In my part of the world we say you are a fool if your passion for a pursuit overcomes all practical sense. I am a stitching fool, and I stitch foolishness.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


I read a lot of blogs and it seems that many of the bloggers I read know exactly what they're going to stitch as soon as they complete a project.

There are those who work only on one project at a time, many of them huge designs that require a great deal of diligence to complete. And they complete them in an amazingly short amount of time and have planned what the next beautiful piece will be. It looks as though they have the linen ironed and on the scroll bars and the threads pulled and the chart at hand so the minute the last stitch is finished off on that project, they can pick up the new piece and start.

Then there are the people with rotation systems, who are so incredibly organized that they know which project will be stitched and in what order. It's simply a matter of setting down one project and picking up the next. And they, too, seem to know which project will be introduced into the rotation as soon as one is completed.

I don't do either of those things.

I dither.

Case in point:  I finished the Betsy Morgan casket pieces on Sunday afternoon. I had been focused because I really need to get it done. Basically I plopped my amply padded posterior in the wing chair on Friday evening and planted it there for the week-end, where it stayed until Sunday, aside from obvious biological imperatives. Dearly Beloved periodically brought food and drink, probably because he was hungry and thirsty and that was the only way he was going to be fed.

Once the piece was finished, the dithering started. There are at least umpty-leven projects within arm's reach of the wing chair. I have several Shining Needle projects to do, a couple of them not even started. I have two correspondence courses from EGA to stitch.  I have been longing to dive headlong back into the seventeenth century. I have a basket full of things that need to be finish-finished.

I must have picked up and put down four different projects before I decided to read a book.

Last night, the dithering continued. I worked a strand into the Remember Me piece.  I pulled Martha Edlin out of her pillowcase and did half a dozen stitches which I then unstitched since I did them in the wrong place.

Then I poked my head into the finishing basket. There is a piece that I abandoned awhile back because either I totally misunderstood the directions (quite likely) or because there was a step missing.  I had decided to set it aside until I could figure out how to fix the problem.  Apparently my subconscious has been working on it because I had figured out what to do, so I started to take apart what I had put together.

Unfortunately, I had done such a good job of putting it together wrong that taking it apart was going to result in a bigger mess than what I started out with.

So . . .I decided that I was going to put it back together as it was, even though it's probably wrong. It will still be usable. It just won't be perfect.

The perfectionistic first-born girl child part of me has been hogtied with heavy rope and shoved into the corner.  There is duct tape across her mouth so she can't fuss at me about this.

After that, I thought perhaps I could do the beading on an ornament so it could be put together. I finally managed to get the beading needle threaded. This took fifteen minutes of steady swearing. With the first bead, I managed to pull the beading needle off the thread.

I decided to read instead.

Am I working on anything tonight?

This book is REALLY good. I think I'll stick with it for awhile.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Dancing in the Streets!

I have finished the prestitching for the casket class with Betsy Morgan!

You will notice that there are some blank spots. Those are the areas I plan to personalize.  At the moment, I'm torn--family history?  a favorite quote about needlework? a set of fruit or flower motifs (since I'm not so much into the critters)?

The quibblers will say that I am not finished--but the stuff that has to be stitched the way it's designed is stitched. The rest is up to me.

And this is the last obligation stitching I'm planning for a very long time.

(Dearly Beloved and Baby Girl have both said, "Yeah, right." Either they have no faith in my will power or they know me too well.)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny

I really do like the way cross stitch over one looks. The stitches are like tiny pearls or beads, sitting atop the linen.

And I really don't mind stitching over one, at all.

But I never seem to remember just how long it seems to take to work over one.  Especially when you think you're going to knock out a piece in an evening.

This is what I've managed to accomplish in two evenings:

This is an end panel for the Betsy Morgan casket. There is a lot more to do over one. Sigh . . .

And I'm having to take care of the ill and cranky. Dearly Beloved has a viral thing.  He is less than an exemplary patient. No more needs to be said.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Laying Bricks

At least that's what it feels like I've been doing.

I finally finished the front panel of the Betsy Morgan casket.  I like it. A lot.

However, I was beginning to think that I was literally laying bricks myself. The house is filled in with Smyrna crosses, worked over two threads. And there were a lot of them. A lot.

I'd rather do Queen stitches than Smyrna crosses. Of course I got to do those, too, in the little trees. Those were fun.

We could opt to use two threads for the hillside, but I'm beginning to be concerned about the amount of thread I have left for the last four panels that I need to do. I opted to play it safe. Quite frankly, I would rather have too much thread in a kit (and I'm willing to pay for it, of course). I'd rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

But at least the house is built. On to the next panel!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Plugging Away

I'm still plugging away on a couple of projects that Need To Be Done.

This is where I am on Betsy Morgan's Casket.

And here I am on Remember Me.  One strand a day won't be enough. I'm going to have to work more strands each day to be ready for the finishing class. I'm having enough trouble stitching one strand a day.  Yes, I know that this is a voluntary occupation, but I am a first-born and we are terminally goal-oriented and like deadlines, even the ones we impose on ourselves. You'd think that knowing this, I could get over it. Not so much.

I have also been playing with motifs for the Casket class I'm taking from Tricia Nguyen.  At the moment I have about seven viable possibilities.  I had planned to stitch two caskets, not seven. Obviously something is going to have to be de-selected . . . but I like them all . . .

And I have one final observation for today which has nothing to do with needlework at all. I was slightly under the weather last week (about which no more needs to be said).  Why are the meds that are supposed to clear up a problem frequently more unpleasant than the actual illness?

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Back to obligation stitching

Our sampler guild is going to have a workshop with Betsy Morgan, stitching her casket design, in the spring of next year.

I agreed to be one of the stitching leaders. I may have mentioned this before.

Even though the part I'm to teach won't happen until January, I had sort of thought I might want to finish the stitching part this summer. And I started. I have proof. On this blog.

Then I got distracted by other things. And the Olympics.

All of a sudden, it's August.  I need to get cracking.

So this is what I managed to do last night, even with the Olympics on.

I'm still stitching parts with the scroll frames held horizontally and parts with them held vertically.

Betsy uses a variety of birds, beasts, and bugs for the slanted parts of the top of her casket design. I'm not so much into critters, so I'm looking for other things. I have already proclaimed that this is my casket by putting my initials on the top. Now I just have to find other motifs I prefer for those other areas. At the moment I have not a clue.

I also need to continue working on filling in the framework for Jackie duP's Remember Me.  It is, to be as diplomatic as possible, just a tad boring to stitch, so much so that I was strongly considering doing some housework instead of stitching. I still need to do the housework, just to keep the Health Department at bay and to maintain some semblance of self-respect, so I'm giving each endeavor a set period of time per day until Remember Me is finished.

Sadly, the housework never is.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Olympic stitching

Not so much.

At this level of competition, things happen in seconds.  Even entire competitions only last seconds.

So I've spent a lot of time holding a needle in my hand but not quite getting it in and out of the linen.  You'd think with this many hours of potential stitching time there would be finished projects flying out of the stitching corner.

You'd be wrong.  I am mesmerized by the Olympics.

This is all that's happened lately:

This little panel is part of an online class from Shining Needle and Jackie du Plessis. It will be solidly stitched.


Probably after the Olympics . . .