that stitching perfectly.What memories to have.

  2. The one your mother did in school shows real talent, it is more demanding than a normal school project would have been. You are right, the materials alone make this hobby expensive, but we also have much joy when working on our projects and having them finished.

  3. I remember seeing that wonderful old man and I wonder if it might have been something one of my grandmothers did. Interesting that the dog was stitched in that direction - wonder if it was supposed to be or if it was a happy accident.


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