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Hummingbird Sampler

I’m in a blogging slump. It’s not that I don’t have anything to say, I just don’t feel like taking the time to say it once I sit at the computer. It’s a shame, really, especially when it comes to this project, because there’s so much to tell. First, the important stuff: the finished sampler, stitched in my mother’s honor.

Hummingbird Sampler 10.11

My mother lost her battle with breast cancer in 2006. She would have been 73 this month. She loved hummingbirds. And geraniums. I had a plan for stitching this sampler and a small geranium piece I saw in a magazine somewhere, and having them framed with my favorite snapshot of her. Then I learned that the hibiscus I thought was pinkish was purple. When I started stitching the sampler I discovered that my plan for stitching the flower in a pink color wouldn’t work with the dyelot of overdyed floss I had. Which is just as well, as I had already succumbed to stubbornness in the face of my trouble with numbers and had to abandon my original framing idea. See, this is a counted needlepoint chart, meant to be stitched on 18-ct canvas. I reasoned that 18-ct is 18-ct, so I can stitch it on whatever fabric/canvas I choose. This is true, except: many motifs in this design are stitched over 2, and as we know, over 2 on 18-ct = 9-ct. I say we know this. I know this because I stitched this on 36-ct. fabric and ended up with a sampler that is much smaller than I planned, what with 36-ct stitched over 2 being 18-ct, not, um, 9-ct. Oh, yes, I could have stopped stitching and waited until I had the proper size fabric/canvas, but there was that stubbornness trait I mentioned earlier. I was supposed to be 5-3/8″ by 8-1/4″. It’s not. It’s tiny.

See? So tiny! It’s adorable and tiny, as is the hummingbird. So, good. Except that durn not being pink thing. I like purple, I do. I didn’t expect purple, and now I’m all unsure. That and because it’s tiny I’m  fiddling with the idea of adding a pulled/drawn thread border to it. I can’t decide. By the way, this is what I was expecting:

See what I mean? Pink flower. Very rainbow-y overdyed floss. NOT.

Vitals:
Hummingbird Sampler by Rainbow Gallery designed by J.R. Patterson & Pam Miller
Stitched over 2 on 36-ct white linen with RG Bravo! A119 (boquet), RG Splendor S812 (dark lavender) and S808 (med purple), RG Flair F502 (white), and Kreinik #4 very fine braid, color #032 (pearl).

Still, it’s beautiful, and I do love it, in spite of the troubles, uncertainty and hair loss. Here we have fun close-ups, for fun.

Happy Stitching! :)

Drive-By Post

Just a quick “Howdi Do” to share a picture, because, OMG, Ponies!!!!1!!11!!

I finished, I took it off the stretcher bars, I took it outside. Swoon, drool, faint, I am so excited! It needs to be blocked, but it’s completed! Woo-Hoo!!

Vitals:
Bargello Symphony, AKA Mystery #8 by Loretta Spears
Stitched as recommended

OK, now what? ;)

Step-Stitching and Daydreaming

In which my mind wanders while I Step Stitch…

Bargello Symphony doesn’t photograph with the same shade of pink I daydream in, but the lightest pink in the Victorian step stitch is similar to pink angora, to peppermint smarshmallows. Mmm…peppermint marshmallows… I’m so close, I can’t stand it! :)

Bargello Symphony, Lesson Five

About halfway through the fifth lesson.

I worry too much.

Finishing Lesson Five was more Victorian step stitching. That’s when I learned the importance of a single thread. The framed motifs have given me no end of headaches. It’s a long story, there are so many words, so much over-thinking coupled with not thinking through a situation. How does that happen? I don’t know, but I excelled. Have you ever read Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant by Anne Tyler? I love that book, it’s one of my favorites of hers. I’ve only read a few of her books, and I stopped noticing when she publishes new stories, but Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant remains a favorite. <–See? Too many words. At any rate, I bring it up because the mother in the story observes that her children show their character in everything they do. My experience with these motifs are a perfect example of my perfectionism, pointless worrying, tendency to withdraw and unwillingness to be kind to myself. I simply haven’t had the heart to blog about this (tendency to withdraw). I’ve carried on stitching and frogging, stitching and frogging, and not blogging. The worst part is that I realized last night that my original frogging (before I even took this picture) was probably unnecessary.

When I got about halfway through the outlines of these motifs, they seemed to be off by one thread, and I couldn’t stand it. I knew it wasn’t a big deal, but I couldn’t let it go (unattainable perfectionism, pointless worrying). I frogged the outline (the probably unnecessary frogging). I over-thought the situation and moved them over two threads instead of one. This was also not thinking things through, but it wasn’t until I started step stitching that I learned that. Because I moved the motifs that extra thread, that meant there would be compensation stitches meeting the motifs over one thread instead of  the standard, non-compensated, two threads. This was bad because when you go over only one thread, it’s very difficult to get the same coverage as going over two or more threads because the threads have nowhere to “spill over” to, if that makes sense. It also looked wrong, and I realized the motif was charted where it was to avoid this problem. I didn’t mind frogging the motifs and step stitches near them. I’m a novice with compensation stitching, counted needlepoint, and stitching without a full chart. It was a learning experience.

But here’s the worst part, which I only realized last night. If I’d left the original outline where it was and let stitching nature take its course, as it were, it would have been just right. That is, just right according to the picture I was using as a model. I wasted so much stitching time over nothing. Let this be a lesson to me: It’s only a beautiful, inspirational photo. It’s not the definitive model photo, or the only, exact way for this project to be stitched. I’ve caused myself no end of trouble with this project, all because I love it so much and wanted it to be perfect. I think the most insane part of this is the frogging didn’t bother me. I was happier being unkind to myself and frogging a “known” um, “imperfection,” than accepting my interpretation of the instructions. Which, heh, turned out to probably be spot-on.

Ta-Da! Lesson Five complete.

Happy Stitching, and be kind to yourself out there. :)

Bargello Symphony, Lesson Four Complete

I was so happy to find a photo of the completed fourth lesson. I thought I’d forgotten to take a progress picture at that point. I don’t think Ms. Spears refers to this pattern as ribbon bargello, but I’m confident that’s its name. She doesn’t name any of the upcoming motifs, either. They’re just purty.Hooray for finding lost treasures!

As Fred Kwan says in Galaxy Quest, “It’s the little things in life you cherish.”

Happy Stitching. :)

Bargello Bling

I love Picasa’s collage feature. And you know what that means–you get to see update pictures employing it. I can’t believe I’ve neglected to post updates. And I forgot to take a picture of Lesson 4 when I completed it. That’s a big disappointment for me. I was enjoying taking the lesson-by-lesson photos. I don’t know what happened. But you get another collage, you lucky ducks. This part of lesson 4 involved adding beads and straight stitches to the open parts of Loretta’s Diamond Petal Stitch, which The Sweetheart Tree calls the Amadeus stitch in their new design, M’Lady’s Quadrielle. I know this because I recendly blew my Christmas gift certificate at my LNS, and M’Lady’s Quadrielle was one of my scores. Because what’s a stitchy Christmas gift certifciate for, if not buying more gorgeous stuff that you can’t imagine finding time to stitch?

More pictures later. In spite of sketchy stitching the last couple of weeks, I’ve managed to complete oll of Lesson 5, save teh Victorian step stitch. I’ve got to get busy getting busy with that. It’s a lot of busy work.

Happy Stitching. :)