A professional longarm machine quilter for hire and some of the work I've done.
For this whole month, if something could go wrong, it did. Let me tell you about it. My computer was still running windows xp. It was taking about 30 minutes just to fire up for me to read my email. Writing blog posts had become difficult as well. It would take hours to type up a post instead of minutes. I stopped writing as often partly because of the time it took.
One local quilt customer had left 7 quilts here to be done. Because of a promise I had made; I was rushing to get them all finished and back to her. I know, I said no more rush orders but this was an agreement made before my decision to stop the rush orders. Also a phone call every few days asking “are they done yet” kinda puts the pressure on to get them finished. I can’t explain the whole situation without someone getting hurt feelings so lets just say I wanted to get her quilts done and gone. Why, oh why, did I take so many days to visit the fair? In hind sight I should have stayed home and worked on quilts. So. There I am, once again, doing late night overtime in order to keep a promise. I work on quilts from the list during the day and this rush order at night. I’m so glad I have zipper leaders. I finished three quilts from the waiting list and three of the overtime quilts. Its late, around 8 pm, a fourth rush quilt is on the machine, the stabilizing is done, the border is finished, ready to do the center area which shouldn’t take more than an hour.
That’s when my machine’s bobbin winder breaks. Normally it winds a new bobbin as I’m stitching but now it won’t. No filled bobbins means no sewing can be done. I can’t wind the bobbins on my domestic machine because the Gammill bobbins are class M. That’s a double thread capacity size and won’t fit other machines. Next morning I call the Gammill dealer in Ohio to order the part and to get instructions for changing it myself. Wouldn’t you just know it, he’s out of town and won’t be back for several days. Nothing I can do but wait and worry and move on to other things.
Back to the computer problem. I had a new computer that was a housewarming gift from a friend. I didn’t know how to move all my files and photos from the old computer to the new one so it just set there doing nothing all this time. I don’t want to be a mechanic to drive a car and I don’t want to be a computer nerd to use a computer. There is a person on the Freecycle list who is a retired computer person. He picks up old computers, reworks them, then gives them to kids in need. I’ve met him a couple of times when he picked up food I was giving away. He offered to come switch everything from the old computer to the new one. Neither computer is doing me any good so I said yes thank you. A day later and there is a new computer setting where the old one used to be. He takes the old one and the broken lap top to see if he can fix them. Next day I decide to print out some intake forms as I have only two left. Aww geeze; there is no word processing program. None of my forms either because those files were not moved. MS word and MS excel are not on this computer. Now what? Do I need to buy a new version of MS word and excel? Frustrated I told myself I’ll deal with that later.
I have the three quilts from the waiting list finished that need to be mailed to the owners. I believe the ladies should be back home from a trip to the AQS Paducah fall quilt show. Surely I can do that at least. The post office site says there may be a delay on getting packages to destinations affected by the hurricanes. I go through the process of creating the shipping and paying the cost. I go to the screen to schedule a pickup request and read that its down for maintenance. It says I should come back 24 hours later to schedule. So I go back to the print labels screen to print the labels. Nothing. Well crap! The printer driver software is missing from this computer. I’ve already paid for the Postal service shipping but can’t print the labels. Ok, that will have to wait too. I’ll need to get a ride to the post office to ship them that way.
I’m not a person who can just sit around so I look for something to do. What can I accomplish that keeps me moving forward? Well I have food to process so time in the kitchen is needed. I pulled out the packs of chicken from the freezer that needed to be used soon. I thawed them and canned 14 half-pints to be used this winter in soups and stews. Next day is grocery day and I came home with more food to process. Ten pounds of on sale grapes to wash and freeze. Six discounted orange and yellow peppers to chop and freeze. Two packs of discounted snow peas to blanch and freeze for stir fry later. Four on sale broccoli to chop, blanch, and freeze for soups or casseroles. That was all I could do in one day. I still have on sale mushrooms, celery, vadalia onions, and potatoes to process. So what do you think happens next? The fridge starts making a funny noise when running. Does this mean my fridge is getting ready to quit? Would I loose all the food? What I did is put a penny on top of an ice cube tray. I check it any time I’m away from home for a long time and check it each morning when I wake. So far the freezer is still working. I’d hate to loose that food.
Next morning I decide to check my email before going back to the kitchen for more of the food processing. Just as I’m firing up the computer I get a phone call from my daughter. She says my email has been hacked. She was about to send me photos of my newest great-grandchild and found it. She had gotten an email from me saying I was stranded someplace and needed money to return to the states. )*_*(&(*%^ !! What a nightmare that’s been. Anyone who has ever posted comments to or clicked like on any of my blogs got a spam from my email. Anyone belonging to any online forum that I am also a member of got a spam from my email. Even forums I am no longer a member of got spam from my email. Every YouTube channel that I’ve subscribed to or simply commented on got a spam from my email. I don’t even want to know about the digital coupon sites I belong to.
Its been one nightmare problem after another all month long. There are other things that happened too but this post is already really long. I’m taking some time off —- from everything —- while I get my life back in order. What I keep thinking is that no matter how frustrating my life seems to be right now; there are others who have lost everything they own from fires, floods, hurricanes, and earthquakes. Remembering there are people less fortunate than me helps me keep prospective on what really matters.