Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Why Cross-stitch is Out

In my introductory post, I explained that I was cleaning and re-organizing my crafters stash, both because I promised my husband, and because I knew that I just had so many UFOs that I would soon be buried under them if I didn't get a bit of control immediately. Plus, the more the stash grow, the more I have to pack and move, and with an impending move, that is a sad, scary thought.

So which craft do I give up? Quilting/sewing? No. It tickles my fancy in so many ways, allows me to play with colors and patterns in a unique way, can be both machine and hand-created, and mom gave me a sewing machine. Scrap-booking? Never. First of all, I have TOO many supplies invested already, and they are not things you can typically pass on to someone else, because each one is so specific to you and your stories. Secondly, I have a nice camera, and have not yet started having children, and know I will be taking pictures when I do, so I will have hundreds of potential scrapbook pages. Crochet? Maybe. It takes a long time, I usually make baby blankets, which use little stitches or hundreds of small shapes sewn together, and if I keep the quilting, I can make baby quilts. My eventual plan there is to try to finish off the yarn I currently have, then give the rest to a knitting grandmother. Cross-stitch? Hmmm....

This poses some possibility. I have a 3 gallon Rubbermaid tote full of supplies. Two boxes of floss, all wrapped around those cards, organized correctly. At least 7 books of patterns. And 6 incomplete projects. I also have a friend who also cross-stitches, and she would love to receive a box of already wrapped and organized floss, and pattern books. We've already discussed this, and she is eagerly anticipating new patterns. (Which will be in the mail this weekend, I promise!)

So I pull out my things and decide to start with the oldest project and work forward. "Angel of the Garden" was started in 2002, or somewhere around there. Remember that project that was too badly smoke-damaged to be salvaged? Well, this is the angel I started on after that. Almost 3 years later. (I was a bit devastated by that loss) You will notice over the next few posts, especially once I figure out how to photograph cross-stitch to get the best detail, that there are several incomplete portions, and that is intentional. Her dress is white and iridescent. If I had put any white in up to this point, they would have turned gray and dingy over the last few years, sitting unattended. And while I worked, the oils on my hands would rub off, making it worse. White will be last.

This is why I am getting rid of cross-stitch: it takes FOREVER to complete even a 3"x4" area. And I thought crochet was slow. This is what she looked like Monday morning at 9:00 am. I get to work on crafts while the baby I nanny for sleeps, so approximately 3-4 hours a day. Today, at 5:00 pm, when I left, after logging 7 hours on this project between yesterday and today, all I can truly say I have accomplished is... ...a halo? Some flowers? Her head? And that was 7 HOURS!!

So, long story short, I will be cross-stitching until I die. Or it feels that way at least. In an effort to make updates more interesting, and to keep ME interested, I am going to rotate between the 6 patterns I need to complete. Set a small goal per project, meet it, change projects, and continue. And work on smaller projects of other genres at home. All in an effort to eradicate UFOs.


  1. This is nutso!! I have been fighting the urge to toss out the cross stitches! I really love the classic-ness of a cross stitch, then I have this small family tie that my mom made me a cross-stitch of my birth record when she was preggo with me...so in turn I did it with my first born. But with babies dos and tres I really don't have the extra hours, but how do I deny them! So I have it all in a box and think about it regularly!! Then to top it off my oldest asks me "mom when can I take that off my wall...it's for babies" What do I do with that!!! Oh well, I'm excited for you to cut ties!!

  2. I tried cross stitch too. I like embroidery a little better because you can cover ground more quickly, but it's still tedious to me. But... do what makes you happy. Maybe that means some cross-stitch from time to time! (But... 7 hours! Wow!) :) Susan