Having trouble thinking of what to write about this week. I know, those of you who have attended any of my classes won't believe that. It's true, when I'm in a crowd of you I have lots and lots to say. But, alone, in front of my computer, not so much. So, I'm just going to address some of the forum comments that I've read recently.
Trimming Stitches and Mustaches
There's been a lot of chatter about Peggy's Stitch Eraser and the Wahl mustache trimmer. They do look similar, although the mustache trimmer appears much less sturdy. And the trimmer costs a lot less. You hold both upside down to use them. So, what's the difference, other than appearance and price? The blades are what's different. They're sharpened at different angles. Peggy's has been designed specifically to tear (not cut) threads on an angle. The trimmer has been designed to cut hair straight on. Most of the time you wouldn't notice the difference when trying to remove stitches, but when push comes to shove and I really want to do a good, neat job of removing stitches without damaging the fabric underneath, Peggy's is my impliment of choice.
There has been some chatter about outlines. Outlines are really the bugaboo of machine embroidery. If the outline is off by just a little bit, you can fill in the area with fabric pens that are specifically made for that purpose. I use Pigma brush pens, which can be found at most office supply stores. If the outline is really, really off, well, unless you can pick out the stitches, you're pretty much out of luck. But there's a little trick I use to help guarantee that the outline will sew as close to the design as possible. Before stitching the outline I back out of the design and turn off my machine. Then I turn it on again, go back to the same design and skip ahead to the outline. I've gotten into the habit of doing this so much that I don't really know if it helps anymore. But, it can't hurt. Another thing about outlines. I don't like to see the outline before the design, or have the outline overpower he design. For this reason I use charcoal gray, rather than black, thread for outlining, and use a 50 or 60 weight (thinner) thread. Madeira carries 60 weight thread and Mettler carries 50 weight cotton thread.
For those addicted to free designs: Well, you'll eventually get over it, trust me. I've found that those who "collect" designs both download the freebies and buy all the ones that catch their attention. Then, after a while your computer fills up with embroidery designs and you can't find anything (until you install Catalog XPress, that is). So you get to a place where you don't download or buy anything unless you have a specific purpose for it. So enjoy your downloading. There is a quote that I became famous (or perhaps infamous) for a few years ago: "The one with who dies with the most designs is still dead. Turn off your computer and sew something!" The quote is included in my Say It again design pack and I've embroidered it on a couple of t-shirts, as well.
How did that quote originate, you ask? Well, for a long time when I added designs to the free designs section they were on number archive pages. When there got to be so many designs I also put them into categories. That got to be a lot of work and I finally decided that having the designs in categories was sufficient. But, there were those die-hards who had downloaded every single design from the beginning and were quite dismayed over the exit of the archives. So I posted that quote on the former archive directory page. I THINK everyone took it in the way it was intended and had a laugh, but I did get one email from someone who was quite offended. When I told her that I was just joking she understood and had a laugh at both herself and the quote.
Reality Bytes: What's Cooking?
Top Chef: I'm sorry to see Antonia go and don't know if I can bear another week of Lisa, but if either Stephanie or Richard win I'll be happy. But I'm rooting for Stephanie.
Hell's Kitchen: I don't think any of them will be able to run a restaurant for Gordon Ramsey, but I'm glad Matt is finally gone and I'm slightly favoring Corey.
The Next Food Network Star: Just one episode so far this season, so I can't really comment. My favorite, Amy Finley, won last year but I managed to find her show (The Gourmet Next Door) only one time. Now I read that she and her family have moved to Burgundy, France. I really liked the one show I did watch.
Okay, I don't cook. That doesn't mean I don't like watching other people cook especially when they're competing on a reality TV show.
That's it for me, this time, I think. TTYL!