My little family of three is staying with my father-in-law while our household goods make the slow trek from Greece to California. Over the years, this has been the norm, but it is much different this time because my mother-in-law is no longer here to run the household. That now falls to me. While I’ve cooked in this kitchen off and on for 25 years, it is so different now actually doing instead of just helping. I find that even my tried-and-true recipes aren’t turning out the same. Very strange. I’ve begun making notes on my computer so that I’ll have some idea of what I’m doing right or wrong. Luckily, I won’t be in charge of holiday meals this year!
I have similar problems in machine embroidery. I’m rarely satisfied to leave things exactly as the designer suggests or the embroidery patterns insist on. Of course, sometimes I just understand they my machine will be happier if certain adjustments are made. As long as I think things through before making changes, all is usually well. Of course, these are intentional changes and not the weird, unidentifiable ones happening in the kitchen.
There are several things that can go wrong, though. If I set up a design to stitch over a pocket, I may have to adjust the machine to center the embroidery design exactly where I want it. I love that I can do this. However, what happens if the power goes out? Instead of panicking, this is actually the easiest problem to recover from IF I haven’t skipped a step. What is this miracle step? I simply write down the adjustments I made to the embroidery machine before starting. That makes it possible to reposition the machine to exactly where I started the first time before advancing to the area where I need to continue stitching. I even note it when I’ve made no adjustments so that I am never confused.
Then, there are those very in-depth machine embroidery patterns for things like cutwork embroidery doilies or free-standing lace 3D boxes. I don’t make any changes to the actual embroidery designs, but I may change what I do to create them. If they don’t turn out, I can try again. If they do turn out, though, I’ve got a winner that I’ll stitch over and over again. IF, that is, I didn’t skip that magic step.
For example, if I modify a project so that my doily comes out to a different size than the embroidery pattern specifies, I need to make extensive notes and keep them somewhere safe so that they are there if I ever want to recreate the project. No notes? No easy way to recreate it. Machine embroidery thread also comes in so many wonderful colors; if I don’t make notes about those I chose, I can’t color-match properly.
Sure, I’d much rather just be stitching, but these extra steps keep my embroidery humming along once I do get started. Now, if I could only figure out what I’m doing in this kitchen and have my notes be as helpful, I’d be happy!