Wednesday, April 25, 2007

My Oldest UFO...

Or, why I have an aversion to handwork. Over the past few weeks I've seen quite a few quilting bloggers post about their oldest UFO's. I have even commented on a few, with encouragement to finish them up. All the while my oldest project has been languishing in a trunk in my basement. While I only began quilting in the summer of 2001 (I had made a couple of one block "blankies" before then -- you know a single block of fabric sewn together with a nice fluffy polyester batting and tied with either yarn or Perle cotton? umm -- while nice enough in their own right, I'm not going to count those as "quilting" maybe as inspiration to make a "real" quilt, but not quilting as I now know it), I have been a crafter for many years. It's something of a family tradition. I am currently the only quilter, but we have knitters, embroiderers, cross stitchers, seamstresses, etc. Fiber arts are well represented as well as painting, decorating, etc. So, my oldest UFO is one that is PQ (pre-quilting) and has been hanging out for the past 11 years.

This one may also explain why I have mentioned here and other places why I am not all that enthusiastic about handwork and/or the color blue. It is a Mirabilia cross stitch pattern called "Mother's Arms" on linen. For those of you who do cross stitch, please don't ask me the gauge, as I really can't remember. Tiny. Small. Possibly smaller than my vision now wants to play with. If you click on the link on the title of the pattern you can see how terribly far I still have to go on this one. Despite the fact that I have worked on this one on and off for years, I tend to do so in spurts and it has never been systematic. I work for a bit, see how much more I have to do and then put it away.

Why did I even start it? Well...this is one of those projects that someone else saw, loved and said -- here's the stuff, do it for me. Normally, when people do that to me I kindly look at them, tell them I have no time, and say I would be happy to teach them how to do it themselves. Why not this time? Um...well, because said person was my mother (oh she of the fantastic Easter bunny presents), the same lady who made me my shiny blue fairy costume as a child, the same lady who helped me create my Rubik's cube costume (actually easier than the blue fairy), the same lady who TAUGHT ME how to do cross stitch. Yeah, that one. I can't say no to her. Just not possible. So -- this one will get done some day. I am thinking it may be a summer project to try and get more of it done. I'm thinking a Buffy-thon. I have all 7 seasons on DVD. An hour of vampire slayer fun, an hour of cross stitch (ok, or maybe 2 or 3). And if Buffy is not enough (and she probably won't be -- see all those blank spaces on the close-up? SOME of them get filled with floss, most will be filled with metallic thread and/or beading) there is always Angel. Maybe I should add this one to my list of UFOs to finish and stop calling it my "Lifetime Project." If anyone is interested, I will even post pictures of my progress (even though it is not a quilt project -- hey, there is a cross stitched quilt wrapped around the baby) although you may be disappointed that after several hours worth of work you will see a very tiny area completed.


On more sewing related topics -- dd's pants have two hems, some elastic and a couple of ties and they will be done. I'll get a photo when they are complete. Other than that -- I will be trying to post/read/comment over the next week but Mom (see above mention) will be here tomorrow for a visit and the computer room is also "her" room. I don't have a sewing room -- but we do have a room dedicated as a computer room/library/guest room. I am contemplating taking it over as my own domain -- but then where would dh go to play with things electronic? Hmmmn...something to think about.

12 comments:

Suzanne Earley said...

That is a beautiful piece. I've never done a Mirabilia pattern, but I have a number of angels from another designer whose name is escaping me. On the same line: large, very detailed. One is done, and at least 3 others are started. Not to mention the Paula Vaughn pieces that are partially done....and all of the other stuff that languishes in my cross-stitch box. Quilting has overwhelmed cross-stitch for the time being. Maybe someday.

Tracey @ozcountryquiltingmum said...

That's gorgeous, but I have a plan for when mum is here. You said mum taught you to cross stitch so she obviously could do it, tell her because it's all about the mother/child relationship you think it should be a collaborative project and then will mean more. Then hand it to her and say you have done your half!!! Works for me!
I tried cross stitch first but way too formal and prescriptive for me, I couldn't let myself just "create" so I haven't touched one for years, Tracey

KCQuilter said...

During the 80s I was a cross-stitching fool!!! I can remember many a night sitting up till 1 or 2 AM to just "finish one more row" and then getting up the next morning to face a classroom full of seven-year-olds LOL! My eyes don't like cross-stitch anymore (I always went for those itty-bitty counts of fabric) but I still love the look of it. I have found old-fashioned embroidery, crochet & knitting, and rughooking to be more my speed in the handsewing department. Can't wait to see the sewing project.

Linda said...

It is very pretty and yes so much detail,but will be gorgeous when it's finished. A bit like the one I have hiding in the sewing room of the Nativity.... I like Tracey's idea get your mum to help with it.

Samantha said...

That's quite a UFO- and a good reason for some couch potato time!

Feeling Simply Quilty said...

LOL! What's wrong with this picture? Buffython and cross stitch! I love it. The perfect combination I like!

YankeeQuilter said...

I had to put my nose to the screen to see those stitches! Beautiful. I don't have the eyesight or patience anymore for cross stitich - I love the look of it though! I like Tracey's idea...I used to do that with framing projects!

Tazzie said...

It looks really pretty, and you've done a great job. If it's for someone else and you're not into it anymore, maybe you could tell them your eyes aren't coping too well, and maybe they could find someone else to do it for them?
*hugs*
Tazzie
:-)

mereth said...

I tried one cross stitch project in my twenties and quickly decided it wasn't for me. It's amazing how many x-stitchers look at my patchwork and say "Oh, I haven't got the patience for that", and I feel exactly the same about their obsession. But it is lovely to look at.

gwen said...

I used to cross-stitch as well as a student and I made some samplers. I still have one burried somewhere half done! I think quilting much more inspiring those days. I can do my own thing, develop, change, etc. Maybe we will go back to cross-stitching when we don´t have any idea anymore!! I can´t see that happening in the near future though! Take care.

Tonya R said...

Lovely, but way too much work. I do love the idea of Buffy and Angel though - wish I could quilt and watch with you.

Are you a fan of Firefly as well? I loved the far too short series, but not the movie so much.

kristin La Flamme said...

7 seasons of Buffy got me through many late nights last year as I was making 12 quilts for my solo show. I'm sure she can get you through your cross stitch. I only had to resort to two seasons of Angel.