Thursday, March 16, 2006

a long row to sew

Three Little Words Part 1
Originally uploaded by vivienfrance.
I keep talking about this mysterious cross stitch project. But what is it, you may ask? (And if you don't, you may want to skip this post - no harm no foul!)

When I started doing research for a cross stitch project at the end of last year, I knew I wanted a sampler and I knew I wanted something a little different. After scouring the web, I came across Papillon Creations. When I read the background to this design, called Three Little Words, I knew I had to do it.

This sampler bases its roots in the French tradition of community clothes washing, believe it or not. Back in the day, French women did all their laundry at the community lavoir and to avoid getting their linens mixed up, they embroidered their family initials into the clothes. Some women began to collect the family designs on a marquoir to be used at a later date, and thus the French sampler was born. In this design, the famous little words - in French - are hidden in the piece.

This thing is so huge that I haven't even gotten to the alphabet (a traditional must in any sampler) yet! When finished, it will be 25 inches by 25 inches. Without exagerrating, I may finish it in time to have it framed for Christmas!

I almost didn't even make it as far as I have, thanks to the border on the upper left corner. I actually started it before Christmas, but I had so much trouble working on that one section, I put it away for almost a month. For every mistake I left in, there were two that I had to pull out. In the end, I decided to leave the mistakes there and just move on with the piece. I'm so glad I did, because now it's moving along just fine and I'm really enjoying it now!

So that's what I'm doing in the evenings, plugged into various radio stations on the computer and stitching away.

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