The People Choose

Stitching Disasters!

I am linking up with Jo of Serendipitous Stitching for the final “Let the People Choose” of 2020. It is a tragi-comic theme this month…stitching disasters! I liked the questionnaire Jo included and it was fun to fill out. Stitching disasters are always horrifying in the moment, but for me, most of them are the kinds of problems you can chuckle about later. And most are learning experiences too. Don’t stitch too late at night. Measure twice, cut once. Don’t be afraid to put something down and walk away from it for a while to make a plan for how to address a problem. Counting accurately at the beginning is the best plan for success so invest the time to get the project started correctly! Don’t fudge unless you have a complete and total plan for the WHOLE of the fudge lest you make a little problem into a bigger one! And that is the lesson learned from my worst disaster. I do not have a picture of it because it was before my blogging days and I didn’t complete it. It was this piece, Best Friends from Janlynn:

I am not a gridder. I started in the middle with the arms and the blue dress. Somewhere, and in more than one place, I got “off” on that pink dress. I kept going thinking it would work out. But the dress folds and shadows just got more and more wrong. There was no shape to the dress at all. And finally there was no choice but to rip it out and start over. So I just gave up. I didn’t really love it in the first place. It was going to be a gift for someone representing 3 of us girlhood friends. But I also realized I was putting hours and hours into something I didn’t really enjoy and was going to have to stitch it twice under very frustrating circumstances, and worst of all, I knew it wasn’t really going to be appreciated either. (she was not a stitcher herself and would think it was a cute picture but not the labor of love it was going to be). I adopted the piece out to someone who hopefully cared to deal with it! Anyway it was no great loss to me. Giving the project away also lifted the guilt I felt over not finishing it which would have required a lot of frogging and figuring. Don’t worry, I did warn the recipient it was full of mistakes! But I think she just wanted the chart anyway!

Anyway here is my questionnaire. If you want to join in the fun or hear about other stitching disasters, there is still lots of time to join this SAL over at Jo’s blog. Have a great weekend!

1. Have you ever had Fabric too small? At what point did you realise? 

A: No, thank goodness! I’ve had some panic moments but it’s always worked out with enough to spare.

2. Have you had a Flossident? Coffee incident where you’ve dropped thy floss in your drink or colour run when washing 

A: When I was younger and still suffered from acne, I used a skin medication with benzol peroxide in it. I must have gotten some on my floss because when I washed the piece after it was all stitched, to my horror, a few small sections of the purple floss bleached white! I was able to pick it out and restitch, but I learned a lesson about that medication and washing my hands carefully before stitching!

3. Have you ever cut a hole in your fabric by accident?
A: I once tore a hole in some perforated paper of an almost-complete Mill Hill project. I was able to patch in a small piece of paper on the back side to hold it together and restitch the damaged area. Only I could tell. It was a pain but better than redoing the whole thing.

4. Have you ever ruined a chart, how?
A: Oh dear. Yes, regular readers will remember how I had a chart fall in the pool last summer. But it wasn’t destroyed and I could finish my project. For bigger, longer projects I make a working copy. An sadly I had an OOP Just Nan chart peed on by a bad cat in my household (not Kiwi). I got lucky and was able to replace it from eBay-the charm for this design was what made this expensive so finding just a chart to replace was not terrible as the charm was not ruined.


5. Have you ever brought a chart twice?
A: Yes, a couple times! Oops!


6. Have you had a bad ffo? Was it salvageable?
A: Yes. I had a bad heart finish where the fabric frayed down into the stitched area where it should not have. It was barely salvageable. I had a lot of fiddly hand sewing to fix it up.


7. Are you a Floss licker? 

A: A little when I can’t thread my needle any other way.

8. Do you follow the chart for back stitch or wing it?

A: I avoid backstitch! When I need to backstitch I follow the chart as well as I can.

9. Used scissors for something other than fabric or floss
A: When we were travelling in Australia last July, a string on our laundry bag got all wrapped around the wheel of our stroller. It was a horrible nightmare tangle, the wheel wouldn’t roll, and we were in a hurry. I had to sacrifice my Bohin stork scissors to the cause, and they were totally ruined. I am still sad about it because they were a new, but vintage, pair when I bought them in the first place and very good-my best scissors for hardanger-and I feel like the ones I bought to replace them just are not manufactured as well.  That teaches me to travel with favorite scissors!

10. Put your Needle in mouth or clothes instead of needleminder?
A: Yes. But less now since I’ve heard a story of a lady who swallowed her needle. Ouch! I often stitch late at night. I couldn’t afford an emergency room visit at 1am for something like that! I would NEVER live it down.


11. Eating whilst stitching?
A: Never! I was shocked when I went to my first class and saw they were serving food in the room! And that people had plates of CAKE WITH STRAWBERRY SAUCE by their stitching. Oh my. I am still shocked thinking about it! If I snack around my stitching time it is always before I get out the stitching, then wash hands and get rid of the plate, and then start stitching. (Did I have that cake? Yes. Yes I did. And it was very delicious! But I stood in the corner of the room with my plate of cake and ate it up quickly and got back to my work!)


12. Done a thread conversion, not written it down and then forgotten what colour was for where.
A: No. I don’t think this has happened to me. I’ve had plenty of other floss mix ups with unlabeled flosses in kits that I sort incorrectly.


13. Have you ever mislaid a cross stitch piece? Did you find it and if so where did you put it for safe keeping?
A:  Yes! But more often, parts of kits. I put the finishing materials away in a “safe” place and then can’t find them. These things are always found in a random drawer, a shopping bag, up high on a shelf or on top of some furniture where the kids won’t get into it. Now I have a solution-a box for finishing necessities for pieces I’m working on so when something is done I can find the rest of the kit.

14. Have you ever underplayed your recent stash purchases?
A:  Ummm….yes. Lots of justification and account avoidance going on over here.


15. Have you ever avoided counting your wips because you’re afraid of the number
A: No, I’m pretty sure there are less than 20 and that seems safe to me. My number of WIPS is not an embarrassment to me at all!


16. Have you found things in your stash you forgot you had.
A: Yes, all the time. It’s like Christmas when it’s something really good!


17. Orientated fabric wrong when starting?

A: Yes but it worked out because I had enough space. A bigger annoyance has been misjudging the size of a project and starting it in the corner in such a way that there is a lot of leftover fabric around edge but not quite enough to use for another project-if I had oriented the project more economically I would have had enough left over to stitch something else!

3 thoughts on “The People Choose

  1. Thanks for taking part in The People’s Choice this month. It’s really interesting to read all the answers. I would definitely have given up on the picture too. It’s rare that I don’t enjoy a project but I am happy to call a halt to one if I lose interest.
    Wasting fabric is my weak point too, I always keep margins to a minimum!

Leave a Reply to Mary-Le Coeur Celtique Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *