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The anatomy of a new design.

I've been designing and charting needlepoint for many years now.  Experience is on my side.  Usually.  
I sat down at my computer to begin charting The House I Built weeks ago.  Looking at the design I thought: this will be easy, a breeze.  There is some repetition in the building blocks of the house, it's a medium size design, and there is a significant area of background, so no biggie, I should be able to get it done in 8-10 hours at most.  
Wrong!  I've put in well over 20 hours of intensive work at the computer.  
I always begin by figuring out "the systems"; what is the best way to stitch the design and what is the best way to explain the design.  These two are not necessarily the same.  I study the design and find the logic of it.  Since I always design directly on the canvas, I never know the logic of the design and it's structure until I'm done.  I design with artist eyes, I chart with an architect's eye. 
Not being symmetrical, The House I Built needed to be broken up into the building blocks of the house.  Once the blocks are individually explained, add a bit of mortar and the blocks are stacked into the shape of the house.  I went to work, illustrated the structure and moved on to each individual block.  I began noticing that the repetitions in the blocks were not identical.  I found many little variations that I had chosen to stitch; using different thread colors, adding small accents,  or flipping the blocks, turning them on their sides.  It was complicated, finding the structure and each time I thought I had it all laid out and explained, I found details I had left out.  This was getting overwhelming and the hours were going by.

The story has no ending yet. I am still charting.  But as I work on the instructions I have time to think and I can't help but wonder if there is a lesson here.  Building a house that is a home is a complex undertaking.  It takes so many elements, there are so many variations, and diversity only makes things more interesting.  It all makes for a richer life.  I hope it does the same for my design. 

Talk some more later...


lewmew  – (October 28, 2012 at 6:39 PM)  

I love the "preview" - looks like my kind of project.

tara –   – (January 31, 2016 at 12:38 PM)  

I love this design, and reading this description I am even more excited to sew it! I'm an architect ("Architect by day, crafty mama by night" as my instagram bio says) so I was immediately drawn to the "house" theme.

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