Quilting: Good for the Soul

Yesterday wasn’t one of the best workdays for me in recent memory. Most of the time, I’m lucky enough that my job is essentially a hobby that I get paid for, but yesterday wasn’t the norm. One of my clients was in assault mode, and inundated me with 20 emails over the course of about 2½ hours, all of them containing requests for updates to their site or questions that needed to be answered now. Then they wanted to know why something they sent me last week wasn’t done, and I snapped a little, and told them it wasn’t done because I’d spent 20+ hours on the weekend working on their new site design and online shop programming, so that all that would all be ready for Monday’s telephone meeting, and since Monday, I’d been working on still other things for them. Sheesh.

By 11-ish, I was done with the day, but unfortunately, it wasn’t done with me. There were still all those updates to do, in addition to the thing from last week that wasn’t done yet. I started in on a fillable Adobe PDF form for the site, and spent more than three hours attempting to figure out how to make the boxes expand with the text. Oh puh-lease. Adobe Acrobat hasn’t ever been exactly user friendly; I mean, come on, how is it obvious that to make a PDF file, you “distill” it with the Distiller?!? Sure, that was version 5, but it’s still not much better in version 8.whatever that I have now, especially when you want to do something weird like “dynamic forms.” Add the LiveCycle forms creator program into the mix and it’s surely a recipe for stress.

I finally threw in the towel at 3:40 p.m. I thought I could see the way forward, but I was hot, tired, grouchy, I’d yelled at the kids when they started the screaming-meme stuff in the kitchen and told them to go outside, and I was just DONE. The way forward could wait for a bit. I grabbed a quilt, and sat down at the machine to try some sorely needed quilt therapy. I didn’t even have to think too hard about the task, since it was basic machine quilting that I’d already planned out, so it was pretty mindless.

Bernina Stitch RegulatorWithin about 15 minutes, I was calm, cool and collected. I spent the time until the dinner hour in a state of quilting bliss, happily creating. I was even relaxed enough to try something new; I removed the Bernina Stitch Regulator from the box for the first time since I bought the machine and used it for some straight line quilting. I’d tried the BSR at the workshop in Paducah with Diane Gaudynski when I borrowed a 440 machine to use, and wasn’t all that impressed, so I’d never tried to get to know my own after I bought the Bernina. I’ll share my thoughts about the BSR in a later post, but for what I was doing yesterday afternoon, I was pretty happy with the BSR, though we still have a ways to go before we are one, if that day ever comes.

The rest of the day was great, and I quilted more after dinner and late into the wee hours of this morning. I did try to keep the frustrations of the day out of my head, but even when I was thinking about them, I could be calm about it. Quilting does that for me most of the time, and today, it was like a thundershower in a desert.

And today? Well, the work is still there, and Adobe is still my nemesis. I hacked away at it again this morning, and finally gave up. Normally, I’m not a “give up” type of person; I tend toward the “me against it” mentality, and I keep searching for the answer until I find it, so that I can win. With this one though, I’ve looked, I’ve searched, I’ve hacked away at it for hours, and I’ve finally decided that it must take someone much smarter than me to figure it out. Never mind. I don’t want to win anymore, I just want it to go away.

I’m going to quit on this one so that I don’t get to the point today where I need a tranqulizer quilt therapy. Never let it be said that I don’t know when I’m beaten. I’m off to do some of the other updates that don’t involve fighting with Adobe, but there will be more quilting thundershowers later today, whether I need them or not!

3 thoughts on “Quilting: Good for the Soul

  1. Glad to hear the BSR is working out for you. I used the 440 at IQF in Houston last year and, like you, was unimpressed. I have a stitch regulator on my Janome (dedicated to quilting on the frame) and can’t imagine quilting without it.


  2. Nadine, I think we got our 440s close to the same time. Never a fan of the BSR after a few tries, I let mine sit in its box. In June, I took the machine to Upland for its yearly cleaning and they updated the BSR programming chip in the foot itself. The shop owner said I would be happier. I felt it did perform better – less pulling up of the bobbin thread, etc. Just FYI.


  3. Hi Rian! After having such (relative) success with the BSR for the first time, I’m eager to try it again actually, and see if we can get along so it can be useful for more than just the one thing.

    Thanks for the heads up, Kelly. I just had my 440 serviced, but not at a Bernina dealer shame on me, so they didn’t do any updates of course. I’ll have to take it to a dealer soon, maybe while I’m away in Des Moines, so I won’t miss it so much!


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