Saturday, January 15, 2011

Sewing addiction

I was in my daughter’s hospital room on Wednesday when her surgeon came in for rounds. As he stood there and talked, I noticed a long string of thread hanging down from one of his buttonholes. It was hard but I kept my mouth shut. (How embarrassing would that be—“Hey, doc, your buttonhole is fraying, let me get that for you….”) I did, of course, have sewing scissors with me, along with quilting thread and a miniature quilt in my purse. So I could have fixed it for him. But what does this say about me?!! I have a serious sewing addiction, that’s what!

I worked as an English teacher for 9 years, and I always struggled to find time to sew. Every second spent grading those papers was time away from my sewing machine. When I wasn’t sewing, I was thinking about what I wanted to be sewing and how pretty it would be. Now I finally have time to sew and I still constantly think of my next project. When I was in St. Louis on Wednesday, I stopped at The Quilted Fox, my favorite quilt shop, to buy some needles and look at fabric. See I suspected there would be something nice there.

So in my purse was a piece of paisley fabric from my quilt guild’s yearly challenge:

The rules this year are simple—just use the paisley fabric and make the quilt crib size or smaller. I considered challenging myself to use only fabrics from my stash for this project, but when I walked into The Quilted Fox, I threw that idea out the window. Here is what I came home with:

I don’t yet know what this paisley challenge quilt will look like. I have no particular pattern in mind, but I have multiple ideas, and I sure will have so much fun figuring out how to put these fabrics together!

I have no papers to grade anymore, so finally, finally, I can not only THINK about sewing, I actually get to sew. This week I have been quilting my American Quilter magazine Mystery Quilt, trying to finish it by the deadline.

When I begin a machine quilting project, I always get a sinking feeling brought on by thoughts of “Here is my beautiful quilt top, and I’m going to ruin it—my quilting won’t be good enough—I can’t do it justice—this is too difficult with my regular sewing machine, etc., etc.” Doubts, doubts, doubts. Then I dig in and tackle the project. Eventually I settle down and realize, all over again, that my machine quilting is not too bad, this quilt really will fit under the sewing machine arm, and I’m not ruining the top at all, but adding another layer of interest. It has been slow going, but I’m very much enjoying the quilting this time.

Today my daughter is getting out of “the big house,” as she now calls Barnes Hospital, and coming to my house for a couple of days before she goes home. It will be a pleasure to fix her whatever she feels like eating. It’s no small thing to eat normally again after a bowel obstruction. But as always, every minute, sewing addict that I am, I’ll be yearning to get back into that studio and sew.

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