Monday, February 22, 2016

A Queen Stitch Pinball

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For a project that’s taken me such a long time to complete, I don’t really think there’s a whole lot to say about it.  I saw the original in the Winterthur collections several years ago and really loved the design.  I used Photoshop and Excel to make my own charted design, sourced silk thread from some website that has since gone out of business, and got started.

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And then worked on it at one event per year for the next…four years.  Well, three and a half.  According to my photo records, I started this in August of 2012.  I finished it in early February 2016, and I would have finished it in January if the wool roving I ordered on Etsy for stuffing hadn’t taken so @*#& long to arrive!  Side 1, the lighter side, took from August 2012 to October 2016 to complete.  Side 2 only took from October to January…and while I did get faster as I went, I definitely picked up enthusiasm for the project when I got halfway there and realized that it didn’t necessarily have to take me that long to get the next side done!

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Now.  There are a few small differences between my pinball and the original.  For one thing, back when I started, I was working exclusively off dim, inadequate photos that I took myself in the under-lit textile collections room at Winterthur.  Since then, they have put several excellent photos of the original object on their website, here.  It’s just as stunning as I remember!  But by the time I saw them, it was too late to go back and add the missing motifs.  The other thing is that I got my scale wrong.  My pinball is pretty large compared to most of the originals I’ve seen, and not really a suitable size for wearing on my belt.  It still functions perfectly well for holding pins, but if I had it to do over again (and undoubtedly finish around the time I turn 40…) I would use finer fabric and one strand of floss rather than two.

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The original at Winterthur, photographed in 2011

Mine is done on (I believe) 25 or 28 count linen with Needlepoint, Inc. silk floss.  The original site from which I ordered my thread went out of business as far as I can tell, but when I started running low on colors I was happy to find Stitching Bits and Bobs, located in my state, that had all the colors I needed and shipped me extra quite fast.  Highly recommended!

All told, I’m very happy with how this came out.  I’m also very happy to have finally completed it!  And while it might be a little on the large side, the design came out exactly as I wanted and I still think it’s quite beautiful after all these years.

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