Every now and then I'll receive an angry email that goes something like this: "I used one of the free designs from your site and it sewed out terribly and ruined my brand new silk blouse. Don't you sew out those free designs before you put them on your site?"
Well the truth is that at one time I did sew out all of the free designs that were submitted. But eventually the design submissions and my time became at serious odds with each other and I stopped sewing them all out. Of course, all of the ones offered for sale are tested and re-tested before they can be posted, but that isn't necessarily the case with the free designs. Why not? Well, in truth, in the early years, when those of us who were digitizing designs were just starting out and climbing slowly up the learning curve, some of the designs didn't stitch out perfectly. But they all stitched out acceptably. So how can you prevent me from ruining your life? Always, always, always stitch out a sample of any design you're planning to use, whether it's a downloaded freebie of an expensive custom design. Stitch it with the thread and stabilizer you're going to use on the finished product and stitch it on the same or similar type of fabric. Every design will not sew out well with every kind of thread, every kind of stabilizer and on every type of fabric. The free designs on my site were contributed by generous digitizers from all over the world, some rank amateurs and some seasoned professionals. Stitching a sample first will save you from a lot of unhappy results.
Which brings me to two other points. First, a story about an unhappy result of my own. I had enlarged a design and was stitching it on a t-shirt for my grandson. About a quarter of the way through I could see that the design hadn't resized very well and was stitching out very badly. So, I removed the shirt from the hoop and used my Peggy's Stitch Eraser to remove every last stitch without bruising the t-shirt in any way. It wasn't until after I had finished, very pleased with myself, that I realized that I had just spent 2 hours removing stitches from a t-shirt for which I had paid all of $1.62. I hadn't worked for 80¢ an hour since my high school babysitting days (Actually, that was 50¢ an hour, but who's counting?) and had to laugh at myself for my foolish frugality. Now I'm more discriminating about when to fix something and when to just toss it out.
The second thing being that I received my Designs in Machine Embroidery magazine this week and there's a terrific article by my friend Deborah Jones about embroidering on t-shirts. Speaking of Designs magazine, one of the things I really like, besides all the great projects, is that the models are shaped like normal women. Oh, and my picture inside the back cover this issue! How cool was that? I need to frame that and hang it on the wall. Okay, maybe not . . . Something else I noticed in the latest issue is that Eileen says she doesn't like reality television. Now I'm really embarrassed that I told her that something y'all would be surprised to find out about me is that I watch reality TV. So I'm taking this opportunity to change my answer. Something you would be surprised to learn about me is that I have a James Dean doll leaning on my monitor. It's a long story . . .
Chatting and journaling and posting, oh my! After Greg (Beamish Boy) read my last blog post he sent me an IM questioning my use of the Internet acronym "IMHO." He thought I should include an explanation and I thought you all knew what that stood for. You did, didn't you? In My Humble Opinion. I sometimes forget that all of you haven't been online for years and years, and even those of you who have haven't necessarily been visiting online chat rooms, posting in forums or exchanging IMs. (Those would be Instant Messages.) I won't even go into text messaging on cell phones, because I'm not good enough at that to do it very much. In order to speed things up and not wear out our fingers, those of us who do those things use Internet acronyms, like DD for Dear Daughter, DH for Dear Husband and, in the same vein, DS, DDIL, DGS, DGD, etc. You can figure those out for yourselves. There are some that I use a lot, like BRB (Be Right Back) and TTYL (Talk To You Later). There's even one, NAYY (No Affiliation, Yadda Yadda) that was invented by and is used by machine embroiderers. We use it when we recommend a product we love, but have no financial interest in. Sometimes I'll use it in a different venue and no one has any idea what I'm talking about! And there's one that I use, IAG (It's All Good), and I don't think anyone else does. Those of you who are interested in more information about Internet acronyms (including why they're not acronyms at all) can click here, and for a list of the more common ones, click here.
That's all I've got right now. TTYL, KWIM?