Friday, August 12, 2011

Confessions of a Chronic Starter: Evolution of a Sampler

I have been carrying this Earth Day chart around in my stitching bag for a couple of months now ... since April to be exact. I kept promising myself that when all the Crazy January Challenge stuff was done, I would reward my diligence and self-discipline by kitting it up and stitching it. Surprise, surprise, I just couldn't quite wait! The fabric is a 32ct Zweigart linen in the color Flax and the floss I am using is leftover from one of Catherine Jordan's classes on the use of color in embroidery design. And, typically, I have re-charted the piece. As you can see [by clicking on the link above: the words Earth Day chart], in the original chart the bottom border is very assymetrical. Sometimes that works quite well. But not this time, at least, not for me. I guess I am just too much the stick-in-the-mud traditionalist when it comes to samplers! So I have stitched the border quite symmetrically even though it will mean condensing the spaces between the lines of the motto somewhat. Or I may stitch the motto over one in the very center. And I will be replacing the bird with the odd ball-like flower or very large berry in its beak from the original chart with a small squirrel with an acorn. Or perhaps a squirrel on either side of the motto, if I stitch said motto over one, both beasts facing center. After all, in the symbology of samplers, a squirrel is the symbol for frugality. Since the motto is "Use it up, wear it out, make do or do without", a squirrel seems far more appropriate than a bird. And I am dithering a bit about the flowers. In keeping with the "use it up" philosophy, I limited myself to the floss leftover from a class. I had two full skeins of the dark, rich, deep russets: one skein just a touch darker than the other. And I had two partial skeins of a middling pumpkin tone and just a few lengths of a pale peach shade. I would have loved to alternate the russet and the pumpkin as I stitched the flowers. But I reluctantly came to the conclusion that there just wasn't enough of the pumpkin, even if I extended it by blending the peach with some of the pumpkin floss ... which could have been an interesting effect since all the floss in question is overdyed. First, I stitched every other flower in the slightly lighter skein of the deep russet color. Then, I went back and filled in the flowers in the opposing corners with the same dark floss. This leaves me with 9 of the 14 flowers stitched. Each flower requires 34 inches of floss. Having reduced the number of remaining flowers to five, I now have enough pumpkin floss to stitch them all. That would introduce some color variation as well as emphasize the "make do" part of the saying. I'll be alternating the darker green in the border and the lighter green of the flower centers for the rows of lettering. I'll use the lighter green for the acorn caps and the dark russet for the acorn kernel. And from that same class, my last skein is a lovely grey overdye with just the barest hint of of silvery sage green that will work for the squirrels. Who knew, back in 2005, when I chose this palette that I'd wait till 2011 to find the perfect project for it? My original thought back then, some vague notion involving pumpkins or autumn leaves, dictated my choices. But I think this use of the palette is ever so much better.

6 comments:

Sarah Beth said...

It looks good so far. BTW I got my ornie from you and will post it today on my blog and HOE. Thanks so much. I love the beading. That was such a cool idea.

butterfly said...

very pretty love the colours

Lesley (Home Is Where My Heart Is) said...

Looking very pretty already and it is a great idea to use up your floss :)

Jo who can't think of a clever nickname said...

Great talk-though the thought process. I do exactly the same with threads, ekeing them out to make them last.
I posted today about my stash bags of scraps - waste not, want not.

mdgtjulie said...

Looking good. I didn't realize you were gonna rechart it, lol. I love the way you think though!!

Chiara said...

"confessions of a chronic starter" ..I love it!!!
have fun with the recharting!
Chiara