Friday, April 20, 2007

To rectangles and beyond!

Ironically, the project I'm working on right now that's most exciting isn't weaving, it's sewing. I'm going to dedicate my very first post to it just the same, because today marks a major milestone for me. (Besides, it's sewing with my handwoven fabric.)

A bit of history: my dear ol' mum (Hi, Mom!) tried more than once to teach me to sew when I was a girl but my attention span just wasn't up to the task. Fast forward 20 years and now I'm a weaver who makes beautiful fabrics and can't do much with them. I'm tired of trying to answer the question, "What's hot in rectangles this year?" - there's a limit to what a person can do with rectangles, let me tell you - and I haven't had much luck finding a seamstress who can read my mind and knows exactly what I want even though I can't explain it, has nothing better to do than wait for my call, and is happy to work for peanuts. Really, the only solution was to learn to sew myself - I don't meet the last two criteria either but at least I know my own mind. Usually.

What better time to learn to sew than when the year's biggest deadline is looming? (Ha! A pun!) Dear ol' mum came to the rescue and very obligingly agreed to help me prepare for a big show that I'm going to next week with my artisans co-operative (www.mixedmediaartisans.com, www.saltscapesexpo.com) - never mind that she had to fly across the continent and an international border to do so. Everyone should be so lucky! Not only is Mom refurbishing a fair number of half started and poorly finished projects so I can sell them, she's teaching me how to sew as she goes, letting me take gobs of pictures of every step, writing down instructions for me, and then watching with endless patience as I try each bit myself. Amazingly, the intervening 20 years has made a difference, or perhaps motivation is the difference - whatever the reason, I'm actually getting it.

The proof is in the pudd...er, pillow. After she went to bed tonight, I stayed up and made my first pillow from start to finish without adult supervision. I told myself I would keep working until it was done or until I hit the first problem I couldn't sort out without having a tantrum (it was 3:00 a.m., you realize, and tantrums were a definite possibility). And - oh happy day! - I didn't have to stop or throw anything, tantrums or otherwise! The thread didn't gather up into any huge snarls under the fabric. Nothing got stuck or cut off or sewn on where it wasn't meant to. I even remembered to open the zipper so I could turn the pillow right side out - without having to refer to Mom's notes! And, as an added bonus, the pillow cover fits and matches the other two that Mom and I made earlier. I feel like I've finally arrived.



It may not look like much but this, my very first unsupervised pillow, is a major milestone for me. (It's the one in the back - there's nothing wrong with it, really there isn't! I just liked this picture of a pair of pillows best.)

I'm just trying to overlook the fact that the pillow is rectangular...

1 comment:

Sue said...

You're a quick study--that's why the pillow looks so great! OXO Mom