This is my studio wall after a weekend of editing and revising work I thought I had finished.
On Friday I pulled out some unfinished work from last year, intending to finish them. Several pieces - they just needed a final layer of stitch. I pinned them all up on the wall alongside some finished pieces from the same group and stepped back.
There's something about coming back to your work and looking at it afresh after some time has passed. You see it more clearly. I didn't like the proportions of one piece ... but there was a way to fix that. I took it down, unpicked it, removed a border, straightened an edge, restitched. Pinned it back on the wall. There were two other pieces I now thought a little uninspiring. Another where something wasn't quite right. Decision time - leave them ... or ...
I took them down. I dug out the L Shaped pieces of card I use as "windows" and some strips of white cotton and started testing different formats and ways of cropping. I pulled out more cloth to try out different colours and marks. Better. I started cutting, tearing and pinning. I took pictures with my iPhone as I went (out of focus ... sorry). Photos are more objective - I can often see what isn't working in a photograph faster than just looking at the piece itself.
I was inspired to pull out two or three more pieces that I had never resolved - these had never even made it into the "ready for stitching" pile. Each one had a germ of an idea, I just hadn't made it work. In one, it was as though each end belonged to a different piece - and at one end it looked as though I had just kept adding more pieces to try and make it work. I cut it in two. Started removing pieces. Now the two sections didn't have to relate to each other it was much easier to see what needed to be done.
Another piece - a large one. The borders did nothing for the centre section and there was a touch of terracotta that didn't relate to anything. Plus the proportions and size were all wrong. I still liked the bit in the middle though. So I started removing the rest - stripping it back to essentials. I cropped the whole thing down. Paler borders. Plainer. Everything fell into place. Now it worked.
When I got stuck on one piece I switched to another. I kept stepping back and looking until I could see what I needed to do. I worked backwards and forwards like this all weekend. The downside is that I didn't "finish" any pieces of work, although I re-made six or seven. But it was so worthwhile. I am much happier with these.