OK, so maybe no astronauts, but I do have an ancient UFO!
This was a stamped fabric kit put out by National Paragon Corporation in 1978 including “Peri-Lusta” Filo floss (which is in the vintage category now), and I was given it right around that time. It was SO long ago that I can’t remember who gave it to me. It’s based on a sampler in the Cooper Hewitt Museum which was stitched in 1773. I never cared for the colors. They don’t seem samplerish (by which I guess I mean not historically accurate) to me.
I did all the cross stitch and lettering (which is stem stitch where it isn’t cross stitch) in maybe 2 or 3 years. (Or could be less — it shouldn’t have taken very long — but I don’t remember.) Then I ran into the bottom which is mostly satin and long-and-short stitch, which I dislike intensely. So I put it away and worked on it intermittently, eventually just taking it along on trips because I didn’t care if it got dirty. It has been to west Texas a good many times, and I can tell you that stitching in the car is not helpful to your eyes OR the work. I finished it in May, 35 years after I started it, and finished signing it last night.
I used Transfer-Eze for the signature. It’s a sort of fuzzy sheet with a backing. You print out whatever it is you want to transfer on a computer printer, or I suppose you could draw on it, then peel off the backing and stick the stuff to your fabric. Then you stitch over the lines. When you’re done, it dissolves in water and the marks which were never actually on your fabric go with it. Pretty cool!
I washed it today and boy was it dirty. Now that it is clean and pressed and FINISHED, I feel more kindly toward it. I still don’t know that I will frame it — it’s very large and the colors don’t go with anything, so it will probably join its compatriots in my bottom drawer but I don’t hate it any more. I got curious about the original and found it on the Cooper Hewitt website.
It’s silk embroidery on linen and uses satin, cross, half-cross, eyelet, rococo, chain, and roumanian stitches. (The kit didn’t have all those.) Obviously, it’s faded, and perhaps dirty, but the colors were obviously subtler even to begin with.
It was a great day for me when people stopped giving me kits…