Posts Tagged ‘folk art’

A Toy Tote for the Newest Santa Claus

December 14, 2011


My brother will be a grandfather next year. I’m not certain how he is dealing with it, but I’m thrilled. For the first time in years, I had an idea for a Christmas present for him. All grandchildren consider their grandfathers to be the next best thing to Santa Claus, so of course he needs his own bag to haul the toys, right?


I wanted the tote to be a little more masculine than my usual bag lady creation, so I showed it to my husband, who suggested a handle would be more appealing to my brother than a shoulder strap alone.

I also decided that my brother needed to have his own collection of spit-up towels for the baby. Trusting in the spirit of the season, I gave cross-stitch another chance. While I love embroidery, I have found that cross-stitch (like crotchet and knitting) taxes my basic math skills. I can’t count. I’m always getting lost in the pattern, or not finding the center no matter how hard I try. Still, I pulled out my patterns and tried a few small, simple things:

This is the first one I tried. I figured a one-color pattern would be a good warm-up, and that I could figure out how to make the letters even if I can’t count.

Next I tried a rocking horse:

Although I managed to follow the pattern, I didn’t center it properly on the towel. Oh, well, at least people will know a real live human made it because there’s a mistake in it.

Next I tried some shells:

These were more challenging than I expected, because the holes are so small. By the time I got around to the last bit of outline stitching, there wasn’t a lot of room for the needle and floss.

Last came a folk design that reminds me of Russian folk art:

My luck ran out with this one, and I did get lost in the pattern. However, after successfully navigating the other designs I decided folk art could accommodate my errors and fudged a few squares here and there. I know the baby won’t notice, and I suspect my brother won’t, either.