3.12.2010

Sewing and Life Lessons

So I got a sewing machine for Christmas and, let me tell you, it is glorious. No, it's nothing super-fancy, but it does what I want. I have a tendency to over-buy when I'm learning something new. I think, "Well, don't I want the best of the best?" This time, I decided to go simple and the results have been very exciting.

My first project was a table runner that I have yet to finish. My hand-quilting skills are lacking, so I have done a lot of stopping and starting. My next project was a quilt top for one of three babies due to my three sisters-in-law during the month of April. It was with this project (which I can't show you yet because it's not finished), that I learned to slow down and be more methodical in my work.

Anyone who knows me very well knows that I like to get stuff done. I love checking things off of lists and I like doing it quickly. This sense of urgency has certainly served me well over the years. However, it has also gotten me into a lot of trouble. For example, I have turned in many, many papers that were poorly edited, returned exams with grades that were improperly calculated and, in the case of sewing, failed to "measure twice, cut once". It's not that I'm particularly sloppy in my work, it's that I don't always pay enough attention. When it goes bad, it inevitably costs a lot of time and money. I think parallels can be found in every area of my life. If I get hasty and don't pay attention to my relationships, it can be damaging and very costly. The same is true of my finances, home care, cooking, and even my spiritual life. I need to slow down and watch where I'm going.


***


My third sewing project, and the first one I completed, was incredibly satisfying. I thoroughly read the directions, washed everything in hot water to pre-shrink it, and pressed the different components. It was night and day compared to my first hurried (and harried) sewing attempt. I made these burp cloths for my two soon-to-be-born nephews. Well, really for their parents. I am so pleased with the way they turned out. No, of course they're not perfect. But I feel good about having made something functional and attractive.


I like sewing. It's an enjoyable creative outlet and I find it so satisfying to create something out of a few squares of fabric and some thread. I also love that it forces me to slow down and be more aware of what I'm doing.

What is your creative outlet? What life lessons has it taught you?

**In the interest of full disclosure, there's another completed sewing project hanging out in the ether. I'll share it with you next week, but without the pithy life lessons.

8 comments:

Heidi said...

Thanks for sharing! I got a sewing machine for a wedding gift, and have yet to find the time to start any projects on it. Hopefully this summer...

Señora H-B said...

My only tip is to start with straight lines. Someday when I'm feeling brave I'll show the results of an early project that involved curves. DISASTER!

It's so addicting. I just stopped at JoAnn on the way to work and I have a hard time keeping myself under control!

Sabrina said...

Great job! I too am new to sewing...so new that I haven't taken the machine out of its box yet! :) My mom is supposed to give me a few lessons on Easter...we'll see. Very cute!

Señora H-B said...

Thanks Sabrina! I'm hoping to branch out sooner than later into more home improvement things. Maybe some curtains or pillow shams.

Good luck learning! It's been so rewarding so far.

Julie said...

I remember seeing some sewing machines for cheap on Black Friday and now I regret not getting one. Although we didn't have the money so really it's good I didn't get one. ANYway though, I'm excited to get one sometime and pick up my sewing where I left off, five years ago or so. It's such a useless skill to have, even if you only ever use it for simple projects and mending.

Señora H-B said...

I agree (I'm assuming you meant useful?). I just fixed some of Mr.'s t-shirts and they are good as new. $0.10 worth of thread to save a $10 t-shirt? I'll take that. I also like sewing pillow covers--relatively cheap decor changes are fun!

ferskner said...

I love your projects! It was so fun to see you get excited over them. You will conquer curves someday...

Señora H-B said...

Aw, thanks! I WILL conquer curves. I'm getting less and less scared. Maybe next month...