Distractions

{NB:  No actual disasters occur in this post.}

(and there are no pretty  or even ugly photos.  Sorry!)

I am struggling to get to my sewing.  Between a sick boy over the last three days, a trip to the Emergency Department for investigation of a suspected arm fracture for the middle chick today (which thankfully was not broken), and rude distractions like housework, cooking and sleeping, I am just not getting that clear time to sit and sew that I want and need!  I have 6 bags cut out, interfaced, and partly assembled……. but not finished!

Sigh.  In the meantime, as a distraction for the middle chick from the pain etc, we spent time designing her new school bag……which now needs to be made.  If it works as we imagined it then I will have a whole new design – a messenger bag that can also be a backpack.  I will keep you informed about its progress as I try to work out where to fit it in the list of priorities that sits on my desk!

What I had hoped to write about tonight is my exciting new purchase – therefore I will, even though I have no pretty photos to show, or even good results to report!

Yesterday I became the proud owner of a Brother Scan’n’Cut machine.  I stumbled across this when looking for ideas on how to streamline my applique process.  (I love making my applique bike and word cushions but they take so long to draw, cut out and then sew on, that I can’t justify the time it takes versus the price I feel comfortable charging for them.)  This machine allows you to scan in your image (or use one of the 800 odd programed patterns including quilt pieces) and then cut it out of paper, card or fabric!  Ah-ha!  If this machine can remove the drawing and cutting part of my applique process and I then just have to sew, then I can make them again and be charging prices that cover the cost of labour, and are still affordable!  (Of course my mind has already run away with itself imagining the possibilities that the machine opens itself up to!)

Last night I decided that I was too worn out to try and use it, and instead I set aside time today while the children were at school to play with it.  And then had the trip to hospital in the allocated time.  Late this afternoon I decided to tackle it.  I was hot, tired and cranky.  Foolish, foolish girl!

After setting it all up (very straightforward) and reading the instruction booklet (sort of) my first error was made when using the provided iron on applique sheet (the first step) – and putting it on upside down, and forgetting to use my pressing cloth, so that instead of fusing to my fabric it fused to my steam press.  @#$%^&**!!!!  (I have now removed the majority of it I think……..  but it took quite a while!)

My next error was not checking my scanned image to check that the lines that were to be cut were the ones I wanted.  Sure I eyeballed it to check that there were no lines missing……. but I didn’t enlarge the image as recommended, and therefore missed the fact that I had hit the wrong button and the machine now thought that I wanted a cut line on either side of the drawn line…..so I was cutting the outline of the lines instead of cutting the lines (if you know what I mean.)

This resulted in very tiny slices of fabric around the body of the applique that were so thin that they broke as I was removing the fabric from the mat, and left the body of the applique too thin to sew (and parts of it also broke due to their being too thing).  Then I made my next error – pulling the fabric off the tacky sheet that holds it in place for cutting.  If I had followed the instructions and used the provided tools to lift it I would not have made such a mess of the mat, and would not have left so much fabric fluff and iron on gunk behind.  (None of the errors were the fault of the manufacturers.)

At that point I went and lay on my bed and listed my errors to my middle chick who was lying in there enjoying the cool and quiet while she rested her arm.  Her response was to ask what was for dinner. Hmmmmmm……  wrong audience obviously.

I then spent half an hour helping the eldest chick to search for things she needed for her martial arts class.  I emptied baskets, moved piles of ‘stuff’, and generally messed up a lot of what I had been tidying and sorting.  When I couldn’t find it all I was ready to confess to her instructor that we need to perfect the process of moving the chicks between the nest and their father’s house and that it wasn’t her fault that the things were missing as we had mucked up the part where she would be responsible for her own stuff, when her step-mother rang just in the nick of time to say that she had found the missing items and could drop them at class.  Phew!  No public and humiliating explanations of our disorganised life required!

After a day of no actual disasters, and lots of good outcomes (I missed mentioning a trip to the fabric shop that had a 50% off sale that saw me stock up on bright stripes, spots and solids for lining my bags) I am calling it quits and will start again tomorrow, fresh, calm and cool.    And I will sew at least one bag to completion.  And I will cut out an applique with my new ‘helper’ (sounds so much more professional than ‘toy’) and show you a photo, so that I can prove to myself that I can do it!  And I will design the construction of the middle chick’s new school bag.  And I will remember that doing complex things when hot and tired is not the way to succeed!

I hope that your day was also full of no actual disasters and lots of good outcomes and that you get to have a fresh start tomorrow too!

P.S.  If that sounded like a pep talk to myself, reminding me that nothing bad actually happened, and motivating me to have a different sort of day tomorrow, you may be onto something…..feel free to share in my positive spin attempts, and to recast your own day into one where no ACTUAL disasters occurred. 

 

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