Sunday, August 20, 2006

A cross-stitcher's shame

I used to do a lot of cross-stitching. Really, I should say I've started a lot of cross-stitch projects, but I've only finished 4 or 5 of the many I've started over the years. I like to do samplers - pictured above is one of two samplers that I've finished; this one needs to be laundered, pressed, and framed. It's the first in a set of three, the second, just barely begun, is beside it. I also did a baby blanket for my niece that was later passed on to my other niece, I think. It's probably stashed in the bottom of a closet somewhere since she's not a baby anymore. It's hard to appreciate the work involved until you've done it yourself.

Cross-stitch is really easy, but requires good eyesight and persistence. The persistence part has always been a problem, lately my eyesight is the excuse. There used to be a great little shop downtown that sold beautiful pieces of linen for stiching and thousands and thousands of charts. The shop closed up and moved far away, so I haven't bought anything new for a while, thank goodness. There are more than enough half-finished projects in a bottom drawer of the end table to keep me busy for the rest of my years. Each piece takes so many hundreds of hours that I just get tired of looking at it and must put it away for months on end. Usually, when the urge to stitch bites me again, I find myself picking up a different project than the one I last worked on. Some of them I never pick up again, having decided that I don't like the colors or the design anymore.

I can blame my current urge to stitch on silverlight and madcapmum who often post pics of the beautiful things they make with a needle and their hands. I wish I were determined enough to actually finish something - maybe if I devoted just one hour a week to it I could see some progress. For today, I think I'll spend a little time with that sampler above - those pea pods need some color.

"The great majority of men are bundles of beginnings." - Ralph Waldo Emerson


Michelle said...

Ha! You are like me, I go in spurts of doing projects. I crotcheted for a while - never could do anything but doll blankets for Morgan but it kept me busy. I would like to try quilting. There was a neat project I read about where someone took all these old pj's from their children and made a quilt out of the squares. Hmmmmm, maybe I will have to go dig through some boxes :)

bunnygirl said...

Maybe you've just substituted some other type of creative endeavor for the cross-stitching? I do that all the time-- get really into one activity for anywhere from a few months to a few years, only to eventually lose interest and move on to some other form of creative outlet.

I haven't tried cross-stitching yet, but it's on my lifetime to-do list!

Michele said...

I love to do counted cross stitch, but have learned two valuable lessons:
a. I got bifocals...they have made a huge difference! (But I may be older than you...LOL!!)

b. I don't do big projects any longer. I have learned that I just never finish them. I have done (completed) 7 samplers (6 baby and 1 wedding in the last two years) that were 5x7's. I don't even consider anything larger than that.

Sandy said...

I love doing samplers, too! The last one I did was the nautical one off the DMC site, and I changed the colors to match my living room. Thought I could finish it in a few weeks--- it took months.

The one in the top photo is beautiful. Of course, it has flowers, and I like most floral themes.

Lilly said...

Hello Laurahinnj,
I noticed your comment about field guides in mojoman's blog (Moose Hill) and I'm leaving a comment here since you don't have e-mail. I've been shopping for field guides, too, for trees, flowers and mushrooms. I noticed that national geographic and the audubon society also have excellent field guides. For me, the photgraphs are the most important thing. Have you found what you're looking for yet?

madcapmum said...

I tried cross-stitch for a while, but it was beyond me, all that counting and crossing. It looked like a dog's breakfast, so I gave my little supplies to a True Cross Stitcher and settled back to being a quilter. Yours looks like the real deal. Very nice. I hope you manage to find the time to finish. Winter's coming, maybe the cold and dark will keep you more in a stitching space.

Susan Gets Native said...

My shame is that I can't seem to finish a 5" x 5" square. I bought them during pregnancies 1 and 2 and most of them are still wrapped. :-(

Endment said...

I have found lots of inspiration from your site as well
I found I have to use an optivisor (otherwise known as a peek-e-poo :)
Will be watching to see what you finish next!

LauraHinNJ said...

Michelle: Yep - I go in spurts! Always wanted to crochet - a lady at work taught me some and I *started* an afghan. I like the PJ idea - but can't sew much more than buttons. I think it would be a really nice project for you though.

Bunnygirl: Are you a Gemini? Bored easily, very curious about new things?


Michele: I need a pair of those granny glasses they sell in the supermarket! Little projects are more manageable, but I am hopelessly drawn to the long, complicated ones.

Sandy: Thanks - I like the floral ones, too. A friend at work has done the 3rd of the series - someday between us we'll have the whole set. You must have a good sense of color to change the design to match your LR decor.

Lilly: Thanks for stopping by! What I would really like is a person to teach me trees, but I'll have to settle for a field guide. Still looking!

LauraHinNJ said...

Madcapmum: Had to laugh at your comment because it reminded me of a woman I worked with who *judged* all cross-stitch by looking at the back of the piece first - made me nuts! Who cares what the back looks like? Made her feel superior, I guess. Mine is always knotted and zig-zaggy! Typical of a self-taught stitcher. Quilting seems like more of a *big-picture* type of thing - not sure that I could design anything that way. Quilting is so much more practical, too - of what use is a sampler? ;-)

Susan: Teach the girls - I'll bet they'll love it!

Endment: Do you mean that I should be optimistic and *see* some of these projects getting done? lol!

silverlight said...

Oh, my. Sorry. But I hope you will find enjoyment, doing something you've not done for awhile.
I tried cross stitch, made my eyes cross. That is much too meticulous for me. So, I stick with needlepoint,(prepainted canvas), and crewell embroidery.
Thank you for the photo of your work.

Desiree said...

Well, if you can take a joke, you'll really enjoy this woman's cross stitch website. If I knew how to do it, I'd order some of her patterns!

GreenmanTim said...

My mother is a very talented quilter, yet it frustrates her too when judges at events go straight to the back of her work before spending time on the design. She is also less confident about the actual quilting than the piecework, but it's a marvel to the rest of us.

Save your unfinished work with pride. Both my grandmothers cross stitched, and the little squares that one learned to do while a schoolgirl of seven are treasured parts of the family archive, while an unfinished larger work of the other has found a new life as the cover of a padded stool!

LauraHinNJ said...

Desiree: thanks for the link - I had come across that site once before - interesting, to say the least. Not typical cross-stitch designs!

Tim: I don't think I'd ever have the courage to show any of my work, but I do appreciate that others will. Our county fair has a display and contest each year. People make such beautiful things! Nice that you've found a useful way to display your grandmother's embriodery.