Thursday, May 31, 2012

Cutting My Losses

I've been working on step 2 of my Papillon Creations 80 Stitches Around the World SAL. I was using some 32-count cream linen I had in my stash. I hadn't been entirely happy with step 1, but I thought I'd see how the project progressed. I finished tulip #1 and about 1/2 of tulip #2 when I finally acknowledged that it just wasn't working. I decided to give myself 30 minutes and make a decision about continuing with the project in it's current form. Did I like my choice of color palette? Was I happy with my choice of greens?  Would it look better on a larger count fabric? I found some 28-count and 25-count fabric in my stash to help the process.

Part of step 1 is the Lindisfarne stitch. The original on 32-count is on the right, the middle is on 28-count and the left is on 25-counts, all over two threads. In the 32-count, the stitches are all "smushed" together and you can't see the stitches details. The ones on 28 and 25 count look pretty good.

Another stitch from step1 is the Norwich stitch. On the 32-count, the threads are squished together and again, details are lost. On the 28-count you can see more of the details with the 25-count being the best for this stitch.

Step 2 includes the Danish knot. It makes the lowest petal in the yellow flower. It's hard to see the definition of the stitch on the 32-count, but on the 25-count there is too much space between the center rays and the knot. The best flower is stitched on 28-count.


 Step 2 also used the Queen stitch. It makes the dark blue bottom of these flowers. Again, most of the details of the stitch are lost on the 32-count while there is too much open space on the 25-count. Again, the 28-count fabric seems to be the best choice.

I do like my color palette but I'm going to reverse some of the colors. I had to choose 8 colors. I went with dark and light versions of blue, pink, yellow, and coral. However, I realized that all the odd colors (floral color 1, 3, 5, 7) need to be the dark version and the even colors (2, 4, 6, 8) should be the corresponding light version. That way the darker colors "frame" each heart in step 1 and they are on the bottom of each flower in step 2. Those yellow Norwich squares will be light yellow and back stitched in the dark yellow which is more pleasing to my eye. The coral flowers around the edge will be dark and the coral lazy daisies in the middle will be light, making a better match for the values in the other heart. As for the greens, I'll probably return to my original choice of greens that are a little closer to each other that what I actually used on the 32-count piece. For good measure I found a little piece of yellow fabric and tried out some of the stitching on that but realized that I really like it on the cream background after all.

So...I don't like the fabric count and I don't like my use of colors so I'm cutting my losses and starting over. I'll add the beads to the hearts and turn them into ornaments so it won't be a complete loss. Normally I'd be going crazy over so much work down the drain but with 22 months to go on this SAL I have a chance to get it right instead of dropping the whole project later.


  1. Your stitching is beautiful, Ruth! I'm glad you can make ornaments out of your progress so far. I'm sure you'll be happier with your new fabric and new colors, since it's just a huge project!

  2. hi Ruth, I found your blog whilst searching for the papillon sal, I just downloaded part 1 & 2 tonight but I've opted for the cross stitch version (ok I'm taking the easy option)
    thank you for sharing your findings with the fabric and colour, I'm leaning towards 28ct evenweave but I'm not very creative with colours so trying to get some inspiration from other stitchers
    Glad you will be able to use the hearts for ornaments as they are gorgeous, look forward to seeing your re-start on this lovely project x

  3. Least you found out early on into the SAL that you didn't like the fabric. I'm using 28ct as well as I like how much it shows the individual stitches rather than the 32ct.

  4. I have just joined the Papillon SAL, and it may be a while before I get started, but I have really appreciated your comments. I was going to use 32 ct as that is my favourite evenweave, but after reading your blog, I think I will go with 28 ct. I like your colour choice too. Looking forward to watching your progress.

  5. Hi Ruth, I'm Annette and I am also stitching Around the World. I had read what you posted on the message board from Papllion. Your sampler is looking beautiful. When I had learned of your wanting to start over - I thought Are you Crazy? LOL You showed beautiful comparisons of the different counts. Anyways I have ablog but I have not even posted about this yet. I had gotten as far as part 2, 32ct (had it in my stash) but temporarily stopped because I've started a family sampler (not posted that either, yet). So I'm now a follower of your blog:) So very nice to meet you.
    love Annette

  6. Ohhhh, Ruth! This is just lovely! I love your pallette, and your stitching is beautiful!!!