100 Day Project

100 Day Project completed

One of my achievements in 2020 was completing the 100 day project.

The 100 Day Project is a challenge I had my eye on for a few years, but while the UK was in lockdown, it seemed the best opportunity I would get to complete it, particularly when I intended to use the sewing machine.

As the project pans over 3.5 months, it tends to be best to pick a challenge which you can achieve no matter your travel plans.  Naturally, lockdown removed this potential issue!  While I don’t travel on holiday much, I do normally visit relatives, and they all live a decent distance away.  I don’t usually pack a sewing machine unless an intentional sewing weekend has been planned!

Free machine embroidery is something I learned at my local adult education centre here in Cornwall.  I was drawn to stitching animals during this introduction.  Nevertheless, I had never concentrated too much on this theme beyond the odd birthday card.

 

100 day project - Day 24 Giraffe
Hundred Day Project - Day 94 Red Panda

What I learned from The 100 Day Project

Despite being really challenging, it was worth learning the following:

  • If you show up every day and spend 30 minutes on a project, it builds up into something substantial
  • If you repeat something regularly, you become more confident and knowledgeable in what you are doing (e.g. for me in this challenge – have I added enough detail on the animal? By the end, I queried this a lot less)
  • Just start.  Some days, I dragged my heels and other days I woke up and got on with it.  The animal was still completed but I saved much more time when I got on with it.
  • Some days you won’t want to show up.  There were days when I wondered why I was adding this project to my list at a particularly challenging time.  However, this feeling did not last long, and it was the best year to complete the challenge.
  • Make time to do what you enjoy.  Since the project, I took a break from free machine embroidery and sewing in general.  However, I see how valuable taking the time to craft is in my day and how it boosts other areas of my life such as work and family.  It is important to have different areas of your life to focus on so that when things are challenging or not working out in one remit, you have the others the bolster you.
Machine Embroidery Sea Turtle

Planning and Preparation

I knew that one of the potential pitfalls of the challenge was getting caught up in which animal to create each day, and making sure I did not repeat them.  Therefore, I did some research in advance, selected 100 animals and wrote them down on scrap pieces of paper, folded them up and popped them in a box.

I had wanted to research all the animals in advance as well to save time on the day, but I ran out of time, and in a way, doing the research bit by bit helped to make the challenge more manageable.

Day by Day: learning and evolving

It is worth noting that while completing the project, I had a couple of other priorities:

  • Starting a new job
  • Finishing two adult education courses

While I was saving time not having to commute to work, I was adapting to a new role and trying to complete work on a couple of classes I started.  I found it easiest to complete the challenge early in the morning, aiming to complete most of it before I began work, and finishing off the rest after I finished work.  I had added the extra challenge of recording all the animals and posting a video on Youtube, which made it more time intensive.  However, some days, I managed to research the animal, stitch it, photograph, edit the footage and schedule all before work, which was a great accomplishment.

Hundred Day Project - Day 92 Peacock
Hundred Day Project - Day 43 Lobster
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Birthday card: Dog themed

Recently, I shared a birthday card where a ginger tabby cat was the theme of the image.  This time, I’m sharing a dog themed birthday card – a Jack Russell themes one to be precise.

I was fortunate to find many real life dog photos of Jack Russells being dressed up for the birthday spirit, so it wasn’t difficult for me to picture one with a birthday hat and a party horn!  Based off these photos, I drew the outline of the illustration.

For this design, I used an air erasable pen to trace my design onto the calico I was using as the base.  I used black thread to create all the outlines as well as the facial features.  For the hat, I used a simple orange for the circles, and a multi-coloured thread for the background hat colour.  The party horn was coloured in blue.

For the markings on the dog, I used a brown thread and kept using a straight stitch.  However, I moved the fabric faster to create larger stitches to create a fur-like shading.

Finally, I attached to the card template with spray mount.

Watch it on the Vlog!

I made a timelapse of stitching this card which you can view in the video below:

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Free Machine Embroidery set up: My 7 point checklist

Recently, I made a birthday card for a relative using free machine embroidery.  It had been a while, so once I finished the design, I discovered that I had kept the dog teeth up and had probably been competing with them the whole time!  I thought it would be useful for me, and perhaps other people, to have a checklist to run through when you decide to configure your sewing machine for free machine embroidery.

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Continue Reading Free Machine Embroidery set up: My 7 point checklist