I have no problem encouraging my students to step out of their comfort zone and push themselves to experience something new but sometimes I don’t always like to practice what I preach. Yes, I am admitting yet another “Lisa flaw”. Anyone that read a recent post will recall that I did sew a bag, which is not my thing, and I had a great time. But I am ultimately a creature of habit and feel very uncomfortable taking steps into “newness” and that includes welcoming new things into my studio easily. And here’s what I mean:
My beloved BERNINA longarm has a friend now. Heavens no, not another machine, although that thought is very tempting. LOL I have the QMatic which is the computer component for the BERNINA. Now, I’m not a total dinosaur, in the past I did “computerized” quilting but this was back in the day (many moons ago) when I was quilting daily for customers and could not fathom completing projects without computerizing. Since I currently quilt for myself, I now find it hard to jump in and bring myself up to speed with technology. Yes, I need to come face reality, and with this incredible addition I’ll be in feeling like a more modern quilting girl in no time. BUT it will take some practice!
Learning the software is obviously my first goal, however, I also need to become familiar with the new weight of the machine while doing freehand. Ah, major learning curve! This is extremely important because although the machine doesn’t necessarily feel much different, the swing is a little different. Therefore, in order to apply those nice backtracking feathers, it requires me to practice, practice and practice some more. To aid in my training I’ve placed practice fabric (fabric I care less about) to make sure I’m comfortable with the new weight of the machine. After gaining confidence in the adjusted swing of my machine I plan on tackling a small piece that will hopefully be an auction piece at Houston. Fingers crossed.
Below you can see an orphan block from my four-year, never-ending quilt. This will be my Houston Quilt Festival Auction piece if I can get my rear in gear and get it on the machine. Yes, I realize there is a seam ripper in the picture. Remember I’m a WIP, need I say more?!
This quilt is more like the four-year and some odd month, never-ending, quilt…lol Goal 450 billion is to get that finished by the end of 2017. I refuse to let it become,”The 5 Year Quilt”.
So I’m off to practice what I preach and throw myself full force into learning, and understanding this new software. Big girl pants are pulled up, zipped and belted tightly!
What changes have you recently encountered that has you hesitant to step into the new, and unknown?
A Silver Lining, the quilt pictured above, was a computer aided quilt. Perhaps you’re asking ” What does that mean?” For different quilts it could mean different things. The main motifs of this project were created a while ago, so they were my own design. I did, however, use the computer to stitch out those and then the rest was freehand. Why do I bring this up?
Some people think that using a computer means just pressing a button and letting the machine take over. In essence, the work done by the quilter isn’t as imperative. Believe it or not some give my “Silver Lining” a raised eyebrow and the “OMG how beautiful” thoughts are immediately dismissed once the fact that this piece was created with the aid of a computer. Seriously? Is it really any less beautiful because it was computer aided? I think critics quickly overlook the fact that I spent hours determining where to place the designs or days doing the delicate hand beading that went into the binding.
I recall when the stitch regulators were new to the quilting arena, and we heard the same kerfuffle stuff about them. Funny how they have since become the norm. Some folks need to come to reality and realize that there definitely skill required when producing a computer aided design.
Now that I’m on a roll let’s take note of a few more “aides”.
The electronic cutting machines. Should we consider that cheating, or less than when observing a quilt that has utilized that tool? There is skill involved in cutting fabric.
Lastly how about the amazing embroidery machines? I would love to see a show of hands of artists that willingly would love to go back to hand embroidery. My hand will not be raised!
I would love for quilters to embrace ALL types of quilting. Especially as we witness the craft of quilting moving into the future. There is room for all of us, those that love traditional techniques of quilting, those that are comfortable with present tools, and machines and finally those whose minds are filled with curiosity as they experiment with ground breaking products. No one should be judged for how they achieved their goals and success. If the design is considered “OMG look how beautiful”, let’s just leave it at that…”OMG it’s beautiful”.
With the advances many gifted humans have made throughout time it is not surprising to witness applied science making its way into the quilting world. Beginning with the birth of the first patented sewing machine in 1791 to the now visible computerized quilting machines; mechanics has evolved quilting into an amazing hobby and business.
Somehow in this ever-changing quilting world I still embrace the tried and true, (a.k.a the old-fashioned way) pencil and paper. Bells and whistles are in abundance; enhancing the efficiency and uniqueness to what can be created with a small needle and thread. Yet, I forever find myself holding my graphite pencil prepared for brainstorming battle on sketching paper. I know my BERNINA 750QE is a playground of fun that I have allowed myself to only slightly enjoy. Maybe, one day, I’ll venture to the BERNINA playground filled with wonderful stitches. Or maybe not.
In regards to computer programs and the quilting world I do possess the EQ 7, however, I do not utilize it often. I am reluctant to be unfaithful to my pencil and paper, I simply find it faster and reliable. I even hesitate to stray from my handy-dandy calculator for determining yardage. The words “Computer Savvy” and “Lisa Calle” do not seem to compute. However, I do make use of “Illustrator”. I am actually quite proud to share that Illustrator and I are going on a 7 year relationship. I honestly cannot ever see me totally breaking up with Illustrator as this program has definitely become a small piece of me. There are moments during my creative process that, with the help of handsome Illustrator, I will produce an appliqué design. The results have me grinning from ear to ear as my eyes take in printed designs in various sizes. But every relationship needs a break, and I since I’m not very good at juggling relationships I always follow my heart back to my pencil and paper.
Breaking up is hard to do. So until my loyal pencil and paper decide to call it quits with this designer, I will be sticking with the tried and true. That’s not to say that technology won’t tempt me into putting my pencil and paper on the back burner.
Has technology found its way into your quilting world? I am sure there are many tech savvy quilters among us, so share your modern must haves!
This has been an interesting week. On Sunday, I watched a news program where a well respected older business man said if you only do one thing….. keep up on technology! Ugh, it is changing so fast but ok, i’ll give it a try.
First up, I need to update my Quickbooks to 2015 (I have updated every 2 years so I can get support) so instead of updating I decided to migrate to QB online. So the migration went easily enough but once there, it is like learning a whole new program… ok Lisa, just stick with it…. you can do this… if the old man can keep up on technology so can you!
Well, now there are apps you can integrate with QB, such as PayPal and Square and you can connect your bank accounts electronically. All sounds very positive as time is always on short supply. First up, PayPal….. done…. not quite sure about it as the orders come over automatically…. can you say ” control freak”. I’ll give it a little while to see if I get use to it…
The Square, since I only use it at shows, I have a couple weeks before i have to jump into that pool… thank goodness!
“Connect an account” …. sounds good too. So this morning, I have connected my business credit card to QB as well. Again, the jury is still out on whether I will continue to use it…
My thoughts on this week are…… if the old man can stay up to date on all the new technology then I certainly should try, this man has about 30 years on me. My business has changed so much over the years… I have found myself saying all too often…. there is not enough time in the day to get everything done…. so while this week I have felt like I haven’t gotten a lot done (due to learning this new technology) I am hopeful that it will make certain tasks quicker and easier thus freeing up a little time to maybe actually QUILT something!