My ‘real life’ sewing friend and I are always searching for new projects to do on our (pre-lockdown) regular Wednesday afternoon three hour sessions which are interrupted only by two tea breaks and a cake.
Anyway, undeterred by previous rubbish patterns in magazines, we were seduced by this little cartonnage house made with card and fabric and – shock, horror – cross stitch.
If you read my blog regularly you will know that cross stitch is one of my ‘never say never and I mean it’ things, like sea cruises and anchovies, but I thought, nothing ventured nothing gained and she can teach me. Plus, how cute is that little house with roses round the door and windows.
I should have known better.
For starters, not only was it a French magazine but it was a French magazine translated from the Italian.
For followers, (is that even a phrase?) the pattern was absolutely terrible and the only way we managed to work it out was because we had both previously done quite a bit of cartonnage work.
There were no helpful pictures of the actual construction or the inside to help – only diagrams which didn’t make any sense and photographs of the finished piece.
To top it all, they had you glue each end of the apex of the roof onto the slender tops of the front and rear facade which we decided was ridiculous because if you had anything of any weight inside it would make carrying it around a bit risky in case of droppage followed by spillage and also, it’s quite deep so would be fiddly to reach for things at the bottom.
So, we decided to leave the roof unstuck and, if we’d made that decision earlier, might not have bothered with the handle.
All this faffing around took us several weekly sessions and many cups of tea and pieces of cake to come up with the house shaped box.
Came the cross stitch.
I cannot lie. I very rarely give up on something but, after two sessions of managing a couple of crosses – and even they were wrong – I threw my toys out of the pram, swore fluently in both French and English and refused to continue. I said I would figure out a way of making those windows and that door out of something other than fiddly strands of thread that you have to separate into thinner fiddly strands and then watch it run out just as you are mid-way through a stitch. A way where I wouldn’t have to use a magnifying glass to see where to place the stitch and then, when I actually managed to do one didn’t look like a cross anyway because it was so tiny or, more likely, because I’d done it wrong. Something that wouldn’t send me home feeling I’d wasted a couple of hours and needing to take a painkiller for a headache.
I thought about little felt windows and doors.
Even though I had subjected her to a mini tantrum and ranted about how awful counted cross stitch is and why does anybody ever do it, my friend forgave me and, better still, when I went back the next week, she’d done it for me.
I’m a bit ashamed of myself but I think I did a good job on the yoyos.
At least I now know that counted cross stitch will stay on my ‘never say never and I mean it’ list for ever and ever.
Do you have a ‘never say never and I mean it’ list?