On the “About me” page, I describe myself as someone who wants to do it all perfectly in the next five minutes. Though that’s pretty accurate, I recognise that if something does go right first time, then (in professional-speak) “opportunities for learning are missed”. We’ve been watching the new series of Masterchef and noting how frequently the contestants who go straight through to the second round without the need to participate in the cook-off are eliminated. It’s almost as though the weaker cooks gain an advantage from that extra time spent in the kitchen.
In the last few days, I’ve been gaining advantage from extra time spent with my sewing machine!
I accepted a challenge recently and thought that I’d get on and get ahead. With a couple of days open on my calendar, it seemed a good time to prepare one or two things to have up my sleeve for when life gets busy again. So, out came the sewing machine and a small gadget called the “Spanish Hemstitch Equipment” and I sat down to create some samples.
I’d not gone very far before I decided that it was a waste of time creating mere sample pieces. Why not use the practice pieces to make something useful? Actually, in the small instruction book which came in the box with the gadget, there was a small project for a table mat. I had fabric and thread on hand (!) so I cut and prepared the pieces as recommended.
I even got out my overlocker and serged the edges. My goodness, that was quite an adventure in itself!
I finished some of the edges too, but as I did, crisis struck.
I needed to refill the bobbin and when I replaced it, I got an error message. The hook wouldn’t engage. At this point, I didn’t panic – the same thing had happened before and I had been given advice about what to do.
This time, though, I got a different message. Oh dear.
Help! Thankfully, I have a very good friend with considerably more experience than I have and several emails later, all was well.
I’d also added two or three other “tricks” to my repertoire of actions to take when things don’t go quite right. Every cloud has a silver lining, eh?
I was going to need to use every one of those tricks in the next few days, because things didn’t go quite right. Remember, I not only expect to be an instant expert but I’d like it all to turn out perfectly too? (Even if this is only a sample; a practice piece!)
So I ripped it out. Frogged it, as they say (ripit ripit, geddit?)
I decided that I needed to work a practice piece so that my practice project would turn out ok. After all, I need a respectable piece of work at the end of all of this, please. Second rate just will not do!
Even after much practice though, yesterday afternoon did not yield a single respectable sample. More practice is needed.
A pity that most of my practice is in frogging it, though.