Therese and I spent the day sewing, actually machine embroidering. We think we can document every mistake in the book from our work yesterday. What I loved about it was that neither of us got discouraged. We just kept saying, "Our customers are going to love knowing we did THAT." "...and THAT" "...and THAT".
The more notable lessons we learned are as follows:
1. When using an embroidery machine, be sure to tighten the embroidery hoop before running the machine. My Bernina 830 is reliable enough to have stitched out most of the design before it finally decided stitching a design that wasn't tightened was quite enough. Funny thing about this error is that I did this twice!! (See how I salvage this one at Embroidery Secrets.)
2. When one leaves the sewing room to go to lunch, consider that your machine might run out of bobbin thread. (Note this design has stopped...all that empty space to the left was supposed to be filled with stitching.) While this seems obvious to most sewers, many of us enjoy the privilege of having a bobbin sensor that stops the machine when the bobbin runs out of thread. However the key to that is to engage the sensor. That would mean that the sensor is located in the DOOR of the bobbin case. To properly engage a bobbin sensor, CLOSE the bobbin case door. Good thing I can walk my stitches backwards to catch up with my brilliance!
3. I have always taken great pride in my grammar and spelling abilities. Having had a grandmother who drilled me on spelling and some of the most rigorous English teachers, poor spelling is a bother to me. After a full stitch out, I proceeded to letter this flap of a handbag without a spell checker! My students in embroidery classes are going to feel so much better about their own sewing experience. Perhaps we should just say we are sewing these mistakes so that our customers can see how to NOT embroider.
4. When operating an embroidery machine, it is very easy to get engrossed in the stitching process. After having gotten our hair caught in a needle bar from getting too close or (my personal favorite) trying to clip jump stitches WHILE the machine is running (good thing we are married to sewing machine technicians), we know how far away to stay away from a performing embroidery machine. Plus, our new Bernina 830 rocks and rolls along so fast and beautifully that we have real respect for her. However, that is not to say that we remember to wind up all our threads properly and keep them away from bobbin winders and fly wheels. Yummy...thread wads! I think we will quit calling it "wasting thread" and start calling it "collecting textures for our art quilting endeavors." To that end, I
think we will start calling fabric cutting "errors" and sewing "boo-boos" by different names..."creative launches"..."opportunities for expression." Rather than see these as shortcomings, we can look at our sewing fiascos as windows of opportunity. Whatever the direction of our sewing journey, Therese and I know we can always count on our faithful pets, Macy and Olive to monitor every step along the way. While the "girls" don't yet sew, we trust they have enough respect to not drag off important parts of our newest ventures into textile collection. And if one of them chews up a sewing project, we could just needle felt it into wool, knowing that the chewing made it a more pliable fiber to be used in a new developing art form.
For those of you who want to know the rest of the story of these poor-fated embroidery experiences, know that Therese and I rescued every one of these sewing experiences and in many cases took our learning and will help our students avoid these mistakes. If we can't get you to avoid our pitfalls, we will surely teach you how to laugh at them and to take yourself a little less seriously. Make sure you check out the calendar at our store and register for the free events such as VIP and Embroidery Secrets.
We are presently getting ready for VIP over the next three days. At lunch Therese admitted that she had little to share that was "finished" and she felt bad about that. However, I reminded her that "finished" is a relative term when it comes to artists. Further, finishing something doesn't mean as much to an artist as "being in process." We are CERTAINLY in process and having a grand time on this journey.
Stay tuned for more antics from my sewing room!
All the Best to You, jill