Friday, November 06, 2009

Baby's Got Back!

And proud of it too ;o)

Well, to be honest, physically I have no ass. I have no idea why. I wouldn't mind gaining weight if some of it would venture to that area but noooooooo....it's got to settle in places that are less flattering ;o)

So what back am I talking about? My project backs :o) Today, as I was reading Daffycat's Blog entry, she reminded me about a subject that I had wanted to write about. Thanks Sharon!

In the beginning...when Pumpkin met 'the craft' it was pretty much self taught. I had found an old cross stitch kit among my mother's stuff and was curious as to what it was. You know the kits I'm talking about - a simple country pattern with threads, Aida and a plastic frame :o) I followed the instructions and the rest, shall we say, is history!

I was in my late teens when this all started. I was bitten by the stitching bug and I blossomed from there. For The Love of Cross Stitch was the first magazine I ever bought and to this day, I still believe it was the best. As most stitcher's are when they first start out, I was an Aida girl :o) Fourteen count and white to be exact. Not much imagination back then. LOL!

Because I was self taught and didn't know any other stitchers, the backs of my projects suffered the most. This is a winter wreath that I stitched back in the early 90's -

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I know this is a bird's nest but it looks more like a rat's nest to me -

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ROFL! Tsk, tsk, tsk! I hang my head in shame ;o)

But...slowly as my stitching technique on the front got better, so did my backs. It wasn't until I took a course in Hardanger that I really 'understood'. With Hardanger, you are taught that your back should be as good as your front. So much so, that you shouldn't be able to tell them apart. I'm proud to say that I mastered that and began applying that to my cross stitching.

Just to give you an idea of how far I've come, this is the back of a recent project -

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I bet you can tell what one it is too ;o) Here is a close up -

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Letters and stray stitches are the hardest for me but I've learned patience (yes Mom & Dad, it's hard to believe) and so I take my time. That's just me though; I would never criticize another stitcher. But...if you are just learning or want to improve your stitching, the best advice I can give is you've got to have patience. It might take you an extra day or week to finish a WIP but if you're learning or wanting to improve on your technique, it will be worth it in the end :o)


22 comments:

Irene said...

It's interesting to hear how we all started and see our earlier stitching.

WendyCarole said...

gosh your back is wonderful

Parsley said...

Wow!! Well, I'm gonna work on getting the front of a project looking good first, since I'm a newbie. Then, I'll work on the back.

Shannon said...

Hmm... I was like you - horrid backs, then beautiful backs. Now I'm reverting back. Not that my backs are horrible. I'm just too lazy to worry that they're as nice as they used to be. Depends on the piece too. The bigger the piece, the neater my backs are. But then the golden rule does still apply - I never cross more than 2-3 squares with a thread and only if it's covered by other stitches.

There are some VS patterns with scattered stitches that have driven me insane. Tying off a single stitch here and there is a nuisance. But ultimately, you are right. Sometimes it is worth that extra bit of work.

Danielle said...

Wow! The back of Beach Cottage looks great! I too have improved immensely in my stitching. I just started stitching on linen this year. Hmmm, I am off to go look at the back of Prairie Sampler now to see what it looks like.

jayne@~an eye for threads~ said...

I have always taken as much pride in my backs as the fronts and there was one piece I did that the person receiving it thought the back WAS the front and kept looking at it and showing it to people. Another friend kindly says,"Do you think the guy driving 50mph down the street looking in your window can tell what the back looks like?" I still take care of the back and probably always will, as does my daughter. Nice work Pumpkin.
Be always in stitches.

Jenn's Crafty World said...

Nice backside!!LOL!

Terri(TerriBoog) said...

You've come a long way, baby!

Laural said...

I love it! I know that we aren't supposed to care but I care about mine and I love seeing other backsides. We work hard on those bad boys they deserve some recognition too!

I'm a HUGE fan of the pinhead stitch. I cannot stand carrying strands across the back of my fabric.

Kathryn said...

Wow! That is more patience than I will ever have. I think my backs are "reasonably" neat, but I am a thread miser. If I can cross three or four stitches and start again, I will. Of course, that is if the stitches don't show through the front.

mumzy said...

Cathey, we are always very proud to show your work as Dad and I appreciate all the efforts you put in to your projects. Yes, we do realize you have developed your patience to a super level especially when it comes to your stitching. Great work always.

{{{Love and Hugs}}}
Mom

RuthB said...

In the beginning Pumpkin made me LOL, and I thanked her for it.

:)

Ahh, evolution.

You knw it's not really fair to compare those backs... afterall, now you've evolved into a wise woman who picks patterns lacking in backstitching which is always the thing that really makes a back look like string art gone wrong. lol

Karen said...

An older lady who guided me in stitching told me 30 years ago that a neat back only mattered if it is for my rich old aunt who was leaving me everything in her will. After much thought...I tended to agree so I am definitely not as neat on my backs as you. Your stitches are great and they do look wonderful!

I also agree...FTLOCS magazine was the best and I still like thumbing through them now.

Rachael said...

LOL I am a lazy stitcher, even though I do Hardanger I don't worry too much about the backs of my stitching(except my hardanger), they are sort of tidy, well tidier than when I started out. It's great that you take the time to make them tidy and neat though.

Daffycat said...

Oooo, your backside is beautiful! Only another stitcher could appreciate the care & work that goes into making a tidy back. You have come a long way!

Annie said...

My goodness.. the back of that piece is perfect. No way I'd ever show the backs of my work. I'm always in way too much of a hurry to take those pains. I make sure my finishing covers them up!

Brigitte said...

That's what I would call a perfect back of a stitchy piece. Mine aren't as perfect. At all, lol.

Rachel S said...

That back is beautiful. You are brave to show your backs, especially on the early projects. I have the excuse that my old ones are stuck to sticky board, LOL

Alberta said...

Just as in life, in stitching we have to crawl first, then walk before we can run...your backs are running fast!

Olenka's Stitches said...

The back is so neat, great job!

Jenna said...

With a recent hardanger project I was working on, I actually finished it backwards because I didn't realize that it was the back and not the front! I had to take it apart and try again. Hah!

Cindy said...

Great post! I really don't have any examples of my older work, but I know that I didn't pay attention to the backs. The first piece that I was really proud of the back was a bellpull that I did. It had TONS of letters, which were a real PITA to start and end...but so worth it. The only time I don't pay attention to the back is on my HAED piece. I figure it is going to be one solid piece of stitching, and it is so tough to run thread under those teenie over one stitches. With all of the color changes, I think that I have more thread on the back than the front LOL :)