Sunday, May 31, 2015

Third verse, almost the same as the first !

I was thinking (probably where all those earthquakes originated) that, while I’ve been reveling in rediscovering machine embroidery – and probably boring you to tears doing so – there’s one aspect I’ve avoided. Same one I shied away from with extreme prejudice for a year before I went on hiatus with the whole thing two years ago. And since I’ve come to refine my preferences and want to make stuff more than I want to decorate stuff, it’s inevitable. I have to face my failures, and like the others (applique, in-the-hoop, just plain embroidery in general) get better at them through relearning, redoing, and relaxing. 

So. To that end, I bought (stop laughing at me) three Free Standing Lace designs while they were on half-price sale at Urban Threads. I’ve wanted two of them for, yes, years, so if $4.50 inspires me to face a failure in hopes of making it a success, well, that’s pretty cheap. It then occurred to me that, with all the other projects I got in various stages of ‘get me done’, I could put this off for another year, minimum, without even trying. Not cool. Found a pretty little notebook and started Three Projects. Here’s the hope – every Sunday, I write down three projects I want to get done this week. I can do them whenever inspiration hits, and can even belay them ‘til the next week if necessary. But I can’t buy anything new until those projects are done. No excuses. If they’re on Three Projects, all the necessary elements for them are already assembled, so I can’t weasel out on a technicality. You know by now I can’t go to a fabric store for a 99¢ pattern without coming back $10. poorer, so them’s the rules. I kind of sat around all last week and only did a couple small things, I don’t want to waste more time sand-sifting. 

Although that does seem like what I did today. I was actually studying and looking up ways to improve my free-standing lace works, and I think I know where I kept going wrong. It’s a lot like where I was mucking up my regular ole embroidery – I hooped things my way, and wouldn’t let anyone tell me that’s where the problem was, I knew better. Um, no, I didn’t. So I didn’t know that tugging at the fabric once it’s hooped  leads to puckering when it’s removed. Made perfect sense when I stopped to think about it. And, yeah, using worn out dryer sheets as stabilizer really isn’t that great an idea, either. The message board was right on that one. But I was so angry and hurt by other things said that I wouldn’t listen to anything. Well, they’re gone, I like to think I’ve grown up a bit in the last three years, and wouldn’t you know it, my outlook and output has improved. Go figure. 

Seems like I just can’t resist a class struggle, even when it’s over sheer luxury crap like machine embroidery ! So, in memory of what was and hope for what can be, I tackled one of my Three Projects – stitched out another ‘Elsa and Olaf’ design on the blue broadcloth I bought Thursday. One of next week’s Three Projects will be to tear apart the light blue tote bag I bought at Dollar Tree, and re-sew it stronger, with the design replacing the front pocket. I’ll also take measurements, so I can make more tote bags out of better fabric, whenever I need one. 

It was great. Both my guys were napping, but I was restless, so I cued up an old MST3K, planted some Cheddar Chex Mix in a bowl, popped open a root beer, swapped a few colors of thread, and sewed. Actually, I stitched ‘Elsa and Olaf’ twice, because I used too-thin a stabilizer the first time. I just barely have the broadcloth to do what I want, but that first attempt was too poor to keep. Olaf’s arm was off about an eighth of an inch from where it was supposed to be, and I really should have quit earlier than I did. Luckily for me and my remaining broadcloth, the second attempt, with doubled interfacing, went much better. Perhaps even a little better than the very first one, now on Merri’s shirt. I keep thinking broadcloth is heavier than it is, and even feels. It’s actually a pretty light fabric, looser even than quilting cottons. Now I can take that design out of Brody-machine’s memory, clear space for another project, coming soon ! 

After all, I still have four hanging kitchen towels for MIL and an attempt at free-standing lace to do this week !

1 comment:

  1. Your embroidery looks quite pretty.
    I think I get what you mean, like you I wouldn't be told how to do things,but after thinking it through I realized that I was cutting off my nose to spite my face by not at least giving following advice a try.Once you do something well by following the rules you know which ones are necessary and which to adapt to your way of doing.