This is the story of a project started with good intentions, and then set aside and forgotten. We’ve all had those, haven’t we?
This particular project is a felted wool stitchery that depicts my mother’s house. I have no idea what inspired me to start this project 6 years ago, but it was going to be a Christmas present for my mother.
I took a photo of my mother’s 1920’s house…
and traced it off to get a line drawing.
Then, I set to cutting out all the felt pieces and stitching them down by hand. I’m a little (okay, a LOT) OCD and I’ve since learned that handwork is not good for me. My need for tiny and uniform stitches turns a simple project into drudgery. Like the blanket stitching on the side of the house. Because that would look nice. And I wanted the stitches tiny enough so they’d approximate the look of bricks. Ridiculousness.
And so I labored away, tiny stitch after tiny stitch. Then, when I was nearly finished I hit a snag that would require some ripping out and redoing. Christmas was the next day, so it clearly wasn’t going to get done.
So I set it aside. And found other projects. And got distracted.
And lost the house project.
The one my mother had been expecting – because I stupidly showed it to her one day – and the one with all those stupid tiny stitches. My mother mentioned it a couple of times over the years. I just kind of put her off with a vague answer. I’m pretty sure she knew it was lost.
And then when I was cleaning my studio this fall, I found the box with the project! Tucked away under a big ol’ pile of something. I still had the photograph, the traced image, the fabrics, the threads, everything I needed to complete the project all collected together in one box.
And so… this year, 6 years after I started it, I set to finishing this thing up. This time I didn’t say a word to my mother. I just ripped out what needed ripping out, replaced and reswed, and took care of business.
I’m not super happy with my stitching on the steps and grass. The stitches are NOT tiny and they’re NOT uniform. But, they do possess one important feature…
My imperfect stitches finished up the project, and I was able to wrap it up and give it to my mother Christmas day. 6 years after I started that project. She was thoroughly surprised and so pleased. I didn’t even attempt to iron the wrinkles out of the linen, and she still held it up like an heirloom.
Which sounds just about perfect to me.