Thanks for all the comments and suggestions on my last post! I’ve decided to do two pieces: my original thought of “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic,” and another smaller bit of stitching on Kate’s suggestion of “Don’t Panic.” There being only limited time of late due to all consuming work related deadlines, I started on the smaller piece first but I haven’t gotten very far:
I’m using an alphabet I found here on Ramzi’s Patternmaker Charts blog. (Thank you, Patternmaker Charts community!) It’s from an antique Sajou booklet. I’m not sure of the original date of publication, but by the look of the thing, it’s most probably pre-1900.
I picked this particular alphabet out of the dozens on the Patternmaker Charts site because the little diamond lozenges in the verticals of each letter have a nervous, throbbing look, perfect for this piece. The “Panic” part will be on the next line, offset by a half or one and a half letters from the row above, just to maintain that feeling of instability. I’m not sure what else will go on this cloth besides my “Don’t Panic.” I started my stitching in the upper left of the cloth rather than in the center. I will either keep the piece very small, with any fill-in patterns in line with the words, or I will add some smaller patterns to complete a rectangle, with the motto occupying the upper left third of the piece. Like usual, I’ll decide on the fly.
On the Do Right sampler, to answer Charlotte, I can give two answers on why the top line is so narrow. The face saving one is that my plans to finish this out include adding either hanging tabs or a hanging channel of a coordinating color fabric across the top of the entire piece, and the width of that hanging channel will finish out the visual balance of the work as a whole.
The real reason is that when I started I had no idea what was going to happen. I should have worked the first bit I did across the entire top of the cloth. I made my mistake when I finished out the right hand voided panel, taking it to the top instead of ending it in time to go back and complete the ribbon band east-west. Once I had the voided panel in place, and the sampler as a whole was taking on a distinctly balanced though not entirely symmetrical cant, I had to finish the many-motif scrollwork on the left hand side to the same length. And once that was done, I had a bottom-heavy piece with inadequate room at the top of the cloth to work a border wide enough to balance the one at the bottom. I considered a narrow but denser, darker band, but that would have looked out of place. So I opted for something narrow and simple, with a lot of movement back and forth, figuring that I’d make up the missing width in mounting.
Yes, I could have avoided this by carefully drafting out what I was going to do before hand, then stitching up the completed design to specifications. But what’s the fun in that? I know myself and the way I work. Execution of the stitching is fun, but solving problems on the fly is the real joy. Figuring out all of the sticky bits first would leave me with a huge pile of half-finished pieces, many more than I have today. So instead I leap off my needlework cliffs, at risk of dashing to pieces on the rocks below, but enjoying every minute of each flight.