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Essay About My Friends And Me Sewing

One of the things I love about writing this blog is the knowledge that my readers get me. I write sewing time knowing that you all understand the enjoyment. I can report that I bought more fabric and expect that most of you are sighing in contentment along with me. A whole different situation is how to describe the love of sewing and fabric to the uninitiated.

Maybe you've encountered this quilemma as well. It's like describing the taste of your favorite food to someone who has never eaten it. Or describing the cuteness of a baby to one who has never been close to one.

But I am going to try and let me know if I succeed. And tell me how you do the very same thing. I have only encountered it one time in books and that what is The Dive From Clausen's Pier.

I lent the book to someone who never returned it but I still remember reading the section where she goes to a fabric store. From her description, I felt she got it, she really understood. I hope I can do half as well.

The love of Sewing

Time spent sewing is time where my brain is dealing with fabric and thread. My hands are the moving part and everything seems clear.

I am creating something concrete that won't need to be redone. It won't disappear. It is just me and the machine or the needle.

Everything seems clear and purposeful. I don't have self doubt or other critical voices. I see the needle go up and down and then an object appears.

I am fulfilled, I am at peace in my creation. It's happiness at its least complicated form.

The love of Quilting

I spent my adult life teaching. Whatever wisdom or mistakes I passed along are gone. The main work of my life was ephemeral.

I gave invisible bits of myself when I taught and have only limited knowledge if it was worth it or not. Performance art is like that.

When I make quilts I add to the chain of quilts my aunts and grandmother made. I contribute to the art form which has been around for centuries. I perform and it stays.

After days, months or years of small bits of work a whole emerges. There are pieces of fabric, lengths of thread and pieces of me in each quilt.

It makes me feel like some of me will live on. That the essence of me is not lost in the work that disappeared when the sun went down. Instead it is still there when the sun comes up.

With my hands I create art that will live on longer than I do. And it's soft, warm and comforting. It's a very primal love.

The love of Fabric

When I walk into certain fabric stores I am overwhelmed. I want it all. I want to touch it, buy it and sew it all.

The smell of fabric envelopes me and I breathe it in. It promises creation, fun and fulfillment. The colors saturate my brain and at first, I cannot choose.

After walking around and clearing the initial infatuation I start to see individual pieces. I think about what I am or want to make. And other times I just fall in love.

I pick a finite quantity and bring it home. The bag buzzes with my anticipation and the sense of possibility.

Some rests for a while in my sewing room and I find it again later and have an actual physical reaction of pleasure. Other fabrics get made up right away and used or given away.

I love to look at it, touch it, breathe it and pull it out to examine it. I adore cutting it, sewing it and have it come to life.

Sewing quilts with fabric, the trio of pleasure in my life.

Or for those who still don't get it. It's chocolate. It's champagne.

It's your team winning the super bowl and the World Series. It's a first kiss and a cold drink on a hot day.

It's joy in your heart, peace in your head and fulfillment in your hands.

And a whole bunch of threads all over!

Sew happy or try to understand those who do!

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This is tied in with a post I wrote about why I don't sew for Money.

A few weeks back I taught an appliqué class at a local sewing store which is 30 miles from my house. While I was driving {a term I use loosely because of the awful Austin traffic} I was pondering this idea: Everyone Should Learn to Sew.

Before you verbally eviscerate me for such a strong opinion, let me explain. Sewing has so many layers. Sewing by hand, home decor sewing, sewing for children/grandchildren, fashion/garment sewing, quilting, crafts, upcycling, and a lot of other sewing areas I can’t even begin to recall. All that to say, sewing is a useful skill that is worth learning.

I think there are so many reasons people come to a screeching halt when it comes to sewing. Things like winding a bobbin or threading a machine are just too much for them to master. They have trouble breathing at the thought of inserting a zipper or making a buttonhole. What if a needle breaks or the bobbin runs out of thread? It’s all too much and so they never begin because small things overwhelm them.

Well, the rewards of learning to sew outweigh the unfounded fears that cause people to shy away. I promise you, if you commit to learning the skill of sewing you will find people who are more than willing to share their knowledge.

Below are a few reasons why I think Everyone Should Learn to Sew.

1. Home Decor

Around the home, sewing can be a real door opener. With an inexpensive sewing machine from Walmart or Joann’s you can take a builder’s grade home and turn it into something magazine worthy. And it doesn’t take a lot of skill or time either. If you can cut fabric and sew a straight line then you can make throw pillows and curtains for every room in your house.

With a little practice you can make a fabric-covered headboard, recover dining room chairs, slipcover an occasional chair, or make some custom kitchen towels. The sky’s the limit here, too. Walk down the aisle of any fabric store and you will be amazed at the choices. If you love the cottage style, there’s a fabric for that. Is modern more your thing ~ well, there’s fabric for that. And there are tons of tutorials on the web to take you from total novice to complete expert.

Holiday decorating becomes a snap with limited sewing skills. If you can sew a straight line you can whip up a seasonal table runner and some kitchen towels. In no time at all you’ve got a new look.

Sewing skills can make your house a home by allowing your own personality to shine through ~ not to mention the money you will save.

2. Kids

Sewing for kids could be an entire blog post ~ I will try to break it into smaller bits here. First, there is the obvious: sewing kids clothes. There really isn’t much to making a simple gathered skirt for a little girl or a cute t-shirt for a boy. Both of these don’t require a lot of skill and your little one will really love them. Plus, they will be unique to your child and his/her interests {such as ninja’s around here}. Minimal sewing skills can allow you embellish ready-made garments making them personal and unique.

There are so many kid-themed fabrics it can almost be overwhelming. If your child loves trains or Disney there are fabrics you can choose from to satisfy their fascination. Sew something simple like a pillowcase and you can rock their little world.

Simple bags for little girls, hair bows, embellished t-shirts, repurposed dress-up clothes, matching Dolly & Me dresses ~ an unending list.

Fabric nunchucks for little {ninja-obsessed} boys, a play tent, super hero capes, pull on pants with really deep pockets {for all that hunting and gathering}, and soft things for throwing {if you’re around boys, you’ll get this one} ~ again, an unending list.

Of course, babies are the most fun to sew for. Think bedding, blankets, and burp cloths to name a few. If you’re a young mom with kids you are going to need baby gifts for your friends. Learn to sew in a straight line and you will always have affordable gifts to share with new moms.

3. It’s Green

If you’re concerned about the environment then sewing should definitely be your thing. Sewing allows you to repurpose almost anything made from fabric. Thrift stores and yard sales will net you the best selection of fabrics waiting to be transformed.

Upcycled thrift store curtains become throw pillows for a bed. A used duvet becomes a new shower curtain. A men’s dress shirt becomes a little girl’s dress. Add a piece of fabric to some repurposed curtains to personalize them for your home. Turn an old sweater into a beautiful throw pillow.

With minimal sewing skills anything can be cut apart and turned into something unique. #unlimitedresources

4. $ave $ome Ca$h

It’s no secret that sewing can save you money. Knowing how to sew allows you to make simple repairs to garments. Hem your own jeans, sew on a missing button, repair an open seam. All of these will extend a garment’s life and save you a little money.

I cannot tell you how many baby gifts I’ve made using leftover fabric scraps and a little imagination. Think about your holiday shopping list and imagine all of the gifts you can make. Aprons, bags, pillowcases, and quilts make beautiful handmade gifts that everyone will love.

5. Sense of Accomplishment

The best reason for learning to sew is the sense of accomplishment that comes from creating something handmade. Seeing your own hand-sewn creations ~ well if you’ve ever felt it you know what I’m talking about. Conquering sewing jeans gave me this sense of accomplishment. I now have the confidence to make my own custom-fit jeans anytime I want.

A piece of fabric, an hour or two of your time, and you can transform almost any room in your house. Then, for months afterwards, you can admire your handy work. That’s the real value of learning to sew.

Sewing gives you power over a limited decorating budget. It opens creativity when you sew a simple garment. Over time, sewing can save you money by providing a means for making gifts. And, it insures unlimited possibilities for repurposing almost anything made from fabric.

Like I said, everyone should learn to sew.

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Filed Under: Basics, Sewing