Yes, well. This Christmas Towel. Satin stitching. Long and short stitch. Sometimes, I could just kick myself!
Originally, I was supposed to be embroidering regular cotton towels with regular cotton thread in regular outline stitches for regular easy embroidered gifts. But darnit, if I didn’t start filling in on this one, and now, it’s taking me ten forevers to get it done!
Remember the embroidered towel I finished last week? That piece took me less than three hours of stitching. I figured at that rate, I could do (easily) two towels a week and still have time for finish work on other little projects.
But no. I had to start filling in on this one! Did you ever realize what a difference it makes, time-wise, when you start to fill in areas of stitching?
I have duly frustrated myself, but I don’t want to give the project up!
So let me show you how far along I am, and then I’ll tell you what really frustrates me about the whole endeavor.
The satin stitching on the berries is done – at least, on this clump of berries (there’s one more further down the design) – and all the little green satin stitch things are finished, and I’ve managed only one pine cone so far.
Now, the pine cone was an interesting dilemma. It’s worked in long and short stitch. Originally, I was just planning on outlining it, but once I started filling in the berries with satin stitch, it was silly to have an only-outlined pine cone! So I started experimenting with filling. I was going to work a stem stitch filling. Then I thought about a split stitch or even chain stitch filling – something that could be worked fast and somewhat loose, so it wasn’t a “full” filling.
Ugh. None of those looked right.
So I resorted to long and short stitch. Then the colors became a problem. If you’re just outlining something, shading isn’t that important, really. But once you move into long and short stitch, colors become important, and the shading achieved by the stitching and color choices together is what makes long and short stitch look ok.
When I started, I thought I better take a look at some pine cones. What I noticed on larger, older, opened pine cones was that the tips were almost a white-ish grey, curved up, and the rest of the cone was a darker brown, and some almost blackish-brown. But on the small, closed pine cones, they’re really brown – a nice brown. Not a lot of color difference in them. Just a nice woody-looking brown.
So I stuck with three shades of brown, to give the cone a bit of depth. I don’t like the connection area – I guess it’s the stem – up top, but that’s the way the pattern was, so I ended up stitching it with two small areas of satin stitch for highlights, surrounded by a split-stitch filling in dark brown.
And that’s the pine cone. Two more pine cones, one more bunch of berries!!! Remind me never to FILL IN on a TOWEL. Yes, as I mentioned yesterday when I was talking about the obvious merits of machine embroidery thread for paper embroidery, sometimes, I’m a bit slow lately!
But this is what really frustrates me – and perhaps it’s just a problem with the way I’m looking at the stituation. You can tell me what YOU think:
I’m putting all this embroidery time and effort into a cotton flour sack towel.
It’s not a linen table runner.
It’s not a linen table cloth.
It’s not even a pretty little crisp, white cotton Christmas apron.
It’s a FLOUR SACK TOWEL!!!
Ah, well. I’m in. So I may as well finish it! But, sheesh. Really. What was I thinking?