However, this latest project I finished was like the troubled child that you love, but all they want to do is spite you and make you cry.
(Don’t want to read a bunch of complaining? Go ahead and watch the vid of the cross-stitch’s progress.)
Oh Guardians, why do you hate me?
The original plan was simple: I was going to whip up a quick cross-stitch with a Destiny theme and give it to DeeJ as a thank you for inviting me (and my hubby) over to E3/the Bungie after-hours party. I found a screencap (not hi-res which was my very first mistake), popped in into my cross-stitch pattern maker program. Boom! There was my chart waiting for me in all of its awesome glory. I started it on May 22 and thought, Dude, I so got this.
But, I was wrong. So, tragically wrong.
It was pretty clear that by the Friday before E3, there wasn’t a chance of me getting it finished. So, I modified my goal: I’ll have it finished by Bungie Day! That would give me another month. Piece of cake. I can do that in my sleep.
(At this point, I wish a future version of myself would have appeared, grabbed me by my shoulders and said, “You fool! This is no ordinary cross-stitch. It will haunt you. Every. Single. Day. Walk away while you still have your sanity.”)
So, I kept pushing through, making tiny squares that should have been working together to create something awesome. Instead, it was looking…not right. Follow the chart, I told myself. So I did.
30+ hours and over 10k squares later, I was done.
Or, maybe not.
I could see the respective characters, but they looked mediocre (at best). I’m used to my cross-stitches looking like complete awesomeness. This…did not.
I told myself that backstitching was probably the answer. So, I set to do the part of cross-stitching that I absolutely loathe. A handful of more hours passed. Somehow, despite the fact I could make out details in the cross-stitch, it looked almost worse. (Not really.) and I pretty much convinced myself to throw the whole project in the trash.
Bungie Day came and went. And I still had this project looking at me accusingly.
I did the only thing I could; I put it away and turned my focus to other things. Instead, I worked on random things like Nintendo pillows, Traveler ornaments and Tricorn plushies. I even went back to my earlier x-stitch project that I had been working on before the Destiny cross-stitch took over my life.
Still, thoughts of the failed cross-stitch haunted me. I was plagued with nightmares of unfinished cross-stitched Guardians. Crafting is more psychologically traumatizing than one may think.
Convinced that the backstitching was the problem, I came up with a good plan. (Which, we all know based on how the rest of the project went, wasn’t a good plan after all.) I thought, ok, I’ll get a piece of plexiglass and I’ll go around the edges with very fine tipped Sharpies. Then, I’ll set the piece over the x-stitch. THAT WILL GIVE ME THE CURVED LINES AND IT WILL LOOK AMAZING.
No. No. No.
If anything, it screamed, “THIS PERSON COULDN’T FIGURE OUT HOW TO BACKSTITCH ME!!!”
Being the ever-stubborn chick that I am, I tried three separate times before accepting that it wasn’t going to work. So, I went back to backstitching.
This time, before I started the backstitching, I decided to do something I hadn’t done which was add some stars in the background. According to Babe, that was what made it look better. I agreed and suddenly, it didn’t seem so horrible. Maybe, I thought with a glimmer of optimism, I can salvage this thing.
The plexiglass wasn’t a complete waste of time, either. I used the lines that I drew as a template of what needed to be backstitched. So, um, yay?
Finally, finally, finally, after a couple of hours of backstitching, I finished the sucker.
Is it as perfect as I wanted it? No. Is it as terrible as I thought it was? No.
I did learn a few things from this project.
1. Plead, beg or scour the internet for a hi-res picture before uploading it to the program. (Though it didn’t make too much of a difference, those handful of different colors might have helped with the backstitching part.
2. Never try to fit an extremely detailed picture with a 5″ x 12″ dimension.
3. When there are so many curves, don’t bother with a 14 count AIDA cloth — the squares are just too big to make it look smooth and curvy.
Now it’s back to the secret project that I don’t think will be a secret much longer (If I actually work on it, the image will reveal itself soon.) and my Legend of Zelda Dark World cross-stitch.