Numbers are not my strong point

I’ve never liked numbers. Words make me happy. My dislike of numbers was so strong, that when a word problem came up on a test, I would relish in the fact that there were words and a story to solve. More recently I was running payroll and commissions, and we were catching some errors. Well “some” errors were enough to make me go to my safe zone and write a haiku or two. Words are my happy space.

Now, when it comes to my crafts, I find myself presented with numbers more often than words. Since I like my crafts, I don’t mind the numbers. But, when I get numbers wrong in a project, I just want to pick up a piece of fabric and stitch some words.

How bad am I with numbers, well, my current project I’m trying to make 12 quilted pillow cases 12″ x 12″. Easy enough. But, since they are quilted I have to create a row of 6 – 2.5″ squares and then make 4 of those rows for each pillow. Now, I found the cutest fabric pattern that came as an 18 piece 1/2 yd bundle. Great! I wouldn’t have to worry about matching patterns. Bad, I would have to cut all the sqaures since I didn’t have the charm pack cheat. So, courtesy of Pinterest, I found a different cheat so I wouldn’t have to cut each individual square and then sew together each individual square. And another cheat, I bought a quilting ruler that was 2.5″ wide, so no thought required.

I sat at my computer, did my math, and was like “yeah!” I was even going to have extra squares, perfect! Then, today, while sitting at my work area and arranging the rows for the pillows, I realize I’m 2 rows of 6 squares short. TWO ROWS! 12 squares! Are you kidding me?!?!?!? So, I take a breath, take a swig of my Upslope Pale Ale and redo my math. Well, lo and behold, my math was wrong. I didn’t consider the number of rows needed, just the number of squares. Boo. Hiss. {now for those of you who do enjoy numbers, or at least understand them, you will have figured out that there was a major flaw in my original math regardless of row versus square count}

Really? So, the plan was to make 12. I only needed 11 so one could be scarified/messed up/given away. But, in the end there are 10. It is undecided if that additional one will be made or not. I do enjoy the assembly line process of making multiples. Maybe there will be a charm pack calling my name and that will be used to create the 11th and final pillow.

Next up is learning how to press a seam correctly. I always end up with a “speed bump” between fabrics. Could it really be that hard to get the seam “seamless”?

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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!

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!

Come with a plan, or leave in defeat

So, in 2016 I will sell my sh*t. I will make a minimum of a dozen of whatever I create. I will try to get Dustin involved (which, by the way, is where the header came from…boom beach).\

January/February is mother’s day gifts and birthday cards

March/April is father’s day gifts and birthday cards.

May is open to interpretation.

April, same as May.

May/June/July will most likely consist of December creations

August need to work on Victor’s super awesome gift, please see Fantasy Toys book – one for him, one for the other.

September – Halloween? We know I like Halloween for no real reason.

October – December – finalize gifts and of course, can’t forget those that I live with 🙂

I think that is a plan I can stick with…let’s see what happens 🙂

Let’s Do This

Hi there, and salutations! Earlier in 2015 I left my job of 7 years and company of 11 years. This action caused stress and health issues that were not anticipated.

After overcoming the unexpected  expected repercussions, I found my craftyness. It started with paper crafts, building cards, and then turned into needle craft, embroidery and cross stitch, later building to sew craft, using the sewing machine downstairs that has absolutely no bells or whistles (and/or I may have broken at some point).

With my initial projects I was figuring it out. Now I am sharing what I do and people are giving me good responses.

So, I figure I’ll share my paper/needle/sew crafts with everyone else and check out their thoughts before any thing else continues.

Thanks for your input and looking forward to sharing more of my creations with everyone!

~Luisa
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