No one has ever claimed that hand embroidery is a wicked-fast enterprise. When you do something by hand, it just takes time.
But golly, sometimes, progress is much slower than we think it should be. Sometimes, it’s hard to get back into the groove of a project, and this can slow us down.
Last week, that’s how I felt about Late Harvest. I should be farther along than I am. But I couldn’t seem to make myself sit still and stitch. And it seemed like a chore to pick it up and get going again. And so I purposely avoided it. I worked on other things and took a Late Harvest hiatus.
After a little break from the project, picking it up again was easier. And by selecting one element to stitch and focusing just on it, my excitement was rejuvenated. Sometimes, a break is a good thing!
Over the weekend, I tackled this one small element – which I call The Funky Mushroom.
I’m pretty sure it’s not supposed to be a mushroom. I’m pretty sure it’s a stylized floral element of some sort, with the petals of the flower flowing downwards.
But to me, it will always be a Funky Mushroom.
The dome of the element is worked in long and short stitch with two shades of burgundy. The two “skirts” are padded first with stem stitch, to give them a bit of lift, and then worked with alternating lines of beads and bullion knots.
The base of the ‘shroom is a woven trellis filling outlined with beads, with three long and short stitch leaves clustered below.
These long and short stitch leaves correspond with these stumpwork leaves:
The stumpwork leaves will be fixed on the cluster of leaves at the base of the Funky Mushroom, to give it dimension.
Can’t wait to get to that point!
And that brings me to the topic of deadlines.
This is what I have to finish, before I can add the stumpwork elements to Late Harvest and call the project completed:
There is one more large beaded floral element (on the far left), six large long and short stitch leaves with beaded veins, five smaller leaves, two small flowers, a few thick beaded vines, and some tendrils here and there.
The time-consumers are the large long and short stitch leaves.
But, taken overall, with the grapes completed, this half of the project has fewer elements to it than the first half, which you can see below:
Now that I’m back to stitching on Late Harvest with fervor, I think it’s time to set a deadline and work towards it. As much as I love working on this particular project, it needs to come to a successful end – relatively soon!
Taking all things into consideration, I’m setting a deadline of mid-June to end Late Harvest.
That’s quite a bit of time, but I’m working on other things besides this one project, and there are plenty of other distractions this time of year, too.
I think six weeks is a fair estimate. If I can finish it sooner, great! But June 15 is my “official deadline.”
Do Deadlines Diminish Joy?
When I finally bring myself to setting a deadline on a project like this, it really focuses me. I end up getting more done on all fronts, because I want to make sure I get in my time with the deadline project.
And while it may seem to take some of the joy out of stitching, it actually makes the project even more exciting, because I’m challenging myself. There’s some motivation there that wasn’t there before.
I’m also super excited to move on to the next project that I’m going to share with you. And I can’t do that until I finish this one.
So, no, the fun in stitching the rest of Late Harvest won’t be diminished with a deadline. Instead, it will be a bit intensified.
Do You Set Deadlines?
Do you ever set deadlines when you are stitching a project just for fun? Do you think stitchers should use deadlines to focus their stitching, or do you think doing so would take the pleasure out of a project and put undo pressure on you? And if you do set deadlines, do you always stick to them no matter what, or do you allow yourself flexibility?
In short, would you find deadlines helpful or hindering in your stitching pursuits?
I’d love to hear your take on the topic! Feel free to join the conversation below!
Following Late Harvest
If you’d like to see Late Harvest develop, you can find all the articles relating to this project as it unfolds here, in the Late Harvest project index.