Why do deadlines always sneak up, despite best-laid plans to have projects done WAY ahead of time? That happened when I sent a piece to Vesterheim for their 6th Biennial Benefit Auction. I wove a linen transparency piece early in the summmer, Sami reindeer symbols woven on a natural linen background. All that remained was the finishing work.
I wanted a more sophisticated hanging device than the usual dowel in a sewn pocket finish. I put thought into how I could use acrylic/plexiglass in a creative way to make a somewhat transparent, crisp, edge, one that would hold the piece hang a small distance from the wall to enhance a shadow effect. A helpful young man at the local hardware store thought through the issue with me and we came up with a great solution, to put a narrow band of plexiglass in a pocket at the top of the piece. Three small, yet strong, magnets would be glued to the plexiglass. A narrow steel piece would be mounted to the wall and magically, the piece would snap to it. The first evening I spent creating the hem and top pocket, perfectly measured and hand-sewn. I slipped in the plexiglass, and voila, no – OOPS – the piece fell to the floor. The magnets wouldn’t hold to the steel with a layer of fabric between. (Not so helpfully, my husband said I should have consulted him; he knew that would happen.)
On night two I popped the three magnets off the plexiglass and sewed them directly to the back of the pocket. Still, not enough strength to hold it. Not enough magnets, I presumed, and sewed on two more. Now it stayed in place but the weight of the piece created just a bit of pulling where the magnets were sewn. I took the plexiglass out of the header. When I snapped it on it looked better! No pulling without the weight of the plexiglass.
On night three I found a tiny, tiny dowel to invisibly sew in at the very top to keep the edge perfectly even, and noticed the bottom edge was shorter on one side. Would it never be ready!? Finally, it was, and I found myself at the understaffed post office on the last day to get it in by the deadline. I learned a lesson – and not for the first time! Finishing a weaving is one of the most important aspects of creating a professional work, and one that always takes much more time than anticipated.
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