Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tuesday's State of Affairs

Please excuse this poor quality picture along with the ones below.
I had to use the flash as both yesterday and today are very dark days.

I finished one of the flannel bed runners for the cats. It felt so good to get back into the sewing room. There is something about being in there that brings me peace no matter how chaotic it can get in there due to the mess I may make while being creative.

I decided to play around with some of the programmed embroidery stitches in my machine. In the five plus years I have had this machine, I have always used straight stitches. Yes, that is a shock. I have the capability of using fancy embroidery stitching; but, I never used them!

Let me tell you, I discovered that it is slow using pre-programmed embroidery stitching! Slow... slow... So... darn... slow... That is not a good thing for a girl that is known for impatience. Ha!

And, using pre-programmed embroidery stitching is so darn touchy! You have to keep the pedal at a constant speed; otherwise, you will end up with uneven stitching. I do more or less keep the machine at a constant speed; but, I often have to take breaks or develop cramps in my leg. You really can't take breaks and you really can't shift the pressure on the pedal while using pre-programmed embroidery stitches.

I did not really care what the end result will look like nor was I focused on being perfect. After all, this was for the silly cats! They do not care about the details. Ha!

I am keeping it real here on this blog. Don't judge me. I see all those beautiful sewing and quilting blogs and it makes me feel intimidated. I realize that behind the scenes they are human and I am sure they have chaos and make mistakes too. But, they rarely reveal them. It is all so beautiful and perfect. I want to keep it real here for a variety of reasons. One of the reasons is I would like to look back and see progress in my endeavors.

This is my first attempt. I picked out a pre-programmed embroidery stitch that looked interesting. This is when I discovered the process is slow. You have to have a lot of time to kill to use pre-programmed embroidery stitching on large projects. Anyway, the stitching to the right is the same stitch on the left except shorter. I had pressed the pedal harder which caused the stitching to get closer together. This was a major learning experience for me. I did not like the look at all. I also didn't like that a mere change in pressure of the pedal caused the stitching to change. It is really noticeable with embroidery stitches; but, not so much on straight stitching. I now understand why people have embroidery machines that do all the work for you including keeping the machine going at a constant speed.
I got bored (not to mention impatient) and decided to try out different embroidery stitches. It is a mess where I switched patterns. Ha!

I did not really care for the pattern on the left. But, I did like the one on the right. It was simple and yet fancy. But again, it was so darn slow. slow.. slow.... And, the mere change in the pressure on the pedal caused the stitching itself to change – a major dislike for the perfectionist within me.
I tried X's and then I found the stitching pattern you see on the right. I really loved that pattern. It is simple and yet fancy. It was not as slow going as the others I tried. A mere change in pressure on the pedal didn't make the stitching change noticeable. By this time, I got tired of trying out different embroidery stitching patterns. So, I just finished up the project with the stitching pattern I liked.

Next up is the Layer Cake Quilt -- finishing up the backing. I may start another "tiny" project too. I have not decided yet. I really should make the other flannel bed runner. Maybe I will. Maybe I won't. Ha!