Saturday, March 14, 2009

Compulsory Stitching

I want to talk about compulsory stitching today. No -- I am not talking about compulsive stitching -- the sort of stitching where you just can't stop because you are enjoying yourself so much. What I am referring to is the sort of stitching where you promised something to someone and it has to be done by a certain date and you don't like the colors or the threads or the motif and well ... you just have to do it.

I've been doing a lot of compulsory stitching lately and let me tell you it is not nearly as much fun as compulsive stitching. I promised the Academy of Vocal Arts a pillow for their gala on April 4th. Now I know it's my fault for promising a pillow in two months and I know that the pillow didn't have to be quite so large and I know also that the background color didn't have to be quite so beige and well ... really I am responsible for this whole fiasco BUT can't you just feel a little bit sorry for me anyway?

I know that you do because you have probably stitched lots of things that were painful, boring, endless and not for you also. I guess I really am just not a very selfless person when it comes to my needlepoint. I think of my stitching time as my "me" time and to just give away my "me" time is never a good idea. For me, stitching is still work (no matter how relaxing) and I need motivation in the form of a desirable end result.

Not that this pillow that I am stitching for AVA isn't a nice one. It is. I was going to do the background in double stitch (one regular cross stitch alternating with an oblong cross stitch) using beige wool. However, I quickly realized that it was taking way too long. Nancy suggested that I do stripes of different stitches and so that is what I am doing. Every ten rows or so I change the stitch that I am using. Mostly I have kept to stitches that are quick and easy and I have tried to alternate stitches that have an up-and-down feel with stitches that have a more diagonal orientation. The letters will be done in basketweave using blue and purple Splendor silk. I am hoping that the end result will be subtle yet sophisticated (just like me -- ha!).

So, I have not had much time for my own work -- the koi project is on the back burner, as is the dog collar, Dena's boathouse row, and the numerous other things that are "in process." The worst part of all this compulsory stitching is that I've promised another pillow to the Opera Company of Philadelphia for their gala in May. Ugh! When will I ever learn?

Anyway, I hope you are enjoying your stitching and take a tip from me -- try to keep it more compulsive than compulsory!


  1. You poor thing! But the beige background sripes are lovely and someone is going to adore this. Even if you don't.

    Hugs and don't volunteer again.

    Jane, who volunteers for the ANG Auction every year and who is old enough to know better

  2. I'll have the piping and back ready and waiting to go. Stitch on my friend...stitch on!

  3. Perhaps you could let folks help you by making it & other donations sort of a community stitch project - volunteers could stop in add a row to the pillow - learn a stitch & help you & the community!