39 Squares. This project is so me! It is exactly what I was looking for when I started embroidering last summer -- something that I could learn on and practice on, but is still creative, meaningful and quick.
As I'm not terribly confident at freehand embroidery, I put some planning into my squares before starting. I've decided that I'm going to use this on a pillow and that the squares will be a bit bigger than an inch by an inch. I also decided that the squares should be about my family, so I made a list of symbols using the 39 Squares flickr group as inspiration.
Then I used the table function in Word to create a table of 5x5 squares at, or close to, full size. I sketched out my ideas on this table using coloured pencils (keeping in mind my chosen colours). I rearranged the squares a few times to balance out the colours, patterns and shapes as I wanted to avoid repitition. I know I won't stick exactly to the layout, especially as I'm sure to run into problems with my more difficult images. I do have a few back-up images in case.
So now I've sat down with my floss, buttons, beads, and trim and am busily stitching away!
I've also finally finished Mariana by Monica Dickens. It really shouldn't have taken me so long, but at the moment most of my evenings are dedicated to embroidery. The book was OK. It would've been a much better book with some harsh editing. The second half is much better than the first. My next book is Nightingale Wood by Stella Gibbons, who wrote Cold Comfort Farm.