Saturday, December 19, 2009

Motifs to the Rescue!

I was so excited to get this custom order. A big drum case with some cool Celtic knotwork embroidery around the top. I figured I'd take the job and in a few weeks, I'd have a nice case and great sale.

Yes and no. I got the nice case and the great sale. I was so wrong about the 'few weeks.'

It was more like 7 or 8 weeks.

The first delay was in discovering exactly how I would make the case. I had the basic case design already, but there was the small problem of Celtic knotwork and getting the embroidery on the case. I tried several different techniques: Applique, cutwork, crewelwork embroidery...I even tried some iron on stuff that was a total disaster.

So I started over with a piece of stencil plastic, an exacto knife and the pattern the guy sent me to imitate. I made the stencil then transferred the pattern to my fabric of choice. After trying many different styles of embroidery, I settled on a chain stitch design and sent him a photo.

Much to my relief, he loved it. So I set about determining the number of motifs I would need. It turned out I needed 7 of them. It also turned out that counting transfer, outlining and infill each motif took an average of almost 5 hours to complete.

In between all this embroidery I had to deal with a small plumbing disaster that had us tearing up the floor in the living room. We also managed to get the worst snow storm I think I've ever had to drive through, I got sick with a nasty cold and I broke my car.

It's been a rough couple of months but last night I finally finished the case. I almost hurt my brain figuring this one out and frankly, I think I outdid myself:

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