Drowning in Fabric

Forever cleaning, organizing and creating

Thinky Thursday

Who do you like to sew for the most?

Apparently, I like to sew for strangers. I have so many different bees and round robins and swaps and stuff going on… I had to cut myself off. I had two opportunities recently I almost joined and really thought it through and decided against it. I just have some sort of joining complex. The reasons why I enjoy doing these things:

  • I have a deadline. I do well with deadlines. If it is something for me, the deadline is whenever, it never gets done.
  • I feel more responsible to other people. I have to get it done. It is for someone else.
  • I enjoy the challenge of the new design or color scheme or finding things in my stash I might not otherwise have put together.

For example, the mystery border I am working on right now is sooo not anything I would ever have done for myself. Not my colors, design, size, or method. But I have drafted and resized block designs and I really like how it is turning out. I have had to work with very small bits of fabric and methods I am not as familiar with.

It is starting to wear on me, though. I feel like I am always making for others and don’t have the time or energy to get to my long to do list (some of which IS for others – family members). I also am getting anxious having so many projects in unfinished states.

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Sew Thinky Thursday

Today’s is an easy one that I can put up quickly between cleaning marathons (just finished wiping down the den walls, baseboards, mantles, fan, and fireplace).

Bad sewing habits. Do you have them? Share with us, what are your worst habits when it comes to sewing?

My worst habit: I am a pin whore. I pin the crap out of everything. And then, YES, I do sew straight over my pins! I have only broken one needle by doing this. I am convinced I can’t match up seams or that my fabric will drift otherwise. And by matching up seams, I mean I put THREE pins per seam: One in the stitch line, and one to each side, to hold the seam allowance where it belongs. I’ll have to take a picture sometime.

I can never find any of my tools. This is because I am a total slob and have things piled up on my ironing board, my sewing table, the floor, my tv stand…. and to do anything, I have to shift piles around to access those areas. I am trying to reorganize my sewing room so that this stops happening, and if my sewing table ever gets put together, that will help a lot too, because then what I am using now can become a devoted cutting and ironing table. But I also have a huge gate up around all of my fabric cubbies because otherwise the baby goes and pulls everything down off the shelves. So, instead of putting things back where they belong, they end up piled on the floor in front of and behind the gate. I am not sure that is really an improvement…. I am hoping to try taking the gate down soon and seeing how it goes. Once the downstairs is cleaned and the table is put together.

Confession: I’ve never actually had my machine serviced. I’ve had it 4 or 5 years. I only used it intermittently until recently. It needs it though. I’ve got some weird tension things going on, and the thing with the machine eating my triangle corners.

Linking up…

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Thinky Thursday (a few days late)

Somewhere in my google reader I came across a linky called Thinky Thursday at Mommy’s Naptime.  It’s taken me a few days to get to it (we’ve had all kinds of things going on here) but I wanted to try to participate before it closes.

When did you start sewing? Tell us a bit about your sewing history. When did you realize you were really hooked?

I’ve always loved quilts and I think I almost always wanted to sew. I remember getting more interested as an early teenager. I made a little bowtie quilt in high school. It is somewhere in the garage with my teaching stuff right now, otherwise I would add a picture…

My grandmother was a big sewer. She used to alter and shorten all our clothes, made clothes for my Barbies, and made a lot of her own clothes. I wish now I had used her as more of a resource. But I really didn’t. There is no excuse for me. Why wouldn’t I have, if I had an interest? I didn’t have an interest in clothing… still don’t really, though I have made my share of doll clothes. I remember her letting me play from time to time at her machine, but mostly it was scary and complicated to me, and I played with her extra buttons as she sewed. She is far gone to Alzheimer’s now, and my grandpa passed last summer. My aunt took her machines when we moved them out of their home a few years back, and the movers destroyed her small sewing table before it occurred to me to ask my dad for it. I have the buttons, and a lot of her other sewing notions. I got more serious in sewing about the time she started seriously drifting away from us. People, love on your elders and learn from them while you have the chance. I will always regret I didn’t take advantage of her knowledge when I could. I took for granted she would always be there….

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Anyway, back to me. I dabbled at sewing or embroidery here and there. Then, after I got married I took a couple classes from Quilt U where I had to hand sew. I don’t think I ever finished any of my piecing (I am the queen of starting things I don’t finish), but I did start to learn some valuable foundation. I got heavy into fabric dying for a while. A few years later, once we were settled into our home and had the space, I finally broke down and purchased my machine, with the promise to myself that I would actually use it. I took some classes at a local quilt shop, and from Quilt U and really started self teaching. For a long time I mainly made bags and doll clothes. Then we were expecting my son, and I did all the linens for his nursery, up until I was as wide as I was tall and still working full time, and couldn’t take the pressure in my back to stand at my ironing board. The next several months were devoted to being ill and caring for a very needy newborn. Eventually, we got to a point where he started napping somewhat regularly on his own or could be entertained on the floor as I started back to work on the nursery items that did not get finished. And then I eased back into doll clothes again, as well as some simple blankets and burp cloths and things. I made the top for the colorist quilt along. I started joining fabric swaps and bees.
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All through the years, though, I’d been accumulating fabric. Because I just knew that someday when I had time and energy and room and motivation, I would use it. I really love fabric. I always think in the back of my mind, I wanted to be quilting, too. But that seemed so scary for some reason. One has to be so exact and careful… And it seems so time consuming. Well, life is short, folks. I have wasted a lot of good time in front of a tv screen instead of doing what I wanted to or hoped to because:
  • I didn’t have space
  • I didn’t have time
  • I didn’t have energy
  • I didn’t have money
  • It was stupid
  • I didn’t know how to tackle it
  • I wasn’t good enough
  • I wasn’t good enough
  • I wasn’t good enough
  • FEAR

I am done thinking and dreaming and wishing and hoping and waiting for Someday. Someday never comes. The perfect time when everything in my life is aligned and perfect is never going to happen. I mean, I hope it does, LOL, but you know, what about all the time in between? And there is only one way to get good enough. Practice, practice, practice. And I am not getting any better waiting around to get better. y’know? I remember hearing somewhere that you have to work at something for 1000 hours to become proficient at it. I am just going to have to deal with the errors and imperfections in the meantime.

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