Thursday, December 20, 2012

A Survey Prompted by Musings on the Moogies

In a recent e-mail response to the comment of one of my frequent readers, I noted that it's a bit of a mystery to me that I am stitching Midnight Moogie by Vivienne Powers.  It is not at all my usual sort of piece.  Oh sure, I stitch an occasional wildly colorful and outrageous small piece ... the Halloween ornaments that Monsterbubbles used to contribute to the annual Halloween issue of JCS spring to mind.  But when I choose to stitch a really large piece it is usually a Teresa Wentzler design, a Quaker piece or a large sampler.  I have a clearly defined design style or comfort zone.  So that got me to thinking about the choices we make as stitchers.  And I have a few questions for my readers:

1.  Are you conscious of having a clearly defined comfort zone when choosing the pieces you will stitch?

2.  If yes, briefly describe your comfort zone.

3.  Not counting duty stitches requested by loved ones, how often do you go beyond your comfort zone or usual style when choosing a piece to stitch: every now and then, very rarely, never?

4.  In choosing pieces that are dramatically different from your usual style: are they usually small, medium or large pieces?

5.  What design elements prompt you to venture beyond the comfortable: use of color, use of line/shape, topic or theme, overall aesthetic of the piece, emotional subtext of the piece?

6.  Name one piece you have stitched that called you out of your zone and surprised you by the pleasure you took in working it.

I hope you enjoy answering these questions in the comment section.  Once people have responded, I'll summarize the results in another post for those who are as curious as myself.

My answers:

1 & 2. Yes:  I generally stitch what I consider elegant fantasy [Wentzler, Miribilia, some of the Dragon Dreams], traditional, reproduction, band and Quaker samplers, country primitive [Prairie Schooler and the like] and the occasional whimsical seasonal piece.

3.  Every now and then ... maybe once every 20 or so projects.

4.  Usually, my "off-beat" excursions in stitching are rather small.

5.  Generally, I am attracted beyond my comfort zone by vivid color or by the humour of a piece, be it a visual pun [like Sue Hillis' Pair Tree or Monsterbubbles' Ghouls Just Wanna Have Fun] or just something appeallingly funny that references my interests and hobbies [like my various dragons in teacups].

6.  Obviously, the current surprise is Midnight Moogies.


Annie said...

Interesting topic. I just go with the flow. If I see something that grabs me, I just stitch it. Nothing very big though... I like to get things finished. The big ones take too long and I get bored and itchy to move on. I'm generally a one-at-a-time stitcher. I never know what's going to appeal at any given time. My tastes have changed dramatically over the years, mostly toward simpler designs.

Vickie said...

I stitch smalls also. I actually have every chart and a few pieces of 40ct linen to chose from for the AotH series. For a year!! I am chicken to make a choice and just start it.*~*

Linda said...

1 & 2. I'm not sure I really have a comfort zone although I seem to favour larger projects.
3. I rarely have what I would call 'duty' stitches most projects that I do for other people are ones that I have chosen to do for other people rather than being asked to do something.
4. I think any pieces that I do tend to think might be 'different' for me would be small items.
5. Perhaps seeing something different stitched up on someones blog would probably propmpt me to try it - for example you Moogies.
6. I think a proper sampler would pull me out of my comfort zone - something like the one you have been doing the English Band Sampler.

Have a wonderful Christmas and I hope you have a fantastic New Year.

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

A sure-fire way to get me to comment - ask my opinion!!

1 - Yes
2 - Summed up in 2 words - Fantasy and Samplers
3 - I like to make little resolutions, like stitching every cover gift on magazines one year or stitching every challenge piece on one of the Forums I use.
I also choose different styles when I'm stitching a present, I'll try find a happy medium between my style and their's.
4 - Definitely small! Maybe a medium for a special friend.
5 - It would be the topic or theme. If it appealed then I would give it a go.
6 - Probably the JBW pieces I've stitched this year. The Noah's Ark I saw on Kaye's blog and just loved it and knew it would be perfect for my new little baby cousin. Since then I've stitched a little cat and a star and enjoyed both of them.

Great blog idea - I'll be coming back to read the answers!

Ann said...

I long ago left my comfort zone. If it has a threaded needle involved, I am willing to try at least once. I will admit that I am not drawn to Japanese Embroidery but I may yet try that. Usually my discomfort zone involves colors I'm not crazy about or subject matter that does not appeal rather than technique.

Most of my "duty" stitching involves projects for the various guilds with which I am involved and the techniques vary. At least I have some control over the colors I use there.

Generally if I'm out of my comfort zone, the project is small. I know myself too well to let myself be pulled into a large project with a doubtful outcome (see reservations about Japanese embroidery above).

The overall aesthetic would justify my jumping in.

And I have started doing some needlepainting--long and short stitch with a sharp needle. So far the pieces I've done have all been small, very small, but I have surprised myself by how much I've enjoyed them.