Demons Are Everywhere: A Success Story

Join me in my rejoicing!  I’ve snatched victory from the jaws of defeat.

I made this piece as a custom order — my first.  I don’t normally do embroidery, I do cross stitch.  But everything felt right, and the client was willing to wait a bit longer so I could ramp up my technique.  It’s a quote from the show Supernatural.

The first thing was, I picked a fabric with a field of stars and decided to tea stain it.  Here’s what I learned, and hopefully it can save you some tears.

I got the stitching done, then went to scrub off the pencil marks and fingerprints.  I was very pleased with the piece up until then.  Behold:


I had pressed it, looked at it several times, and was ready to ship it when I looked at it in a different light and saw the above.   The tea stain, which was already not as deep as I would have liked, had lifted unevenly.  There were spots where I had scrubbed with a nailbrush that were almost white, and other spots looked dirty.  Disaster!  It looks like I bussed a table with it.  And I was already so nervous about this job.

So here’s what I did:  Step 1:  TOLD THE CLIENT.  I hate it when people don’t keep me in the loop.

Step 2: This sounds maybe obvious, but I think it’s why this has a happy ending — I felt very ready to just start over from scratch.  I swear this is what did the trick.  I just looked at all of this as mastering my learning curve — while doubling my stitching capability, if that makes sense.  I was grateful for the opportunity instead of annoyed that it wasn’t working out.

Step 3:  I brewed up some more tea, a darker batch than the first one, and applied it to the light spots with Q-tips and makeup brushes.  That evened it up somewhat, but really not satisfactorily.

Step 4:   I decided to just dunk the whole thing in tea, to darken it overall.  That did work.  I did it again, and it was the perfect buttered toast-y look I was going for.  But the soft, silvery gray floche in the moon and the centers for the flowers had turned a very ugly color.


Step 5:  I apologize, I don’t have a picture of its final, restitched with white state.  Loved it, shipped it.  Hopefully the client will send me a picture when she gets it framed.

And here’s a little warm fuzzy to keep you hanging in there even if you think your work isn’t the way you want it:

Good afternoon,
I received the package and wanted to wait until I had a moment to sit down and type an appropriate thank you.
It is absolutely perfect!!!! I knew my leap of faith to have you make this for me would work out. As I unpackaged it and unrolled it I became emotional. The font, the material, the threading…it is all perfect! I love the silver! And I love the moon and the butterfly! I can’t wait to frame it!!
Thank you so much for your hard work and dedication!! And your attention to detail and always keeping me in the loop!
If anyone asks about having you do a piece for them should I let them have your e-mail?
Thank you bunches!!
Best regards,


PS:  And in a related incident, I seem to have successfully put a gallery post on its own page in the gallery.  Success double word score!

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