Today was pretty much a PITA.  My plan had been simple: listen to an audiobook or two: sort out some floss; finish backstitching the Death of Rats;

and machine embroider a bunch of kitchen towels for a nurse that I know who is retiring.

This particular lovely person works at the San Francisco VA and has for a lot of years. She runs the Heme/Onc infusion center which is how I met her. Her sympathetic, but no nonsense manner of handling things worked extremely well for me when I was dealing with my weekly dose of multiple chemo drugs (2016-2017). Support, but no sugar coating.  Anyway – sometime during that period to 2019, there was a day when I had machine embroidered a bunch of dish towels because I wanted to try out  the different patterns.  I brought them with me that Wednesday morning and handed them out to any of the nursing staff who was interested.  She took two – one that featured London, and one that featured Paris. What I didn’t know at the time was that the next morning she was picking two of her adult (20s?) children up from the airport. They were returning from London. Typical parent, she packed them a good breakfast snack because when you get off the plane from Europe in the morning most of the time you are hungry, tired, and crabby.

They were thrilled. Both with food and the fact that the “wrapper” was a kitchen towel featuring London. Her daughter took off with that one, and she told me when I was there on Wednesday that she still had the Paris one. So…. I decided to add to her collection as a retirement gift.  I found the patterns I had used along with a few more that just seemed right,  And then I figured this wouldn’t take more than a few hours.

Wrong! First problem – ½ the buttons on my sewing machine didn’t respond, This was the machine that I just had serviced before I left for our Asian trip. So embroidering was going to be out of the question. I called the dealer/service center. I had forgotten they are closed on Sunday & Monday. Darren answered the phone anyway and talked me through a couple of things I could check try – after confirming that yes, this was the machine I had brought in.  He suggested that I use the other machine that I had which I normally don’t use for embroidery. Ok, I suppose I can do that.

Next – I found that I was out of the stabilizer that I usually use. I dug around till I found a roll of pre-stitcky stuff so that I wouldn’t have to deal with finding the iron and ironing board. Then I attempted to locate the thread colors that I needed. I have them stored, with the colors clearly marked on the box lids. Doesn’t mean it turned out that anything was where it was supposed to be, and I am missing about a dozen spools – obviously the ones called for….

Then the fancier machine wouldn’t thread. Replacing the needle (as it wasn’t in completely straight solved that problem. Then the one hoop didn’t want to clip in properly. So, I dug around till I found a bigger one and managed. I didn’t quite tear my hair out, but it was close.

End result? Instead of being finished – I still have five to stitch tomorrow…


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About Holly

fiber person - knitter, spinner, weaver who spent 33 years being a military officer to fund the above. And home. And family. Sewing and quilting projects are also in the stash. After living again in Heidelberg after retiring (finally) from the U.S. Army May 2011, we moved to the US ~ Dec 2015. Something about being over 65 and access to health care. It also might have had to do with finding a buyer for our house. Allegedly this will provide me a home base in the same country as our four adult children, all of whom I adore, so that I can drive them totally insane. Considerations of time to knit down the stash…(right, and if you believe that…) and spin and .... There is now actually enough time to do a bit of consulting, editing. Even more amazing - we have only one household again. As long as everyone understands that I still, 40 years into our marriage, don't do kitchens or bathrooms. For that matter, not being a golden retriever, I don't do slippers or newspapers either. I don’t miss either the military or full-time clinical practice. Limiting my public health/travel med/consulting and lecturing to “when I feel like it” has let me happily spend my pension cruising, stash enhancing (oops), arguing with the DH about where we are going to travel next and book buying. Life is good!
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