Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Sewing Zone

Normally Sunday is my day off, but this week "company" was coming to visit the store and I had to get things ready. If you are adept at reading between the lines, you already know that means "clean". Our store is generally organized, but I WORK here. I sew, cut, design, publish, and all that it entails right on the sales floor, in the corner of the Bernina area. It is less than a month until International Quilt Market, so there is a mini frenzy happening as I design, stitch and write the last bit of instructions. I rarely worry about what people think because my customers ARE creative people, they understand the process. This visitor was a bit unusual. "Mr. Bernina" in the form of H.P. Ueltschi, the owner of Bernina International himself was scheduled to pay us a visit on Tuesday. I thought wearing my shoes and getting the threads off the floor might be appropriate.
I came in early, about 8am, on Sunday morning. I made a deal with myself, if I cleaned up the part of the mess I was dreading (instead of hiding it in the closet) I could treat myself to an afternoon of sewing. It seemed like a total waste of time to be cleaning without the embroidery machines running, so I powered up the 830 and let it finish the "quilting" on these pieces for a jacket. The jacket is patchworked pieces of Fire & Ice batiks (obviously I used "fire") and the stitching design is one that is pre-programmed into the Bernina 830. I stitched it randomly over the fabrics and flannel interlining before cutting out the pattern pieces. The jacket pattern is our Fun On The Run pattern. I love the way it fits and I cut it without the button closure in the front - I never button it anyway.
The plan was to clean-up, not just push stuff into a drawer. By my definition that meant that I had to deal with each pile as I got to it. Therefore I did not consider it cheating when I took the time to get caught up with this years First Friday/First Saturday project and assemble my missing blocks. I powered up the 820 and had them stitched together in no time while the 830 hummed away at embroidering my jacket pieces.
I was ruthless with the trash bin, scrap basket and charity box. I think I filled all three. If I couldn't finish it, file it or find it a proper home - out it went. Ta-Da! Clean!
Then I started to really sew! It was like being in "the zone". Everything worked perfectly. Did you ever have a day like that? One where the machine hums, you never touch your seam ripper, everything matches perfectly..... ahhh,.... it was sewing bliss. I didn't want to stop!
I constructed the smaller size tote bag for our new "Zip It" pattern (available soon) and used the 830 and my new found software skills to reduce the same quilting design that I used on this Lauren table runner to fit the 4 inch blocks on the tote bag. The virtual positioning on the 830 makes ME, with my weeks of experience, look like an expert at embroidery.
I don't see myself embroidering kittens or flowers on my shirts, but WOW do I love that jumbo hoop and the quilting possibilities!
My loving husband must have known better than to interrupt my perfect day. He stopped in to change some light bulbs and before he left he suggested that he pick up a pizza for dinner. He is a very smart man. I joined him and our son for a few slices and when they decide to watch an old war movie on TV I jumped at the chance to get back to the shop and sewing until bedtime!
The only disadvantage of spending the day sewing after cleaning, is that I made another mess that had to be cleaned up on Monday morning. Luckily I had another whole day to prep for Mr. Ueltschi's visit. I will tell you more about that as soon as I have the time!

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