I have done quite a few custom projects in the 16 years that I have been designing needlepoint. The process for a custom project is never easy but it is often rewarding as I get to be part of an intimate collaboration with the stitcher. A few months ago I received the following email from a client and I just had to share because stitchers, this is why I do what I do!
“Jenny, yesterday I finished the wonderful canvas you painted for me. I know I have told you this before, but I wanted to say again that you really did a spectacular job on this. Every day I was impressed with how precisely and accurately you incorporated the details and colors. This will be a Christmas surprise for our older son and his wife. I know they will love it. I will miss working on it!”
And yes that was a little self affirming but the reason I really wanted to write about the story of this custom project was it got me thinking about the true beauty behind a needlepoint project. What I liked about this particular project is it blends a few concepts. The stitching on this piece is exquisite and the personal sentiment infused into every stitch is palpable. Unlike a photograph that captures a moment, a needlepoint piece builds itself slowly, stitch by stitch and when finished hands down a legacy. It is an investment of time and money and a gesture of love.
The project was a massive undertaking for my client as I had persuaded her to let me paint the design onto 24 mesh canvas (very teeny) to get in all the detail that she was looking for. She agreed to that and after many months of lovingly stitching this piece for her son and his wife she finished it and just recently gifted them with not just a house portrait but a depiction of their entire block .
It was well received!