My Needlepoint Kitchen Moldings

before after kitchen-molding

My kitchen recently reached its 17th birthday, and some parts are not aging gracefully.  The cabinet base molding (also known as toe kick board) is awfully scratched.  I decided to needlepoint new moldings for under the kitchen cabinets.  I chose earth tones that match the cabinets and colors that would not look dirty if they get soiled.   They are DMC 451, 840, 407, 613, 315, and 922. I used 951 for the “grout” between the tiles.  Some math helped me figure out dimensions and pattern.  I stitched up my design on Darice 10 mesh plastic canvas.

 I began a year ago with a small area, and my friends laughed at me. “The next thing you’ll stitch are the kitchen floor tiles themselves!” exclaimed Sarah R.  Another was horrified and could not understand how I would keep them clean.  My motivation deflated.  But the cracked peeling moldings kept urging me to persevere, so I revisited the project. The moldings get stitched one panel at a time, so I stitched on the subway, while waiting on long lines at Marshalls and Burlington Coat Factory, and other similar opportunities.  When I completed a segment, I attached it to the existing molding using a glue gun.
Suddenly my kitchen is gorgeous!  I still have a few more areas to complete, but I love, love, love the results.  When I’m entirely done, I’ll post more photos. And I can’t wait to watch my friends drool the next time they visit.
Enjoy the creativity!

The Stories Behind the Stitches

closeup1As an avid needlepointer, I take a great interest in the motivation of a stitcher.  I know what motivates me; needlepoint relaxes me, and I feel creatively rehydrated from it.  But what’s it like for others out there?  I have been inspired by many of my customers, and here I share their stories. (Please note that names have been changed.)

Adam orders needlepoint kits for his wife.  She suffers from  Alzheimer’s, and she stitches for ten hours each day!  Needlepoint is therapeutic for her.  He is a devoted spouse, and we all have a lot to learn about loyalty from him.  When his wife loses threads or needles, he patiently and lovingly reorders them.  He pays for express overnight shipping if need be to keep her from getting agitated.

Mary is ordering a canvas to keep her brother’s hands busy.  Her brother has finally quit smoking after being addicted for 47 years!  He now needs something to keep his hands busy, so she is buying him a needlepoint as a gift.

Mrs.B, a kind women in her early seventies, lost two adult daughters to cancer a number of years ago.  She stitches daily.  She feels needlepoint is her only solace and helps her get through each day.

Mrs. E.  insists on leaving heirlooms for her children.. She feels her children will not fight over her jewelry; they will argue over who gets which needlepoint.  Her finished pieces are heirloom quality as I have personally oohed and ahhed over them.

Lisa stitches instead of eating junk. She keeps her weight down this way.  When she needs a canvas, she is always in a rush.

Tina  needed a needlepoint shipped overnight as well. She was leaving on a vacation and would not step onto the airplane without a project to keep her occupied.

My kids’ orthodontist told me that his wife also needs a needlepoint to stitch while traveling by airplane.  She uses the metal piece on top of dental floss to cut her thread in lieu of taking a scissor (TSA Safety) along.

Barbara prefers spending her money on new needlepoint projects rather than paying  her shrink.

Mrs. S. is a senior citizen and grandmother many times over.  She is retired and spends her monthly stipend from her retirement account on new needlepoint canvases. She mastered the technique of many different stitches and is on an advanced level.  She also does the finishing on her own.  She learned how to sew as a youngster.  When she finishes a project, she gives it to a grandchild as a gift for a special occasion.

Susan suffers from bad back pain and is currently recovering from surgery. Her stitching is stunning; she stitches wedding gifts for her relatives in Israel.

Jennifer brought along her dishes to match the color of thread exactly to coordinate her dining room.

Another customer confided in me, “Renee, I stitch because I’m tired of waiting.  Of waiting for buses and trains, of waiting at the doctor’s office, of waiting until I have free time.”

Last week I  mailed a needlepoint kit to a maternity ward in a hospital in Honolulu.  A customer purchased it for an acquaintance stuck there on bed rest.

I love to hear the stories behind the stitches. Enjoy them too, and feel free to share yours.