An old saying, but still a good saying.  And it is good advice, too!

I have been doing embroidery for the better part of 17 years – digitizing, stitching, creating.  It has been the best time of my life, I love my job!  I also work 7 days a week, and often 15 hours a day – no complaints – but that is a lot of embroidery time!  But it was WORK embroidery, and I have discovered that work embroidery is different from regular embroidery.

Some of you may be doing embroidery for a hobby, or for work, or just for fun.  No matter what you do with embroidery, the old saying still applies!

This discovery has only happened recently – in the past few weeks, and I have been having so much fun!  Different fun than regular work embroidery.   Because of a medical situation, I have been forced to slow down – and if you have ever watched any of my embroidery videos, you can tell that I am not the type of person to be slow, so this has been a very difficult task for me.  I tried doing some work embroidery, but I was still too sick, and I ended up making mistakes – and mistakes matter when you are working.  I realize that I need to stimulate my mind and keep busy, but not too busy.  So after an afternoon nap, I started to tackle the unthinkable – doing some kind of embroidery that was just for me!  I realized that although I had been doing embroidery for so many years, I very rarely made something for myself!  Sure, I made lots of gifts, shirts and hats for my kids for fun, and different things that people ask me to create, but I think I only have maybe 2 shirts that I have made for myself!  I have so many designs in mind for things I want to do, and in 17 years, I never got around to doing them.  I have files from 15 years ago that I have been copying from computer to computer, but have never stitched out.  Wow.  So one afternoon, I sat on the couch and grabbed a laptop and started digging around in my old files.  It was even hard to find them – they were so far down the list of embroidery designs.  I actually spent hours looking through embroidery designs and project, and it was very relaxing and inspiring!

Even though it took me a long time to accomplish my first me-embroidery in years, I was so happy with doing something for me!  I decided to start off slow, rather than a huge project, and make something that is positive,  inspiring and with bright colors.  Picking out the colors was fun – I could use any color thread that I wanted because I was not making it for a customer – I forgot how fun that is!  This is what I came up with:

IMG_1373

Personal, inspirational me-embroidery!

I decided after that I should do some embroidery “experiments” – something I have not done in a while, but I love to do!  I like to experiment with different techniques, different styles and different types of embroidery designs.  I stitched some cross stitch (which is really cool if you have never tried it), some complicated applique (resting and cutting out applique shapes first) and some digitizing on the couch.    Try some different thread colors or types (metallic for instance) or bring out that variegated thread that you love, but haven’t found anything to use it on.  Those are embroidery experiments and they are so much fun – dare to be different and combine colors that are out of your comfort zone, and you may be surprised with the results.

I bought a new fabric cutter, so of course, I had to experiment with that too and that means some complicated applique was up next.  Enter my favorite design – the Zombie guy.  I have done this guy before and the applique cuts are pretty detailed.  I experimented with the cutter and found out it is pretty easy to use!    Here is how detailed the cutter can cut through felt:

precision applique cutting

Look at the detail work in this applique cut

 

more detailed applique cuts

more detailed applique cuts

After I finished the zombie design it was back into the old embroidery designs that were put on hold for years, and I found a few that I love.  One was a big quilt in the hoop project for Halloween – bright colors, a new technique, and great results.  I didn’t make a quilt but decided to take 9 blocks and make a wall hanging.  I think making a full-size quilt is still too difficult for me to maneuver around and sew together, I still have some limitations.

So the point of my recovery story is that I have had more fun in the last few weeks than I have had in years!  Me-embroidery changed my perspective on my work – I love it even more now!  Me-embroidery has re-defined and rekindled my passion for embroidery.

TAKE THE TIME TO SMELL THE ROSES.  You don’t have to set aside a whole day, or hours and hours to do some me-embroidery. Stop working for a bit and stitch something for yourself, take an hour a day – one day snoop your designs and find something you want to do.  The next day pick the fabric, the next day decide on colors for your thread.  Maybe do some embroidery experiments to test out colors.  Me-embroidery will change how you see things, how you work and put a smile on your face. If you are frustrated or annoyed with embroidery, stop working and do something for yourself and then attack the issue with fresh, happy eyes.  You will be surprised at what you can do once you feel happy again.

Until next time

 

Sue

 

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