We are rapidly approaching the most wonderful time of the
year and for makers, that is certainly true.
I haven’t organized my sewing room for way too long. When I
can’t easily find what I need, embroidery and sewing become an ordeal. You don’t
have to do a complete overhaul, but at least make sure that your tools like
scissors, rulers, stabilizer, and thread are where they belong.
While you are at it, make sure you have enough of the
essentials: stabilizers, common thread colors, tape and spray. It is
frustrating to be “in the zone” and find out that you don’t have enough red thread
or are out of water-soluble stabilizer.
One Step at a Time
I like to tackle these kinds of projects in assembly line
fashion. Cut all of the pieces that you need to size including batting and
stabilizer. Iron pieces and attach any fusibles to fabric and applique pieces.
If you need to interface, do that too.
Most embroidery design files contain a PDF of directions. I
like to print out a copy of the project directions and keep them on hand while
I am stitching. That way, I can also add notes and other helpful tips that may
be forgotten since the last time I used that design.
Assemble everything you need for each
project in plastic zip bags and mark them. Include thread colors and any trim,
zippers, or accessories to complete the project. That way, you are ready to go.
Even if you only have 15 minutes to stitch, you can do just that. You would be
surprised at how much you can accomplish in 15-minute intervals.
The season of making should be
joyful. If you are too stressed to enjoy the process, you may want to take a
step back. Many Christmas projects I have created were conceived the previous
year, or several years ago.
Care for Your Machine
While it is ideal to have had your
machine serviced prior to the busiest time of year, that is not always
possible. Make sure to clean out your bobbin area often, especially if you have
been burning the midnight oil on a regular basis.
Don’t Skimp on Supplies
This is one hobby where you do get
what you pay for. Don’t use coffee filters as stabilizer. Change your needle
after 8 hours of stitching. Buy quality thread. That doesn’t mean that the most
expensive supplies are best but if you spent as much on your machine as I did,
it isn’t worth taking chances of damaging it. Besides, ruining a project means
wasting more than just your time.