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Riffe is Unison Bank’s artist for November

Submitted photo Jill Riffe’s framed collection of counted cross-stitch is on display at Unison Bank this month.

The Unison Bank November artist of the month is Jill Riffe, who is showcasing her collection of professionally framed counted cross-stich pictures.

Cross-stitching has been a therapeutic pastime for the past 40 years when Riffe self-taught herself to stitch on linen. She had already been doing needlework in some fashion her entire life. This began a lifelong love for needlework of many forms, she said. 

The counted cross-stitch collection on display in the bank lobby, some of which Riffe borrowed back from family for this display, all represent a time and a place in family history. Most of the pictures are stitched on 32-36 count linen, her preferred medium.

She said the most favorite one is perhaps the Christmas alphabet picture which is heavily beaded with seed beads for each letter of the alphabet. This one received a People’s Choice award at the Stutsman County Fair. Two other special pictures are the two she stitched for each of her daughters as wedding gifts. Each one has more than 360 hours of stitching time, and she averaged 11 hours a week of stitching in order to complete them for each occasion.

In addition to cross-stitching, she has two additional pictures, one done in needlepoint, and one done in crewel embroidery and hand embroidery. She said she always has three to four projects “in the wings.”

Riffe is also a seamstress and a quilter. She said she is a collector of anything textile and likes to “tweak” a pattern and remake it to her liking whether it be a quilt pattern, garment or other.

Riffe is a member of the local White Cloud Crafters and will be participating at its Christmas boutique at the Buffalo Mall for the 12th year.

She and her husband, Gary, also have two sons and eight grandchildren.