Monday, October 10, 2011

I Got Dem Ol' Cross Stitch Blues Again Mama

Time keeps movin' on,
Projects, I throw away.  Sigh!
Yeah, I keep stitchin' on
But I can never finish stuff right.
I keep tryin' so hard to finish
& the results are so disappointing
& I ruin all my work.

Based on the song Kozmic Blues as sung by Janis Joplin, 1969 


When I was a teenager, one of my idols ... if not the idol ... was Janis Joplin.  Keep in mind that I was a teenager, not a Christian at the time, & couldn't have cared less about her lifestyle.  All I knew or cared to know about Janis was that I liked her songs & I liked how she looked.  I actually tried to mimic her as far as her clothes & accessories were concerned.  I didn't have to try hard to mimic her hairstyle.  We had that in common.  But this post is not about Janis Joplin.  No, this post is about cross stitching ... or, more precisely, finishing cross stitch projects.

Last week I posted a photo of a cross stitch ornament I received in a Christmas ornament exchange.  The person who was assigned to send me an ornament did a great job of stitching it & an even greater job of finishing it.  I am a perfectionist so this is high praise from me.  Now, let's move on to the ornament I have been working on for the person whose name I was assigned.

Of course I wanted to make this person ... let's call her Elka ... something nice.  In the hope of not duplicating any ornaments she might already have I decided to choose a design just released this year.  I stitched & I stitched & I stitched ... & I was pleased.  Then the stitched design sat around here for a week or more while I mustered up the courage to finish it.  I searched the internet looking for finishing directions.  I asked for finishing ideas on a cross stitching forum.  I sent emails asking fellow stitchers for their input.  I even contacted a total stranger to ask for her help which I did not get by the way.  The resulting cauldron of confusion was too much for me.  I finally decided, after much thought, to finish it as a little pillow-type ornament.

I decided to be "artistic" by stitching the design piece onto the pillow front in what I thought would be an artistic manner.  You could call this my "first mistake" although perhaps my first mistake was to join in on the exchange in the first place.  Moving on ... I cut the linen surrounding the stitched design down to size, pulled a thread an equal distance away from the design on all sides, & then started to attach the stitched piece to the background fabric with a line of cross stitches.  I chose a small plaid for the background fabric & carefully basted the stitched piece to this background fabric following the plaid lines to make sure my design would not sit unevenly on the fabric.  I then cross stitched over those basting lines.  When I had almost finished this process I noticed that these lines of cross stitches looked just a tad uneven.  Okay, okay ... they looked like crap ... but I had come too far to turn back.  I could not replace the linen I had already cut away nor the threads I had pulled surrounding the design.  I thought "I hope Elka embraces anorexia because instead of sticking her finger down her throat to make herself throw up she can just look at my ornament."

I am telling myself that the ornament will probably look better once I actually make it into a little pillow.  However, I have tried to con myself like this in similar situations many times in the past & I know from those experiences that I am too smart to fall for my attempted trickery.  The only thing I think I can do is send the ornament to Elka with my deep condolences & the promise of a replacement ornament as quickly as I can get one made for her.  Of course then again I will be faced with that nightmare known as finishing.  Sigh   : (                 


TheCrankyCrow said...

Oh Shirlee my dear - you are too, too, funny - but while I'm chuckling, I'm also wincing in empathy. I too suffer from finishing phobia....Hence why my "fall" giveaway is sitting in my stitching basket rather on on my blog... :o (But, if it's any consolation, from one perfectionist to another - you probably think it worse than it truly is....) Stitch on...happy day....Smiles & Hugs ~ Robin

lilraggedyangie said...

Shirlee you crack me up , and whats not to love about Janis and her clothes and songs:0) she was a cool crafty chick! I think you are way to hard on yerself and your work is beautiful hang in there !hugs lilraggedyangie

BumbleBeeLane said...

Finally blogger letting me comment! Although I'm smiling all to knowingly I also know we are our own worst critics.I'm sure all the flaws you think are huge someone else won't notice or will think it adds character.Warm Blessings!~Amy

Jessica @Blessings in the Country said...

You seriously sound just like me. I don't know if that's good or bad! LOL. The last pillow I made, I sewed it all the way around and then slit it in the back, stuffed it, and then sewed up the back. It was a little Frankenstein looking where I sewed the hole in the back, but really, it wasn't going to be displayed with the back facing out anyway. My swap partner liked it, so I stopped stressing over it.

This is probably a real dumb question, and you probably already checked into this, but do you know about the Twisted Stitcher's blogs? One is "learn to finish" and the other is finishing tutorials. (besides her regular blog of course.)