Friday, November 30, 2007

Appreciate Freedom? Support Any Soldier, Inc.

Bumped to top 11/14/07 - check for updates below. Originally posted 11/1/07.

One of my hobbies is counted cross-stitch. Another of my hobbies is supporting the troops by sending them mail (cards & letters, and care packages when I'm able). At the moment, I've got more time than money, so I thought I would take one of my hobbies to help give back to Any Soldier, Inc., an organization that helps me with another of my hobbies.

To that end, I contacted Marty Horn last fall with a proposal: I sent him a photo of a piece I had begun immediately after 9/11. Once I had completed it (it took months), it remained rolled up, waiting to be framed, for the longest time. I was so pleased to finally be able to get it framed a few years ago. I told Marty I could take the time to make another of the piece, but I would not be able to get it framed - custom framing is NOT cheap. Marty agreed to my proposal, and I finally finished the piece about mid-October (I worked on it while on lunch and breaks with substitute teaching, I worked on it out at the ballpark before and after games, I worked on it while watching TV). I prepped it for framing and sent it off to Marty.

Marty now has it up for raffle at This isn't the only item up for raffle at the moment, but it's the one I'm promoting. If you love it as much as I do, please go purchase as many $5 raffle tickets as you can afford. This round of the Any Soldier raffles ends December 1st.

So, without further ado, I give you

Update 12/3/07:

Marty extended the raffle through December 2nd due to his travel schedule. Congratulations to Kathleen C. of Liverpool, NY, who won "Freedom".

Administrative note: The links to the raffle page get updated with each new raffle, so will eventually become out-of-date.


Barbara said...

WOW!! Your work is BEAUTIFUL Miss Ladybug!! Like you, cross stitch is one of my hobbies, so I know how much time and love you put into this project. I have been doing a special project for each of the guys that I have adopted as a special way of letting them know how much they are loved and appreciated. I have never seen this pattern. Could you tell me who designed it and/or possibly who sells it? Thanks!!

Miss Ladybug said...

I'm sure "your guys" will appreciate your handiwork. I found this pattern right after 9/11. I went to my local Hobby Lobby looking for something patriotic. Someone else (from the Any Soldier forum) asked about the pattern last night. That book, Colors of Freedom, can still be purchased.

I don't know how many hours I spent working on this piece - I have a bad habit of not keeping track, since I'll work on this here and there, in addition to long stretches straight (like when I would get out to the ballpark early this past summer). This is the second time I've done this piece. I stitched it this time on 18-count. The first time, I mistakenly started it on a 22-count. Since this pattern has several tweeding combinations, using 2 strands was required, so getting the needle through became a tough proposition after a while. The first time, I started about Sept. 20, 2001 and finished it the following February. I was traveling a lot, so I worked on it in airports and hotel rooms quite a bit. This time, it went quicker, when I was actually able to take the time to work on it.

Barbara said...

Thanks!! I'll definitely have to pick it up. I've been collecting patriotic patterns for a couple of years now. Just wish I had more time!! It all started when my adopted combat medic first wrote me wondering if anyone really understood what he and his family was going thru. Right after that I stumbled on a pattern that said, "A Grateful Nation Honors This American Soldier". I just had to do it!! I changed soldier to family and included his entire family's names. I also ended up using a different, more patriotic "border" which is from a pattern I found with the Pledge of Alligence (it's gorgeous - an eagle on a shield with a draped flags!!). I also have a beautiful pattern of "The Wall" which I have used as a basis to recreate a couple panels for friends with their family member's name. Those two are my favorite patterns but I have at least a dozen more!! Check out for some really unique patterns for all the services!! I'd be happy to share info on some of my other patterns if you are interested.

I'm on my eighth project now, but none were as detailed (solid) as the pattern that you did. It does go quicker each time you do a pattern. Depending on how complicated the design is, I usually guesstimate about 45 minutes to 1 hour to stitch a solid square inch - average project I've done about 120 - 160 hours or so but that's everything. I'm probably slow though. For me, I find that it really helps if I photocopy a black and white pattern and color it in. That makes it easier and saves me a lot of aggravation in the end. I also don't have to worry about messing up the original pattern!

Miss Ladybug said...

Do you color in the copy as you complete it? I copied/scanned the "Freedom" pattern this go-round because the corners were getting curled and the pages were falling out (pattern goes over 4 pages). I thought about highlighting after completing sections, but decided against it: (1) - the pattern is very detailed, and includes detailed backstitching, especially the feathers on the eagle's wings, and (2) I slipped my copies into sheet protectors (with a floss ring holding the two sheet protectors together). I think I'll start doing that with all my patterns, so the originals are kept in good shape for future use.

jordan said...

I followed the link to purchase tickets, but only a means for general donations is available. Does a general donation purchase the tickets, or do you have to click on something else? Sorry, I'm a little slow.

Miss Ladybug said...

Which link did you follow? If you click on "up for raffle" link, you'll see all the raffle items and can select which items to buy tickets for. If you click on "please go purchase as many $5 raffle tickets as you can afford" link, you go directly to a page to purchase raffle tickets for "Freedom". If you click on the "" link, it takes you to the Any Soldier home page, in which case you might not find the raffle page easily....

Quin said...

Miss Ladybug,

That is an absolutely awesome embroidery, awesome! I have bought raflles at AnySoldier and I hope I win!

If you are so inclined to knit another I would gladly pay you for it. I can be contacted at:

Dinah Lord said...

Marvelous work, Miss Ladybug.

I am inspired to pick up the needle and thread again!

Off to pick up some raffle tickets.

Cheers - Dinah

Miss Ladybug said...

Thanks, Dinah. I hope it makes a big difference for Any Soldier. I've been making use of the site since the spring of 2004 when they had 30-some odd contacts and Capt. B/Major Pain was the only Marine.