Monday, December 10, 2007

Stitching Tips and Sampler Stats

We've assembled some stitching tips and "272 Words" sampler stats; this page will be updated as questions arise. This page was updated on December 10, 2009.

~ TECHNIQUE: Technically, this is a very simple stitching project. The pattern calls for full cross stitches only. No backstitching, French Knots or Algerian Eyelets. Nothing fancy. Just plain old vanilla -- full cross stitches. The real challenge, I think, is endurance -- the time involved in stitching a piece that's 349w x 375h . . . roughly 22" wide and 24" high. As Steven Wright says: "Everywhere is within walking distance . . . if you have the time." I am reminded of how Yo Yo Ma first learned the Bach Cello Suites; his father instructed him to learn one measure per day. One measure! A measure here, a measure there -- after a few months, you've got a Gigue and a Courante under your fingers. So to with stitching . . . a word or two per day . . . in a few months you'll have the Gettysburg Address on linen. (Of course, we stitchers know that we can't restrict ourselves to merely one word a day . . . stitching is too darn fun!)

~ FABRIC:  32-count Lambswool linen from Wichelt

~ MODEL: The model is stitched entirely in colors from The Gentle Art, using two strands over two threads. DMC equivalents are provided in the chart, but (using Mad Men marketing parlance) "results may vary" if the piece is stitched with DMC only, or a GAST/DMC combo.

~ THREADS: The colors are largely localized, with GAST Nutmeg the color of Lincoln's words. The "Gettysburg" caption part is stitched in green (Chives). The chart calls for 10 skeins of Nutmeg (I used 5-yd. skeins). This is a generous skein count -- allowing for frogging and adjustments for variance in overdyed thread color values. I used the darker parts of the Nutmeg skeins for the capital letters, as a way to accentuate the beginnings of the sentences . . . especially the opening words, and important capitalized words like "Liberty" and "God."

~ STARS: The 50 red and blue stars (stitched in Mulberry and Freedom) contain no political message in terms of red and blue states. The aim was to have "ABRAHAM LINCOLN" stitched in an "Chief Executive" blue (GA Freedom) -- suggestive of The Presidential Seal. The two stars on either side of his name are in Mulberry, to offset the blue. There's no doubt that our 50-state complement was made possible by Lincoln's preservation of the Union. Each of the 50 stars in the sampler is identical in size; the entire complement is included to show strength in numbers. Again, inspired by the Presidential Seal with its 50 white stars in a circular pattern.

Info updated on 12/10/09

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