When it comes to taking on new embroidery or quilting projects. I bite off way more than I can reasonably chew. I seem to have this strange ability to take on unreasonably large projects that are far outside my current abilities and time constraints. It probably has something to do with my lifelong habit of jumping in head first and thinking later.
Today I would like to share a little of my current project. It is a large vintage map (kit) of the United States, featuring the illustrated, ‘state flower’ that is appointed to each state. I purchased this map on eBay a few years ago. It looks like it was made in the 1960’s or 1970’s but this is just a guess. I find that I am attracted to the aesthetic of the 1960’s although I am not sure why.
I ‘fell in love with’ this map kit from the moment that I spotted it on Ebay. There was something that attracted me to it. Probably its classic simplicity and inherent invitation for the liberal use of color. I quickly discarded the colored thread as well as color and stitch guide included with the kit. I often do this with vintage embroidery kits. Even the most well-preserved kits can have thread that is less than desirable. Especially cotton thread. It seems to lose strength and consistency with age. Too many broken and frayed threads have left me with a bit of a fear of using the included threads.
For this project I used mostly DMC embroidery thread but I also used some Thread Worx which I absolutely adore working with. This may end up haunting me though as I have discovered many of their threads are not color-fast. I plan on having this piece dry-cleaned when the project is finally complete. It looks a bit dingy. As careful as I have been to work with only immaculately clean hands, over the year or more that I have worked on this (on and off), it has collected something of a bit of grime.
So, as I began stitching the beautiful flowers, I would refer to each one using my old friend Google. My goal was to be correct with colors although I did take artistic license on a few of the flowers due to repeats of certain flowers. I also wanted to keep the colors interesting to the eye throughout the map. Some of the most fun flowers to stitch were the Dogwood or Virginia (my original home state) and Red clover of Vermont, and many others as well.
Now, I have finally reached a point where I have completed all the floral work. The rest of the map is completed in a dark brown shade which I have run out of as well as also failed to document. I’m not sure how I managed to make this mistake. It is a DMC color and my local Michael’s store is woefully slow in re-stocking it shelves of anything other than picture frames. I have not yet located it but I have a sample and I think that it is only a matter of visiting a few other stores. Wish me luck.