Love, Aunt Dorothy – We Miss You

When Sue and I were young, a long, long time ago, we owned a cross stitch shop.  Our love of cross stitch came about from my sister-in-law, Nancy, teaching us one Fall day.  We were hooked immediately, and it became a passion that lasted a few decades.  Luckily enough, we were able to share the passion with several good friends and relatives.  One of those relatives was my Aunt Dorothy.

Aunt Dorothy the Employee

Since Sue and I both worked full-time, we needed some employees to man the store for us.  My Aunt Dorothy, along with her good friend Pet and my sister, Pat, worked in the store a few times a week.  We needed models to hang about the shop, so we gave them free rein to stitch whatever they wanted to.  Since our store offered a framing service as well, it was easy for us to pick out frames and mats that enhanced the designs as they were completed.

Aunt Dorothy #5

Above is one of the pictures Aunt Dorothy made for the shop.  It has a pale pink top mat and a cream underlayment along with a rather ornate gold frame.  The pale pink perfectly matches the pink in the dress.  It’s such a nice remembrance piece and we have many others throughout our home.

Aunt Dorothy Passion

We had to close our shop rather abruptly in 1992 when we lost the lease to our space.  Thirty days notice sounds like a long time but it wasn’t enough to move our whole store.  We took it as a sign and that it was time to move on.  Our love for cross stitch as well as Aunt Dorthy’s love for it was in no way diminished by the closure.  She went on to stitch these pieces, and this is a small representation of them.  I just adore the wings on the first piece, stitched with a special shiny thread and featuring some beadwork.  The second piece reminds me of Dignity, the 50-foot monument sculpture in South Dakota.

The blue angel below took her four years to complete.  It really makes me happy to know that her passion continued and that she had so many framed pieces hanging in her home.  Uncle Bob shared these photos with us and gave his blessing for this piece.  That makes me happy as well. ~smile~

Aunt Dorothy Quilting?

Unwittingly, Aunt Dorothy and her twin sister, Aunt Doris, had a hand in getting us into our first quilting venture.  Aunt Doris asked us if we could somehow finish off these Santas that Aunt Dorothy had stitched.  It was a surprise birthday present for her, so we couldn’t consult with Aunt Dorothy as to what her vision was for them.

Dorothy Santas

We put our thinking hats on, squared them up, added sashing and a festive border and there you have it.  Although there wasn’t much quilting involved, I believe it is a nice wall hanging that is still being enjoyed.  I had forgotten about it until I recently came across the photo.

Love, Aunt Dorothy

Aunt Dorothy passed away this year in February.  She was a kind and very gentle person, and we were lucky to have called her Aunt.  My mom was 16 when the twins were born, and she loved them like her own.  ~smile~  Christine from Stitch All the Things and I were sharing information about our love for cross stitching.  Aunt Dorothy has been on my mind lately, and I knew it was well past time to share some of her work with my friends.  Her love of cross stitch lives on in us, and maybe we’ll be able to pass on that love to a certain little sweet girl.  One never knows.  ♥ ♥


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16 Responses

  1. Angie says:

    Roseanne – thanks so much for sharing the story about your Aunt Dorothy and cross-stitching. As you know, I am a stitcher, not a quilter, so this post really resonated with me. Wonderful to honor her with this post showing some of her stunning work!

  2. dezertsuz says:

    How sweet that is. Such wonderful memories and I appreciate your sharing them. I don’t do XS, but I admire it from those who do. It’s probably just as well that there’s ONE THING I didn’t catch a passion to do! LOL You have some lovely pieces in your home that she did. This morning in church, we sang God Be With You ‘Til We Meet Again, and I couldn’t get through the whole song, thinking about those who are already on the other side. It sounds like Aunt Dorothy is over there waiting, too. =) Hugs, Susan

  3. Barbara Esposito, The Quilted B says:

    Your Aunt sounds like such a lovely person! And she speaks to the truth that it does, indeed, take a village. What a blessing that you are hoping to pass on your love for handwork to that certain little someone. Hugs all around!

  4. Such a special legacy…
    My condolences to you and Sue on the passing of your beloved Aunt Dorothy.

    ps-are you and Sue twins?

  5. quiltinggail says:

    Thank you sharing about Aunt Dorothy and her wonderful projects and influence in your lives! Hugs!

  6. Cocoa Quilts says:

    Roseanne, what a beautiful story. I too had the cross stitch bug (for a much shorter time). These are beautiful pieces.

  7. Brenda Ackerman says:

    Hello Roseanne, This is a wonderful touching post, that I am glad that you shared, about a very special person in your lives. What a wonderful woman to have helped you discover two of the passions you enjoy so much. It would be a touching memorial to her if you and Sue could teach both of the little ones to cross stitch and quilt and so fun for all of you if they fell in love with them the way that all of you have! I hope that you will share more of your Aunts beautiful cross stitch projects as well as yours and Sues. That is something I could share on my blog also. Thank you again for sharing this fabulous post! Have a wonderful day!!

  8. Rochelle Summers says:

    Such wonderful memories of a special person. Thank you for sharing.

  9. chrisknits says:

    What a wonderful story. And I bet you could even pass on that legacy to a sweet boy, cause boys can stitch too!

  10. What a lovely story and tribute for your aunt! Her work is gorgeous and it is fun to know that she was an influence in your quilting journey too!

  11. Gretchen says:

    The stitcheries are beautiful!, cross stitch taken to a advanced level!!! What a lovely tribute to your aunt. I hope I’m an inspiration to my nieces the way she was to you guys. Happy Stitching!

  12. I agree, what a lovely story and nice tribute to your aunt. I used to cross stitch, and it’s fun to see it coming back a bit. I’m glad Aunt Dorothy helped the two of you and that your love of crafting/quilting grew from her encouragement and inspiration. I think she would be delighted with this post!

  13. Vicki in MN says:

    Loved your story. You gals have always been crafty I think. That top photo brought back memories because once stitched it or was there a series of it? I have stitched a bunch of snowman pieces but no longer put them out as I have so many snowman decorations.

  14. Aww…what a beautiful story! Cross stitch was my craft choice when I was young mom — I’ve been thinking about starting again 🙂

  15. That’s a lovely tribute to your Aunt Dorothy, Roseanne! Cross-stitch was my first needlecraft love, but I never completed anything as involved as what she made. Those are works of art!

  16. Connie says:

    What a lovely story! I got into petit point at an early age because my godmother was a devotee, then my mother became addicted. I loved particularly geometric, modern design…which moved me into quilting…it all flows…and it all relaxes…it’s always like being part of family…

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