So what do you DO with it?

Some time ago I wrote about my unfortunate experiences with a sewing machine that had a mind of its own. The intention had been to finish a door hanger as a Christmas present for our niece. It is now February and I am ashamed to admit that the pretty turquoise/navy initial "I" is still a flat piece of Hardanger. So this Saturday I am determined to tackle that sewing machine and get to work on it – keep an eye on the Gallery where I hope it will appear by Monday!

All this answers (to some extent) the question in the title; one that is often asked by non-stitching spouses, relatives and friends. In a way it is a non-question. I don’t know about you, but I stitch because I enjoy stitching. I enjoy choosing (or designing) a chart, getting all the materials together, perhaps making changes to the colours or adding some embellishments, seeing the design take shape under my needle … Whether the finished article ever gets put to any use (be it decorative or practical) is of secondary importance. And if you find that people are challenging you about this, ask them what they DO with a game of cards they played, or a round of golf, or with a book they read or a film they watched. Unlike all those hobbies, stitching not only gives you a very pleasant time while working on your project, you also have something to show for it at the end. Taking it a step further and turning your stitching into an object for use, display, or present-giving, is nice when it works, but it’s no disaster when it doesn’t happen.

Even so, most stitchers (myself included) do like to do something with their finished projects, if only because it seems such a shame to just bung them in a drawer and forget about them. Framing is the obvious choice, although quite a few stitchers find that after a few years they start running out of wall space. And if, like mine, many of your projects are relatively small, framing may not be the best option (for one thing, it is quite expensive!)

This is one of the reasons for the Gallery – it shows some ideas for making up finished pieces of stitching. And by the end of next week I hope there will be a few more ideas than there are now!
Besides the tuck cushion door hanger there should be two other finishes, one decorative-but-not-particularly-useful, and one which you may actually use on your desk (or give to a loved one with a desk job). The former is a biscornu (basically a wonky cushion) made from the two versions of Shades; the latter is a pen holder.

Nothing much surprises my husband about me, but I think even he was taken slightly aback when I asked him in the middle of the night whether the formula for the circumference of a circle was indeed 2πr and what he thought the diameter of a toilet roll was. He kindly answered my questions, though, and I scribbled a few quick notes on the pad by my bed. The idea is to hem a piece of stitching with four-sided edging, cover a carefully measured cardboard tube with felt or paper in a suitable colour for shining through your cut areas, whip-stitch the two short ends of the four-sided edging together to make a cylinder, and slip it over the cardboard tube. The tube needs a bottom, of course, and the stitching may need to be attached to the cardboard in some way (though I hope to make it such a snug fit that it’ll just stay put), but that should make a very attractive pen holder with not too much effort!

That may be a case of Famous Last Words, of course …

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