Current WIP. Then no more x-ing for a while.

I have finished up the bear that was giving me so much trouble earlier, and moved on to a duck. This one was slightly less frustrating but there were still plenty of mistakes. However, not all of them needed to be fixed. I’ve left at least five in there. I don’t mind them — and I think in the end only I will know they exist — if I remember about them at all.

Once this one is finished I am going to move on to the embroidery portraits that will accompany them. Now, initially I was so utterly convinced that this was going to be a stupendous idea/project. It came to me one morning on the bus to work and I could not wait to get home to get started. But now? Now I am starting to wonder…

I’ve been compiling images that I’ll be using for the portraits onto a secret Pinterest board. I’m finding the secret boards to be wonderful for this purpose. I’ve got one for “secret stitching” and one for “completed projects”. I like keeping my ideas to myself while they are still cooking. But I’m starting to feel just a little tentative about putting everything together. I don’t think I’ll really know until they are all finished. And even then, who knows! I think it might be that these individual cross stitch pieces are so not my style and I’ve been staring at them for a while.

For now, I’m going to try and push down any doubts and carry on as if I’m as confident as I was a few weeks ago. I’ll keep Simon de Pury’s voice in the back of my head: “Be Bold! Be Brave! Be Amazing!”

UPDATE: So here’s the idea… I have these horrible 80s cross stitch patterns (seen here). I’m thinking of creating pairings of one 80s cross stitch and a portrait of a suffragette. I’m thinking the bear paired with Lucy Burns and/or Alice Paul. Both went on a hunger strike in 1917 at the Occoquan Workhouse which is right down the road from my house. If I put Lucy with the bear, then I might pair Alice with the duck or I might do Inez Milholland riding on a white horse at the front of the 1913 suffragist parade in Washington. I just wonder if it will translate properly. I think I need more pairings… But we’ll see. If it doesn’t work, I figure I’ll at least have some embroidery portraits of suffragettes that will be awesome.


14 Responses to That tiny voice which wonders…

  • Curious and Curiouser…. 🙂

  • I’m intrigued! And this always happens with ideas that have been simmering for a while, I betcha it’s genius. 🙂

  • You have us all on tenterhooks now waiting to find out what the project is!

  • OK y’all, updated to include the actual idea…

  • I think it’s a very cool idea. Can’t wait to see!

  • I love this idea and can’t wait to see how it works out. Good luck with it.

  • Brilliant idea – can’t wait to see the finished art!

  • Hey Jessica, interesting idea. Although Maybe I’m being a bit dim – i don’t get the relationship between cheesy 80s cross stitch and the suffragettes? I love the idea of stitched portraits of the suffragettes either in free hand embroidery or cross stitch, that seems like a lovely tribute. Maybe you could branch out and embellish them with cross stitch slogans or symbols of your own making? The 80s designs don’t speak to me, I’m not sure what their message is in the pairing. if they are not to your taste and you are not enjoying stitching them, why do them?

  • Ahhhh now the cross stitches make sense! I like the idea, how will you tie the images together; by displaying them side by side, or using similar colours or having connecting threads? I look forward to seeing the pairs together, I think it’s a great idea!
    Although they are old patterns they are sadly still very relevant- are you following @everydaysexism on twitter? There have been quite a few examples of sexist adverts, memes and clothing slogans etc on there recently. The worst is when these stereotypes are on products aimed at women- like your delightful cross stitch charts 😉

  • Oh, Jess, I think that sounds like a very promising idea! I have to say, I never thought I’d be the kind of person who says things like this, but as a woman, those cross-stitch patterns (the patterns, of course, not your embroideries! 😉 ) make me feel sick to my stomach. Similarly, the tv ads here (in the UK, I can’t speak for the US) about all the *moms* that do the shopping and the skinny women dieting off that one pound and having silly embarrassing moments in front of perfect men. I can’t believe *this* is the society all those women, for so many generations, fought for. Seems like something went wrong somewhere. 🙂

    I love how your brain works that you connected these 80s patterns, that most people would see as throwaway junk and not give a second thought to, to such a wider picture!

  • Of course, it could be that I just haven’t seen enough of the cross stitch images and if I had a better picture of the overall effect I’d understand. Sorry! Opinionated friend alert! B.x

    • Oh no worries at all Bridgeen! I want it to make people consider what Alice Paul et al went through but that maybe things haven’t changed all that much. I think the whole thing hinges on how effectively I tie the things together.

  • This feedback has been so very helpful. Just what I needed. All of it. Thank you a zillion. <3

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