A Project A Day – Counted embroidery work is my main hobby and I have a huge stitching stash. Some of these projects are huge and take years to stitch, and while others are quick projects, I often spend months without stitching at all. So while I have hundreds in my stash, only a half-dozen ever see attention any given year. To address this imbalance in 2012 I will each day write about one project languishing in my stash.
Flying Dutchman by Dragon Fire Designs
Copyright Sherry Schons, 2000.
Chart: The Chart is printed over four sheets, but there is unfortunately no overlap to help line up the sheets. The symbols are a good size, but many are of a similar shape so I would definitely be making a working copy to stitch this design. There is a fair bit of confetti stitching in that moon but it should look stunning when completed.
Stitches: Whole cross stitches, fractional stitches, backstitch, French Knots and Beads
Materials: DMC stranded cottons, Kreinik blending filament and Mill Hill petite beads. Stitched on Wichelt 28ct “Midnight blue” Linen.
Designer’s Notes: Several hundred years ago, in the year 1729 to be exactly, there lived a Dutch sea captain of fearsome temperament. With his ship he sailed through the stormiest seas, and fared the hardest routes. One day however, despite all his efforts, a storm prevented him from rounding the steep cliffs of a headland. He swore to the Devil that he would never give in to Nature, and that he would sail on until he rounded the headland, even if it took him till Judgment Day. The Devil took the Captain at his word and dammed him, that he must stay as captain of his ship, now a ghostship, sailing the seas, until Judgment Day should come. The Devil left him just one small hope. Only through the love of a woman could he be released.
So, the Flying Dutchman became the curse of the seas. Any ship that met him became a ship of ill fortune. No sailor would sail on her, any trader would refuse to deal in it’s wares. In order to protect themselves against an encounter with the ghost ship, ships took to nailing horseshoes to their masts, which was said to bring luck, and prevent an unhappy meeting.
Why I was attracted to this design: As previously mentioned, I love Gothic tales and what is more Gothic than the tale of the Flying Dutchman! Stitched on Midnight Blue linen with metallics and beads, the only thing that could make this chart better would be the addition of Glow-in-the-dark threads (which didn’t exist when this chart was created). Does anyone know of any other Flying Dutchman charts?
So why haven’t I stitched it? From memory this was another chart in the 40 charts for $40 bundle I won on eBay a few years back. I spent a few years stashing faster than I was stitching and I had a very small fabric stash for a long time. So any chart that required an unusual fabric (not pastel or black) tended to languish longer.
Where can you buy it? Dragon Fire Designs seems to be out of business these days. Their website seems broken and I cannot find a distributor for their designs. I suggest you try your LNS if they stock older charts, or try eBay as I did.
Discussion questions: The irony of course, is that now I actually have a piece of midnight linen in my stash, I am tempted rather to use a hand dyed like DoveStitch Black or Polstitches Bewitched and not the plain Midnight Blue. What do you think? What would be the perfect fabric for this design? By the way, that chart photo looks black, not midnight blue to me. Cover photos hey?