…it’s almost finished!
Howdy ho, friends! I’m in a jolly mood this morning, because I get to share with you The Big Milestone in an embroidery project that’s been going on since October of 2012.
In my excitement to share this milestone with you, I betook myself and the Hungarian Redwork Runner outside in the post-dawn blue light of a chilly, early morning, laid out some towels on the driveway, and put the runner down so I could get a bird’s eye photo.
Incidentally, while I was going back and forth to my workroom, that’s the one thing I was a little wary of – the birds. I wasn’t so worried about dirt – the wind was still, there was no Kansas dust swirling about – but, since it was early morning, the birds that weather the winter in Kansas were twittering about, flying overhead. Dirt would be nothing, compared to the damage a bird can do!
But they were kind, those birds, and though probably a little appalled that someone was messing around in their backyard at that hour, they stayed away.
And here you have the redwork runner, with the embroidery finished:
Although the embroidery is finished (well, a little more on that point below), there’s still a wee bit more work to do.
First, I will rinse it, just to remove any hand oil or whatnot from holding it in hand during the whole embroidery process. Then, while it’s still damp, I’ll damp stretch and block the runner, pinning outside the hem lines (which are the light blue lines basted around the perimeter).
Once that’s finished, I’ll cut the excess fabric from around the perimeter carefully, and fold under the hem, mitering all corners and basting the hem in place.
Then, I’m going to stitch around the outside with a decorative stitch, which I will show you in detail.
So, yes, a bit more to do, but compared to all the embroidery, the rest should go relatively quickly.
This is why I didn’t mind sharing my first forays into figure embroidery yesterday. I wouldn’t let myself dabble with a new big project concept, until I reached a significant milestone in an unfinished project. So you can imagine that I’m a pretty happy camper.
You can click on the photos above for a larger version of each. The color in the photo directly above is a little bright – the morning light really was blue!
When you look at the photo close up, you might notice what I noticed when I was formatting the photos for this article. There are a couple little bars on several of the motifs that aren’t actually stitched. Can you find them?
I almost let my enthusiasm fizzle when I noticed them. But they are just chain stitch, they are very quick to work, and so I gave myself a pep talk and I find I’m still quite happy that the big embroidery is finished. I’ll whip out those bars this weekend and damp stretch the thing. I can’t wait to see it crisp and flat and white and red!
Why the Blank Center in the Embroidery?
I’ve had a few inquiries over the progress of this project, about the blank rectangular center in the middle of the piece.
Well, this is the way I was thinking, when the design for the Hungarian Redwork Runner first came about:
It’s a table runner, and the embroidery is rather dense and heavy, especially where the Hungarian braided chain stitch is worked. If it is placed on a table and a centerpiece on the table is desired, better to have a blank are in the middle, where low bowls or vases could stand securely, than to have them teetering on (and crushing) any embroidery. I planned the piece with the idea of a centerpiece on the table.
When I show it to you, finally finished, we’ll see if the concept worked!
And that, my friends, is my big excitement for the week. Now, if I could only use the same word (finished!) about those little hummingbirds, right? Soon, soon!
I promise I’ll share the finishing details on the runner as they develop.
Feel free to celebrate with me! I’m marking the occasion by setting up yet another project. It’s a “pure indulgence” project, that I’m stitching for the sheer pleasure of it and no ulterior motive. I’ll tell you about it next week.
If you’d like to read about the progress of the Hungarian Redwork Runner and see the original design that it came from, as well as print the pattern for your own use, you’ll find all the articles about this project listed in the Hungarian Redwork Runner Embroidery Project Index.