Monday, April 29, 2024

Learning is HARD WORK

I chuckled this morning when I remembered the title of yesterday's post—Writing Quilt Patterns. During the Virtual Retreat, we discussed how some patterns are good and some are notoriously bad. Why is that? Do these people not have pattern testers? Do they not get feedback from their audience? 

Most designers will have changes (for free) on their websites, but one designer (I won't mention the name) is famous for writing confusing patterns. And then, I guess once they get enough bad feedback, they reissue the pattern with the same name but a different version—i.e., Backpack 2.0. I checked their website. They remove the old patterns, but many patterns have a NEW version. 

What is very irksome is when I contacted them about one of their patterns and how bad the instructions were, they offered me to PURCHASE the new version! The least they could have done was send a free PDF of the new one. 

What is also irksome is that they do not learn from past pattern writing fiascos and test, test, test the instructions BEFORE they get released. Nope—they continue to issue new patterns and then rewrite them and release them as new. OK—so they no longer sell the old version, but quilt stores do! The problem is that I LOVE these patterns, but I HATE the instructions. 

Anyway, we had two great sessions in the morning. As for me staying on track and ending the classes on time, we went over the digital cutter time frame by 30 minutes! It's an exciting class, and there's so much to learn and discuss. And there are so many ways to do everything. You have to learn it all and pick the one you like best!

I have to say that my learning continued into the afternoon, and I was learned out at one point! I was done, and I knew others were still learning in the afternoon, but my brain was maxed out, which doesn't happen often!

I was working on my Scan n Cut until I needed to stop and clean the mat. I pushed the limit on this -- it was covered with threads, and while still sticky, it needed to be cleaned. 

Cleaning the mat for the scan and cut

If anyone out there has a Scan and Cut, NOT in my class, and who has experienced fabric that will NOT stick to their mat, I'd love to hear from you. It's strange, and I want to determine why that is happening. I have some theories and experiments to do later today, but I'm curious about them. Send me a note -

Then, while I let the mat dry and took a walk because my brain needed a break, I moved over to the Momento. Hmm—there were more learning curves here! 

Working with the Momento

I have a few questions about the Momento, so I'm waiting for answers. 

Here's the thing -- if you never use something, you'll never have questions because you won't know what you don't know! But if you start to use it and learn the basics, then you can begin to push the basics, and well, that's when all heck starts to happen. You are headed for murky (but exciting) waters once you push the boundaries of anything. 

If you're not aware, I'm trying to marry the technology of machine embroidery applique (and the software) with digital cutters. This involves working with patterns NOT created for machine embroidery applique, which must be translated or digitized.

While I know that as a quilter, I am very interested in machine embroidery, I'm a minority in the quilt world! Many quilters do not have and will never have an embroidery machine. I get that! But someone in the class was surprised and thought EVERYONE wanted to do what we are doing. Nope- we are a small but mighty group pushing those boundaries. Some people will buy a pattern that has already been digitized. There is room for all of us to play in the sandbox, but I would say that we are the minority!

And I should also say that my class is for DIGITAL CUTTERS! Many in our class do not have an embroidery machine, which is OK as it's NOT specifically for embroidery. It just happens that I'm personally taking it one step further. And I offer advice to the group as I'm not alone. But I need to be clear, or I'll scare away the others. Many in our class do

But I love it enough to persevere through the learning curve! It's more complicated than that, but I'm having fun. But I hit my limit yesterday. 

I love this quote from Steve Jobs:

Steve Jobs Quote: “Learn continually. There's always “one more thing” to learn.

To counter that, here are some pretty flowers from my walk in the forest. These are tiny little things, and people have mentioned that the trilliums in their area are in bloom. I haven't seen any yet, but I will keep my eye open this morning. 

Flowers in the forest

And look at those girls of mine. Lexi loves to sleep on the couch and is so lazy that she'll follow your every move but won't lift her head! Oh, Lexi -- we love you! But boy, does she need some good brushing! 

MOM -- I'm watching you!

And then there's clingy Murphy. She does NOT want to miss a thing and ensures you can't miss her. I couldn't even pull my chair up to the computer because she was right where my chair should be!

MOM -- I'm here if you need support! 

Well, I have more stuff to do today, and hopefully, there is NO LEARNING involved. My brain is tired!

On that note, I'm off to spin class this morning. I feel like I have missed so many classes because of being away. I MUST try to get to the gym more often. I hate giving up my morning time, but I also hate going to the gym later in the day. I've got some thinking to do about making that happen. 

Have a super day!!!!


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