This post is all about an x-rated cross stitch photo. Did you get the joke? I mean really… x-rated, cross stitch, x-stitch, backside. Slapping your knee yet? Last week my post about getting back into cross stitch inspired an interesting — and humorous — conversation about the wrong side of cross stitch. It also made me remember my mom inspecting my and my sister’s cross stitch projects. You must know that my sister is 14 years older than me and at that time I was 11 years old and she was already 25. Already a very accomplished cross stitcher, she did not need anyone – not even Mom – telling her what to do with her work. My poor older sister, depending on what she was working on, would either be labeled the “lazy” one or the “genius.” The problem with this is that my sister was never the lazy one. She was the smart one. This is the way it should have been, since she was thinking about the final product. Wall hanging? Lots of shades of one color or few colors? Table linen? Pillow? Cushion?
My sister the “lazy” one demonstrates that the purpose of the finished piece, its size, and the pattern you’re following will determine how “messy” or “neat” your wrong side can be if you’re more like my mother or more like my practical sister. Older sis could glare at Mom in the eyes and say, “It’s a frickin’ fridge magnet two inches wide with 10 shades, no harm done.” My mother was wrong and her daughter was right, and consistently so, given the way she cared for and then didn’t care for the wrong side of her cross stitching. She gave not a single hoot about our vigilant, hawkish matriarch who didn’t seem to care much about her lack of tactfulness. Unfortunately, my Mom somehow
convinced brainwashed me that the back of the cross stitch was just as important as the front and, even after so many years, I seem to have not lost the principles she taught me, the same ones my sister very bravely defied day after day if she was working on something not backside-critical. In a short amount of time my mother even got me into using multiple needles with different colors, “parking” them and then stitching with them alternatively, to keep the reverse side neat and keep track of the chart without having to rip out much due to mistakes from miscounting gaps to be filled in later.
Please, have a long gander at my backside!
In my humble opinion, this is very neat and tidy. It has to be because it is going to be a cushion, which means there can’t be a lot of concentrated bulk in particular areas of the fabric. It needs to lie flat.
Here’s how far I’ve got on my project, by the way:
You might recall there was more gold towards the center. It was wrong and I had to pull it out. It wasn’t traumatic to undo it but it inspired me to start simultaneously working with the two shades of “gold” called for because they are really difficult to distinguish from each other: DMC 832 and 833 are my bane. 833 is like a bright gold color and 832 is a darker bronze color. As little skeins all bunched up you can see that one is obviously darker than the other. As double strands they look identical to me. I got so confused, let me tell you. My initial strategy was to stitch up large areas with 833 and then fill in the gaps with 832. So, I messed up and ripped, because I can’t count that much without letting my brain go numb. Working with both at the same time somehow makes it easier for me to stitch away without messing it up thanks to the blue and green areas that fill in what the general gold color outlines. I always park 832 to the left and 833 to the right to keep them distinguishable. That simple. Really, not a problem. I can work with three or four needles instead of two. Plenty of parking here!