Thursday, January 07, 2016

There's a New Kid in Town

"Begin as you mean to go on." This is a saying I heard for the first time a few years ago, but it has stuck with me, and its truth has born itself out many times in my life. It has particular significance at New Year's, since it could serve as a harbinger of the year. It can be applied to the quality of work put into a project. I'm sure there are other ways it can be interpreted as well.

For me, it has mostly to do with organizing each day. I have always been an early riser, and I find that I can often get a lot done in the hours before the rest of the world is awake. If I start the day well, and that usually means avoiding the temptation to plop myself in front of the computer or the tv, then most often the rest of the day will be productive as well.

Through the summer and fall I most often used the early morning to work on projects in my living room and dining room. This is where I do hand quilting and embroidery, and sometimes knitting if it's something that doesn't need helpful cats around. That part of the house has no air conditioning, so in the early morning it was still cool enough to be pleasant there, especially with the morning sun coming in. But now that we're into winter, it's too cold to work in there, since the only heat comes from a space heater that is an energy hog. So now that I'm trying to get into a work rhythm again, I decided I would head to the studio in the early morning.

I got quite a lot done in a short period of time this morning. A lot of things got put away, and other things got organized so they could be worked on easily. Some dusting happened, and there are actually some clear surfaces now, so projects can start moving forward again.

And then Bertie arrived. Bertie is the new sewing machine I ordered earlier in the week to give me a second machine, freeing Betsy, my beloved Bernina, to dedicate herself to free motion quilting.  

Bertie is an inexpensive machine that comes with a lot of lovely accessories for quilting. There's no computer to get mucked up and it came with a whole host of rave reviews. I was given some money at Christmas, and decided that, as much as I need things like groceries and house repairs, a gift should be a gift. I had decided a year ago that Betsy needed a helper, and had hoped I would find one that was "free to a good home," but without success. So the Christmas money went to purchase Bertie. And while I haven't put him through all his paces yet, it appears that he will do quite nicely the jobs I mean for him to do.

I named him for a character that appears in several books by Alexander McCall Smith. In the stories, Bertie is a very clever six year old boy. He takes cello lessons, and is learning Italian, and he has regular sessions with a psychotherapist, but he is only six, and that imposes limitations on him. It seemed an appropriate name for this machine. He can't do everything that Betsy can, but he is quite clever. I hope we have a long and wonderful relationship with each other. 

As I cleaned and sorted today, I lined up a couple of small projects that just need a small amount of time to get them finished and out of the way, mostly things that are leftovers from the Marketplace mayhem of November. Tomorrow I'll let Bertie tackle them. He too, needs to begin as he means to go on.


Kati from Kati's Quilting said...

Very nice! It's always smart to have a second machine just in case :) Good luck with your new buddy!

Jaye said...

Very glad you have a new machine and hope he will be a good helper.