A little while ago, I mentioned a drawer full of finished unfinished pieces / objects - FUFOs, as I've heard them called and it got me thinking about actually DOING something with them. Yes, many things I've stitched have been finished and given as gifts, but there are still many more languishing in a drawer in our guest room.
Some of those pieces were stitched by my husband. Technically, I'm not allowed to discuss his stitching, but I am going to ignore that "rule" because I'm quite proud of him. While most stitchers I know are women, there is a handful of men that stitch and my husband happens to be one of them. He does amazing work, and has patience for things I don't, such as massive projects. I might have even said before that he was the one that started us stitching as a way to curb our nighttime snacking habits. He figured we should do something to occupy our hands that wasn't conducive to snacking as well, and stitching fit the bill. We were living in an apartment at the time, and stitching didn't take up a whole lot of room. We started out with pre-packaged kits from places like AC Moore and Michaels, then discovered our LNS, The Strawberry Sampler, where we graduated to charts, overdyed threads, linens and evenweaves.
Since my husband will NEVER start a blog of his own, I'd like to showcase a few of his pieces on my blog. This is one of the first pieces he stitched, and here's a shocker for you - it's a lighthouse!
Stitched on 14 ct. Aida with included threads
Finished 2002 - Framed 2011
I should have taken a picture of the back of the piece, but didn't. I will say it's amazing how far we've both come with technique, especially carrying threads over the back of the fabric. See the whale and the ship off the stitched coastline? Mr. Sweet Pea used one long thread to stitch all of them, carrying the thread across the back. Yikes! We'd never do that now, especially on linen or evenweave. Fortunately, the thread did not show through the Aida fabric, so I let it go.
I did, however, restitch the outlining on the lighthouse. This was the original piece before framing:
See how the outlining on the lighthouse are long, somewhat loose threads? Even on the package photo, the outlining is done like this and at the time, we didn't know any better. But when I went to pull it out for framing, those long threads drove me NUTS and I had to pull them out and restitch the backstitching over single threads. It looks so much nicer, I think.
I should also confess at this point that we were not as careful with the fabrics as we are now. In fact, there might have been some *gasp* masking tape residue on the edges of the piece as we used regular old masking tape to prevent fraying. (I'll give you a minute to pick yourself up off the floor). And before you call the stitching police on me, we're much better now. Most pieces we stitch now are on custom cut pieces of fabric from my new LNS (is it still new after 2 years?) Just Crossstitch in Lederach, where Carolyn serges the edges. On fabric I cut myself, I use a fabric fray check and pinking sheers which works out fine.
But back to atoning for my previous sins. On one hand, the fabric under where the masking tape had been was clean. On the other, that stripe of clean, bright fabric around the edge made me realize how dirty the rest of the fabric was, even though I had washed the piece in cold water and Ivory dish soap before putting it away. I wanted to make sure the piece was as clean as possible before I framed it, but I had concerns about the red dye running. After a bit of google searching, however, I found that many stitchers agreed OxiClean was safe enough to use on stitching and could remove most stains, so off to the grocery store I went for a tub of OxiClean.
Lucky for me, it worked just fine, and I had no bleeding of the red dye. (YAY!) I was quite nervous but it all turned out in the end. The stains were gone and the piece looked much better. By the way, those aren't really stains in the second photo - that was actually a scan, so the blotchy areas are from the fabric not being perfectly flat on the scanner bed.
I have a few more pieces from my husband that I will be posting in the future, and I'm hoping to rescue even more FUFOs from the drawer.