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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Rediscovering my stitching (and blogging?) mojo

Do you ever hit a point where just about anything can distract you from stitching? I’ve been there for most of the past month.

Don’t get me wrong – I love stitching. It’s just that none of my projects has really been calling to me lately, and other silly things have distracted me in my leisure time. Yes, silly – like playing games or finding cool apps on my new iPod Touch, or surfing the web (sometimes on non-stitching sites, no less!).

It’s really pathetic that my stitching mojo just about completely stalled, considering that I’m almost done with the hardanger piece. Oh, well. It will be quick to finish when I get back to it.

I did start the sampler project that’s part of the Thistle Threads Gold Master Class, then found that since I joined the class on the last day of signups, several of my threads are backordered. On the first motif I stitched, I discovered that I’m missing two or three (out of six) colors. Not very inspiring.

Mojo returns!

All of a sudden, though, I’ve started stitching again! What changed?

It’s simple. I started my Friday Finish posts in part to inspire others, and ended up inspiring myself! My last posted finish, Silk Pageantry, reminded me how much I really enjoy canvaswork and hadn’t been doing much lately.

That’s how My Way found its way back onto my lap stand.

Finalizing decisions so I can just stitch

It’s been a while since I posted about this piece, so let me refresh your memory. I started this project in November 2008 in a class with Carolyn Mitchell.

My Way is a project similar to my more recent class, Potpourri with Margaret Bendig, in that each student chooses her own colors and threads and has a great deal of liberty about exactly how they’re placed.

Here’s what My Way looked like when I last posted about it in November. I’ve stitched on it a bit since then, so it was a bit further along when I picked it up last week.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I want to just stitch. I don’t want to have to make decisions on every project I pick up. I think this was one of the reasons my stitching stalled. I was making decisions on Potpourri, and then on the hardanger piece.

When it came to the six blocks in My Way, I’d made all of the decisions on five. I only had to finalize the center area on Block A, and then I could just stitch.

Block A is the lower middle square in the photo above. I kept pondering this block for a while, because it seemed out of place. The rest of the block centers aren’t square. They extend a bit into the “arms” of their crosses. Can you see what I mean?

I wondered what would happen if I extended the waffle stitch in the middle of this block until it hit the corner areas of the block. So pulled the center out and tried it. Aha! That’s better.

Then I wanted something different than originally designed for the “arms” of this square. So I tried a few things:

Section A is just some large eyelets in two colors. It didn’t get finished because I realized it looked too similar to the main borders of the project.

Sections B and C are actually the same stitch (alternating oblong and square crosses), in the same colors, but with the color gradations opposite each other. I took a vote with some stitching friends. Two liked B, and two liked C. Not much help there. I looked at it from across the room and decided I liked the dark in the middle.

Hooray! Now I can stitch away, with no decisions in sight until I finish all of the blocks and need to finalize a couple of things on the border.


Oh. In case you’re curious, yes, I have finished this block. What do you think?

Sorry for the really long post. I guess I’ve been storing up blogging mojo, too. Now that I’m stitching again, there’s a chance that I’ll be posting more!


Nancy said...

I love it. I can't wait to see the other "My Way" blocks as you complete them. I'm glad you are back to stitching. You do such beautiful work.

BFromM said...

I love the block. I think your change to the middle was a really good idea, to make the middles all similar. The whole block is very rich and opulent.

dining room tables said...

No one can't resist to love you amazing stitching. It is so perfect. The details are very unbelievable. I wish I can do that kind of stitching.

Denise said...

The thing I love about your blog - is the way you explain what is going on in your mind!

Your stitching is out of this world. I can only hope to accomplish what you do.

Here's hoping your mojo is back and in full swing - can't wait to see potpourri!

Smiles - Denise

Jeanne said...

Thank you for the compliments. You all are great for an ego boost!

Dining room tables (an interesting choice of name!) -- While I appreciate the compliment, I'm not sure what you mean. What "kind of stitching" can't you do? I'd be happy to try to explain any methods in more detail, if desired.

Denise, thanks for admitting that you like my rambling about why I make some of my decisions. I never know if readers are going to enjoy such meandering posts. Don't hold your breath for Potpourri. It will probably be a while before I get back to it!

Sylvia said...

Jeanne, I like the choices you made for the block. It is absolutely gorgeous. I look forward to seeing this piece evolve.


Elmsley Rose said...

"I don’t know about you, but sometimes I want to just stitch. I don’t want to have to make decisions on every project I pick up. I think this was one of the reasons my stitching stalled."

I understand totally. And that you can work on "My Way" - I'd just curl up and die given all the choices and judgements to be made on stiches and colours.

Somewhere, inbetween all these 16th and 17thC and goldwork/stumpwork projects, I want to do a Bargello piece. I've already picked the pattern.

Front Range Stitcher said...

Glad your mojo resurfaced. It's never really far away; it's there lurking! lol It's a beautiful piece and I'm glad you're featuring it.

Edy said...

So glad you recovered from Gay Ann dreaded NDS. Your stitching is beautiful and I look forward to seeing your "Friday Finishes"

hancock said...

Stitcher's block... yeah I have my dry spells. Same for blogging. Glad you are back!