Yesterday I stitched the last little cross in a piece I was making for my daughter’s 21st birthday.
It had been three years in the making, most of that stored in a bag in the lounge. The project seemed too daunting to start. But I was determined I would get it done. A few false starts in spring saw a little progress. But by October I realised I needed a plan.
One hour a day, at least five days a week, I would sit on my bed and stitch. I had to sit on my bed as I could use the bedside lamp to shine directly onto the fabric. One of the reasons I had been finding it so hard to do was I could no longer sit downstairs in the lounge at night and stitch whilst watching TV. My eyes are too old! I also was trying to do it secretly, without juliet knowing. Though I am sure she does – she is her mother’s daughter and incredibly nosey!
And slowly I made relentless forward progress. Mmmm, that sounds familar. Yet another facet of my life which is directly related to marathon running. I had a plan (one hour a day) and a training programme (the pattern for my project) but it was up to me to make it happen.
Like a lot of things in life, mistakes were made. Some required unpicking. Some were put in the “don’t sweat the small stuff”. Afterall the piece I was stitching is headed “Words of Wisdom from your Mom”. What better advice to my daughter could I give than that.
With Christmas and summer holidays looming, it was going to be touch and go if I would finish it in time. I worked on the more complicated portions aiming to get them all done before Christmas, leaving just the top and bottom phrases to complete while away.
Our first week of holidays was at Lake Rotoiti. New Zealand was stuck under multiple winter weather systems. The upside of this was I could happily stitch away all day, as Juliet had chosen to stay home in Christchurch. Actually when asked if she would like to come away she said, “Let me consider that. A week in a small house with old people and two smelly boys, or a week in an empty house with two cats and just me?”
Yesterday I completed it. All it needs now is to be washed, pressed and framed.
And yes, laying it out flat on the floor was definitely a Wow moment. I felt accomplished. Pride. Pleased.
The weirdest thing about cross-stitch is it really is an unlikely thing for me to do. But I love the feeling of creating something out of nothing, of watching a blank canvas fill with my work. It probably is a bit like a puzzle, all the counting squares and matching dots and squiggles.
But it definitely fulfills my need to be creative. The past decade or so this need had been supressed. By life, circumstances and desire. And it showed. But already I have a few other projects in mind ….
Cover photo: Juliet and her mum, Paris 2012 – a rare mother and daughter photo.