Baby Steps

Since last week I've been stitching away, but the progress is slow. I haven't done more on the ANG Stitch of the Month, but in my defense, the second stitch wasn't posted until yesterday.
I started on my correspondence course and got the top border in along with a start on the left side border. I'm not happy with the coverage I'm getting with the Splendor, though. Maybe I'm pulling the thread too tight? I may have to try a few motifs using a different type of silk floss, perhaps Needlepoint Inc silk. That's what I usually prefer, but I wanted to do this with the specified threads when possible. I'm just not happy with the way it looks. Grr. On a positive note, I'm pleased with the instructions. They're clear, thorough, and concise.
I started on the border of Stars for a New Millenium at the Thursday morning stitching group. Electing neither to draw nor baste the framework of the design, I carefully measured the distance to the top left block per the instructions and started stitching the top inner, middle, and outer borders. I only wanted enough to facilitate counting for that first quilt square. I like to do borders at the end so that they don't suffer from too much wear and tear while I stitch the piece. When I design a piece, the border always gets designed at the end. I never know what kind of, if any, border will be needed and appropriate.
What is pictured here, however, is not that stitching. No, I ended up ripping it out after studying the canvas for a couple of days. One of the stitchers in the stitchalong group came by to pick up some threads. I showed her where I was and how I was approaching the stitching, which was not according to the instructions. She looked at it and said, "Are you going to have enough room on the right side? You better count it out to be sure." I agreed. It didn't look like there would be much empty canvas on the right side. So I counted it out, very carefully, all the way across, including the entire border and extended corner square. Then I counted it out again with the same result. Yikes! Less than 2" on the right side. That's just too close for comfort IMHO. I counted back on the left side to see how much empty canvas would be left after stitching that side border and corner square. About 2.25". Grr. It wasn't centered, but I could fix it so that I had about 2" on either side and fortunately caught it before I got too far. While I was at it, I decided to check the vertical spacing, which seems to be okay. So I frogged what I had stitched and restitched it starting a quarter-inch further left. Gah!
Obviously, if I had drawn the schematic, I would have discovered the problem before stitching. Equally obviously, I would have had to erase the whole thing and redraw it. Knowing how long it would have taken me to do the initial drawing to get to the point of realizing it was off, based on how long it took me to draw in the outlines for the Stitch of the Month, I stand by my choice not to draw it in the first place. I would have been cursing for hours as I erased and started over. Perhaps those who come to charted canvaswork from the traditional hand-painted needlepoint perspective find it easier to draw in the outline. For me, used to counting designs from various reference points in the fabric, drawing is just another chance to introduce an error, and a time-consuming one at that. I'll stick a pin in to mark the reference spot and count out any day rather than counting and drawing, then hoping that I haven't made a mistake somewhere that I won't find until I'm counting and stitching. I'll be interested in seeing how the other stitchers in the group deal with getting to the point that we can all start working together on that first quilt square on Sunday. I know of at least three approaches so far, none of which includes drawing the whole thing.


  1. I hand drew my Stars outline because I can't count. But everyone is different. I think I'll do the top three borders and then work downwards, starting with the first row of star blocks. I think keeping my hands of what is already stitched a good idea. I want this piece the very best I can make it!

    Good luck and have fun Sunday without me.

    Jane, all alone (except for the snow) in CH (sigh)

  2. You're right; everyone's different. That's why out of 9 (or is it 10?) stitchers in the group, I expect to have almost as many approaches to getting to that first block. Hahahahaha.

    Let's hope this weekend's snow isn't enough to make our meeting on Sunday out of the question. Why, I hear the sound of a snowplow on my street right now!

  3. The colors are lovely even if you had to remove them. I'm still contemplating the start - to draw or not to draw???

  4. I do love the colors.

    I found drawing the ANG SOTM served only to confuse me as to which side of the line was the correct place to start, depending on what quadrant I was stitching in. Maybe it's better if you draw in the channel (I think I drew on the thread). Now that I have the first area stitched on that, I'm ignoring the rest of the lines. I obviously don't do well filling shapes.