The stitching world had a great loss earlier this week. On Tuesday, August 14, cross stitch designer Marilyn Leavitt-Imblum passed away.
Marilyn was the hand behind the design company Told in A Garden, with designs under that name, as well as Lavender & Lace and Butternut Road. She was by far the most successful cross stitch designer of the late 1980’s through the early 2000’s. Between the three design lines, she produced a total of 128 designs, not including the free Christmas angel designs she offered for 20 years.
A little over 10 years ago, Marilyn moved to the Rochester, NY area, which is where I live. I had the wonderful experience of not just meeting this lovely and talented soul, but also to work with her and visit her beautiful home on several occasions. I was lucky enough to be the model stitcher for three of her designs (Winter Sampler and the two Button Box Babies). I also stitched trial bits of Angel of the Morning and Secret Santa, as Marilyn decided between possible color combinations. It was an inspiring time that allowed me to get a glimpse of her amazingly creative mind at work.
Over the years, I’ve stitched other designs of Marilyn’s. The first was Angel of Hope, which went to a teenaged cousin battling Hodgkin’s lymphoma (who is doing very well nearly 20 years later). Nantucket Rose (above) and Celtic Banner (below) both hang in my dining room. And I still have Angel of the Sea half-completed.
Marilyn and I fell out of touch in recent years, but I’ll always remember her generosity of spirit, her determination to make her creations the best they could be, and her stunning perennial garden. Farewell, my friend. May your family and loved ones find comfort in happy memories.