Thursday, October 11, 2012

Putting the craziness out there for the world to see...

If you have been a long-time reader of this blog, or even a short time, I guess, you will know that my mind flits from one thing to another to another to another, especially with needlework.  One day it's cross stitch, then it's needlepoint, then it's back to cross stitch, but, oh, wait, now it's needlepoint.  And I stopped the other day and pondered as to why this is so.  So many of you seem very grounded in either cross stitch or needlepoint and actually stick to a project and finish it. 

And I have to say the constant back and forth in my brain is not what I want my hobby to be.  I have been doing needlepoint for a while, but am missing the ease of cross stitch.  What I really want is fabulous projects on my walls or in my scrapbook and to be happy about the choice of project, fabric/canvas, threads, all of it.  Is this asking too much?  I feel very schizophrenic with this hobby of mine most days. 

Do I use Q-snaps, stretcher bars?  Plain old DMC, overdyed threads, the multitude of items that are out there?  It truly is mind boggling when you think about it.

So, this morning I saw a post on Facebook from Down Sunshine Lane about the free pattern from Kit & Bixby available on the Hoffman Distributing site for Halloween and I decided to go look at it.  I took a break from work and went to AC Moore and bought the DMC floss called for and some plain white Aida.  YES, Aida! 

I have also flitted back and forth many, many times between Jobelan, Jubilee, linen, 28 count linen, 32 count linen, 40 count linen.  You name it, I have tried it.  I sometimes think I am looking for perfection here.  Like pieces of a puzzle fitting into place.  It's like I don't want to think too much about it all, just make beautiful things. 

So, I have done about nine stitches and am liking it so far.  Believe it or not I put the Aida on stretcher bars.  The mini stretcher bars are so much lighter than Q-snaps, and I can put the whole thing on my Needlework 4 stand if I want to.  I am using three strands on the 14 count Aida, as it seems to give good coverage, as I am using black DMC at the moment. 

But do any of you feel this craziness I do on a seemingly daily basis?  Do any of you still stitch on Aida?  I feel as though I am going back to the basics.  Simple.  At the beginning of every year I say this will be the year.  I will fill my walls, fill my scrapbook, complete more than two projects, and it does not seem to happen. 

And I know many of you may say you just need to relax, have fun with the hobby.  Well, my craziness has cost me more money in fabric, patterns, projects than I would care to admit to anyone.  I guess I am just looking to see that I am not alone in this madness, and that there is hope for me yet to calm it down.

So, give me your thoughts, insights, experiences.  No holds barred, people.  I am looking for the outrageous, the outlandish, things you never thought you would tell anyone you have done or thought about this hobby of ours, this wonderful thing that comes out of fabric and thread and a needle.  So, lay it on me.

P.S.  Not related to cross stitch at all, but I watched the most disturbing movie the other night, Chained.  I was physically sick to my stomach at the beginning, and then it was like watching a car accident.  I couldn't look away.  Have any of you seen this movie??  Not for the faint of heart. 


cucki said...

Oh dear My mind wander here and there day I am doing cross stitch then other day I am doing embroidery:)
Hugs xxx

Melody said...

Girl, you have hit the nail on the head with the 'madness' part!! I used to feel exactly the same way about what to stitch, how to stitch it, what floss/fabric/embellishments to use. Then one day I had a bit of an epiphany...this isn't high school and I don't have to keep worrying about what OTHER people are doing or what 'they' might think of my project/speed/skill/kitting choices, etc. In a twisted sort of way, I think I was trying to pick projects and necessities that would 'fit in' with what everyone else seemed to be doing. If they're doing a Halloween ornament, am I crazy to be stitching a Valentine pillow? If everyone else is stitching on linen, am I an amateur for still using Aida? Finally, I decided to stitch for myself...whatever I wanted, regardless of the time of year, and on whatever fabric I wanted with the kind of floss I wanted. Since then, my stitching thoughts are much less hectic and my progress speaks for itself. It's almost as if I decided to stop trying to 'fit in'. This may not be remotely close to what you're describing, but maybe it'll help you in some way. Good Luck!!

SoCal Debbie said...

I've been happily building up my stash but I'm sticking to plain old cross stitching. I haven't tried any of the fancy stitches. I do feel guilty about buying lots of specialty floss and beads for two Mystery SALs when I didn't even know what the picture would look like when it's done. I feel like such a follower, jumping off a cliff with everyone else! But I love it!

No, I haven't seen that movie, but thanks for the warning.

Could you post a link to the Kit & Bixby free design? I'm looking all over the Hoffman site and can't find it.

April said...

I catch myself sometimes seeing what everyone is stitching on and I like and buy the supplies, then and see something else I want to stitch and I buy those supplies.. It is a madness!! lol I like going back to aida sometimes and stitching. easy on the eyes and it does not get as wrinkled as Linen. I have bought a lot of aida in Halloween colors lately.. I just know I have an illness!! lol
Have fun stitching the Freebie! I have it in my stash basket to do before Halloween..

pandy said...

I use whatever I feel like using. :) I have Qsnaps, expensive Hardwicke Manor hoops, cheap plastic hoops. I use Linen, Jobelan, 14/16/18 count AIDA, 14 count plastic canvas, perforated paper. DMC, Crescent Colours, Threadworx.

I stitch for the sake of stitching, it seems. My finished projects are then offered up on facebook for my friends to claim if they want it or not. I don't keep many of the things I make.

I found out really fast this year when I made my list of projects that most of them were for ~me~ and that bored me to tears. I don't like stitching for me, I like stitching for others, or as in the case right now, stitching what I like and then offering it up for a new home. :)

LoriU said...

All I know Danielle, is that because of seeing your BEAUTIFUL Mirabilia stitching several years back, I stitched my own Mira. So far I have only stitched that one but I thought of you constantly during the stitching of her.

I do love cross stitch, but I also love to scrapbook photos. So I go back and forth between those hobbies. Oh and baking . I love to bake too. Mainly cookies. And read. I love to read. Trashy romance novels. So yes, I understand how you feel flitting from one thing to another!!

Tracy J said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Needlework: The constant thread said...


This all sounds so familiar for many of us I'm sure! Just enjoy the moment~

Adria said...

I too go back and forth from needlepoint to cross stitch. I took some classes at my LNS and have a ton of canvases and threads. Then about 8 years ago I started doing just cross stitch on aida, then jobelan, but never linen. Then just linen. My stash (including charts and fabric and threads for each) and WIPs grew. Then this year my friend asked me to join my local American Needlepoint Guild, so back to needlepoint I went. Got some painted canvases, some counted needlepoint canvases. Of course, I got all the threads and stuff for each. I now go back and forth from counted and painted needlepoint to cross stitch, depending on my mood.

(I do clean out patterns and canvases on a periodic basis so I don't feel so guilty about buying new!!!)

I think all stitchers go back and forth so they don't get bored. I don't worry about who likes or don't likes what I do, I enjoy it and to me that is all that matters. (My husband loves my work, also, so that is a good thing!) I enjoy being around other stitchers because we all speak the same language and have similar interests.

So don't worry about going back and forth and using different threads and fabrics, we all do it. I would't want to be associated with any other group of people.

Kate said...

I've just found your blog. Over the years I've gone from cross stitching to quilting and back again. I use Aida, linen and evenweave, dmc, speciality threads and silk. I've had big projects I've been working on for years, while others have been finished within weeks. Sometimes family commitments mean I don't get to stitch for long periods of time.
If I wasn't buying stash I would be spending my money on something else. I'm doing what I enjoy where I am in life now, and if that changes at a future time that's ok with me.

Denise said...

Gotta question...what happened to selling all of your stash and sticking to one project at a time? Didn't you go through this last year?

We all go through this - are we doing this right? You make amazing projects and inspire those who read your blog. Don't get stuck in the decisions - just do one stitch at a time. We love you regardless of the project.

Anonymous said...

Hi. I am visiting your blog for the first time through a link on Tracy's blog. I have been a stitcher for about 24 years. I LOVE Mirabilia patterns and have stitched many over the years. I got into cross stitching because I saw a friend stitching and wanted to learn. When I went to the LNS I fell in love with a Mirabilia pattern and have been ever since. I don't like the cutsey things, but will stitch them for someone that I know will enjoy it. I love cross stitch and sometimes wish I could stitch 24/7. You need to stitch for you. Not for those who read your blog. You will never please everyone with everything that you do. That goes for whatever you do in life. Relax and have fun with your hobby/hobbies. Do what you want in the moment you want to do it. I stitch on 16ct Aida 90% of the time. It's what I love the most. I also use stretcher bars 95% of the time. When I stitch a small piece or on an afghan, I use a hoop. I have a Q-snap, but haven't used it yet. I am comfortable with my aida and my stretcher bars. But if I want to venture out from that, I can. If I want to use dyed threads instead of DMC floss, I can. Why? Because it's my project and I can do what I want-for me. I have hundreds of projects kitted and ready to go. Why? Because I love it and will get to it some day. I also stamp, scrapbook, knit and sew, but Cross Stitch is my passion and can't imagine my life without it. I hope you find your way in all the craziness that a hobby can bring.

Marjorie said...

I would say don't worry and just do what makes you happy at the moment. I discovered crochet over the summer and while I had done cross stitch for about 25 years and still love it,I did not touch any of my projects for months, because I just wanted to crochet. Just recently I have been picking up cross stitch again, but will no doubt go on a crochet bender again in the near future. I don't feel guilty about leaving one or the other hobby sit idle for a while.

Carolyn @ The Baseball Stitcher said...

I have been there too! I have learned so many hobbies and various skills throughout my life and tend to flit from one to another quite easily. I usually learn all there is to know about something and stick with it for awhile – and then get bored and move onto something else. The three things I have enjoyed the most were cross-stitching, quilting and making handmade soap. After years of not stitching, I got rid of everything. Now I regret that! Last year, I gave away sooooo much fabric and quilting things because I decided I was done. Hope I don’t regret that. My soaping supplies I have held onto.

There was a time I felt that I needed to be doing MORE with cross stitch. I felt like I was such an amateur compared to the other women in the store who stitched on anything BUT aida. Looking back, it was the beginning of the end for me at that time.

Now I’m restarting my love for stitching and plan to do what I want to do. Stitch on whatever I feel like stitching on and I’m not going to take on projects I KNOW I cannot finish or that I’ll get bored of.

You are not alone in the madness!

Rhona said...

I think most stitchers go through these feelings at some point in time. I have learned that life is too short to be doing what you think other people want or expect - do what you love to do!
I'm an aida stitcher - I love the look of linen etc, but I 'm just not that good at stitching on it, so I have accepted that fact and stitch on aida. (That's not to say that at some point in the future I won't stitch on other fabrics!)
Anyway, enjoy your hobby and do what you feel most comfortable working on.

Jo who can't think of a clever nickname said...

I quite agree with everyone!

I personally prefer higher counts of evenweave or linen with 32 being my all tiem favourite. But aida has its place and is great for cards and the hand-coloured pieces I love.

I also love variegated threads but find that silks and some of the specialist threads the Americans rave about are just too expensive in the UK to justify their use.

I do prefer to be a OAAT stitcher but get led astray by SALs. Next year I plan to rotate my four main pieces until I finish one because it is depressing having a lovely project sitting there unstitched due to obligation stitching.

I prefer larger projects but have so many more smalls completed this year, that's because the Small Boy has decided evening sleeping is not for him so I can't stitch anything large, precious or complicated when he's around!

Jeanne said...

I found your blog through a link from Tracey's. I can totally relate to what you're saying. I started stitching over 30 yrs ago...then in the early 90's I got into quilting and that took over as my passion for about 10 yrs. Around 2000 I accidentally stumbled on a cross-stitch Yahoo group...and the rest is history...I got back into stitching big time and haven't stopped since. I still quilt but it's taken 2nd place to my stitching. What I believe has really driven me to the point of "crazy" is being online. It's the constant source of new things you think you "have" to have, seeing other people's great projects that you want to do, plus I find it hard not to compare myself to others. How is everyone getting so much time to finish all these projects?? I know I shouldn't compare myself but I do...and sometimes feel I don't want to blog anymore either because I can't "keep up" with others. I was a lot more at peace with my hobbies when I wasn't spending time online for some reason. You can tell yourself over and over not to worry about all this stuff and relax and enjoy what you like because it's only a hobby, but it's not always easy to do. I have enough stash for a few more lifetimes and that stresses me out too because at the rate I'm finishing projects per year, it will take me about 40 more years to get through what I already have! Maybe we all need an intervention specialist LOL.

Suzanne said...

We stitch because it's fun and we love it...your stuff is great!

What I did once with a piece of cross-stitch that had a large area of dark thread on light fabric was to lightly baste a thin piece of dark fabric on the back after I finished seemed to help because sometimes it's mostly light showing through and not necessarily white canvas threads. If your coverage is good, then probably you are the only person who would notice the light canvas showing. I know that sounds cliche and I hate even saying...LOL.

Keep stitching!

Stitchy Mc Floss said...

I had to smile when you asked if any one else out there was always changing between projects and crafts....why yes, I do.

I crochet, knit, cross stitch and needlepoint and once in a while I'll even do punch needle embroidery. I've learned to just go with the flow. To me it's not the craft, it's the project. If I fall in love with something enough to want to make it, I just do what ever craft it is.

I use to feel bad because I could not settle down and do just one craft, I was telling my tale of woe to my Hubby one day about this and he said to me, "Isn't it much better to be able to do more than just one thing?" After that I have no looked back once.

Just do what feels normal to you and don't compare yourself with others...because after all you are an original and not a copy! :)

Blessings always