Tuesday, August 18, 2009

It Was My "10-Year Project"........

With every project I finish, I think to myself, "This one is the one I'm the proudest of." Whether it's the hardest or prettiest or most delicate thing I've ever created, the most recent one is my favorite.

The one I just finished, however, will more than likely hold the title forever.

There was a time when I thought I wouldn't finish it at all. It got too tedious, too detailed, too difficult. I put it away. For years.

I started doing counted cross-stitch when I was in college. I picked it up from a friend of mine, a lady who was my supervisor at my part-time job. If we went to the craft store and spent two hours buying supplies, it was okay to be late coming back from lunch, because I was with her.

I spent a lot of time in that store. And a lot of money I probably didn't have. But I suppose it was a rather harmless addiction, compared to what a lot of other folks in college were doing.

Fast forward a couple of years after I graduated from college. I was still cross-stitching.

When I went to buy the supplies for this particular project, the clerk's jaw dropped. She said, "Honey, I've had this design for months, and I've never sold one until today. Pregnancy must have done something to your brain."

Yes, I was pregnant. With Sweet Girl. Who is 25 years old.

I jokingly said to the clerk, "It's my 10-year project."

Joke's on me . . . . it became a 26-year project.

(Click on picture for larger view. I need to learn how to take pictures of things like this. Pioneer Woman could probably tell me.)

I'm not really a religious person, but I was intrigued by the detail in the cross-stitch pattern for DaVinci's The Last Supper.

I did each figure separately, and I've had all 13 of them done for years. When it came time to give them hair and hands and facial features and eyes and eyebrows, however, that's when I balked. The project got shoved to the back of the craft supplies drawer again and again. I kept promising myself I would finish it someday.

Sweet Girl started asking when I was going to finish it. She felt some connection to the project, having been there in utero when I started it.

I was afraid to wash it when I finished. Finally I ordered some special jelly-like substance that is supposedly used to treat rare and delicate textiles and paintings, and I washed it carefully. I just knew if the colors ran, or if one solitary stitch came out, I would be forced to slit my wrists.

Not really. I don't like pain. Or blood.

Or being overly dramatic.

I'm going to have it professionally framed, and frankly I don't care how much it costs to have it done. I will probably auction it off at the Nash Bash (our family reunion) next summer. If I can part with it.

Now there's hope for finishing my cathedral window quilt. Someday.

Perhaps it won't take 26 years.


frogger_blogger said...

It is breathtaking! Now I feel compelled to get my cathedral window quilt out of storage and complete it (not to mention the 3 other quilts I've begun). Congrats on a project well done.

Starry wonder said...

PLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAASSSSSSSSSSSEEEEEEEEE Don't auction it off, it's to nice to do that, and besides if you can part with it I want it, I don't want to let it go, I remember you doing the Gold thread in Italy...I want it if you don't!!

Julie said...

I don't see it in a frame yet, so the project is technically still, ahem... un-finished. Good thing I'm a long ways away and you can't poke me with any of your cross stitch needles, huh?

Anonymous said...

Don't you dare sell that thing!!!! If you do I'll be forced the auction off the PhD that will take me the same amount of time to finish!!!