It has taken a long time, but I have finally finished the miles of close blanket stitch, the buttonhole bars, and the eyelets on the Azorean Cutwork, which I began in 2013. The idea was that it would be a good travelling project, but it really wasn’t. White on white rather needs good light, and good light is one of the things I rarely get when travelling.
I threw it in the washing machine, and stretched it on a cork board as soon as it came out. Already it is looking better!
The next stage was to cut out all of the internal spaces, and then wash and stretch the piece again. The cutting is fiddly, and a bit anxious (what if I cut through one of those buttonhole bars? what if I cut through one of the edges?) and it seemed to me that it would be a good idea to be able to stretch it out to see whether I had damaged something. The edges allowed me to do that.
Some of the sections I was plainly too nervous to cut out well enough, so I was also hoping that agitation in the washing machine would help settle the stitching and slightly fray the edges that need more trimming.
Then there was some repairing to do. This wasn’t the only section that needed repair, and they actually didn’t take that long, but there were a few growls, all the same!
Next I had to trim the edges. The challenge lay in finding the right pair of scissors. I have loads of pairs, but what I really need is a sharpener. So many of them are only sharp at one part of the blade, and then the fabric simply gets chewed. “The scissors ate my homework” may sound eccentric, but it certainly felt like that!
Washed (yet again!) and ironed, I have finally finished it!
I may have some more repairs to do, when it’s had a little use, but in the meantime, it was an interesting exercise, if rather more fun in retrospect than it was at the time. I would do the buttonhole bars differently another time – they went too deeply into the borders, and caused a lot of muttering!