This year the Oxford Branch of the Embroiderers' Guild hosted the South East West Regional Show. Because the date coincided with my Sister-in-law's 25th Anniversary, I was not able to attend the show but I determined to enter something in the competition. The theme for the competition was Rags or Riches and almost from the outset I had an idea of what I intended to do. I had been enjoying stitching 'Loving Couple' so much that I was reluctant to put it aside but at the beginning of May I realised that I would have to make a start on my entry if it was not going to end the same way as 'Girl with a Pearl Earring' (which I still intent to finish one day).
I started on 9 May, 7 weeks before the show. Doing a little each morning and evening, by the following weekend I had completed the stitch transfer and was ready to start work in earnest.
I selected my threads; 4 shades of silk (I only used 3 in the end) and #1 real gold.
I began with the real gold section of the cord. I'm glad that I did as this proved to be the slowest part of the whole design. Then something disastrous happened; good weather. For the last 2 years we have had a couple of nice weeks in spring, followed by a very disappointing summer. When the sun came out this spring, we decided to make the most of it just in case this summer went the same way. 4 weeks later, I had very little done and my schedule was looking much less comfortable.
At the beginning of June, J went away for a week. I spent every spare minute stitching and one week before the show I had finished the cords were finished but I had to deliver my finished entry to a friend before we left for Amsterdam mid week. That meant I had only 4 days to complete the stitching, do the finishing and mount it.
I stitched from dawn to dusk all weekend and, unbelievable managed to finish it in time.
When I came to mount it on Tuesday evening, I realised that there was not enough fabric to cover the artist frame I had intended to use. I had to come up with a back up plan, which I was not satisfied with but it was all that I could do in the time.