I've been struggling with a big piece I'm working on. I wanted a large circle on it, and this is the fourth attempt at getting it right.
The first try was with dark blue tulle, machine stitched on. It looked sloppy, and so I removed it, which took more time than the original sewing did.
So I tried fusing it on. The result was stiff, shiny, and still not right. I managed to get most of it back off, although there is a small amount of fusing left on the surface--which meant that I couldn't move subsequent circles much.
The next attempt very nearly worked. I took a piece of polyester sheer and used transfer dye on it to give it some character. Then I cut (freehand) a large circle out of it, carefully pinned it in place, and hand sewed (yep, with an actual needle and thread) it on. I then added some embroidery on the surface. Finally, I hung it up on my design wall to check out what I assumed to be perfection.
The circle was badly flat on one site--looked like the moon a couple of days past full. It was distracting and I couldn't get past it. I even tried waiting overnight and looking at it with fresh eyes. No dice.
So I took it back off--at least hand stitching comes out fast. I managed to cut a better looking circle out of the piece, and it was only slightly smaller. This time I pinned it in place and hung it up before sewing--novel concept, huh? I moved it slightly, and started resewing it. I think this time is going to work. I took advantage of the redo and changed the thread and stitch I used, which I think will make it a better piece in the end.
The thing is, not that long ago I would have tossed this piece aside after the first or second failure. Why the change? Not sure, except that my vision for my work has become clearer in my mind--I know what I want a piece to be, and I'm willing to do what I have to do to get it to that place. The maturation of the artist? Maybe. Growing older and wiser? Well, yes to the first part. Now I'm willing to put the time into a piece to get it. Even if it means fewer pieces produced. The art comes first.