Saturday, February 18, 2006

Olympic Stitching

Coming later today a progress pic of Fairy Grandmother, but for now a few reflections on stitching her and major miscalculations.

So week one of the Olympic Stitching challenge has come to an end. While working on Fairy Grandmother yesterday I realized that I made a grave error not touching her last weekend. Friday passed, not one stitch, Saturday, not one stitch, Sunday, nada, Monday, zippo. Ok fast forward to Friday of this week, I've worked on her every day since Tuesday, right now I'm enjoying her. I like her, I really like her! When you turn the piece a certain way and all the shading is evident, it's just breathtaking. Breath taking to the point that I suck in my breath, let it out and say to myself, "You are creating this, freakin' gorgeous piece of needlework, you, just someone with thread and needle." Amazing. The DH was home Thursday and Friday and it cut drastically into my daytime stitching time, but yesterday when I pulled out FG he kept commenting on how pretty she was and how he bet I really hate giving her away. I looked at him and said very clearly, "I can't get this out of the house fast enough!" So yep, she's gorgeous, I'm loving her again but nope, don't want her around. I can very easily part with this piece of needlework. Believe it or not I have a long long list of larger projects that I want to stitch and give away to people, the problem is that FG has taken about 5 yrs, not of steady stitching, there were two false starts(one where I actually believed I knew more than MLI about fabric choices, boy did that bite when I accepted the fact that I'm colorblind and it's best for the profressionals to do the color choosing and I'll just be a little lamb following the pack, the second false start was when I cut the fabric wrong, I hate that), and of course there was the bitterness surrounding my hatred of the color changes, not so much the color changes themselves, let's face it I have a gazillion TWs in the stash to keep me stitching and changing colors for another lifetime, but with MLI's patterns there are usually nice big blocks of color but not with FG, the color changes are tedious, and when you aren't mentally in the zone for frequent color changes it can be disheartening. I've given away very few larger pieces mainly because I'm a very, very slow stitcher. I have umpteen hundred WIPs, I stitch to decorate my house. It's my art. For years I stitched for the sake of stitching, then a few years ago I started being fairly picky about what I spent my time stitching. I spent one summer stitching only on Halloween things, which became the quilt top from last summer-nice, easy stitching, good for lazy summer days(hope to do the same with Christmas pieces I have in the stash this summer), then I spent a few months working on pieces for my boys' bathroom. It's got a sea theme, so I stitched a Stoney Creek fish design and a turtle piece, and the Rainforest Frog. Oh and I stitched BN's Key West Sampler but it was hanging near the sink, the cats got in a fight, knocked it off the wall, it hit the floor, glass broke and then one of them peed on it. So it's kind of a do-over at this point.

Then I started focusing on the living room and stitching things I loved. I have a vision but no inate since of style. That makes for lots of stitching hanging haphazardly on living room walls with no sense of place, they create no, oh, what am I trying to say, no feeling of comfort, just of cross stitch chaos. I have this huge, huge wall by the front door and three approx. 8x10 cross stitch pics hanging on it. They look like 3 little fish in a 100 gallon aquarium. It doesn't work but I can't figure out what to do with them at the moment. I hate to hide them away in the bedroom. I'm hoping that eventually they'll tell me where they belong. My Le Printemps and L'Ete would look great on that wall. They are larger designs but I have them hanging on the girlie end of the living room on my tropical punch painted wall. They work there, but somehow I feel they deserve a more prominent place.

Anyway since getting a rythmn going with FG I do believe I'll get her finished this time, maybe not by the end of the Olympics but in the not so distant future. I'm not giving up, I may surprise myself, I just seriously underestimated the amount of stitching I had left. It really didn't look like a lot but, we'll see how it goes.

So then while stitching I started thinking about other WIP close to finished. I have DS#2's Dragon Isle, I haven't underestimated the amount of stitching on that, it's just 14ct black aida with fractional stitches. ICK, ACK, PTUI! Then there's Mirabilia's Lady of the Flag. She's not quite at the halfway mark but close. I still have the banner at the bottom of her dress and the flag on the bottom half of the chart and then I think that page of the pattern is complete. I do believe once FG is completed, LOTF will get a lot of attention. Next is Mirabilia's Mermaid of the Pearls which I promised to my niece Megan because she asked for it when she saw me stitching it, what was I supposed to say? There's an error somewhere in my stitching and I just hate to touch it because I'll obsess over the error. Then I'll whine about frogging, then I'll hate to part with her because I do love me some mermaids. But there are a ton of other Mirabilia Mermaids I want to stitch and have been sort of planning to stitch 3 or so on the same piece of linen, but then I decided if I did that I'd never finish them. Better to stitch one at a time, but wouldn't a few of those mermaids look great all stitched on the same piece of fabric? I had always planned to do this and hang it over my bed.

That was just a glimpse at what's started and remotely close to finished. Then I have my 13th Colony Bay Parts 1-3 on the same piece of linen(I love stitching on big pieces of linen). I want this finished by the end of March so I can get it in for framing and up on the wall ASAP. The stitching on that piece does go quick, talk about big blocks of color! I think it really is doable, if I forget that I have a life, family, commitments. But isn't the whole goal to get it finished and on the wall?

Then there's my dream of a Quaker wall, my dream of a wall of all redwork pieces, can you tell I'm a theme stitcher?

My friend Siobhan has finished Sarah Tatum and Victorine Bonnegent already this year. Can you believe that? I started Sarah Tatum New Year's Day and haven't finished one motif. Victorine was Siobhan's Olympic project. She's definitely gold medaled in her event.

My friend Sharon finished Homespun Samplar's The Hunt. She finished it in record time. I had planned on stitching this with the recommended threads but am going to steal Sharon's idea and stitch it in red. Her's looks fabulous.

1 comment:

Anna van Schurman said...

I'm glad you found your stitching mojo on this piece. And that you feel positive you'll finish this time. The right attitude is the best beginning!