Viola, it’s finished! There’s not too much to tell about this project, I did make an effort to blog whatever I could about the process as it happened. It wasn’t that interesting a process anyway – once I finally found the right thread, I just stitched away. The only thing vaguely worth mentioning was some trouble with my disappearing ink pen at the last minute – I don’t know the brand, but those ones with the purple top? I made some light corner markings to see where to trim for the frame, as well as some spacing for my little stitched signature. Five days later, the ink had lightened into a pale brown that wasn’t budging. In case you have a similar problem, a tiny bit of soap with cool water will do the trick. Stupid not-disappearing-properly pen.
I’ve added a signature in my little way – I do try to make it work with the rest of the project in an unobtrusive way, rather than just plopped in the corner – and you’ll see it’s not just me that worked on this one. I think it’s only fair that Modest Mouse get the credit they deserve for writing the line in the first place, back in 2004, in their single “Float On” (amazing video, by the way). I love this song because it’s optimistic, but in a realistic sort of way. It doesn’t say that everything’s going to be amazing and everyone will be happy forevermore. It says that things will indeed suck sometimes, but it’s not the end of the world. And I’ve always especially loved this line, which changes up the chorus just by a few words but in a way that really feels like things will be fine. It’s like it’s marching on in defiance. No matter how often I hear it, that one line always makes me feel like things will all work out ok in the end. And that can’t be a bad thing to have up on the wall, right?
My little lyric sheet embroidery is nearly done, ready for just the finishing touches before sticking in a frame and up on the wall (proper FO post then), and now I’m starting to think ahead to the next little project. ‘Little’ because there’s loads of big projects on the go that I can’t quite show yet, so quick projects that are just for fun are exactly what I’m looking for right now. And all I can think about is stitching up one – or many – of the Sajou antique monogram letters available (free!) from the amazing Pattern Maker Charts (etc) blog. In case you’re a stitcher and somehow haven’t ever bumped into this site, go now – but, be warned, you’ll be there for hours. Pages and pages of free antique patterns, scanned and often also downloadable in your favorite cross-stitch software’s format, it’s just infinitely inspirational.
Lately, I’ve had the French Sajou letters floating in my head: I’ve got a whole bunch saved, but my very favorites are these from Sajou 235, a large version of one from Sajou 484, or either of these types from Sajou 346. Aren’t they just too lovely? All dainty and intricate and girly – or, in other words, not me at all. But I wants one anyway, maybe because it’s so unlike something I would normally do?
Anyway, other than the having to pick just one to stitch, my real problem here is what for?? I mean, literally – for what purpose would I stitch this, and thus what would I stitch it on? I don’t want to make a big project out of this, so although I thought a little make-up bag might be cute, I really don’t want to spend the time making one, and I don’t really need one anyway. Pillowcases would be really really cute, but I don’t have any handy nor any fabric to sew any up, and I’m making an effort to craft from stashed materials anywhere possible. So, um … hmm. Maybe just in a little hoop on the wall, just because it’s cute as hell?
For what was supposed to be a simple project, getting this one off the ground took some time. Isn’t it always the ‘simple’ ones that cause problems? It turns out that I was using the wrong type of thread – simple stranded cotton – and no matter what variations I tried (number of strands, etc), the couching just looked sloppy. I suspect it was the combination of dark color (meaning you saw every tiny bit of fuzz along the strand edges) and that I was using Anchor thread. Not that Anchor isn’t nice thread, but it is much more matte than DMC’s stranded cotton, which didn’t really suit couching very well. Couching looks best, so I learned, when it’s used to create a smooth line (i.e., not interrupted by stitches), allowing for continuous light reflection along that line. A matte finish kind of negates the whole thing, which seems obvious now, but I just hadn’t thought about it like that when picking out my thread. Switching to pearle cotton (DMC, from my charity shop loot) finally got me back on track. It’s solves the fuzz thing, fulfills the light reflecting thing, and creates a perfectly bold line that won’t be overpowered by the backing fabric I chose. Now, for reals, it should be a pretty quick finish!
I’m getting ready to start a new embroidery project – just a little one, but I’ve been thinking about it for months. Embroidering song lyrics is hardly a new idea, but it’s one I’ve always liked – being a music dork and all. There are a lot of songs – probably more than I could count – that mean something special to me, but only a few with lyrics that I feel I would do well to remember daily. I didn’t want to cross-stitch this project, but couldn’t think of a fitting way to do it until recently. Now I’m almost ready.