Saturday, December 12, 2009

Finished sampler

I finished this Monday afternoon while I was home with this cold. This project was by Mary Corbet of Needle'n'Thread. It ain't great. But I learned a lot which is the point. Mary included wonderful macro photos. I wouldn't dare take detail photos of mine.

I traced the outlines before beginning any stitching and followed them for the borders. It highlights the distortions. It would have been much better well stretched on a proper frame. I did it in a hoop. I'm much happier working in a hoop and I've found that I complete projects in hand or in a hoop much more diligently than those on frames.

I also used a piece of very light-weight muslin that was hanging around. It's much lighter than I probably should have selected, but I learned from the choice. I could see the threads clearly and where I was making my stitches. I tend to stitch heavily and this forced me to try and be lighter.

For the leaves and flower and circles, this fabric was okay. For the heavier stitching, especially the Om, it was too light. I got the feel of what it would be like to stitch some of the elaborate whitework from the 19th Century, the stuff with rather heavy stitching on really fine muslin and linen, and I rather enjoyed it. I could see an improvement in my embroidery between the first square to the last leaf.

I was going to stitch the M in the center in long and short, too, but realized once I had the split stitch outline in that it would overwhelm the sampler. Since I already had the outline in, I just left it and now I rather like it.

At the bottom of the M I put my initials MEHK and 9 for the year. As I was cutting the thread from the 9, after taking my last stitch, I was distracted and the scissors snipped a V into the fabric just above the 9.

I was crushed. My husband is great most of the time when I have a meltdown and he was wonderful. It didn't help too much that he pointed out that I was overtired and sick and probably shouldn't have been pushing myself to finish the piece. But he also came up with several creative, innovative and some downright silly suggestions for fixing the problem. He also reminded me of my expertise in textile care and repair and said he had no doubt I could fix it. That confidence in me was just what I needed. He suggested I put it away and think about it.

Of course, I couldn't. I needed to work with it a bit to see what I had. First, I carefully washed it, laying the fabric on some plastic screening and laying it in soapy water and washing it (as if it were an antique). After rinsing, again carefully, I laid it between towels to dry a bit. While it was still damp, I pressed it face down on the towel. When I was done, I could barely see the snip.

And just being pressed made the piece look better. It looked mostly like a wadded up tissue for most of the time I'd been working on it--the nature of the cheap muslin in and out of a hoop for weeks. So, now it's sitting there, slowly getting mussed again as it's moved from place to place in the house. How I fix the hole will depend on what I decide to do with the sampler in the end. But I've made my peace with it--and, really, the whole point was the learning process, not the end result.

1 comment:

Paula Hewitt said...

it looks great - i meant to do that sampler and practise L&S stitch. a shame about the rogue scissors - i can imagine how you felt - but i think your husband was very sensible - Im sure you'll be able to fix it. paula