Getting back into the routine here and finding my way to the new location of my office, which involves a longer, draughtier walk through the docks. In the summer months, this will be delightful, I’m sure, but on a January Thursday?
Once I reached the – shall we say, cosy - space in the 1950’s office block which has been allotted to the team I work with, I immediately felt nostalgic for the old warehouse and comfortable workspace. Austerity continues to manifest itself in all kinds of ways and today I learned that all the desks are being reduced in size (having a bit chopped off one end, I think) so that more will fit into a smaller space. Not only that, there’s a policy of eight desks per ten people as the “hot desking” concept is encouraged. Thankfully, I don’t spend much time in the office, but if I did, I imagine I wouldn’t need much persuasion to take my laptop to the cafe across the street. Thankfully, the people I work with are as delightful as ever and have way more patience and forbearance than I have!
Did I mention that there were a few Bernina goodies amongst my Christmas presents? This afternoon, I decided to open up the boxes and see what’s what. I’d installed the new software before we went to Hamburg, thinking that if I left everything ready to roll, then upon my return I’d simply sit down and sew.
I’d watched the videos, I’ve been following the Yahoo group conversations for some time and I’ve downloaded the workbooks to read. But you know how it is, when you sit in front of the empty screen it’s really hard to know just where to begin. It took me most of the afternoon before I’d found a simple project to get me started but eventually I settled on a flower.jpg which was included in the package – the flower on the logo in fact – and I created a file to cut using the cutwork tool following the step by step instructions.
Phew. So far, so good. I exported it to my machine and then began the next stage of the learning process – opening the box with the cutwork tool inside, assembling it and preparing my machine for cutting. Once again, I’d watched videos of what to do, my machine has all kinds of safeguards which ensure that everything is tickety-boo before it will let me do anything and I took my time to make sure I’d got it all in place.
I even chose to use pink felt just like in the video demonstration! I stuck it down firmly to the adhesive stabliser and took a deep breath before hitting “go”. The machine sprang into action and quickly worked around the design lines I’d created earlier.
In four steps it completed the cut and I couldn’t wait to pop out the cut shape as in the video.
Except it didn’t pop out at all. Clearly, the felt I’d used wasn’t anything like as dense as the Bernina sample, and though the fuzzy edges were annoying, the way the central shape disintegrated was simply unacceptable.
So, I rehooped and tried again with some thin cotton fabric. Same adhesive stabliser, same shape. But at the end of the first step, I could see that this wasn’t going to be much better either. No clean cut edges, sadly.
So I did what we all do in such circumstances, I went online and read for tips and tricks using the Bernina Cutwork tool. Strong stabiliser and lots of starch seemed to be the key. I took the advice and tried a third time.
Better, but still not right.
Clearly, I need to find out more about this before I go any further. I understand that it’s possible to cut up to ten layers of fabric at once with this method, that sometimes, the shape is stitched around before cutting, perhaps to hold the fabric in place and prevent some of those raggy edges?
Guess what homework I’ll be doing this evening?