Home Sweet Home

My second cross stitch project has been in the works for a while, pretty much since I started patterning The Hazards of Love and realised that my god! I can make cross stitch designs out of ANYTHING! I have the power!

Everyone has to have a “Home Sweet Home” style sampler or whatever, right?

Right!

But just saying “Home Sweet Home” seemed kind of bland to me. I’m a big fan of Subversive Cross Stitch, but unfortunately am too chicken to actually make them and put them on my wall (my mam might see, or even my grandma, and they still think I’m innocent and lovely!). So, what’s a girl to do?

I revisited the world of poetry to inspire me. Have you ever heard of William Topaz McGonagall? If not, then the short version is that he’s the worst poet in the English language. Everyone told him so, and you can’t even blame them. Seriously, try reading any of his poems and not saying “Holy shit, this is terrible.” McGonagall didn’t care, though. So what if he wasn’t allowed to perform in front of the Queen, or if his poetry, frequently describing tragedies and disasters he read about in the paper, was horrible? He was a poet, and poets write poetry, so that’s what he did.

This is why McGonagall was awesome. He chased his dreams, and now we fondly remember him and his terrible poetry and the way he chased his dreams, giving the middle finger to scansion, metre and the poets who love them all the way.

Do you want incontrovertible, objective proof that William Topaz McGonagall is awesome? He wrote a poem about an angel burning down all the pubs in Dundee. Beat that, Milton.

And what does this have to do with homey cross stitch, you ask?

A Poetic Gem indeed.

For the stronger we our houses do build/The less chance we have of being killed.

These are the last two lines of The Tay Bridge Disaster, one of McGonagall’s most famous poems, and I felt that they’d be an appropriate sentiment for any building I’m going to live in.

This one was done on 16 point fabric, finer than I’m used to, but it turned out pretty nice. I wanted to make the design narrower, but I’m not that good at this kind of thing, and it got away from me a bit…

Not as many elements to talk about here as in The Hazards of Love, thankfully, and this was pretty much another Frankenstein’s monster of existing and improvised patterns.

The pansy at the top is my own, the border was taken from here, the font from here and the house from here. You can’t really see it in the picture, but the “garden” is all coloured French knots – which, surprisingly, turned out to be less of a pain in the arse than the lazy daisy stitches on the roof. Seriously? Screw lazy daisy stitches. I can’t make them look pretty :C

The bridges at the bottom were my own design, based pretty loosely on pictures of the old Bridge Over The Silvery Tay that I could find. They were pretty fun to do, though it took me a couple of lengths to work out how to best set out the overlapping threads. I used a single strand of black thread and ran it in one long stitch from the top of the bridge to the bottom, and overlapped those stitches in the middle to give the impression of… whatever the lines on bridges are. I don’t know a lot about bridges. Sorry.

Important life lessons gleaned from disaster

NB: This also applies to bridges that cross the silvery Tay.

So, that’s the obligatory Home Sweet Home cross stitch done!

I don’t have anything else in the works right now. I have a couple of ideas for things I want to do, but they’re more complicated than HERP DERP STICK RANDOM ELEMENTS TOGETHER DERP, so they’ll take a while. I’m currently gathering my thoughts and drawing rough sketches of things I want to include before attempting to set down the design, so expect to see those soon.

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