See these.... cute aren't they.... deceiving little buggers.....
These taught me some things about embroidery in that "tough love" fashion. You know the one... where you can almost hear your project cackling at you as you are taking out your stitches AGAIN.
These didn't get banished to the permanent WIP drawer for only a very few reasons. A) I'm stubborn. B) They aren't for me but for a very dear friend who loves pirates and really, truly appreciates handmade things. I couldn't think of a better gift. C) I didn't leave myself enough time to think of something else let alone MAKE something else. D) I'm really quite stubborn.
So on to the lessons:
1) Trace the pattern after you iron the stabilizer on. Then iron again.
2) Even though I whined not two weeks ago that I was much slower on a project where I had to use stabilizer, apparently if something looks physically small I think I can just burn through it. This is not true.
This one, the first one I did, took an ENTIRE day of couch time. Which leads me to Lesson #3.
3) If you are saying very bad words because you needle does not pierce the fabric cleanly or is "squeaky" or hard to pull through the fabric, before you frighten the innocent or wake the devil, for The Love of Pete get a new needle. I mean really, Carrie, a package of them is what? $1.75? If you have used the same needle for the last 5 projects, it has had a good, long, fulfilling life and it may be time to let it go.
I can't even claim that I figured this out. I left the needle I had been using stuck in the arm of the couch at home and when I started the 2nd one on my lunch break I HAD to get a new one. If I had "figured it out" I would have gotten more accomplished on day 1.
4) No matter how carefully you iron on the stabilizer, if you pull on the fabric separately when putting it in the hoop, it will come apart. You must, then, take it all the way out of the hoop and reapply the stabilizer. There is no cheating.
5) Recognize the fact that even though you are still capable of movement you may be too tired to continue. Staying up an extra 30-45 minutes to get to a "good stopping place" or finish "this last little bit" only costs you time in the long run. Chances are, when you wake up the next morning, you will realize that the last hour of work from the night before is rubbish and has to be taken out. (Also note: When you are awake, what took you an hour the night before, will probably only take about 10 minutes when your eyes are open.)
6) Metallic Floss was dreamed up to torment people. It gives you a wonderful vision of what is possible that makes everything else seem somehow less, and then you try to use it...
7) When someone really, really appreciates the blood, sweat and tears of a hand made gift it doesn't matter how many bad words I said, I want to go home and make more.