Monday, October 01, 2007

One of My Most Recent Projects

It's really hard for me to do a happy dance for this piece.

It's by Debbie Rowley of DebBee's Designs, and is called Holiday Highlights Father's Day; the copyright date is 2006.

I stitched it on Zweigart 28 count potato lugana with the charted colors. By the way, if you don't stitch the words "tools," "naps," and "ties," you don't need Crescent Colours Roasted Chestnut at all for this one.

If you stitch this piece on evenweave or linen, I highly recommend making a few of the specialty stitches on the equivalent sized aida first (14 count aida for 28 count linen or evenweave; 16 for 32; 18 for 36) so you know how big to make your stitches on the evenweave or linen. When the whole piece is specialty stitches, as this one is -- and specialty stitches that are new to you and don't involve making any part of a cross stitch, to boot -- it's pretty difficult to determine what is considered over two and what is over one. Or at least, it was for me. I had a heck of a time with that part and could have saved myself hours -- and a lot of frustration -- if I had just picked up a small piece of aida and done a few test stitches. Seriously, it would have taken just minutes to save me a huge amount of time.

As it was, I started off stitching it too small at what turned out to be over one -- and I got a lot of the stitching done, but as you can see, the really neat pattern which is supposed to be created by Debbie's design just doesn't really show up very well (and that's what finally made me decide I must be stitching it too small and needed to start over). I think it would have been fine if I'd been using just one thread, but since I thought I was stitching over two, I was using two threads. I haven't decided if the first attempt is going to get frogged or trashed -- these stitches are in there pretty tightly, so ripping them out won't be easy ... but I do hate to throw away a good piece of fabric.

After a second start, I got the count right, though I still had a bit of difficulty with each new section. Grab a piece of aida for this one, I tell you (not to stitch the piece -- unless you want to use aida, of course -- but just to test drive these stitches ... don't be stubborn like me!)! Maybe five or so hours later, I was done.

This piece is really attractive in person, and I think I will probably end up making more for the other men in my life. I find men are really difficult to find the right patterns to stitch for but this pattern is perfect (especially with the opportunity to change colors) ... but I'm just not ready right now.

You see, I made this for my father-in-law, Dad, for his retirement on August 31, 2007. When he died, I was working on finishing it off into what could be used either as a bookmark or hung up as a small bellpull (those are four-sided stitches all around; I planned to use CA Wells' joining technique to attach a second piece of lugana the same size as the back). Dad did get to see it because I took it to the hospital to show him; I can't remember if that was a day by which I pretty much knew he was going to be leaving this world, but I do remember feeling a need to take this to show him -- it was finished except for what I wanted to do with the back and stuff. Only when my DH and I got to the hospital, my DH's sister, who had been visiting her dad all day, wouldn't come out, so that meant I couldn't go in because the number of visitors Dad could have at one time was limited. So I gave this to my DH to show to his dad. I actually never got to see him alive again.

After Dad died, I wasn't sure at first what to do with it. I knew there were several people I could give it to who might like it, including my DH, but that just didn't feel right. I wanted to make DH his own ... not give him the one he knew would have been his father's. Giving this to anyone else just didn't feel right; I made this for Dad, and in the five years of my marriage, it's the only thing I'd ever stitched for him. I wanted him to have it.

So at the visitation, I asked my mother-in-law if I could put it in with him, and she took it from me and put it on the pillow next to him. I would have put it somewhere a little less prominent, but I'm glad it's with him. Well, I know it's not really him, but you know what I mean.

Still, it's not in a happy dancing place ... even though I know Dad is.

1 comment:

KP said...

I think it looks lovely. Interesting stitches. Stunning, actually.