When I catch sight of it, a huge smile steals across my face. Yes, Noah has been hanging up for several months, but it was a WIP (or more like a WNP - Work Not Progressing) for so long that I’ll probably still be grinning next January.
It was (nearly) love at first sight when I received the January/February ‘87 issue of Cross Stitch and Country Crafts. The ark itself was a little too cutesy for my taste, but I really liked the layout of the sampler. Still do.
After gathering supplies and charting an ark more to my liking, I started stitching in January 1991. Yeah, you read that date right. Noah was my first attempt at a largish sampler – stitch count as originally charted is 204h x 185w – and it contains a number of “firsts,” including my premier effort at stitching over one thread to shrink Noah himself to a reasonable size. He’s done in tent stitch with a blended needle, and parts of him came out a trifle fuzzy.
Besides the ark, there were other things that wanted changing – can you believe the original chart had no lions?! And I had to add tigers - my son's favorite animal. Of course adding those extra animals made it taller overall and at one point, I was worried that with all the design changes I’d made after starting to stitch, there wouldn’t be enough fabric at the bottom to have a framing margin (eep!).
And because I was worried that all my work so far would turn out to be for nothing, Noah sat. Have you ever done that? Silly me, all that was really necessary was some more counting to make sure there was enough room. But no, worry ruled and Noah was banished to the closet.
And even after deciding that this sampler Would Be Finished, between the magazine, lots of different pages where I’d charted a bit of this or that, the box of threads and the large piece of fabric, Noah didn’t make a 10 or 15 minute stitching session feel worthwhile at all.
But it was fun deciding what animals to add and finding or designing them. There’s a nearly complete test fox in the margin fabric! And I’m really happy with the porcupine’s quills.
Twenty-four years to finish a sampler (should I really admit that? oh well, too late now)? Not recommended. But it’s done and it’s framed and it’s on the wall, and I’m delighted with it.