Thursday, September 25, 2008

Alphabet Love

This month I've been sharing some selections from my alphabet book collection, but my love of the ABCs extends beyond books. I'm not sure why I love the alphabet so much. Maybe because it's predictable and orderly, and I crave predictability and order? Dunno.


I love to stitch. Pair that with a love of the alphabet, and the result is samplers galore. I can't resist a good-looking alphabet sampler. I don't love every alphabet sampler I see (thank goodness, I'd never be able to keep up with it all!), but some designs just demand that I stitch them.

This first one, if I remember correctly, is called Nature's Alphabet. I bought it as a kit from a stitchery catalog years and years ago. It took me a long time to make. I'd stitch a few letters or motifs, then abandon it for long periods of time. My children were very small when I began the project, which explains why it didn't have my full attention from start to finish. Now that it is complete, it is prominently displayed in our home library. I like the old-world feel to it. Bunny Gingham, by Twisted Threads. It's stitched one over one on 28 count. I like the typewriter-looking font, and the little carrot! This is another small design, stitched one over one. I bought it as a kit from an online supplier. The finished design is less than 2 inches square. I like the teeny bunny in the tall grass.
Kitty Cat Row, by Bent Creek. That sleeping kitty by the Zs won me over! I also like how "purr" is worked into the alphabet.

Quilted Alphabet. The pattern is from a Vanessa Ann Holidays in Cross-Stitch book. I made this for my first born, my son, stitched while I was pregnant. That's what I remember when I see this sampler: being pregnant, my swollen feet propped up on a foot stool, watching ER on Thursday nights while I stitched. It hung in his room for a long time. I took it down when he needed a place to hang his Black Belt Certificate. Achieving Black Belt rank trumped the ABCs!




Quaker Heart Sampler. I got this design for free here. Hearts are another motif I can't seem to resist, so when you combine alphabets with a heart, it's all over for me. This one is missing the letters J and U, which is not a mistake. Our alphabet has an interesting history! You can read more about that here. Valentine Alphabet, by Tom Pudding Designs. Tom Pudding used to have a free cross stitch pattern online every month, but they now seem to be defunct. This was their February design one year. Again, hearts. I had to stitch it!
Burt Lake Sampler, by Sisters and Best Friends. This is the pattern that introduced me to the world of hand-dyed threads. Prior to this, I only did patterns that called for regular DMC. Hand-dyed threads are nuanced and give so much more depth to the design. Unfortunately, they are also more expensive and harder to find than regular DMC, but worth the cost and effort. I stitched this one for my daughter when she was two years old, because she would go in my son's room, face his Quilted Alphabet Sampler, stand at attention, and belt out the ABC song. I swear I remember her saluting it one time, too, but that could be faulty memory. This is a New Year card my husband received from a work colleague in Japan. I don't know if the sender realized just how much this card would be appreciated!
And finally my pewter alphabet mug. I found this in a second-hand shop. When I walked in the door, I wasn't looking for anything in particular, but I just knew there was something there waiting for me. And there was!


Guess what I bought the other day? Another alphabet sampler cross-stitch pattern. Where I will hang it when it's done, I have no idea, but I saw it and felt that familiar swept-away feeling, and now I can't wait to get to stitching!