• Various/Onna Carr

Stitches and Colorful Threads:  The Shared Commonality of Four Generations

Updated: Oct 27, 2019

Post by Onna Carr

Stitches, Embroidery, Embroidery Floss, Masterpiece Theatre, Butterflies, BBC Productions, 1921, Continuity

A pre-printed piece of cotton-blend is very inviting. Antique flosses in an array of colors are just irresistible: always ready for my expression to flow through them. I get most of my floss and some of my pre-printed embroidery projects at thrift shops, flea markets, or antique stores.

I began work on my latest embroidery project by carefully removing the table runner from its bag and getting rid of the stitch guide with color suggestions. The whole idea of an embroidery color guide is reminiscent of a Masterpiece Theatre host, trying to explain what is obvious if the presentation is watched. The whole principle of the Masterpiece Theatre host annoys me to no end (no offense to the hosts, I would just rather see the actual BBC presentation three minutes sooner and not be made to feel that Masterpiece Theatre believes that viewers cannot come to conclusions unaided. In the same way, color guides annoy me to no end. Color guides and the idea of Masterpiece Theatre hosts were created by similar minds: minds that believe people need help in determining a suitable color scheme or in deciphering a plot or a theme. However, I like to believe that most people are quite capable of choosing their own color schemes and ascertaining the storyline or moral of a film production on their own.

The table runner I am working on is a floral butterfly motif, worked in my chosen color scheme of yellow, purple, pink and greens of various hues. The selected floss for the project is standing at attention in clear, plastic bags, and my needle is loaded and poised for action. I steadily work on the runner, using cross-stitch and backstitch stitches the way my mama taught me, the way her Grandmother Grace taught her, the way her Scottish mother, Anna (Onna), taught her. At least, I assume Anna taught Grace. Though the years have passed and the hands have changed, the stitches have remained the same, and four generations share not only the commonality of blood, but of hobby. Perhaps, I wonder as I remove a wrapper copyrighted 1921, we even share the same floss. In the end, the whole process of my embroidery projects bring me not only joy; but also, comfort in the continuity of things.

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