Friday, April 12, 2024

It's a GOOD day!

OMG --- For real, I'm back! So much to say today!

I have to tell you about this strange phone call I got. I was about to call someone in a different area code when I received a call from that area code. It wasn't the store I was about to call—it was neither of the two stores in that same area code that I needed to contact. There was no name, and although it said "verified number," I didn't answer. 

Funny enough, I received a voicemail, so I listened to it. "Hey Muhammed, I was hoping to blah, blah," the caller said, identifying himself as working for the County of Blah." That sounds like a legit wrong number, so I called the person back. When I told him he had the wrong number, he said, "OH -- I thought he gave me a phony number." Good grief --- how did my cell phone get listed as a phony number? 

I had a horrible sleep last night, but there was a good reason for it! Excitement at what happened yesterday. I can live with that, although I didn't like missing my two most productive work hours of the day, as I had to sleep in to accommodate the missed hours. 

After a dull morning of paperwork, phone calls, and doing some prep work for SIX events next week, I was good to get downstairs. Then all heck broke loose. 

I am trying to work on my Heartfelt Sampler so it can be ready for show-and-tell tomorrow. Not only do I have to sew those scrappy squares together, but I also have to do some work with the digital cutter, several software packages, and finally, the embroidery machine before I can call those borders done! Wait—you'll see. 

This is why I get stumped occasionally, and my brain shuts down. If one of those things doesn't work how I want it to, that frustrates me, and I am not good at coping with frustration! 

Let's say that yesterday, I managed to get tons of pictures and information for the digital cutter, machine embroidery, and embroidery software classes! So it was a "kill four birds with one stone" kind of day! I love it when that happens, and I love it when my experimenting works out. And I learned a couple of things. Wait until you see my Heartfelt Sampler on Sunday morning! You are going to love what I did! 

Now that I have THREE digital cutters, I simply move to another when something doesn't work on one. When it still doesn't work on the second one, it's time for Plan B. That was a learning thing, but I won't bore you with those details, and I still need to figure out the why on that one. 

But in the end, I cut this fabric, and everything went well. 

Cutting shapes on the digital cutter

I ended up with a couple of piles of shapes that needed to be embroidered onto the quilt border. I won't bore you with the details, but if you're in my classes, you'll hear all about what happened. 

Shapes cut and ready for machine embroidery applique

I started at 7 p.m. last night! I would be lost without the clock on my Designer EPIC 3. HEY—I have to be like those Bernina people. Have you ever noticed that if someone owns a Bernina, they have to say, "I stitched this on my Bernina." They never say, "I stitched this on my sewing machine." Why is that? 

7 pm start time

Let the machine embroidery process begin! It was tricky because the design needed to be centered from side to side and top to bottom! I have more lessons for the machine embroidery club, and I have to say that I was out by maybe 1/8" across the width. I had to measure it to see! Yep -- I did an AMAZING job! 

Let the embroidery begin

But not before Studio B became a complete shambles. I threw my fabric on the floor to get it out of the way; drawers were open as I searched for tools and supplies. It was looking awful! 

It's a work session! 

The Little Guy tucked himself under a table to keep out of the way!!!

Grandma -- I'm hiding out of the way!

My tables are still set up in a U-shape. The computer is in the middle, the digital cutters to the right, and the embroidery machine to the left! It worked for me, and I didn't need to get up to get stuff! 

My workspace

Two of my three digital cutters were in action yesterday. 

Two of the three digital cutters

I used a metal hoop to do this embroidery, and I can't say enough about using a metal hoop! When you're doing things that need to be exactly positioned in a long row, like lettering on a border or any design on a border, and using placement stitches, those metal hoops are the BEST. The longest one that I have is 240mm by 150mm, and it's perfect for many of the lettering tasks that I do, but honestly, I could do with a longer one! 

Metal hoops are my favorite!

I was so excited when I finally got everything working that I wasn't paying attention to the speed of my embroidery machine. After a bit, I realized that it was going super slow. I know that using some hoops or special designs will slow the machine down, but there didn't seem to be a reason for that to happen with what I was doing. However, I ignored that fact until near the end. 

Then I happened to touch the speed slider (which was in the top speed position) and the machine just speed up! Something must have jarred it inside? I've no idea, but things went much quicker after that. 

The speed control was out of whack! 

If I had done that sooner, I may have finished BEFORE 10:30!!!!

Finish time! 

Then comes the moment of truth. Hang the border on the wall with the quilt and see what it looks like! OMG—it's EXACTLY how I envisioned it! I LOVE it, and let's say that the result was well worth the hassle I had to get there. Plus, I learned a ton, which I will share. Let's say that this quilt is going to travel with me because there's a HUGE lesson in it. 

I don't care about the finished product; I care about what I have learned. I don't care that it took forever, especially when the result is perfect!!! I don't mean perfect in the work, but perfect in what I was trying to portray!! Yep --- it's all good! 

Can I get the remaining three borders done today? I will push for it, and now that I have the speed thing fixed, there should be no problem. 

While waiting for the machine to stitch, I couldn't go far since I had to keep "feeding" it, so I did some tidying. 

This is the digital cutter I will use today, so the table is cleared off and ready to go. 

Digital cutter ready to go!

It's incredible how quickly the dust bunnies collect behind cabinets, under tables, and everywhere. So I got out my Swifter, moved furniture, and cleaned. I also have a cordless vacuum, which I use to sweep up the small debris and dirt. 

Clearing out dust bunnies

Yes, when I get in the cleaning mood, things happen!! I now need to get that shelf downstairs because I need to clean up the tables. One of my cutters is now on the floor because I've run out of table space. 

The floor is a mess! 

We were talking about those robot vacuums the other day. There is NO WAY one of those would work in my space. The amount of stuff I'd have to move would be obscene. Nope -- it's so fast with the Swifter and the cordless vac. I might work on a small section each day or do the entire place (more or less) while waiting for an embroidery. 

I would NEVER have carpet in my house. The two houses we owned in this city both had carpet and the first thing we did when we moved in was to ditch the carpet! 

But here's something monumental that happened yesterday. Let it be a lesson for everyone who has hoarding tendencies. I keep most small scraps because they can be used for little bits. And I had visions in my head of a digital cutter being wasteful. Yes --- it might be a bit more wasteful than if I cut by hand with a rotary cutter or scissors. 

After my playing? I'm over that! I had some fabric from cutting my shapes without fusible on the back. And look where it is -- in my fabric scrap box!! 

Scraps in the scrap box. Look

And I had some scrap that had fusible on the back. Look where it is!! Yep, in the garbage. 

Scraps in the garbage

OK- that took some effort not to cut off the larger (?)pieces, but then my brain kicked in and said, "Are you CRAZY? Throw that out --- those pieces are too tiny to do —it took some effort not to cut off the larger pieces, but then my brain kicked in and said, "Are you CRAZY? Throw that out—those pieces are too tiny to do anything with!"

It was a fantastic day, and even though we had rain, I dodged it to go for a walk. Between physio and a massage this week, I'm feeling pretty good, although how the heck can one's calves be so tight? OMG—I thought she was going to kill me when she touched them! So I need to get myself a stretching program, and I need to do it every day! I have some areas to work on, and I need to prioritize them. 

I could slow down my embroidery machine and do the exercises while I wait for it to stitch out. That's a thought! 

On that high note, I'm out of here. I have big plans for today. I see one meeting on my agenda, but otherwise, the day is wide open, and I'll be downstairs after I take care of a bit more paperwork this morning. 

Have a super day!!!!



  1. "I don't mean perfect..." Yes exactly! I want to try every technique - circles still give me the shivers but I've done one (not so good) but after 60 years of quilting, I'm still learning! Thanks!!!!!

  2. Anxious to see your lettering/message on heartfelt!