Friday, July 6, 2012

Blood, Sweat and Tears

At long, long last.....Frances Burwell is done!!


As I was putting the final stitches in her last night, I realized even though she was reaching her finish, she'll carry with her  - as most tangled relationships do - a bit of my blood, sweat and tears from now on.  Let me explain....

One of the mishaps I had along the way with Frances was spotting the left side of the linen with a drop of blood.  It happened when I picked her up too soon after checking my blood sugar levels.  I've spared the gory details by cropping the spot out of the picture, but it doesn't take much imagination to know what my reaction was upon finding it.  Fortunately, the spot is far enough to the edge that it will never be seen on a framed piece.  Now I can say it's been marked for posterity with my own DNA ...


 
These little structures in Miss Frances' neighborhood remind me of the picnic shelters in the park where I walk during cool weather.  When I first started my morning jaunts, I was only putting in a mile or two.  But by the time summer arrived and I had to retreat back to my treadmill, I was distancing 5 miles at a stretch, returning  to my stitching out of breath and more than a little bit sweaty.  I'm sure Miss Frances carries traces of my walks, just like the walks themselves were spent thinking about how work was going with her. 

And tears...


I began Miss Frances during Halley's turbulent first year at college.  I remember feeling so glad for her bright colors; they offset the worries I stitched into her.  Perhaps that's why her satin pansies got so laborious and complicated. Other sadnesses have occurred since then - family losses and employment uncertainties - so Miss Frances carries her share of tears as well.


With all the blood, sweat and tears that have become a part of her fabric, Frances' bottom lines, or maybe the lack there of, are the most sentimental part of the entire piece for me..  The original Miss Frances worked her first name there and then moved on.    Just like what lies ahead, she left it for me to decide what comes next..






11 comments:

Elizabeth said...

Wow - what an amazing piece and the story along with it are certainly something. I often wonder what memories I will attach to certain pieces that I stitch and only have to look at the two I did while pregnant with my first child. I have very vivid memories of where I was sitting, who I was with, and what else I was noticing while finishing those two samplers. I hope I keep those with me forever because those two out of all might mean the most to me. Anyhow, congrats on your finish!

Lanie said...

Mary, "Miss Frances" is absolutely beautiful! Congratulations on this fabulous finish!

I try to write a little of my stitching journey and attach it to the back of my framed pieces. Maybe one day someone will enjoy learning a little of my history. Thank you for sharing your journey.

Margaret said...

Oh Mary. What a wonderful finish. It sounds like Frances is not only gorgeous, but will carry so many memories for you as well. Isn't it amazing how we remember what was happening in our lives at the time we stitched a particular motif or a particular band? It's so true though. Frances will be special for you because of that. And the blood -- thank goodness it is far enough out that it won't be a problem. Whew! Good for you on the walking too. That is fantastic!! Anyway, Frances is a special piece, an heirloom in more ways than one. Congratulations!!!

Catherine said...

Beautiful post and finish!!

Lois said...

So nice to drop by and see that Frances is finished! Just stunning Mary and those memories intertwined with her make her that much more special. Definitely an heirloom piece - gorgeous!

Tati said...

OI QUERIDA PASSANDO PARA CONHECER O BLOG E JA SEGUINDO E TE CONVIDO A CONHECER O MEU CASO AINDA NÃO O CONHEÇA E ESPERO QUE GOSTE E SIGA TAMBÉM FICAREI MUITO FELIZ COM SUA PRESENÇA BJINHOS

maria4katter said...

Congrats on your finish of Frances. It is a stunning piece.
I have awarded you the Liebster award.
http://maria4katter.blogspot.se/2012/07/liebster-award.html

//Maria

Penny said...

Congratulations on a beautiful finish! It's interesting how we can look at the pieces we have stitched and remember the things that were going on in our life at the time. I think that makes them very special. I enjoyed your post!

mary's blog said...

Your most beautiful sampler yet! Incredible!

heritagestitchery said...

Am I too late, Mary? You are a seasoned needler, so I may be presumptuous to
mention that a bit of your own saliva on that blood site will remove it like
magic....something to do with exact enzymes in your body chemistry...or something
to that effect...Otherwise, Brava to you on the completion of this epic piece...
Love your blog...

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