Saturday, August 18, 2012

Sad loss

Marilyn Leavitt-Imblum died this past week.  While my tastes have changed over the years, and don't currently lean toward her designs, they were true works of art.  She managed to chart very detailed designs and get fine shading, without resorting to the dreaded blended needle, or excessive use of fractional stitches.

Marilyn was a forward thinker, sometimes ahead of her time.  She spoke out against the evils of digital piracy of patterns back in 2000, way before many designers even had a web page of their own.  If more people had been proactive and thought about new approaches to take to selling designs, we might not be suffering through the current crisis some designers are facing.  Instead, the needleworking community chose to just carry on as normal.

One of my first ever "large" finishes was a Lavender and Lace project, Celtic Noel.  It took several years of on and off stitching, with the live-in boyfriend of the time yelling at me about needles stuck in the arm of the sofa.  Other than that, he was a pretty decent guy about supporting my cross stitch obsession.  At some point, once I get a job again, I'd like Jill Rensel to do her magic on this piece.  That is if I can ever get it out of my mother's possession.  It somehow ended up in her house a few years ago, after years of me telling her no!
Lavender & Lace Celtic Noel, stitched on 32 ct
natural linen with DMC floss, metallic floss, and beads.
Marilyn, you will be missed for your artistic talent and what you gave to the needleworking community.

10 comments:

Margaret said...

I had heard of this designer's passing earlier this week. So sad. I love your piece -- it's beautiful. She will definitely be missed.

Jeanne said...

I was sad too to hear of Marilyn's passing. I've done some of her Christmas pieces and she was quite gifted in her designing. The XS industry really seems to be taking the hits the last couple of years..from shops closing, digital piracy, so many designers quitting the biz, and some also passing away or in ill health. I worry about the future of this hobby which is my obsession. :(

Ginny said...

I have enjoyed stitching many of Marilyn's "Told in a Garden" designs, while my daughter stitches the "Lavender and Lace" designs. I understand that Marilyn lived close to where I currently live in western New York for a time. When I painted my upstairs hallway - which is decorated in an Amish theme - I never put all the TiaG smalls back up because they are all in mismatched frames. Now I think I will have to finally do something about that.

cucki said...

This is is a very sad news..I love her designs too ..
Thinking of her x

thegreytail said...

thank you for this post, I wasn't a big fan but this doesn't mean I didn't appreciate and praise her work, as well as her attitude towards the future of this art..
thank you Marilyn for everything you've accomplished, giving us so many happy stitching hours

sana said...

How sad. She did wonderful designing. Condolences to her family and friends.

Mary said...

Mindi, thanks for sharing this news, even tough it's sad to hear. Like you, my stitching tastes have shifted away from Marilyn's designs in recent years, but I do remember the very first sampler I ever stitched on linen was one of hers. It's still hanging proudly in my bedroom!

Sherry :o) said...

Noel is beautiful. I have the bride - started over 21 years ago, almost done. I need to finish that!

What a huge loss for our community - prayers to her family.

Jo who can't think of a clever nickname said...

Noel was my first L&L too! I've also stitched Angelica and several of the free angels.

valerie said...

So sad to hear about MLI. I haven't been lucky enough to stitch any of her designs although I have a couple in my stash. Your Celtic Noel is lovely.