Back in January, I hit upon an idea to get hold of a world map and embroidering on it to mark the places that I'd visited. So far, so unoriginal. But somehow this idea snowballed to find me carting a canvas that's almost as tall as me through the busy streets of town. It was a bargain though, and it just fit in my car as long as I wasn't picky about things like being able to see out the rear window.
I also got hold of a large map of the world (on sale) and proceeded to trace the outline of every country onto my canvas in pencil. This wasn't as easy as it first appeared, because I couldn't see the map through the canvas to trace it. Taking a step back, I decided to outline all the countries in thick, black pen first, and then voila! The lines were clear enough to trace onto my canvas.
All I needed for this project - canvas and map aside - was some black embroidery thread and a needle. And so I am slowly and deliberately embroidering the world onto my canvas. It's slow going largely because the canvas is enormous and reaching around it for each stitch is something of a workout. But now that more of it is complete, it's starting to look pretty good.
Each line has to be covered three times - first to prick out where the stitches will go in the canvas, second in running stitch and third in running stitch again but this time filling in the gaps. It's a work in progress, but a little here and a little there and it's going to come together.
This project has grown from a simple it'll-only-take-me-one-afternoon project, and I have grand plans for it. Having invested this much time in it, it seems silly to stop here. Embroidering the countries is just the first step. But I am enjoying it!
P.S. Confession: I had to make the Atlantic Ocean slightly narrower in order to prevent Hawaii and Fiji falling off the edges of the canvas. But that can be our secret :D