Tumbling Blocks Needlepoint

Everybody in my mother’s family is an amateur artisan.

We have quilters, decorators, huck-weavers, furniture restorers, and more — but the arts-and-crafts gene passed me by. Still, this sumptuous needlepoint project, advertised in The New Yorker, caught my eye. Because I’d never tried needlepoint nor anything like it, my first thought was, “Who can I buy this for?” I tore out the ad and kept looking at it until I realized I wanted to make the throw-pillow for myself.

The tumbling blocks pattern is traditional in quilting. The 16 bright colors are pure Kaffe Fassett.

I asked my aunt and a fabric-artist friend, “Would I be able to do this?” The answer from both: “Sure!”

My husband gave me the kit for Christmas. I’ve been finishing one “diamond” every three days and will complete the project by summer. It is so relaxing to sit down for 15 or 20 minutes at a time, with beautiful yarn, and go over and under, over and under, listening to Seattle’s KEXP and doing the same stitch over and over again. I even improvised a needle threader from a discarded guitar string.

Next I’d like to design and stitch my own smaller patterns and see what I can come up with.

— Fran Mason

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