Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Hose it into the Ditch

Hello out there! It seems that I'm on a once-per-month blogging schedule. I'd like to kick that up a notch or two, but my follow-through never catches up with my intentions. Well, at least I'm stitching so it could be worse - no stitching AND no blogging would be the pits!

When last we spoke I mentioned the Dutch Treat table topper that I finished in March. I started the project in 2006 as a gift for Ruth, my mother-in-law. She loves little white churches, so I chose the design "Scenes from Yesteryear" and then took a few liberties with it. The village in the chart only has one church, so I morphed the little school house into a church. OK, so it looks like a school with a cross on the roof. Whatever. Here is how it turned out.

This project was fraught with disaster, peril and other bad things. If it could go wrong, it went wrong. Right off the bat I discovered that no matter how hard I twisted the q-snaps, I couldn't get the table topper fabric tight enough to suit me. I like the fabric tight enough that you can bounce a quarter on it. Like a bed at military school or boot camp. The fabric has to be tight in the q-snaps. That's Tight with a capital T.

So the perle cotton slipped and slid on the fabric and inspired me say bad words. (Just kidding, Mom!) (Just kidding, Ruth!) After finishing several squares I though maybe I should work on the border as I went along. That's when I discovered that the table topper was cut short, and there wasn't enough fabric to stitch the border on one side. Thank-you-ever-so-much to the cross stitch shop that sold me the fabric. The shop is now out of business and shall remain nameless. I am still bitter.

At that point I put the project away. I just couldn't look at it any more. The fabric sucked and there wasn't enough of it. The stitching didn't look so great either. Ick!

Fast forward to this year. I made up an acronym for 2008; NAY = "Not Another Year." I had a stitching basket full of WIPs (some would say UFOs) that needed to either get finished or go away. I was not going to hold them over for another year. I was soooo tempted to make this particular project go away. In fact, I began to devise wicked ways to kill it! I'm here to tell you, that's that only thing that got me through.

In January I put "Scenes from Yesteryear" back in the q-snaps. Right from the beginning things went wrong. Suddenly the cat on the fence was in the wrong place. The tree was too close to the border. The church had too many windows. Mistake after mistake after mistake. Every time I made a mistake I gave myself permission to stop and destroy the project in some new and special way. Yet every single time I decided it wasn't worth it and I went on to stitch the next square or the next cat or the next tree. Whatever. In the end, this was my game plan:
  1. The project is on white fabric; toss a pot of coffee on it. Rub in coffee grounds.

  2. Let it dry with the coffee on it, all crusty and gross.

  3. Get out a razor (scissors would be too kind) and slice it to ribbons.

  4. Place the shredded fabric in the driveway.

  5. Drive the car over it several times. Be sure to get tire marks on it!

  6. Return the car to the safety of the garage.

  7. Gather the fabric scraps into a heap and set them on fire.

  8. Hose the ashes into the ditch.
I did not like this project. Luckily, Ruth *did* like it! She received it for her birthday in April. Thank goodness, she likes it in spite of the imperfections and, um, creative license I took with it. I hope you enjoy it Ruth! If it ever gives you any trouble, don't hesitate to back over it with your car!

Time to go through my fabric stash and weed out any bits of table topper fabric that might be lurking in there. Blech!


Linen Stitcher said...

Your post had me rolling on the floor laughing! Too, too funny!! As for "Dutch Treat," I can only say that you must have made a silk purse out of the proverbial sow's ear, because this looks great!! Unless you're a master of trick photography, you've made a great save with this project. It looks wonderful, and your MIL will surely treasure it, . . . especially without the tire tracks on it!

Anna van Schurman said...

Infrequent as your posts may be, they are worth waiting for! I think the project looks great, and I'm glad your MIL gets to enjoy it.

Kendra said...

Having been in the same situation where you want to completely mutilate a project and knowing that it's not a happy-happy-joy-joy kind of time, I couldn't help but to laugh at your very descriptive list of how you would destroy this piece if you could. I think every stitcher has been there at least once in his/her stitching career. :-)

All those problems aside, the table topper looks great! If there are tons of mistakes in it, I can't tell!

Myrna said...

No matter what, the project looks great! I find that I have to use a spring hoop on the Anne cloth to get it tight enough for me.

Your post was great..

And, thanks for stopping by my blog!

Taffy said...

Wow - - I am surprised you ever finished the project. Wow.

Lillie said...

LOL! So sorry that the piece caused so much trouble but it looks good and you've finished it.

Paisley said...

Too funny! I think most of us have wanted to inflict that sort of pain on a project at some point! Despite all the trouble, it looks fantastic!

Sonda in OR said...

OMG! You had me crackin' up! I don't know that I've ever had quite the problem piece (although my Snapperville came close) but I can certainly picture your frustration and sympathize. It came out looking good, though, and I'm sure MIL loves it.

staci said...

Too funny (sorry!) Despite all your pain and misery, it turned out wonderfully!!!

Sharon said...

Hi Chelle, that was too funny! Those were some very creative ways of killing off your project-I will keep them in mind.LOL I think it looks great and I have to commend you on finishing it-because it's all too easy to give up sometimes.

Lelia said...

LOL!!! LOL!!! What a hoot : )

Honestly, I luv the TT, too.

btw, I finally saw a picture of the La D Da class piece. Very cute. It is a pincushion [I think] rectangular. Has blue lettering and pink flowers. I forget what the saying was!!! I'm looking forward to the class tho

Tessa said...

You know, I think it just looks great! and a big WELL DONE to you for perservering and finishing the task. I am glad Ruth likes it - it must feel good to have it out of your life and living with someone who likes it!!!

Maddie Can Fly said...

Good to "see" you again. I think you're too hard on yourself - the Dutch Treat looks great, your MIL loves it and best of all, it's out of your house (LOL)

Elisabeth Braun said...

The piece came out well!

I kinda envy your blogging/stitching problems as I seem to have no problem with regular blogging, but it's just having anything that folk are interested in to blog about that poses the problem!! I never seem to get much stitching done these days.....

Old Yankee Stitcher said...

Love this post, we have all been there. Or maybe we still have the project lurking in the house somewhere. One that the scissors are to good for, LOL. I personally have tossed a few truely offensive ones myself, but hung in there with a few too, don't ever mention "Fish Mola" to me. Not sure you want to hear this now, but a couple of small pieces of the rubbery open weave shelf liner you can buy works great to hold any fabric tight in your Q-Snap (place over the fabric and under the clamps). But keep the hose handy just in case. Hope you've moved on to something a lot more fun to stitch. CJ

Carolyn said...

WHAT A HOOT!!! I'm sorry you had so much trouble, but your post sure cracked me up. :) The finished results are gorgeous, and I'm sure Ruth will LOVE it. :)

Thanks again for the laugh.. I needed it.

Carolyn :)

Tobie said...

Chelle, where are you???