Sunday, February 13, 2011

Another piece escapes the FUFO drawer!

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!

Nautical Light by Creative Accents (Dimensions)
Stitched on 14 ct. Aida with included threads
Finished 2002 - Framed 2011

The project was in a kit in a standard 5x7 size, making it quite easy to frame with an 8x10 frame and 5x7 mat. This one will be going on display on our living room bookshelves.

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. Originally, the outlining on the lighthouse was done with 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.

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.


mainely stitching said...

It's wonderful, Jennifer!

As for tape, etc. we did what we did. Maybe it wasn't by the rule book, but we had fun - and that really is what it's all about, don't you agree?

Lesleyanne said...

A gorgeous finish by your husband. Look forward to seeing more.

Anonymous said...

I am shamed to say, I still use tape. I have always been afraid that anything else would lead to fray-age. Do you promise the fabric fray stuff works?

Carolyn NC said...

Lovely work by your DH - cool!

Blu said...

Gorgeous finish!

I used tape for ages. I stopped when I ran out of tape once and realized that the edges didn't really fray much without it.

Daniela said...

Your DH did some beautiful stitching on that Lighthouse.
Can't wait to see more of your FUFOs

Kathy A. said...

That is a lovely piece Jennifer. The redone backstitching makes it look so much better. That was a good choice.
It is beautiful framed and a wonderful keepsake. I look forward to seeing more of his work.

Carol said...

I think years ago everyone used tape on their edges--I know I did...

Your re-stitching on the backstitching looks great, Jennifer. Tell your husband he sure stitched a lovely lighthouse. Glad it is finally framed and on display in your home. I have way too many FUFOs myself!

Dianne said...

Your hubs is really "Mr Sweetpea", very relaxed and nice. I have met him. ; )
I think everyone grabbed masking tape at one point or another in their early days of stitching. This piece is stitched quite well and looks great in it's frame.
Oxyiclean works wonders! I need to clean my tan carpet with it next.

C in DC said...

Cute piece. Don't beat yourself up about the masking tape - I had some come in one of the kits once!

I'm in shock that you didn't have oxyclean on hand! Add a scoop to your laundry for getting out food stains and other baby grime. The spray works wonders too. The only thing it hasn't worked on was the toner ink from the copy machine at work.

Lynn said...

Your husband does gorgeous work!
I think we all made some of those mistakes when we first started out. I know I was guilty of the masking tape crime too.