Saturday 3 November 2018

The People Chose Birthstones

Regular followers will be aware that for over 3 years now I have run a themed SAL on the first Saturday of each month.  First we spent 26 months doing The Alphabet Club and then 12 months of the Zodiac.  Now I have decided to listen to the People and post about your choice of theme.  In September I asked for suggestions on the blog and then made a poll in the IHSW Facebook Group from those suggestions.

The top three choices were:

Hallowe'en - posted in October

So this month's post will be all about Birthstones.  Birthstones are the gemstones allocated to each month of the year according to tradition.  Some people believe they originated with the twelve stones in Aaron's breastplate (signifying the tribes of Israel, as described in the Book of Exodus) while other cultures attributed stones based on astrology.

In the 20th Century the lists were standardised by various associations - In 1912, the (American) National Association of Jewelers (now called Jewelers of America) met in Kansas and officially adopted a list and in 1937 Britain's National Association of Goldsmiths created their own standardized list of birthstones.

January - Garnet
February - Amethyst
March - Aquamarine / Bloodstone
April - Diamond
May - Emerald
June - Pearl
July - Ruby
August - Peridot
September - Sapphire
October - Opal
November - Topaz
December - Turquoise

This website has an article for each month and a rather charming poem for each gemstone.  Mine is for September:

"A maiden born when autumn leaves

Are rustling in September's breeze,

A sapphire on her brow should bind;
To bring her joy and peace of mind."

The most well-known series of Birthstones is the Fairies from Mirabilia.  Nora has not done the whole series yet and for some reason assigned July the Amethyst instead of the Ruby.











 I have stitched July's Fairy but in my pre-blog days and did not keep a photo of her unfortunately.

Another series I had my eye on was the Birthstone Dragons from Ingleside Imaginarium, released as a Mystery SAL and now available from the Etsy shop.

Dragon Dreams also did a series of Birthstone Dragons but that seems to be OOP now.

If I did full-coverage CGI designs I would absolutely stitch this September Sapphire from Mystic Stitches:

Nicole from Northern Expressions Needlework has a series of samplers with various speciality stitches.  Here is her version of September Sapphire:

That's my Wishlist complete, now it's over to you!  All you have to do is make a post on the theme of Birthstones, mention The People's Choice SAL (you can copy the picture I used at the top of this post and in my side bar) and my blog.  Please link up using the URL of the actual blog post, not the home page of your blog.  I look forward to seeing what you all post.



Last month everyone voted on the choice for January.  It was a close run thing between Snow and New Starts but New Starts pipped Snow and will be the theme for January.  I have updated the sidebar to show this.

Finally, I need your suggestions for the next poll.  Any thing, no matter how obscure, weird or random will go into the poll.  Keep the theme suggestions to a single word or two - so you could have Dragons, or Cats, or Blue, or Spring, or Holidays, or Warmth etc.  Really anything which could be illustrated in cross stitch.

Looking forward to reading them all!


Rachel said...

I'd never really thought about where birthstones originated but I did find the inconsistencies between lists a little frustrating, especially now there are 'modern' alternatives too.
Are you planning on stitching the birthstone dragons or any of the sapphire pieces you've shown? The NEN piece would be a lovely dedication to your own birthstone. :)

The Crafty Princess said...

Thanks for the birthstone education I had no idea where or how they originated. Very interesting. It's a great choice, the people are clever. I love the samplers on Northern Expressions, I've got the Rainbow one kitted up but yet to tackle it.
xo Alicia

Beth in IL said...

Febuary-Flowers, hearts, chocolate! Or coffee.

Christine said...

That was an interesting read.
I love the Northern Expressions sampler

Linda said...

Fun post Jo. Are you going to stitch any of them?


RJ said...

This was very interesting Jo. I too like the Northern Expressions sampler. I share your birthday month September which has a lovely birthstone. RJ@stitchingfriendsforever

Julie said...

Very interesting read. Being a July birthday, I definitely wont be stitching the Nora design if its the wrong birthstone - but then again I wasn't intending to stitch it anyway!
The Northern Expressions is beautiful.

Astrids dragon said...

I must admit, I have nothing related to birthstones that I've ever stitched. Although the dragons are very tempting! You be sure to let me know if you ever decide to stitch them, I might just have to join you.

Katie said...

Great post. Love the info about the origins. I was curious. I will get my post up tomorrow hopefully. I'll be back.

Kaisievic said...

Great blog post, Jo, so sorry that this month's theme and next month's too (Dragons), are not for me but, of course, New Starts in January will be right up my alley!

Clare-Aimetu said...

Very intetesting Jo about birthstones, if I have stitched any (and I don't think I have) it would have been for others not my own birthday which is September too. As yet I have no set plans for 2019 but I think it will be a year for me as this year I seem to have stitched mainly gifts for others.

Brigitte said...

This is such an interesting theme. I have always asked myself what it is about these birthstones because I had never heard of them before I entered the needlecraft world. There seem to be a lot of charts for this theme and it will be great to see what the participants will choose.

jocondine said...

Birthstones! quite a challenge. Shoehorn is logically linked to Cinderella but this time it's Esmeralda who'll help me for my post, thanks to Hunchback of Notre Dame. xxx

Sheryl said...

Interesting post Jo, love that pretty September Sapphire design.

Leonore Winterer said...

I do have plans for this month that I am almost sure you will like, but I still need to work on them...who wants to bet I actually make it before the last weekend?! Yeah, me neither :D
I do love Nora's Birthstone Fairies, and I'm lucky that March actually is one of my favourites. I might stitch her some day!

Mia said...

Hi Jo, I missed you my friend. Lately, I do not stitch because of luck of time. But soon I will start stitching again as I LOVE it. Just wanted to tell you a hello, my dear friend. And also to inform you that there is a birthday candy on my blog if you want to enter. Hugs and kisses, my kind lady.

Bethan said...

Thanks for the interesting post about birthstones! I really like the little Ingleside dragons x

rosey175 said...

That's odd about July and amethyst... was it Mis-Released and was supposed to be February? Weird. I like March's design very much though; what a pretty fairy. Northern Expressions makes some nice designs!

Faith... said...

I think I would like to join this one in January if that is ok? I have some small blackwork type patterns that I think would work for this SAL.

Leonore Winterer said...

Made it :) I haven have three days left to spare!