This is the first in our regular blog series on HAED stitchers, their wips/finishes and the stories behind them,
Sonya is a much loved Moderator on the HAED board and her stitching as well as her sense of humour always keep us entertained
Rose.. stitched on 32 ct Snowdrop lugana( Sugar Maple Fabrics) using tent stitch
artist Rachel Anderson
It seems like years but in truth HAED has only been in my life for just under 3 years and when I first discovered it, I plunged in head first (hands first would be more like it- grin). My mother used to tell me to finish what I started, like all mothers I assume and being European, having lived through a war and knowing what it was like to have to scrimp and save when she arrived with my dad and I in Canada with nothing but what they could carry with them… I grew up with the idea of being thrifty fixed in my head; to work on one piece at a time, finish one before starting another and not to buy something which I have no chance of completing.
A lot of things have changed in my life since my mother was around to guide me and now I am definitely on the road to being a serial starter (although that is up for debate and I am resisting that label). I have more charts on the go then I want to think about and so many lovely HAED charts still waiting in the wings that when Rose by Rachel Anderson was charted, I was in a terrible quandary: Do I or don’t I? She had caught my eye and hooked me but I was trying to be good. I told myself to wait until I finished something or at least wait until there was a sale and if I still loved her…well you know how it is! The horrible decision to wait or not was made for my by a sweet friend who RAKed me with her. (What an ange!l)
Now the decision making really started for me. I had the chart (with the background), so do I stitch it all or just remove the background myself and do I do full x stitches or do I tent? I love working on 32 ct so that was not a question.
I started browsing through the various fabrics that I had on hand and I am a stasher so I have a lot of pieces tucked away just waiting for the right chart. My problem has always been that of ordering a piece of fabric and after I received it, finding out that it was not exactly the way I had pictured it from the photo on the internet so… I have taken advantage of sales and ordered a few pieces at a time that I think will come in handy. As luck would have it, I found the perfect hand dyed fabric for my tastes, a 32 ct Lugana from Sugar Maple Fabrics : Snow drop.
I really did not want to stitch the background and this fabric sealed my fate, how could I hide the colours of this hand dye when it complimented the figure of the chart so well?
By the time I found my fabric, I had already made up my mind that I would “tent stitch” her. I had completed one QS in a tent stitch and loved it, the coverage was excellent on 32 ct and I was able to complete her in half the time. Time for me is an important factor. I know that I do not have unlimited stitching years, if I am lucky I give myself another 20 and considering the number of charts I want to complete, that is not enough time by any stretch of the imagination. These charts take some time so I look for ways to finish as many as I can while still capturing the essence of the chart. I hope I will do that with Rose. If there are other stitchers who would love to be able to work faster but are hesitant to do a x-stitch chart in tent stitches, I would encourage them to give it a try, they may just find out that they can do it, it looks good … it does of course depend on the count of the fabric and the tension used when stitching. I use one strand of floss and that seems to work for me and my 32 ct. If I were using a larger count, I might go to 2 strands if I did not like the coverage.
Rose is my feel good chart. She is one of those pieces that I can stitch when I am down or ill and she lifts me up. It may be the colours or just that she speaks to me but I adore her and so does my husband (who is always peeking over my shoulder when it is her turn in my stitching chart rotation). Of course it helps that it is beautiful artwork to start off with (Rachel did an amazing job) and the charting is so well done (Thanks Michele and Bob)…there are times I think that she comes alive as I stitch her.
I still have a way to go in finishing this chart and I hope to have her done soon…I would love to have her done by the end of the year but that might be dreaming in colour…if she had her way, she would be my exclusive stitch but she needs to have patience. Half the fun of having her done is in the doing! I think that when she is done, she will do Rachel and HAED proud.
just to show Sonya does finish some things she starts!! a lovely finish
Qs Autumn Winds stitched on 32 ct Fire Opalescent ( Sugar Maple Fabrics) 1×1
Artist .. Meredith Dillman also her full size charts