Sunday, 28 May 2017

May's Intimidating Designers WIPocalypse

WIPocalypse is hosted by Measi's Musings
Also linking up with 17 in '17

Each month we have to share the projects we want to complete before the End Of The World.  I have chosen my "17 in '17" which are the 17 projects I want to focus on this year.  You can see the full list on this page here.

This month I only worked on six of my projects BUT I did get a big Happy Dance for one of them so that's a bonus.

1. My spooky conversion of Lavender & Lace's Enchanted Alphabet:

stitched on 32 count Murano in Tigerlily by Sparklies

2. Oberlin Sampler's Witches:

3. Joan Elliott's 12 Days of Christmas:

4. Just Nan's Spring in the Square:

5. Brooke's Books' Stitcher's Alphabet.  I actually stitched V last month but I'm not showing W until next Saturday so here's V:

6. Jannlynn Designs' Gathering Honey was my Happy Dance:

Measi always gives us a discussion topic.

May - Which designer's projects do you absolutely love, but are too intimidated to try?

Short answer - no-one!

Long answer.  I had a good think about this one and at the end of the day, all designs are basically putting the needle into the fabric and pulling a thread along with it.  Purely and simply.  A large or complex design may look daunting but it is still one stitch after another.  

Some charts make it harder to stitch a project (see the backstitch guide on Gathering Honey!)  but you just work your way through the instructions, one sentence at a time.    If you look back at my Happy Dance blog you'll see my 3rd project was on black aida, my 4th had metallics, my 5th was this one:

And then I moved on to Teresa Wentzler.  Who probably shares the crown for complex designs with Martina from Chatelaine.  The only reason I hadn't stitched a Chatelaine until this year was price and too much choice!

Then I thought about the bigger picture - what does intimidate me?  Not much really!  I have reached the point in life where I know what I can and can't do.  If I know I can't do something I'm not going to waste time trying and failing.  I'll find an alternative.  I can remember the last time I was really nervous about something - presenting an assembly on Road Safety to 250 Primary School children.  That gave me butterflies, children are very open if they are bored by what you are saying!  The funny thing was that the previous week I'd spoken at a meeting about cuts to public library funding to a similar amount of adults with no nerves at all.

I think there's a lot of truth in the phrase "that which does not kill us, makes us stronger" (Nietsche).  I went to a state comprehensive where people attempted to bully me for the twin sins of being poor and clever.  You were allowed to be one or the other, but not both.  Free meals kids were not supposed to be in the top set, according to certain wealthier, less intelligent students!  Note I say "attempted to bully me", they soon learned I wasn't an easy target and wandered off to pick on someone else.  There were a lot of people came out of our school with very low self esteem.  But for the lucky ones, we feel we are just as good as anyone from a better school or background and we do have that certain bolshie attitude!

NB I am not convinced this was a good thing, I would rather we had all come out feeling confident because we'd been nurtured and well taught!

Anyway, back to the stitching and Chatelaines.  Martina is celebrating her 200th design and 20th Anniversary with this beauty:

Finally, it's a Bank Holiday weekend here in the UK, rain is probably forecast for tomorrow so there'll be plenty of time for stitching instead!


  1. Loving enchanted alphabet and Brookes books. The only thing that intimidates me is hardanger!

  2. Will you be stitching Martina's celebratory piece?
    The fabric for Enchanted Alphabet really shows the variations in the pic this time.

  3. All of your projects are lovely. I have to agree with you about not being intimated by designers anymore. I think I have just reached an age where I know I have literally nothing to lose to try a design or project that is beyond my current skill level. I choose projects that I love and let the rest work itself out.

  4. As usual, I love seeing all of your lovely projects. Witches is really looking good. I am so happy your are able to read that old chart.

  5. Lots of good progress on your different pieces. And that wonderful finish.
    I was never intimidated by any designer's project either. If I had been intimidated I wouldn't have chosen a design by Paula Vaughan as my first big project, lol. Back then I didn't even know what fractional stitches are.

  6. ... and enjoy the Bank Holiday today!

  7. Awesome progress and beautiful finish Jo.


  8. Lots of lovely progress Jo.

    Enjoy your bank holiday. It has been raining here but it's been a lovely weekend so I guess we can't really complain!

  9. They're all looking great. That anniversary Chatelaine is spectacular, any plans to stitch it?

  10. Awesome projects and beautiful projects.
    Big hugs x

  11. What absolutely beautiful patterns - you are so talented and patient with these intricate designs.

  12. Great post (as always, Jo) - you are such a talented stitcher (as I often say) and a wonderful, wonderful person, hugs, Kaye P.S. My favourite this month has to be Gathering Honey - natch! So beautiful!

  13. Your stitching is very pretty. I am willing to try any stitching project/designer once. It sounds like you have the same attitude.

  14. You stitch soooo beautifully! It would be hard to choose my favorite too but I think the JN is still my favorite!

  15. Lovely stitching !! I am not intimidated by stitching any either but for the enormous size projects like HAEDs do make me think often whether is it worth the time spent on those. On the other side, I am fine with giving a try to things I want to do but may not be able to succeed. I am ok to waste time there.

  16. As always lovely stitching Jo. I really love the enchanted alphabet. I had not seen that one before. And I love how all of your garden stitches have come along. When do you give the one to your friend? I'm sure she is going to be over the moon when she see it. RJ@stitchingfriendsforever2

  17. Love all of your stitching projects. Those bees in "Gathering Honey" look real!

  18. Great work on all your stitching projects Jo. The 12 days of Christmas looks wonderful with all the little motifs built in. Good point about the designers who are intimidating and how in your life you have also found it best to jump right in.

  19. Lovely progress, and hooray for the Happy Dance. Do you know what you will focus on next?
    I've always seen you as a woman not easily intimidated by anything. I'm glad to read I was right! It's a good thing you didn't let those bullies get to you.

  20. Gorgeous stitching and hurray for your lovely finish! I am glad to read that you ignored the bullies and made a success of your life and talents.
    My first two projects were Paula Vaughan and my third a Teresa Wentzler! I didn't know enough about stitching to be intimidated by them. Now I stitch for relaxation so I would hesitate to choose something so large and intricate but I know I could do it if I wanted to.

  21. What a fantastic answer to that question. Motivational Speaker? Your words ring true. Childhood scars are so very hard to shed.

  22. Congrats on the beautiful finish! I love the projects you were working on.

  23. Lovely projects and stitching as always. Love that Stitchers Alphabet.

  24. A great way to put perspective to the intricate designs, all they need is passing the needle thru the fabric. If I see from this angle, I'm not intimated by any designs either.Good progress on the WIPocalypse projects.

  25. Beautiful finish! I have stitched this one also and enjoyed it. Love all your other projects.

  26. Congratulations on your Gathering Honey finish! Really like the other designs you are working on too (the Joan Elliott is waiting on my to stitch pile!) and I love your attitude about intricate designs! Totally agree that what doesn't kill us makes us stronger, life is too short not to stretch some boundaries & see what's out there! Have a lovely weekend, Helen

  27. Congratulations on finishing Gathering Honey! I will surely miss the updates on this one, but I'm glad to see it all stitched up =)

  28. More beautiful progress being made. Keep it up.

  29. Beautiful stitching this month! I agree, I don't think anyone is intimidating, but I hesitate with some projects because I know myself - I like a quick finish. If it sits around for too long I get bored and never end up finishing it.

  30. Great job on all your wipocalypse projects. I am still in awe of Gathering Honey, that is just the absolute bomb of stitching. Congratulations on finishing one of 17 of 17.

    I'm just about to start my first Chatelaine. I have all the floss and sparklies, I just need to find the perfect fabric. I will think of your words as I stitch as I have this chart for a while but didn't possess the gumption to start. But I have joined a fb support group and all their beautiful wips inspire me as I know it's possible. We will see how I go :D

    I'm glad that you not only survived the bullies but triumphed over them. It is true, no one person is better than any, regardless of their background, wealth, or ethnicity. However some feel the need to suppress their insecurities by bullying others. Being happy and living your magical life is the spell that annihilates these people and their attitudes.
    Take care stunner
    xo Alicia


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