I did it. I made the fictional deadline, it's finished! Waterhouse masterpiece is now no longer a WIP. I started this ordeal on 8-13-07 and finished it on 8-12-08 at 11:12pm. So I was REALLY close. Whew. Sadly the Beloved Spouse used the batteries I bought for the digital camera in some other non-vital something or other. So the picture I took on Aug 1 is still inside the camera, and I can't get it out. Only HE can do that. I have advised him that this should now be on the top of his Honey Do list for tomorrow. I won't be taking another photo of it until The Son and I get it back from the frame shop (where we have already set up an appointment to meet on Saturday). I almost never wash my projects, but this time a bug committed little insect suicide on the fabric, within the area I am going to leave showing after it's matted. I guess I have to clean it, or something. Any ideas? And then I will have to iron it I suppose.
Julie, you did it!!!!!!!!!
Amazing, not a complete year for this huge project, you may be soooo proud of yourself
As for the washing, I always do, dry it laying down on towels and iron it when it's almost dry, the iron does the drying for me on the backside of the picture, but hey, you know this of course!
Can't wait to see the finished picture. Do you have any idea how you want to frame this? It will be so beautiful!I'm so for you!
WooHoo!!!!! That's GREAT!!! I can't imagine doing any project from this site in a year, let alone under!! Well done, you!! I can't wait to see it!!
As for washing, I almost always wash all of my DMC-only projects (living with a chain smoker has more than one bad side effect ). Do NOT use Woolite, as it has phosphates in it that fade the threads somewhere in the future. There are a few products out there specifically for needlework, but I have never used any of them - can't get them locally, and when I'm ready to wash, I want to do it NOW. And many people swear by a horse shampoo called Orvis - it rinses 100% clean. I don't have any of that (yet), either, though do need to invest in some. These days, I usually use a small drop of dishsoap in warm water, and rinse, rinse, rinse. I have also had to use Oxy Clean and soaked a piece for over 24 hours in it to get a stain off (it was either kids' juice or Coke) - can't wait to see what that looks like in 30-40 years
I usually iron it while it is still damp - backside only, on a towel. Then finish iron it again when it is good & dry. What a bad bug - though I'll take a dead bug over a medium-haired cat's hairball
This may, or may not, be the link you need to see the picture(s) I took at the beginning of the month. (Fingers crossed, you all know how techno-challenged I am.) Okay, first of all, thank you so much for the warm congrats, and the excellent advice on cleaning that dead bug spot (insects are NOT my friends). As far as how long/how much I stitched each day- well there were breaks in there where I had jobs to do (remember those consignment pieces) and when I was dealing with family issues (death and dying is very time consuming and sad), but on the average I stitched about 3 to 6 hours a day (actually "a night" because I hardly ever get started before 10 or so), and one page took me about 9 to 12 days (eventually, in the beginning it was almost double that, but I figured out my short-cuts, count, count again, check and count one more time). For framing, that will be up to my kid. This will go in his home, so he will be making the selections. (Also, I really have no taste nor style, so we will be relying on his opinions and the framer's knowledge of what looks good.) When we get it done, photos will quickly follow. As a side note, I am really enjoying my daughter's Great Wave, all 5 hours of it I have done. Since it is one of Our Miss Scarlet's the updates will be in her category later in the month, and I will be e-mailing Meredith the WIP shots directly (yippee). Again, thanks you guys, couldn't have done it without all of this wonderful support!
Thanks everyone. The Son and I took it in to the framer's today. We had a wee issue with it being a tad on the lumpy side (and when I say "we" I mean me, and how I was nearly suicidal about the fact that I could see the page breaks and the entire thing looked, to me, like corrugated cardboard), but I got professional help (thanks Meredith), and was talked down off the ledge. It will be mounted on wooden artist's bars, as they do with paintings, and then framed. Because of the extra stretching we couldn't do any matting, but the frame he chose is very nice. And it is being hammered into my head that once it's up and done, the "texture" won't be apparent. (I remain unconvinced, but that may just be me.) The thing that really annoys me the most is that I tried so hard to go past the pages and yet they still showed up. Someone suggested it was because I didn't have enough tension in the fabric when I stitched it. Ha! The opposite may be the actual cause. Is it possible to stretch the fabric too much and create a permanent warp? Wow, I hope not. I would have to just chop off my arms if that was the case. If I can't stitch (and I can NOT stitch if the fabric isn't like a drum head) then I really can't survive. It's about all that keeps me sane (and that sanity is constantly in question around here). We pick it up on the 1st of next month, photos will follow.
Julie, I have to have my work taut enough to bounce a small child off of, and I have never had any problems stretching it afterwards. I have also never had the lines show up, even though that huge TW I just finished was worked to the page edges in at least 2 places, having straight lines across it. I have yet to figure out how that happens, since I don't do whatever it is myself.
I am sure it will come out gorgeous - a good stretching can erase a multitude of sins Or was that the Spanish Inquisition? I get those confused...
Oh Julie, you poor thing, you sound absolutely manic! I'm glad you called the SQ panic hotline and got through your framing experience in one piece. The wooden stretcher bars sound like a very good idea though, and something to get it off the backing so that any lumps won't push the fabric forward in the front. Your framer sounds like he knows what he's doing though so I think you're in good hands. And don't worry about the page lines, remember that what you see is NOT what other people see: you have spent A YEAR looking at this thing in its most minute detail, of course you can see every little imperfection in it, but that's just the magic of it. When you step back and look at it nicely framed on the wall, all those little crosses and blended threads all just swim together to make a beautiful work of art. I've seen your photos and I can tell you, that I CANNOT see any grid marks, and I'm a stitcher! Now about the stretching, the short answer is no, that is not the cause of your grid lines, so you can stop worrying about that one. People stitch taut, people stitch loose, some people can't get their tension right and others work on cheapie loose weave fabric.... and in the end, some come up with grid lines and others don't. I personally think it's to do with the consistency in which you work straight over your page barriers (and not just by one or two stitches), but there are still other people who work strictly to page limits and never have lines (my mother in law is one of those). So again, I think it's MOSTLY to do with you being a perfectionist and, having spent so many hours on this work, focusiing on the imperfections rather than on the overall glory of your creation. Just step back a little, let your eyes take in the whole thing, and stop searching for the lines... can you really still see them?
Don't worry, Julie, you did a brilliant job, it looks sensational, and the framing is going to work out just fine. All you have to do now is enjoy The Great Wave, stitching just as you have always done, fast and efficiently, with great tension and going straight over the page borders!