Thursday, 5 July 2012

One Stitch does not a Motif Make

I have a dilemma. The Pouchette that I began in Atlanta is slightly too long for a 29 inch frame, it really needs to go on my 39 inch frame but at the moment Queen of Flowers is on that frame. QoF would fit onto one of the smaller frames but I am very reluctant to move it from one frame to another. Truth be told, I don’t really like framing up! The other truth is that I want to be working on both of these projects! While I ponder this dilemma, I’ve started work on a different project – the Gold Work Master Class sampler. Truth be told, I want to do this project as much as the Pouchette and QoF! So many things to do, so little time!

Before I start on the gold work, which is what I really want to be working on, I need to do the silk motifs, most of which are done in Queen stitch. I have only ever worked Queen stitch on the Strawberry Gobelin Fob needlework nibble that I did a few years ago. A total of 22 Queen stitches, if you include the half stitches.

Queen stitch is made up of four stitches that all emerge from the same hole, end in a second hole, and are couched at their mid point. The couching stitches fan the main stitches to form a diamond. Eight stitches per Queen stitch done over 4 x 4 threads of linen. I need some magnification and good light to ensure that my needle goes between the linen threads, not through them, and to do all of the counting involved.

© Thistle Threads/Carol-Anne Conway

I found the first stitch tediously slow and the thought of doing nearly all of the silk motifs in this strange little stitch was a daunting one. I reminded myself that you eat and elephant one bite at a time. You make a sampler the same way one motif at a time and a motif one stitch at a time. After a few more stitches I began to settle into a rhythm and pick up the pace a little.

© Thistle Threads/Carol-Anne Conway

Approximately 9 hours later (spread over 9 days) I had completed the first motif and felt a lot less daunted about doing the remaining motifs.

© Thistle Threads/Carol-Anne Conway

There are a couple of errors in this first motif some in counting and a little bit that I missed but only spotted when I looked at the close-up photograph. The left leaf is one thread out, I don’t think anyone but me and readers of this blog will ever know, and the top blue petal has an extra row of stitches making this petal larger than in the original. I did not do that intentionally but I like it that way. I will not correct the counting errors but I will go back and fill in the missing half stitch.

© Thistle Threads/Carol-Anne Conway

Now I have a bigger dilemma – I have three larger projects in progress, all of which I want to be working on!

Happy Stitching


Rachel said...

Don't forget that since it's a spot sampler, it won't be driven off-course if you miscount slightly. I found that that realisation took the pressure off!

elmsley rose said...

Yay! Go you!