Every so often, we might find ourselves without the use of our embroidery and/or sewing machines. It might be due to a problem with the machine, or it might be just a routine servicing. Either way, our beloved machine is in the repair shop and we are left with a silent empty space where our “babyŁ usually sits. What to do now?
I faced this situation recently when my machine had to be taken in for service. With an expected time frame of 2 weeks, I wanted to find a way to put the time to use, so I came up with this list.
1. Give the area where the machine usually sits a good clearing. Take advantage of the open space to wipe down the surface. Run a broom and/or vacuum around the floor to get all the dust, stray bits of thread, and escaped slivers of stabilizer.
2. Take inventory. Make a list of the colors of thread you have, including the brand and color numbers. You can do this by hand with pad and pen, or do it on the computer, whichever way you are more comfortable with. Don’t forget to include your selection of stabilizers as well. If you want to go even further, list your fabric stash; the types,
colors, and amounts of what you have on hand.
3. Now that you know what you have, make a list of what you need. Once you get your machine back, you will likely want to start stitching right away. Wouldn’t it be nice to have all the supplies you need already on hand?
4. Do housekeeping on your computer as well. Back up your design files on to a CD, external hard drive, or thumb (USB) drive, or even to more than one place. Keep this storage media in a safe place. Make sure your operating system and anti-virus software are current, with all the needed updates installed.┬á Go through all (or at least some!)
of the web addresses you have saved, and make sure they still valid.
(There is software that can help you do this: do a search for “link checker”Ł. Some are free, others you pay for.).
5. Plan out the next few projects you want to do. That might be something for back-to-school, autumn or winter holidays, or a special gift. Think about what design(s) you will use, what fabric and threads you will need, etc. If you have a lot of projects in mind, consider making a written list.
6. Take some time to look back over the many articles, tips, and projects published here at Designs by Sick. There are lots of inspiration and ideas and techniques just waiting for you to (re)discover.
7. Document the project you have already done. Take pictures, write descriptions. Make note of which designs you used, and how they stitched out. Put it all into a notebook or binder. It can be very satisfying to look back and see all the projects you have finished.
Although it may seem like a long time, you machine will soon be back in its usual spot. You will appreciate the wonder of it all the more with all the organizing and cleaning you have done while it has been gone.
Oh, by the way, my machine was done in one week, not two. Can you say “happy stitcher”Ł!