Friday, 6 July 2012

My guilty project (neé pleasure)

I'm certain I'm not the only stitcher/crafter to have a guilty project.   You know, the one you started with all the best intentions, were probably even pretty excited about (maybe, even, still are) but have never quite managed to get off the ground. 

Mine started when the 11 yr old was a 4 yr old.  She had just moved into her first big bed and I wanted to commemorate the moment.  The idea was to make what would (one day) be a panel for a quilt.  Based on a series of drawings by Jane Ray (worth a Google, her illustrations are extraordinary) it is a long panel (just over 3ft in width) showing a floor of a house, with three rooms: a sleeping girl in her bedroom, a central hallway, and a second room, home to our rocking horse (of which she is very fond) and our one pet at the time, Rascal the cat.  The idea was to combine embroidery and handsewn applique with some beading and possibly a little quilting too. 

(Double click for a larger image)
Not the most confident artist, it took months to decide on, redraw and then transpose the design onto some off-white cotton.  It then sat for a few more months whilst I tried to come up with a plan of what to do, before I finally made a move with the part that interested me most, the bed quilt.  So, the girl lies under a very pretty quilt, and not a great deal has happened since!  A couple of years ago there was a redesign of the hallway and second room to include more of the menagerie (a chook and Megs, if I remember rightly) but those drawings were packed away in the move... I'm not entirely sure where!  I've never quite figured out why it's taken so long to progress; I love the idea, like the design and would love to see it finished.  It's on a frame and cumbersome to work with, but that's no great excuse; perhaps it is just a little too intimidating, or time consuming, or easy to walk past tucked, as it is, next to the wardrobe. 

That said, in the absence of something to occupy me last night, I took it out again and actually made some progress, finishing off the embroidered bedding to the left of the quilt and starting on the end of the bed to the right.  But, now begins the long debate of what to do with her hair... I always envisaged a sea of French Knots, I don't know if I have the patience.

My little helper... hinderer ;o)
In all honesty, if I ever plan to finish it (current thinking is that if the 11 yr old is ever to see it finished, she would be married with children and I'd be finishing it for my granddaughter!) I may decide to take a panel out or separate them into smaller, more workable pieces.  However, at least it has seen the light of day again, and is making a serious bid for inclusion back in the to-do pile... in between the Elizabethan costume pieces that I still need to have finished for October that is.  Lets see if it's not another couple of years before I mention it again!

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