A top 10 list…

Alternative titles to this post:

  • Things they assume you know when giving directions
  • Common sense isn’t so common
  • I get it, I can sell off of your patterns, so you don’t want to make it easy
  • You put a time limit on your project so I feel incompetent when it takes me MUCH longer

It’s been about a year since I’ve been crafting. For me crafting is done through paper, sewing and needlework. When following instructions and/or a pattern, needlework is the easiest. For paper and sew projects there is a lot of implied knowledge that takes place.

One theory I have is that because patterns can be patented, but the final project cannot, the pattern makers leave out pieces to make you work for that final project. They aren’t just going to give you a final product to sell with minimal effort; they want you to work for it. And maybe, just maybe, they can sell that same, original project, at a cheaper price, because their labor hours are shorter.

The other theory is that pattern makers, instruction creators, aren’t that malicious and they just expect you to have a certain amount of information filed away so they don’t have to explain every little detail.

Well, whichever conspiracy you identify with, here are my thoughts on “things you should know, but probably don’t know, and won’t know until you figure it out yourself”

  1. Pinning fabric is a wasted step
    1. Alternatives include:
      1. Stapling (my preferred method)
      2. Taping (if you have good tape)
      3. Paying attention and holding the fabric together (you are already sitting at the machine, why not give yourself something else to do)
  2. Seam allowances are only relevant in clothing
  3. The pattern is just a suggestion. Kinda like driving directions from Siri. It’s a suggestion that you turn left, but if you turn right, she’ll eventually get you to where you are going. But not without a couple of u-turns and turns in the wrong direction.
  4. Why trace a pattern when you can staple and cut directly on the fabric.
  5. For hands on stuffed animals, you must use the hand wheel
    1. And then any other intricate turns you must also use the hand wheel
    2. Do the new machines still have a hand wheel?
  6. The amount of time on the instructions does not include the amount of time your machine decides it doesn’t want to work, nor the amount of time it takes you to cut, nor the amount of time it takes you to go shopping for the pieces required, nor the amount of a time a non-professional takes to complete the project.
    1. Anyone else have issues with thread tension from the top thread? I swear every 3rd of 5th start I get wonky.
  7. You will very rarely receive a thank you for a hand-made gift. Ensure that your internal satisfaction will get you to the next project.
  8. 12 of any item are too many.
    1. At least all at once.
  9. You may not want to get rid of your scraps, but just get rid of them – they are too small to reuse anyways. You aren’t going to make that quilt.
  10. Putting your purchased items in your purse instead of a company plastic bag, means you have less evidence that you bought more crafting stuff.

They say to limit lists to 10. Minus the extra thoughts, I met that limit 🙂

This means that I have the opportunity to create ANOTHER list. How exciting is that?!? Considering that it took me about a year to compose this list, no worries to the reader, I won’t have another list too soon.

While I may have a list, or two, or three, of “complaints”; don’t you worry; I’ll still be creating. I’ll continue to do things my way instead of the way I’m told to, and I’ll tell you all about it!

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I just don’t understand

As I continue to try new projects, and follow the instructors directions; I always balk at the idea of embroidering after creation. What is the enhanced benefit of this process? !? I generally will not follow those directions. I will embroider on the piece prior to creation. This allows me to work with a smaller area, and a one dimensional area. As I create the pattern to be embroidered I take into account the seam allowance and final position, and stitch conservatively to ensure that my presentation is visibly appealing.

But why, o’ why, am I constantly instructed to embroider as a last step? While I can see the benefit of not touching the embroidery piece through the rest of construction, it is a big jumbled mess (when working on a quilt per se) to get the job done.

Anyone’s input into this practice would be much appreciated! Until I’m convinced to the contrary, I will continue to create my embroidery pieces prior to finalized construction.

So much time on Research and Design

As I’m working on a new card idea, I’m realizing that Research & Design (R&D) takes A LOT of time. Frankly, I’m not happy with where my card bunting is going, but I’ve invested so much time that I’m just moving forward with it. I know that as time goes on I’ll create some better models than this first one. I also know that this first model isn’t horrible. It just doesn’t give me the warm fuzzies that I’m looking for.

I also worked on some R&D for my mother’s day gifts. That didn’t take too long, but figuring out the bow took a good number of tries.

The R&D portion of a project does make me happy. I feel like a scientist with my trial and errors. Sometimes I have to get myself out of the “box” and consider new ways. And I do always get feedback, and then actually take the feedback. Taking the feedback is hard, but I put my ego aside and realize that the other ideas could work, and it was what I was asking for.

So, R&D is a huge consideration as I continue to try new things and work on what works for me. I look forward to channeling the mad scientist within and creating some outstanding pieces!