As far as I can tell, this is done on 14ct Aida and only uses full cross stitch. I've always loved this piece for its colors and subject matter (I love to cook), but I'd never closely examined it before.
Of course, now I'm very much interested in examining stitching of any kind so I took a good, close look at it a couple of days ago.
I found at least one stitch that was left with only one leg of the X, and some other minor flaws like twisted thread and maybe even one or two stitches with the wrong leg on top.
Strangely, these flaws only made me love this piece more. Here is a piece that a very novice stitcher can find flaws in, and yet it is one of my most prized possessions. I still think it's beautiful.
These flaws represent not someone lacking skill, but someone who loved my grandmother and did her best to give her something that would be treasured.
I think it speaks to the meaning behind handmade gifts and what is important about making something for someone. You make it the best that you can and pour love into it, and that will make it more beautiful than the most perfectly crafted piece that isn't made with care.
This is probably not news to anyone else, but as someone who has only recently starting creating things, it gives some validation and purpose to the hours I spend stitching and creating (well, a purpose other than my own enjoyment!). :)
P.S. - We say our name so that it rhymes with Nana, so like DAN-uh instead of DAY-na.
P.P.S. - Vodka tonics are my grandmother's mixed drink of choice, not mine. :)