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.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Too much adult-ing

This week, I've had too many adult responsibilities and not enough stitching time.

This is where I am at the moment on Ann Wheatley:

I am abdicating from adulthood this week-end and stitching as much as I possibly can. This has been announced to Dearly Beloved, who will have to deal with his office himself for a couple of days.

This means that nothing will be done in his office.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

October Minus the Seventh

I was talking with the Big Kid the other night, and he announced that September had been such an overall crappy month for him that he had decided to close it out and go on to October--so the evening on which we were talking was October Minus the Ninth.

Now most of my September wasn't horrible, but the last week has not been pleasant for a variety of reasons, so I've decided to go with him and move onto to October myself.

We have been doing a major clean up and clear out of the room we call Dearly Beloved's office but where I am also guilty of putting stuff and forgetting about it, so there hasn't been much stitching this week. And what little there has been has resulted in taking out as much as I've stitched in--if there's been a way to miscount or stitch in the wrong color, I've done it. Here's Ann Wheatley at the moment:

Dearly Beloved has asked why I don't work on something else instead, but I'm to the last third of the sampler and at this point, I just want to get it done. 

But we still have a lot to do in the office--who needs to keep 30-year-old checks from banks that no longer exist?--Dearly Beloved, that's who--so I doubt I'll get much stitching time this week-end.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Oh, Fudge . . .

This is where I was when Ann Wheatley almost became the world's most elegant dust rag.

I started stitching this sampler in 2011. Apparently I miscounted the very beginning of the border on the left side. I discovered this fact last night. That may be why I put it down in 2011 and didn't pick it up until now. I had to have time to repress the memory.

To fix it, I would have to rip out almost all of the border on the left side, two motifs in the upper left corner, and the cartouche on the left side.  This is when I considered turning it into a dust rag.

Life is too short.

I have studied the chart and figured I could fiddle and finagle and get the borders to line up anyway. So, as Edy suggested in the comments on the last posting, I am now stitching an adaptation of Ann Wheatley instead of a reproduction.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Ch-ch-ch-Changes . . .

There are two cartouches with Ann Wheatley's name and the date of the completed sampler.

The directions say to work them in Algerian Eye, but don't say what color to use. So I looked at the photo of the original sampler, and it appears that they were stitched in sort of an olive drab color.

There isn't an olive drab listed on the materials list. So I did what any self-respecting individual in the 21st century would do. I googled Ann Wheatley sampler and looked to see what other people had done.

It appears that other stitchers have used the dark brown that the lettering is worked in.

Now, it may be due to the very doom-and-gloom verse on this sampler, but the attributions worked with the dark brown in the outline for the cartouches look like tombstones to me.

I'm not so much into tombstones.

So I made an executive decision to use the lighter of the two greens in the materials list, and this is what it looks like so far:

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Chugging Along

I'm just kind of chugging along on the side borders of Ann Wheatley.

I'm trying to get enough stitched so that I can use the side borders as reference points for the dozens of motifs that float around in the center of the sampler. I'm definitely going to have to dig out the counting pins to set those up, even with the outside borders worked.

And please note that I finally, finally got the strawberry band under the saying stitched. I thought I was going to be old and gray before that happened.

Wait a minute.  I'm already old-ish and definitely gray.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

grumble, grumble, mutter, mutter

I have not slept more than four or five hours any night since Sunday. I'm not sure why, but it is beginning to irritate me more than a little bit.

It's also beginning to tell on me. I think I'm getting delusional.  For example, last night while I was staring at the ceiling, I calculated that I could potentially finish five more samplers by the end of the year. And three of those involve reversible stitches.  And there are only about 16 weeks left in the year. And we have things like Thanksgiving and Christmas, and Dearly Beloved and I have a couple of trips before that.

I'm not delusional. I'm bugnutz crazy.

And this is all I've managed to stitch:

There might have been more if I hadn't managed to miscount or mis-stitch or basically messed up every time I sat down to stitch.

I really need some sleep.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Laboring on Labor Day

These pitifully few stitches are all I've managed to stitch today.

Instead I've been dusting and vacuuming and going through old files and shredding and making a valiant attempt to organize part of the stash. The last thing means that I now have an auxiliary finishing basket since the original finishing basket is bursting at the seams.

When you move to a second finishing basket, you definitely need to start putting things together.

But I believe that I will try to put a few more stitches into this sampler instead.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Doom and Gloom

I am all about the carpe-ing of the diem, but this verse went morbid.

I am very aware that the mortality rate at the time the sampler was stitched made this sentiment not only prevalent but also popular.

On the other hand, I'll be happy to turn the scrolls and go back to strawberries.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Halfway there

My hope for the long holiday week-end is to get all of the verse stitched on Ann Wheatley.

And I'm halfway there.

I wish I liked stitching letters more, and I'm not sure why I don't. I try to fool myself into thinking they're just another set of motifs, but that has yet to work.

Oh, well,  only three more lines to stitch and the verse will be complete.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Strawberry Fields . . . again

I left the 17th century and jumped into the 19th with Ann Wheatley.

Ann has a strawberry border. Didn't I just stitch a strawberry border on Sarah Williams? What is it with 19th century girls and their strawberry borders?

Actually I suspect that the soft brown on this sampler was a bright pink or red on the original sampler, before time faded it away. And it appears that little girls have always loved pink and red, the brighter the better.

I'm having to get used to working over two threads instead of three, and just crossing my stitches once instead of multiple times to get a reversible pattern. However, it's all coming back!

It appears that I started working on Ann Wheatley in 2011, the same year I started Mary Atwood. In that same year, I started another sampler, Rebekah French. I got all of them to their middles and either ran into a problem or got distracted and did something else. Well, Mary Atwood is finished, and Ann Wheatley is back on the frame stand. I may look for Rebekah in the stash and bring her downstairs, too. Wouldn't it be a hoot to finish them all this year?

Or have I completely lost my mind to think I could get all this done by the end of the year . . .

Thursday, September 1, 2016

You say obsessed, I say FINISHED!!!

For the last week, I've come home from work, gulped down dinner, plopped into the wing chair, and threaded a needle.

And Mary Atwood is finished!

And here is the last band!

I tried to get Dearly Beloved to hold the sampler up so I could get a full picture, but he was afraid his bony ankles would be in the picture and he didn't want that on the innerwebs.  So here it is in sections:




The last band nearly did me in. Mary didn't worry too much about symmetry, so the petals of each flower don't match their partners and the two flowers don't match each other. So that meant I had to watch every single stitch to make sure I was reproducing as closely as possible as well as keep the reversibility.

And you'll notice the blue band on the very bottom doesn't go all the way across. I can't decide if Mary ran out of steam or ran out of thread. I am going to assume that she ran out of thread. Silk thread was not likely to be a very high priority in the colonies in the 1600's.  Or maybe the dye lots didn't match. Or maybe she decided she was done, done, done and could not stitch another stitch.

It has been suggested that I work on another reversible sampler while my head and hands are familiar with the stitches. My head and hands have decided they want to do something that requires nothing more than the ability to count (and that is sometimes not a given for me), so I'm going to work on a very different kind of sampler this week-end.