Friday, January 16, 2015

- Learning the (good) hard way

The sun was shining again today, so I didn't mind that it took a while to get to where I was happy with this cover for the lullaby book. By the way, if you want to know when to use "a while" versus "awhile," the Snarky Grammar Guide has a great "Try this" trick.


Anyway, in spite of the effective instruction that Jude Hill provides in her Spirit Cloth classes (which I highly recommend even, or especially, for experienced stitchers), I still insist on learning things the hard way: by trial and error. So as I went along, trying to get to a final version of Close your eyes that I actually liked, I found myself remembering some tried and true sayings ... which led to the following notes to self.

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. And next time, don't use such a lightweight fabric over a sturdy twill ...


Measure twice, cut once rather than assuming that five 5" strips in each direction will give you a 5" square ... 


The third time's the charm, but it's best to hedge your bets, so practice, practice, practice ...


which includes using monochromatic pictures before you stitch to envision alternatives ...



A stitch in time saves nine, so baste thoroughly ... 


Dot every i and cross every t, but it's definitely better not to split back stitches that meet at a common point ...


And one last thought: when using variegated thread, a second strand of a solid color moderates the effect. I learned that one the hard way, too.

12 comments:

Dana said...

Loads of good advice here. Its quite nice to see your variations and struggles. I always assume (when will I Iearn?) that my embroidery will be fine with little prep. Try, try again is right.

Liz Ackert said...

I'm also hoping that the process of documenting will save me from making the same mistakes in the future ...

Liz Ackert said...

Oh my goodness, Dana ... I just went to my blog-roll and read your post on Christopher Alexander ...

"you must make each thing, shape each thing so that you really like it, so that it pleases you"

Thank you ... how perfectly timed!

Mo Crow said...

Oh Ha! love the magical synchronicity of this web of light we all weave, what's the likelihood of both of us playing with the same 3 words from two different songs in the same week? The Flighty Nature of Chance!

Liz Ackert said...

We are all connected somehow ... the trick is in the noticing and celebration of that

susan said...

And the finished product is perfect!

Liz Ackert said...

Welcome Susan ... good to see a fellow ex-pat Long Islander come to visit. I just took at quick spin around your blog and will be adding you to my Kindred Spirits ... you have some beautiful food photography!

Anyway ... thank you. The cover isn't done yet, but at least it has reached a point where I want to continue with it.

To be continued ... indeed

Liz Ackert said...

P.S. Just left a comment on your blog and managed to land it somewhere in the middle rather than at the end ... ha!

grace Forrest~Maestas said...

really enjoying all the thought FULL details and things i Constantly forget! and the Practice
never ends. And i know so well the place JUST BEFORE that point where we WANT to continue...
that stalled place...

Liz Ackert said...

That's when I visit Our Lady of Perpetual Solitaire ... playing one hand after another while my mind chews on what to do next

Sarah said...

Hello Liz,

thanks for visiting my blog and leaving your kind comment. I am already enjoying your blog - I have learned (oh wait, did I say learned? Maybe I mean am learning over and over) many of those things myself... maybe I should stitch a sampler with them all on!

Am subscribing so I can follow you - its lovely to connect with you.

Liz Ackert said...

Likewise, I am looking forward to following yours