It seems I’m swimming in works in progress. It’s not just the artwork either. I’ve got a bunch of half-baked projects around the house too — mostly to do with upgrading my computer’s operating system. That threw all my ancient programs out of whack and so now I’m trying to upgrade where I can, but my software is so old that replacement is more likely. I lost access to my catalog of quilts that has all their dates, sizes, locations, etc. (Luckily, after a week of trying, my tech support husband found a solution and at least that’s fixed!) I’m experimenting with online banking now too, and a new financial tool. I am not impressed. Not to mention that my blog reading system has all but disappeared and Hotmail is now Outlook.
Anyway, enough complaining.
This is coming along. I’ve found that machine embroidering stars is kind of addictive. Once I add a star, I must keep going. It’s hard to stop. I’m not sure if this piece is developing how I want it to, but it’s pretty, so I will keep going.
This Service Star is killing me. I now have something that I think feels like Tennis Elbow must feel. I’ve had to take a break from embroidering on it to give my arm a rest, and it’s giving me a chance to take stock of this quilt. I started it when my husband first deployed to Iraq in early 2003.* I was still a pretty traditional quilter at the time. I pieced the top and started to hand quilt it, but then set it aside for a while. We moved and I joined a group of ladies that met every other Friday to have breakfast together and work on hand stitching projects. I came close to finishing the quilt and then moved again. By the time I unpacked it during hubby’s fourth Iraq deployment, I had moved on stylistically.
Having embarked on The Army Wife series I considered how I could bring this into the fold. Inspired by so much subversive stitch and gallery-worthy embroidery, I decided to add embroidered bumper sticker platitudes and a shadowy Uncle Sam.
It worked in my mind, but now, many, many, hours into it, I don’t feel like it’s coming together. I’m loathe to just throw the whole quilt away given the hours I have invested in it. But I feel like it should have just had the shadow figure and none of the distracting embroidered flags and sayings. However, I can’t really remove the embroidery because of all the guide lines below it.
As my elbow heals I am taking the time to contemplate cutting the whole thing up (perhaps into smaller pillows), continuing with the embroidery (adding more blending stitches, and maybe highlighting some facial details to make U.S. stand out); or stretching this on a large frame and painting over most of it (obscuring all but Sam, but probably also requiring more blending embroidery to keep the underlying texture even).
*Coincidentally, today/yesterday is the 10 year anniversary of the start of that war. Hubby and his troops had already been deployed for a few months at that point though — some of them, more than a few. War had been in the air.