Mt. Rainier and Lenticular Clouds - Dec. 2008 copyright: JMM

September 8, 2016

The States In Which I've Lived

A couple of years ago I scored cool cross stitch patterns by Sue Hillis Designs for the states I've lived in.  I knew I wanted to do them all on one piece of cloth and that presented a mathematical issue.  I suck at math and I really didn't know what I was doing.  Which resulted in CA being ripped out and restitched.  It's not as centered together as I would have liked but I can live with it.  

The other thing was that the pattern showed some pictures that were either in the wrong places or not items the states are known for.  That meant I had to omit, add and change a great deal.  

I did all the state outlines, rivers, state names and surrounding water first before working on the pictures.

First was MA.  There were a few things that made me scratch my head, such as why potatoes and a tobacco leaf were pictured.  I actually googled both of them to see if they were serious cash crops in MA and they aren't.  At all.  Corn on Cape Cod?  Not so much, no.  


I took all the potatoes out and stitched a bunch of cranberries above and below Plymouth.  The tobacco leaf is done in oranges for our foliage.  Technically the spool of thread should've been in Southeastern Mass, but it wouldn't fit.  The textile mills were in New Bedford and Fall River, not way out in the Berkshires.  I omitted the milk can under Plymouth too.  I also felt that the full 2 strand cross stitching of the water around the coastline and islands was way too overpowering, so I changed that to single strand half cross.  Finally, I added a red heart to where I lived.


Maine was less problematic, symbol-wise.  They actually are known for potatoes.  There are a few ski resorts, tons of pine trees and agriculture.  


The only change to this was again, the half cross for the water, and the added heart next to Sebago Lake, above Portland.


California was also fairly accurate with the symbols.



I did omit a boat and added my own little Golden Gate Bridge.  Hearts in SF and in Marin.  Oh and I also added a tiny Lake Tahoe at the bend under the N in Sacramento.  It bugged me that the pattern didn't include it and had just the white space.  Tahoe straddles the California-Nevada Line at the bend.

I saved Washington for last because I was looking forward to doing it the most, but also because the symbols were almost all wrong and would take a lot of fixing and moving. 


The first thing I noticed was that the Columbia River went down to the border b/t the apple and tractor and stopped.  I did a half cross stitch all along the southern border and joined it with the Pacific coast.  

Next, I had to move the wheat stalk from under Olympia and put it in Eastern WA, where the wheat actually grows.  I moved the cow head over because of the dairy farms in Western WA.  I also added the cities of Spokane, Yakima and Bellingham.  Omitted the potatoes again.  Added the heart and a Mt. Rainier which also kinda looks like the Tacoma Dome which is OK with me.  The Olympic peninsula showed a giant milk can.  I'm sorry but there's nothing out there but wilderness, rainforests and mountains, no farms.  I added Lakes Crescent, Ozette & Quinault and the evergreen trees too.

The final product!!  

Still have to try and find a frame and then even harder, finding a place to hang it!

30 comments:

  1. What a fun project! Looks fantastic! I'd have a tough time with this one. Any kind of math and I'm in big trouble unless I can use a calculator. Which is pretty bad because my job involves a ton of numbers ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Elsie! I didn't even know how to get started with a calculator. What I ended up doing was trying to line up the centers of the new design with the center of the one I'd already stitched, on the sides and top/bottoms. CA should have still gone more to the left by 10 rows, and WA should've gone to the left by 10 rows, but I'm calling it good. lol

      Delete
  2. Wow, what a lot of work! Beautiful. I admire your skill.
    I see you have never lived in a landlocked state. The big waters must be a real part of you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I could never live in a landlocked state. Growing up on Cape Cod, I have to be near the ocean.

      Delete
  3. WOW! Lovely. You have got a god idea to keep your memories fine. So whenever you look at them you will go to the time you spend there. Nice to see that you have spend your das in many places.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! To be honest, if my husband could've moved west, I'd still be living in WA. I may be from Mass, but Washington will always be home.

      Delete
  4. Hey JoJo,

    What a fabulous talent you are. I do note you like to get those stitched maps just right. I was hoping that, "Walla Walla", would be on the map of Washington.

    I reckon I could try to thumb a ride along your maps. Guess that would make me a "stitchhiker"!

    Seriously, great stuff, JoJo.

    Gary :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Gary! I actually did think about adding Walla Walla but there wasn't any room. I was surprised that the pattern didn't have Spokane that's why I added it. And then I was reducing the trees up north, that's why I added Bellingham and I put Yakima in place of the potatoes.

      Delete
  5. Very cute. Yes I think you dream of Washington. 😊

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Teresa! I do....I miss WA so much. Not the traffic but the climate and scenery.

      Delete
  6. The way you are cross stitching every state is incredible..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Krishna! This project actually took way less time than I expected it would.

      Delete
  7. I love these, and I'm biased in favor of your California map. My geography isn't good, so I stared at these for a while to learn a few things and enjoy the stitchery. You're very gifted.
    I hope you're in good spirits these days, JoJo.
    Virtual hugs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Robyn! I love to look at maps. I used to look at them every day at breakfast before I left for work.

      Delete
  8. I really liked the cross stitch, and applaud your patience in stitching it. Looks very cute and will look even better in a frame.
    have a wonderful weekend ahead!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much!!!! I hope I can find a frame for it...it's kind of an odd size.

      Delete
    2. Do you have any custom frame chops there? We have one here near by, but the last time the person tilted the cross stitch I wanted to frame..huh... couldn't do anything about it as he also glued it to the backside...lol

      Delete
    3. We do have frame shops but they are soooo expensive. I'd rather try and find one to buy and do it myself.

      Delete
  9. JoJo! I love this cross stitch project!!! What a fun idea. As an aside, I was born and raised in Western Mass, and my family lived there for a few generations before me....my mom, her cousins, aunts and uncles ALL worked in the tobacco farms out there in the 50's!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Amy! I never knew MA grew tobacco till I googled it. I never once heard that at all, but as with many other states, the western part is foreign to those of us from Eastern MA and Cape Cod. I don't think it's something that the state is really known for though, and I think many of the farms have dwindled from the 50s.

      Delete
  10. oh that is just so cool! so funny how we've lived in such similar places in the country :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know! Small world!!! :D

      Delete
  11. Which was your favourite place to live?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Washington. I miss it so much. I know I'm from Mass and I live here again, but that is always going to be home.

      Delete
  12. That is a lot of detail. Quite a project

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! Yes, lots of tiny stitching!

      Delete
  13. That's a pretty nifty project. I wonder if the patterns were based on old info to some extent? I've seen maps that show misrepresentations such as the ones on the patterns. Maybe the artists don't really know and just are relying on faulty memories or bad information.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They are created by Sue Hillis designs. She got some of the pics right but not all of them. I mean MA does grow potatoes and tobacco, but that's not something we are known for. Cranberries, however, are and those weren't on there. Wheat in western WA? Milk on the Olympic Peninsula? No.

      Delete
  14. Sorry I'm just now getting caught up. I absolutely love all of your creations JoJo. You're just so stinkin' creative and artsy fartsy. I'm attempting to work on something every day but sometimes inconsiderate people who go out into the world coughing up lungs intervene. Bleh.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Karen! Hey you are pretty creative yourself! It's sometimes hard to work at it every day. I've had to take a bit of a break. I've been a stitching maniac for months.

      Delete