Preface: My friend Gus asked me to embroider a pillowcase as a birthday gift for his wife, Sophia. I agreed and expected him to purchase a pillowcase. Instead, he purchased fabric, sewed the pillowcase and presented it to me to embroider. It was flawless—and I was so touched that a husband would do that for his wife. Not only that—he had a special sentiment he wanted embroidered for his dear wife.
For reasons that defy logic, I chose the day before Sophia’s birthday party to start stitching the gift. The timeline below showcases my thought process while completing the project. I share my tale in hope that you can relate and find solace in knowing the creative process is indeed a process—full of ups and downs but this is how we grow and gain experience.
6:00 pm. I guess I should start stitching the pillowcase. I am relieved Eileen improved the layout of my design. My original versions weren’t as artistic as I wanted. My biggest concern is hooping the pillowcase. It’s probably wise for me to stitch a test sample. I am glad Gus bought tons of extra fabric—hopefully I won’t need it to make a new pillowcase.
6:30 pm. Everyone at the office left for the weekend. Eileen gave me advice on hooping and assured me I could call if I needed help. Now it’s just me, the pillowcase and dozens of tools. I felt like Sheldon from the Big Bang theory. This pillowcase HAS to be perfect. I better unhoop it and try again.
This is an important engineering feat. Wait… no, it’s just a pillowcase. But it really does need to be precision placed. Yes, I should unhoop and try using a different method…
I decided to start over using a different hooping method…
7:38 pm. I sent a frustrated text to my friend: “the opposite of fun is right now! I will never ever agree to stitch something special for someone else. It’s so difficult! No, it’s impossible! However… I did learn how to use the camera function on THE Dream Machine… so that’s a positive.”
7:45 pm. I guess it’s time to hit the Start button to take my first stitch. I wondered if I would look back at that moment with regret. I looked at the design on-screen—it indicated it will take 31 minutes to stitch. After that time, I will know if the design is crooked or not. But by that time it’s too late. This is highly stressful.
7:51 pm. Wow! This is working! It’s absolutely working! The rich purple thread I chose is perfect!
7:53 pm. I kept a watchful eye on the machine as it stitched. Because the pillowcase is cylindrical (and a tight fit) in the hoop, I had to make sure the excess fabric didn’t get caught during stitching. I should have listened to Eileen and used one of our Hoop Guards. That would have helped.
There was a brief moment I took my eyes and hands away from the excess fabric. Sure enough, the fabric got eaten by the machine. I remained calm. This is why I’m at the machine, watching and waiting. I can fix this.
I carefully clipped away the few stitches that were eating the fabric. Then I used the machine’s stitch advance/reverse feature to back up and redo the stitches.
8:00 pm. Look at me! I’ve got skills.
8:15 pm. I sent a photo to my friend showing the progress. My friend’s reply, “Because stitching text wasn’t challenging enough, you had to add the butterfly! You really challenged yourself!”
8:34 pm. My ears perked up to the familiar, comforting chime of the embroidery machine, indicating the design is finished stitching. The friendly smiley face appeared on the machine, as if sharing in my joy of accomplishment.
I examined the pillowcase, still hooped in the machine and proclaimed, “look at me, I stitched my first pillowcase!”
About the design:
Butterfly from Kreations by Kara. http://www.kreationsbykara.com Search: BB Shadowed
Lettering from Perfect Embroidery Pro software. The path tool was used to create a unique curved effect.
Here’s your assignment this week:
We are going to turn the table and ask you to post an embroidery related question for us in the comments below this week! Denise and Eileen will do their very best to get you an expert anwser and one lucky commenter will be chosen to win Eileen and Marie Zinno’s new, yet to be released Hoop It Up book!
The winner of the last assignment answered the following question:
Thank you all for allowing me to share this occasion with you. I hope you’ve learned some tips and maybe even thought of using an idea or two for a special bride in the future. What tip or idea from this wedding do you think you are most likely to use?
The winner is:
Beth Daniels: “I would use the ribbon idea on even some clothes that I would make with the pattern number and name of clothing.”