Choose your Machine Embroidery Designs I am a digitizer of machine embroidery designs by trade. For some, it sounds weird and amazingly complicated. While it can be difficult to learn and perfect, it is actually fun and very relaxing. I used to be a bookkeeper/office manager/person-with-many-hats. I wouldn’t trade digitizing to return to that for any reason. However, in an office environment, the tasks are laid out and routine. In digitizing, anything goes. As a very organized person, this can sometimes be a hindrance to me. Office work is boring and can be done in a mentally bored state. Digitizing is creative and should never be done as a routine, boring task. That results in boring embroidery designs and no fun for me. Because I have been fortunate enough to turn my hobby into a business, I feel that it should always be fun and very rewarding creatively. The truth is that I often run out of ideas and inspiration. I’ve been working on one set of designs for over a year, a little at a time. When working on them recently, I realized that I had completely forgotten what my ultimate creative vision had been for them. This was distressing because the embroidery designs, simple enough themselves, had a very specific project goal when I got started. I cannot even explain the level of failure I perceived in myself. Luckily, I still enjoy machine embroidery as a hobbyist! I was looking around my favorite embroidery design gallery and noticed a magazine that another digitizer was featured in. I grabbed up a totally unrelated quilting magazine and found my inspiration again. It’s weird how that happens, but that is the life of anyone who works creatively or crafts recreationally. Inspiration is found when it is meant to be. Even though I had found my new inspiration, I told myself that I should finish the embroidery pattern that was already nearing completion. Fighting with myself over it, I decided that I should work on the project that had captured my spirit the most. In this, I once again found my fun and satisfaction. I believe that creative people distress themselves over UFOs (un-finished objects) more than we need to. Creativity and inspiration weave in and out constantly, and we should go with the flow instead of rowing upstream against our inclinations! I do it, too, and I’m trying to change that! While my digitizing work does have routine tasks, there is no reason to not enjoy what I’m doing when the spirit takes me to a totally different realm. Conventional wisdom may say to finish what one starts; it shouldn’t preclude starting more than one thing when the inspiration comes. I’m going to think of my embroidery passion as a speedboat, darting here and there, maneuvering through the waves of conventionality, and avoiding the slow-moving barges that get in the way of fun and creativity. Of course, there’s something to be said for taking a slow pleasant ride in a rowboat to add reflective stitches to a special project. All aboard!