Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Patching a Quilt -- and Me

I finished the Picasso hen. You can see it on my web site, I am working as fast as I can on another needlepoint canvas, a small one of three hens. It’s one of a set of the Twelve Days of Christmas. I am stitching over the numeral 3, and the holly trimmings, and changing the colors of the French Hens and the background. Otherwise, it’s just as painted. LOL This was supposed to be my last piece of needlework for the famous (infamous?) chicken quilt. But I came across a punch-needle weathervane with a rooster on top, already bought, tucked into the back of a drawer. Punch-needle works up fast, and this is a small piece, and I only have one other punch-needle piece for the quilt . . . It’s going to depend on how fast I finish the French hens.

There seem to be two – at least two – schools of thought about changing colors on needlework. One school holds that if the designer went to all that trouble to design something, the least the stitcher can do is honor her (or his) choices. The other school says that if the color choices clash horribly with the d├ęcor of your house, then by all means change them. I am of the latter school.

The reason I came across the punch-needle piece was because I am going through drawers, looking for stuff to discard and stuff to take down to the craft room for others to pick over or pick up. I have two chests of drawers full of needlework stuff!

Our Wednesday at One stitching group is up to eleven people now, which is just great! We give one another hints, advice, and praise. And we gossip – it’s kind of tentative right now, as this place is brand new and we’re still getting to know one another and the place. It should heat up considerably over the next six months.

I have a large painted canvas of a very fierce-looking rooster with black feathers and a lot of wattles. I took him to Needlework Unlimited to pick the wool to stitch him – I’m thinking he’ll make a great pillow on that quilt. Well, it turns out the artist loves subtle touches and the rooster’s black feathers have hints of blue, brown, lavender and even white on them. His wattles and comb are three shades of red, his beak three shades of brown. I had imagined he would work up quickly. I imagined wrongly. But he’s going to be just gorgeous when he’s done.

We put the couch in our new living room right under a big window, and I have discovered the intense pleasure of stitching in bright sunlight. No lamp made can equal it. It’s not blindingly bright, but I can really see the colors and the pattern and the holes I’m trying to poke the needle through. Our old place had a big window, too, but it was shaded by two mature trees, and that made a difference.

I have discovered the displeasure of “cascades” of disease. I have sciatica in one leg, which sometimes makes me limp. The limp gave me bursitis in the hip, which made the limp worse and woke me up nights when I'd roll over onto it. I’ve been going to physical therapy twice a week to straighten things out – because if I don’t the continued limping will give me back trouble. I thought it was a jest when people warned me: After fifty, it’s patch, patch, patch! But it is. And if you don’t patch, you get into yet more trouble. Our new place has an exercise room, which I thought was merely interesting. But now I’m going to have to find time in my day to go down the hall and get serious. Is exercise a “patch”?


Joanna Campbell Slan said...


My husband and I were talking with Andre Watts, the great pianist, after a concert. He'd recently had an attack of shingles. That led to him changing his posture at the piano. That led to structural problems, and on and on. So, you aren't alone! Do take care.


Anonymous said...

Yes indeed, exercise is the very best patch (with doctor's approval of course) I have found that yoga is better than a massage or pills. I'm 76 and have done needlework all of my life - I wish I had discovered yoga sooner.
Now I'm hooked on scrapbooking also.