Step 4 – Setting Goals for the Project
I try to set one or two goals that I want to accomplish while working on each rug. This helps me focus on one or two specific aspects of a piece so that I can learn more about each rug as I work on it. As a rule these goals come to me while I’m studying a rug, before I start analyzing motifs or start my practice stitching. I’m now getting ready to stitch my third rug. Here are the goals for each of them:
The red Zemmour rug –
Adapt a few simple motifs to needlepoint
Arrange them in an order that will give the look of a real Zemmour rug
Results – I am able to adapt these motifs without doing weeks of practice stitching. It comes to me easily and the result of this first rug was pleasing to the eye, had the correct colors for the type rug I was stitching, and also has the feel of an authentic Berber rug. So far, so good.
The blue Middle Atlas Rug –
Design and stitch a blue and brown rug for our bedroom that we will enjoy looking at every day for years to come (sometimes motivation is a good thing)
Create more complicated motifs using needlepoint stitches that others can recreate
Results – The colors were perfect for our home and I got wonderful comments from many, many people. Several motif bands were quite complicated and required a lot of practice stitching to get them to look correct. One motif was dropped because it was so complicated and just couldn’t be adapted to my satisfaction. I don’t want my designs to be so complicated that other stitchers can’t use my designs. This was an important step for me. I’ve always loved designs and rooms that have understated elegance. I need to keep this in mind as I design other projects.
The Anti Atlas Rug –
Create a better way to add motifs on top of a stitched area. I’ll work on this with the basketweave squares
Use 3 separate color schemes that can work together to create an authentic looking rug from the area.
(Another unspoken goal was to use only what I already had on hand – canvas and thread)
Results – The first goal was not met. I was very disappointed with this part of the rug. The long stitches in the stitched on motifs continued to slide and shift long after I finished a section and started on another one. Also getting the motifs stitched at all was difficult. Over all, the design of the rug, the layout, and colors used were good. I learned a lot of new motifs in this one and will use some of them in later projects. (And I only had to buy one skein of floss to complete the orange section. All the other threads and the canvas were found in my stash.)
High Atlas Rug –
Design a needlepoint rug that looks more like a woven rug – this will influence my stitch choices
Design motifs that can be “woven” into the rug as I stitch – this could prove interesting and fun
As I continue to work on all thing Moroccan, I’m trying to stretch my knowledge and my needlepoint adaptation skills. And in the back of my mind, a solution to top-stitching motifs onto a stitched background is always rolling around. I should also note that I don’t write these down, but they are always there when I plan and stitch on my rugs.
If there are any other designers reading along, do you set goals for your projects? I would love to hear about it!