Monday, August 31, 2015

WIPocalypse 2015 – August

This month's topic: Pick one of the WIP pieces you’ve stitched on this month, and tell us about your stitching journey with the piece. This is kind of hard since, except for two projects, most of my WIPs are less than a year old. So I guess I'll talk about the piece that I fell in love with and inspired me to start stitching: Peacock Tapestry.

Once I graduated university and started working, this was in 2008-2009, I found myself with a lot of free time. So much that I had a hard time sleeping (not kidding about this). So I decided look into the things I've always wanted to do but had zero time for while I was a student, which was embroidery. I took a look online for a nice kit to start with and I stumbled on Peacock Tapestry. The kit was obviously discontinued at that time and there was no pattern available. So I put it aside in my mind (this was before Pinterest) and moved on to other projects.

Around 2012, I discovered I could buy stash on eBay. That was the best and worst discovery ever! I spent a lot of money on there before the shipping costs became impossible and I stopped. Anyways, I found a few unopened kits of Peacock Tapestry, but they were going for prices like 79$ and above (I'm crazy but not that crazy). Anyways, one day a seller was offering the pattern from the kit and I jumped on it immediately. 7 months later I found another seller destashing and was offering all the materials for Peacock Tapestry (score!).

I didn't start stitching until 2013, because I was still stitching Castle in the Air and I wanted to do some research on TW designs before I started. So for about 8 months, I was haunting the TW forums reading everything I could find about organizing the project, griding, stitching with metallic and blended thread, what are the best ways to start stitching, the curse of the unfinished borders, going blind reading hand drawn patterns,... Why did I do that? Because Peacock Tapestry was my dream project and I didn't want it to end up on the back burner because I got bored or stuck.

So in the end, this piece also became a learning experience. I learned:

  • I love Teresa Wentzler's designs
  • Always stitch borders first (I know it's boring, but you'll thank me in the end) 
  • I hate backstitching leaves (so long and boring)
  • Flat needle minders are awesome to line up pre-threaded needles
  • Use cardboard bobbins to store blended threads and mark them with the symbol from the pattern
  • When stitching a TW tackle it as modules with specific goals in mind. That doesn't mean set a date (although that could help some people), but divide the pattern in sections that are not so huge you feel overwhelmed and not too small you can finish it in less than a week. That way when you reach you're goal it feels like a finish. 

So onto my WIPocalypse update. Still nothing on Bramble and the Rose (starting to feel guilty about this one).

No Update
Ink Circles - The Bramble and the Rose

Since Tree of Hope is still on my frame, it gets a lot of my attention when I spend my time in doors. The maiden on the left and the tree root is almost done except for the hand dyed thread. I do admit to avoiding them right now, so I started the dress of the other maiden.

I had to take Tree of Hope off my frame for another project, so I took the opportunity to take a full sized picture.

Mirabilia - Tree of Hope

I still haven't touched Tracery Dragons.

No Update
Teresa Wentzler - Tracery Dragons

For the first time in months I didn't put in a single stitch on Fantasy Lace. I could blame it on the weather being too nice but that would be lying. This is what I call my movie night in the basement piece, but we haven't had a movie night in a while so it lays in it's box untouched.

No Update
Satin Stitches - Donna's Fantasy Lace

My schwalm piece Eidelweiss is finished! I completed it this Friday and wanted to take a nice picture before posting it online. Which is why my post is so late. Even better I finished it the same day I received the next issue of Inspirations Magazine.

Deborah Love - Eidelweiss
I've already filled it's spot with another project :P I'll post pictures of it later.


  1. Dima love your background history on peacock tapestry. It's fun learning how a pattern/project evolves in a stitcher's hands. I am so jealous of edelweiss, you do such beautiful cutwork. I on the other hand will probably never get up enough nerve to try it.

    1. I was scared as well at the beginning. The best way to overcome it: pick a small project and tell yourself if you ruin it, it's okay because it's just a practice piece. That's the only way :) Also very good lighting and super fine/pointy scissors.

  2. That's a lot of planning, and a lot of progress - well done!

  3. Thanks for sharing your story about Peacock Tapestry. It's really interesting to read about how projects came to be. One of my very first finishes when I started stitching over 25 years ago was a Teresa Wentzler - a castle with courtly figures under it. It was stitched on linen/evenweave, with blended threads and metallics. I didn't realise that it was supposed to be difficult and just stitched it! I don't think I would even attempt it now...