When I posted about the latest finished panel of the Harmony Casket last week, I promised some discussion on it and the good, bad and the ugly. Well, here is the ugly.
I actually finished this panel back in early October and it has been sitting here looking at me for over a month - with my unicorn scowling at me. I couldn't put on the mane and tail as I was debating during a very hectic 6 weeks starting in mid-October of business trip after business trip that blended into the Thanksgiving rush and now a robot completion every week until Christmas Eve. The question - would I have the few days it would take to redo the unicorn??
So why didn't I like it? Unicorns are cool. Well, I had made the wrong choice on the thread progression when working it. This is unicorn #1 below. I had decided to use the grey silk gimps that I had made and were in the Season 1 Frosting Box. There was a dark grey, a med grey and a white. Knowing that unicorns are supposed to be white, I thought I would minimize the grey to an outline of one strand around the entire beast. One spot, the haunch of the back leg got two lines of the med grey because it was big and I needed to make a turn of the gimp.
|The first unicorn, everything is looking great on the satin and no reason to think that putting it together would become|
a disaster that was already in the making.
It looked good on the fabric until I had to cut the pieces out and construct the head. The first problem was the silk satin I was using. It frays horribly and of course you need to clip corners and make the allowance thin to tuck over and whip stitch the head piece to the back of the body. Because I was having trouble with the fraying, I wasn't aggressive with the turn over to get the two lines of gimp to touch at the seam. This was complicated by the addition of the horn in the seam. So when I was done, I had a head that had a 1/8" gap between the two pieces near the horn going around the snout.
To fix that, I needed to whip on some gimp to fill the space. But the gimp at the edge was the dark gimp. That gave the snout a weird dark shadow around it that you can see in the picture below. Then then the piece was attached to the ground fabric over the stuffing, I discovered in my haste to finish the entire side of the casket that I had forgotten to enlarge the pattern by 10% to allow it to bow over and still fit the outline on the fabric. ARG!! How stupid. So now I was pulling at the piece while tucking under the fraying silk fabric and it missed covering the outline in two places. The fix would have to be laying another line of dark gimp around the outside and in places, it might have to be two to three lines to cover the gap and fraying silk bits.
|Unicorn #1 - his snout with the dark grey stripe down its nose just annoyed me so much.|
|New body with medium grey on the outside and done|
in a double line to make it thicker and more dominant
It was at this point that I got really discouraged. I hadn't intended for the unicorn to be bounded by a real thick line of dark grey, it dominated and you didn't even notice the med grey color as a transition between the dark and white. The snout really irritated me every time I looked at it. I showed it to some trusted embroiderers and they weren't as down on it as I was. But I knew I would hate that side of the casket the rest of my life. So I left it aside. My time crunch was upon me and I had to get the tent stitch slope done on schedule, run around the country and endure some serious demands on my time not knowing if I would ever be able to get back to making another one before the instructions would have to go up.
So I set aside a few days to work until midnight on a new unicorn after Thanksgiving after shipping and other demands and managed to get one done. There was a lot of thought and funny short lines worked in dark grey in ways that wasn't efficient for embroidery but put the dark and medium where they needed to be to give the best look. Having the bad one to refer to helped tremendously in making the new one.
One fix that really contributed was running a line of fray check around the silk satin where I wanted to cut it (the seam allowance line). It wasn't next to the embroidery but kept the silk satin together when I was doing the turning. What a difference that made!! I was able to be aggressive with the turn and the snout ended up so crisp that I didn't need to add the planned dark grey line there at all and I don't really feel it is missing (note the rest of the body has one).
Below you can see the two unicorns. I am quite a bit happier with the second and will enjoy it on the side of my casket. I am not much of a ripper - usually working on ways to fix vs remove work as I am pressed for time. But in this case it was the right thing to do - and I wanted to share it with you to make you feel better about that piece that is sitting in the corner right now waiting for you to figure out what to do about something that bugs you.
It happens to all of us.
|The final unicorn and the one that got away.|