Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Finally spring and spring cleaning

This is my sister's garden on Easter. It was a gorgeous weekend and the flowers are finally popping. It's still chilly, but everyone's spirit seems to have lightened with the change in seasons.
While cleaning recently, I came across an ancient UFO. I think I began this project in 1979 or 1980. Before I joined Homewood Guild.
 Completed tablecloth center, one end up close. It's hard to see but it's been cut and woven with picots.
It was my second Hardanger project ever. I'd grown up around needlework and sewing and had done some of my own, but the first class I ever took was Hardanger Embroidery with Aina Momquist at the Scandinavian Boutique in Homewood. The first project was a small ornament. I discovered I loved Hardanger, absolutely hated the buttonhole stitch (that opinion has changed dramatically), and really loved the possibilities of designing my own.
This is the entire center design. Completed probably in 1980--right away.
So that's what I did for my second project. I designed a table cloth for our dining room table, which had been my Great-Grandfather's kitchen table. It is blue and ecru, to match the Pfaltzgraff dishes my mother-in-law had just given us. The pattern is Yorktown.
 This is a portion of the border, completed up to the cutting. More than half is at this stage.

I designed it myself. Another first.  I have no record I can find of the counting, charting, etc.  Just the tablecloth (thankfully without a needle parked in it somewhere!) and the original bag of perle cottons.

I'd gotten about two-thirds of the way around the border when I began to get nervous about it matching up.  This was the first time I'd ever basted (with really dark thread, too, gasp!) and I'd counted wrong somewhere because the pattern didn't match the basting lines. I checked for errors all along the way and hadn't found any but was convinced something was off. 

I had been stitching the entire border--four-sided stitch, Kloster blocks, eyelets, flowers and faggot stitch as I went along. I stopped and began to just do the four-sided and blocks in my haste to see if there was an error.

Then the years passed and we no longer used that table as a dining room table (it's now a computer table) and I had no use for the table cloth. But every once in a while I'd pull it out and work a bit.
Last weekend was the first time I'd seen it all laid out--it takes up all of our Queen-sized bed. 

So, I pulled it out and picked up a needle and began stitching. I'd forgotten how much I enjoy Hardanger. I completed the four-sided stitch all the way around and it came out even.  So I picked up the Kloster blocks and began working on them. I decided to work toward the last corner--it would be easier to fudge, if fudging would be needed, there.

So here's where I am now. That bottom row of Kloster blocks is exactly where it should be. I finished the second row at the bottom last night. It, too, came out even.  Next, I'll pick it up at the side and work down to the corner.  Keep your fingers crossed!


Southpaw Stitcher said...

Wow, I love your tablecloth, especially the border! I'm glad you picked it up after all these years. How are you going to finish it--a little hemstitching, perhaps? said... this certainly is worth finishing! It is gorgeous. With everyone these days working on UFOS, I know you will get it done!