Saturday, March 24, 2007

Finally sewn after all these years...

Remember New Year's Eve when my sister came over to help me finish that snowman banner for my friend Kathy? The remedial sewing lesson seemed to go so well that I decided, since I had the machine out and all, that I should finally finish a couple of ornaments I'd stitched years before. One was a counted cross-stitch completed in 1992 -- yes, I said 1992! -- and the other a bit of Hardanger stitching I learned back in 1987. Yes, I took me a while to sew them together -- but...I didn't have a machine at that time, and the thought of sewing them together by hand was rather daunting. And now, nearly three months later, I finally have the pics to document that momentous occasion. Amazing, the pictures you forget you took when it takes three months to use up a roll of film!

For those not in the know, Hardanger is a beautiful and an intricate (though not all that difficult) form of Norwegian stitchery. It is usually stitched white on white, with the stitches creating blocked patterns and little windows cut away from the design. I learned this form of needlework from my Norwegian host mother, Kari Vik, the summer I stayed with her and her family. We have stayed in touch over the year, exchanging handcrafts every Christmas and a few letters and pictures throughout the year. Kari and husband Jostein visited me several summers back, but I have yet to manage a return trip as the cost is so expensive. One of these days...I hope! You can read up on Hardanger needlework and see some amazing samples here.

The Hardanger ornament (top pic) was supposed to have a dark green fabric behind the white linen, to offset the beautiful Hardanger stitches, but I kind of messed up when I was pinning it together and the plaid material that was supposed to be the ornament backing ended up being in the middle instead. And of course I discovered this after I already had three sides sewn togther and there was no way I was tearing it all apart and starting it over. Guess that shows how sewing savvy I am not, huh? The point is that, after years of moving it from one drawer to another, I actually got it sewn together and -- despite my little error -- it looks pretty good hanging on the tree.

The angel turned out much better, but then -- there were only two panels to stitch together for that one, not three. Naturally my sister, brat that she is, gave me a hard time over how long it took me to finish these two ornaments -- nevermind the number of ornaments I stitch on a yearly basis for friends and family... Two unfinished ornaments out of a few hundred really isn't that bad!

Hardanger and cross-stitch angel displayed on my little tree.

Closeup of the Hardanger ornament.


Jana said...

Those turned out gorgeous, Heather! :-)

Heather said...

Thanks, Jana! :)