I often make samples, as you know – but quite often I change my mind and deviate from the general plan I had when I started something. It was therefore very reassuring to find myself reading these few words written just on five years ago by Penny Berens of tanglewoodthreads.blogspot.com , whose work I greatly admire… “Of course, as usual, before trusting my thoughts/ I did try out other background stitches./ It seems I often do that before settling!” I could have written them myself, because I am at exactly this stage with the new work I have started using the strips of strips I’ve recently assembled and fitting them into my vague diagram/plan.
I’ve begun this work, but I haven’t yet ‘settled’ into it. With several interruptions, it’s been a broken week since I began cutting across the sets of misty-fuse back strips and starting to sew them down. Two steps forward, one step back – to date I have undone and re-done differently nearly all the stitching I did so far!
I’ve now decided to undo and completely eliminate another, striking, feature of the work, about 1m of intertwined ‘ribbons’ stitched in this manner. This did take quite a while to do, but because it now seems quite wrong and it will have to go too!
I don’t find this a problem, at all, and yet there would be many who don’t understand this approach, and even the late great Constance Howard advised not unpicking anything, but to find something more to sew over it. I’ve occasionally taken that advice, but with due respect Constance, in this particular case that just won’t do. I feel that even when I have started on this work with a general idea, as I’m still fairly close to the start, it is worth considering options, other possibilities, to make sure I’m settling in a way that pleases me, because when I do find that sweet spot, I know I will go forward and finish the work. And, to back me up on this, I have very few unfinished works around me at any one time.
Sample note – one image in that blog post contains areas of stitch filling of cross stitches, ‘plus’ signs – and although it might just be the light and time of day in her part of the world, March in Canada – it looks to me as if many of those crosses sit on a slight, vague, bit of colour in the background – I need to make a sample to explore this interesting possible look.