|Sept. 13, 2010 - A needle, a strand of yarn, canvas, and a basket weave stitch can lead to some wondrous adventures.|
Margaret Travis claims there have been few times since age 9, when she began learning to sew, that she hasn’t had threads or bits of yarn hanging from her clothes.
Her first needlepoint attempt was a coaster with an initial done in a basket weave stitch. A group of young mothers in Palmyra, New York gathered at a friend’s home to learn something new. The wide range of colors and the feel of the wool was what kept the craft interesting to her.
Margaret’s most ambitious project was in the late 1970’s when some of the women of Zion Episcopal Church in Palmyra decided to make altar rail kneeling cushions. They were done in beautiful rich maroons and deep golds and are still in use. She remembers doing the largest cushion, the one for the center that took two years to complete.
At the same time she started a series of dated Christmas ornaments for family members, made each year in a different design. The original idea came from a kit purchased from a needlework catalog. The second year was an original dove design, which not knowing any better, she placed stitches on the canvas as she went (not knowing enough to mark on the canvas). Margaret says, “Since I’m not an artist, it makes me laugh when I see it each year…it’s certainly not a recognizable Audubon specimen!”
Over the years, motifs were used from both patterns and original designs. “It was a way to chronicle what might have happened during the preceding year. The question in the family still is, ‘what’s this year’s ornament going to be?’ I start the first of six each October to finish in time for Christmas. There are years when my own personal one is not done and is finished the following spring.” Margaret claims.
Presently she’s designing quilted purse and purse accessories plus sewables for the handicapped sold under the Eazy Peazy Quilts brand. www.EazyPeazyQuilts.com. Her patterns are sold in quilt shops all over the country and in several online stores.
One of her purse designs, the Bodacious Brag Bag, lends itself to a needlepoint monogram or motif.
No matter how busy she is, though, there will always be the yearly Christmas ornaments. Traditions are not made to be broken!