Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Almost There

The last time I mentioned the runner, I was working on the center design needle painting. This past week I've come to the realization that I don't like to stitch under pressure. Particularly not with a technique I'm not completely comfortable with. As my deadline loomed nearer, I was getting more and more anxious to finish this piece in time for the exhibition.

I actually started to resent the piece and even setting myself small goals wasn't helping. My friend Carolyn told me something: this is not my livelihood but my pleasure. If I don't finish it in time for this year's exhibition it just means I'm ahead for next year's.

That really changed my perspective on the piece and took the pressure off. And the funny thing is, once that load was off things just went smoother. My goals last week was to finish at least two flowers. Not only did I finish the two flowers, but also the leaves...

...and another flower and more leaves.

Before I knew it, it was Sunday and I was starting the last flower.

It took all day, but I persevered and it's done.

What I learned from this experience? First, never put myself under this type of pressure for my hobby. Carolyn is right, this is not my living but a way for me to relax after a long day at work. Second, although I will eventually learn to master needlepainting (it's on the list!) I don't think I will ever enjoy it as much as I do something more technical like whitework. It feels too random for my tastes, all those stitches wildly stabbed into the fabric. I know that I can do it, just not with a deadline looming over my head.

Now that the hard part is done, I can go back to finishing the whitework. I already have a head start on the satin stitching. There is only a small side left to do. Afterward, all that's left is finishing the hem. I need to figure out if I should be washing and ironing before stitching the hem or after. Any hints?


  1. It's beautiful. I thoroughly understand the problem with "random". It's my least favorite word.

  2. It looks wonderful. I always remind myself that I am stitching for pleasure. I have no advice on the finishing part but look forward to seeing it completed.

  3. You did really well with the silk shading, Dima! Funny thing is, I am very organised but do like silk shading a lot. What I didn't like was the methodical row for row way the Chinese version works. LOL!

  4. It looks lovely Dima, and you should be proud of it! They are very pretty colours. Deadlines are funny things - sometimes they spur us on and other times they deter us. I'm with your friend - it is important to enjoy the activity!

  5. I agree about needle painting - with the proviso that it's not even on my list! - and even more about pressure. If you feel stressed by a deadline, I think it tightens everything up, and the stitching just doesn't "flow". I have no idea how to get around that, but if I ever find out, be sure I'll let you know!

  6. Wise words from Carolyn. This is our hoby, not our job. Your needlepainting looks gorgeous too.

  7. Your friend is very right, no use pressuring yourself like that! The result is stunningly beautiful though. I get what you're saying about enjoying 'less random' stitching more, I'm the same - but I kind of want to try the needlepainting now as well!