Mosaic Rug – Final Thoughts

I started planning this rug in April and started the stitching the end of May. It’s the biggest rug I’ve designed and stitched so far. I have to admit that I love it, now that it’s done. But I don’t want to do another rug that is this large again. I’ll go back to my smaller size – about 16″ X 32″ but not until sometime next year. To recover from the large size, I’m working smaller projects for the next few months.

This is the partial rug that was the inspiration for the Mosaic Rug. I wanted you to be able to compare and contrast the version from 1787 and my version. You can see most of the motifs I used in the original, but I’ve created my own pattern by placing the motifs differently. The size I stitched didn’t allow for all the bands from the original and it’s not quite as busy as the original either.

What I learned from this project:

Figure out how much thread you’ll need and then add a lot more. I used a half hank of the three colors that are used as the main background colors and I was way off on the amount I thought it would take.

Don’t get carried away with too many colors. I had a lot of colors planned for this and then changed my mind. I eliminated some of the colors I was going to use in the small motifs and added more from the green family. I had planned on 2 shades of green and ended up with 4.

Be flexible. Even though all the motifs were designed and some of them partially stitched during practice stitching time, slight changes were made along the way. Don’t be afraid to change things as you go. You know I have a habit of deciding the colors for the smaller motifs as I go so that there is no set pattern to the colors used throughout the rug. Adds a little fun along the way, deciding what color combination to use for the next one when the time comes.

Make adjustments. The large motif on the bottom in the photo is a little longer and thinner than the large motif on the top. I decided to make the top wide band 2 Mosaic stitches wider to accommodate the top motif. I didn’t add those extra stitches to the bottom motif because it would have made the rug more than 24″ wide and I didn’t want that.

Counting – the biggest problem faced in this project.  I can’t tell you how many times I counted the threads were needed for each of the largest motifs. And I still got the first one wrong. It doesn’t make a difference in the appearance of the rug, but I added one too many rows of Mosaic stitches before I started on the largest motif. Then I had to add another row at the end of the motif to keep the rows the same at both ends.This made the whole rug 2 Mosaic stitches longer than designed. Minor changes were made to keep everything else where it needed to be.

Setting daily goals. When I started working on this, I just stitched until I was too tired to continue – 2-3 hours at a time. That quickly changed. I set a goal of 10-12 strands of Silk & Ivory a day (I cut the thread where the knot is and that is the only cut I make. The strands are longer but hold up well on 13 count canvas.) When I had stitched that number of threads, I quit for the day. The days when my hand was bothering me, I did less and didn’t feel guilty.

Take breaks. I make myself take a break in the middle of my morning stitching time. About 1-1.5 hours, a 30 minute break, then another hour at the most. It isn’t fun anymore if you’re too tired and worn out to do anything. Everything in moderation.

Have fun. I loved seeing each of the larger motifs come to life. That kept the project humming along.

Now back to some smaller pieces for a while. It will be nice to get projects done in just a few weeks instead of months.

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5 responses to “Mosaic Rug – Final Thoughts

  1. You have taught me so much as I’ve followed this and your other projects. I am amazed at how you can select design units from a rug and translate them to needlepoint. Thanks for blogging your creative work.

    Nancy

  2. Congratulations Jan on a job well done. The rug is beautiful and an amazing accomplishment all around, from start to finish. I also learn a lot from you and especially appreciate your tips at the end and along the way.

  3. Jan, thanks for showing the original rug again. It is interesting to see your adaptation of it next to the original. You did a very good job of capturing the look and feel of the original, though yours is not nearly as busy as the original. But it is easier to enjoy the motifs without so much going on. I know that you are pleased with the results, and hope that you enjoy it for a long time to come. Sandi

  4. I wish I had that much time to stitch!

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the working of this. All too often we see a delighted “I’ve finished” with no consideration of lessons learned that might be of use elsewhere..

    Having an indication of the pitfalls others have suffered is a good hint of where we might find them ourselves!

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