Monday, September 12, 2011

Histoire d'Amour

My niece is getting married in October.  When she announced her engagement last Christmas, the first thing I did was search for a wedding sampler pattern.  I thought about embroidery, but I really wanted to do cross stitch.   I spent a lot of time--days, maybe even weeks--looking for just the right pattern.  When I discovered this one, Histoire d'Amour, by Marie Suarez, I knew it was the one.

Unfortunately, this pattern was almost my undoing.  It's stitched on 32 count, mostly over two threads but with some areas over one, and the pattern is very scattered.  So much spacing!  So much counting! Such teeny stitches!  Oh my goodness!  My eyes are not what they used to be!  I was squinting and swearing and sweating over this until I broke down and bought myself a pair of cheaters. Ahhh, much better.  (It caused quite an uproar in my home when they all discovered me stitching away with glasses perched on my nose.  Photos were taken.  They are not flattering.)
Alas, even with the cheaters, I found myself making little errors here and there.  It's hard to stitch perfectly with 32 count and a challenging pattern. I started to think of the chart as a mere suggestion for stitch placement.  There was a lot of adjusting on the fly as I stitched this!
After I took these photos, I re-stitched the letters r and e in "histoire" with a darker color. The thread is variegated, and after viewing the photos,  I decided I didn't like the light lettering.  I didn't take photos after the adjustment, so you'll just have to imagine it.
The original pattern had only first initials stitched into the hearts.  I chose to squeeze in their full names.  I also added the wedding date to the bottom of the design.

I also had to improvise on the tiny flowers scattered all over the design.  They are supposed to be done using the whipped spider web stitch.  I had never heard of that stitch before, let alone used it.  I researched how to make them, but I really struggled with making them consistently.  For every flower that I made well, I had five others that were twisted and snarly.  I spent one sleepless night fretting over how to fix this, and finally decided to snip them all out and restitch the flowers with a simple straight stitch coming from a center point, using two strands of light pink and one strand of dark pink. The flowers are not quite as sweet as the flowers in the sample photo, but it's much better to have consistently neat flowers than a big ugly mess!

my flowers:
flowers in the sample photo:
I started this back in February, but didn't give it my full attention until the middle of August when I realized time was ticking away.  I set myself the deadline of finishing it by the last day of summer vacation, which resulted in some looong days stitching (7 or 8 hours a day!), but I got it done, and now it is off being framed.  I love sending things off to be framed!  It should be back in plenty of time for the wedding.

(P.S. This new blogger interface is driving me nutso.  My photos are now appearing smaller than I would like them to, and I cannot figure out how to make them bigger!  Ugh, I hate it when updates complicate my life!!!)


Kristi said...

Great post! This piece is gorgeous. I love that you adjusted on the fly! A stitcher's gotta do what a stitcher's gotta do, right? :-D

Blogger has been a pain lately. I had to change the way I posted pics, so I am no longer linking them from Flickr. Grrrrr. I hope your issues are resolved soon! ♥

Anonymous said...

That is so pretty, you did a beautiful job!

Julie Smith said...

So, so beautiful! That looks unbelievably complicated to a non-stitcher like me. Lovely job.