It was early afternoon today when my son and I realized that we hadn’t seen our two kittens since early morning. On any normal day, this wouldn’t have been much of a concern. On a moving day, though, all bets are off. Especially when the kittens’ favorite hiding place is inside the couch and those couches have been fully encapsulated with cardboard and tape.
It’s not a good feeling to think of what could have happened. Luckily, with the help of the movers, we were able to find them and remove them from the couch before it began its 12-week journey. The scare was horrid, but the joy at finding them soon overshadowed it. Still, I was rattled for quite a while.
I find myself responding like this more often these days when creating my beloved machine embroidery designs. Once I get the machine set up and going, I tend to do other things until the next color stop. If I leave the room, I keep an ear open for audible changes that could signal disaster. After four years here in Greece, my embroidery machine is making strange noises more and more. Taking it to the dealer for service is something I look forward to.
The problems got worse and worse as the noises became more frequent. I became flustered thinking that I was somehow forgetting my knowledge of machine embroidery. I thought the mistakes were my fault, instead of the fault of a machine that needs some tender loving care. Regardless, each mistake or problem makes me more jumpy than the last. Finally, I watched every stitch as it formed. That, along with listening closely, helped me to finish more projects.
When I become nervous about something, I do a lot of research on the subject until I feel certain that I can overcome any issues. With embroidery, I end up at my favorite embroidery design gallery instead. It’s so much more interesting than reading about a million and one machine problems. I’d much rather be finding new embroidery patterns! And I’m always guaranteed of finding a new free embroidery design for my efforts. Much more fun than research!
Now that I’m an experienced embroidery artist, I think I need to remind myself of the lessons I learned as a newcomer. It’s important to take time to get the project hooped properly. Take a little more time to study the embroidery designs before they stitch so that I am familiar with them. Then, just stitch. If it gets messed up, it gets messed up. There will always be some flaws or issues with machine embroidery, so it’s important to just go with it as much as possible. Agonizing over mistakes or what ifs will only suck all the joy out of the endeavor.
One thing that I do enjoy about watching every stitch form, though, is the knowledge I gain in how each embroidery design is created; how the beauty forms. If mistakes didn’t occur, I probably wouldn’t remember to take the great opportunity of this. Much like my cats hiding in a sofa and scaring me so badly, mistakes in embroidery offers a wonderful silver lining.
My number one tip is to just enjoy the calm after the storm, although dancing in the rain can be fun, too.