I hope this finds you all well and safe during these rather strange times we find ourselves in. Here we are in week 10 of lockdown and this new daily life is beginning to feel the ‘new normal.’ At the start of the restrictions, despite being faced with the prospect of homeschooling for the unforeseeable future, I was hopeful that I would now be able to find the time to complete some of the many unfinished projects that I have scattered around the house. While it is true that daily life has slowed down and I have more time to enjoy crafts, this time doesn’t always last for as long as I would hope and there is always something else that demands it away – mainly a 3-year or 5-year old! Seriously though, it has been great to be able to find some time to indulge in crafts and while I probably haven’t used it as effectively as I could have, I have made a start.
In my previous post ‘Over the Rainbow’ (http://treasuredbuttons.co.uk/over-the-rainbow/) I shared my 1st attempt at rope weaving – a rainbow. Being at the start of lockdown and with the rainbow suddenly being such a symbol of hope and unity, this seemed entirely the most appropriate project to start and plus, I love to start a new craft! However once this was completed and proudly hanging in my window, I thought that I better try to finish some projects before I start any new ones, despite the temptation!
So, I decided upon the cross stitch that I have been ‘working on’ for goodness knows how long! When I picked it up this time (and hopefully the last) I only had the bottom half of the sea to finish and the sand / reflections and I was determined to complete it!
The scene depicted in this cross stitch is just one of a series of seaside themed designs by the artist Faye Whittaker and having previously completed another cross stitch from this series, I have always loved her work. However despite this, I actually found it really difficult to get back into stitching the design and I think this is purely because I had left it for so long. It was all very well saying that I would finish previous projects before starting a new one but where was my enthusiasm?
In the past when I have started a project and continued working on it until it is finished, my enthusiasm has built momentum as the project has grown; I have become absorbed in the project enough to see it through to the end – as it was with the rope-weaved rainbow. When I start a project such as the cross stitch and then leave it for a length of time, this enthusiasm takes a little while to re-ignite and develop before I can become absorbed in the project again enough to finish it. All of this only really came to me while I was finishing the cross stitch and it was actually a bit of a epiphany (not to be too dramatic or anything!) Maybe this was why I have so many unfinished projects lying around.
Having developed the momentum to finally finish the cross stitches, I wondered how to display the finished piece. I already have an idea of where – I have earmarked a wall in my soon-to-be finished craft room (watch this space for a future post about that). I knew that I didn’t want to just put it in a frame so I turned to Pinterest for inspiration and came up with this ….
This way of displaying finished embroidery pieces uses the hoop that was used to originally stitch and leaves you with not only a neat frame but also a means of hanging it too.
Once the design is positioned securely in the hoop, with the tightening screw top centre, excess fabric from the back is trimmed off ensuring that 11/2 – 2 inches is left. A running stitch is then used to gather the excess material which pulls the fabric in towards the centre of the hoop and neatly secures it behind the design. The tightening screw at the top of the hoop can then be used to hang the finished piece. After spending time ensuring that the piece was straight and secure within the hoop I was really pleased with how this turned out and how neat it all looks from both the front and the back.
Despite the huge temptation to start a new project and dismiss this one yet again, I am really pleased that I persevered and saw it through to the end. The sense of satisfaction at looking at the finished piece is worth the perseverance and I have since made a commitment to always finish a project before I start a new one. I have often felt quite overwhelmed when I have had a number of projects on-the-go, not knowing which one to tackle first. Hopefully with this new found mindset, I will feel calmer in my approach and enjoy my creating even more. The temptation to start something new will, I guess, always be there and I can think of one particular project that I am desperate to start. All I can do is resist the temptation!
Thank you for listening and I hope to share more with you soon.