I’ve gotten “into the sewing business” as my Grandma Helen would have said. I took out a sewing machine that I’ve been staring at for a year and a half. It was a lovely Christmas present and I did use it right away, but then I started to have perfectionism fears about my inability to sew a straight line.
It doesn’t help that my idea is “Let’s zip through and sew something and hope that it stays together.” And that’s exactly why it took me more than two years to create covers for the pillows that arrived with our couch.
If I’m going to set out on a little adventure I need to put my mind to it and have my heart in it, otherwise it’s never going to happen. Finally, I looked at the stack of fabric I have been collecting and I decided that even if I messed up the pillow covers, I would just sew more and more until I had something I could use.
Through some trial and error I got the fabric cut to the right size. Then it all started coming back to me. I knew how to do all of this – thread the machine, wind the bobbin, sew a seam (and rip a seam). I flashed back to the summers I spent walking across our farmyard to Grandma’s house where she would teach me how to sew. I’m sure she watched me ruin lots of fabric and projects but she only really got upset when I would “bungle” up the bobbin tread. In my defense, hers was a very touchy machine and I really don’t know why that memory makes me laugh.
I remember the sun coming up but still hanging low in the sky and you could feel that it was going to be a sticky summer day. In Grandma’s dining room, she had the ironing board set up right next to the sewing machine and I always thought she ironed that fabric so many times that it might melt. I didn’t understand until learning more about sewing that she was ironing the wrinkles out and then ironing those stubborn seams. I also remember she had stacks of flannel to make baby blankets and I remember her making them, but I don’t remember who she gave them to.
Last week I thought of Grandma Helen as I wandered through the flannel section at the fabric store. There was so much to choose from! I selected a blue pattern to make a blanket for my nephew who is set to arrive soon. And I made a “big sister” blanket too. I found the easiest instructions I could on Pinterest.com and I made two very cute blankets! (Do not look to closely at that stitching, please.) I even bought zippers to put in those pillow covers and they turned out just great.
In my stack of fabric I have scraps of flannel from the blankets Grandma made. I also have a very ugly patchwork quilt that I started when I was 13-years-old. I never finished it –again, for fear of messing it up. I think that will be another of my future projects, I will finish that little blanket.
I think I will add an embellishment that I see is a big trend on Pinterest in sewing projects – pom poms. Remember those? I guess they are back. And let me tell you, those are going to look awesome on my crazy patchwork quilt.