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I am a mother, a grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge was published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon



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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

A hope post

A few months ago I got a call long distance from my son Ben who is doing some work on windmills in Texas.

Driving across the job site he saw a small, sick, starved dog on the side of the road. He was at work but stopped anyway and picked her up. He couldn't keep driving.

He called me to ask me to get on the phone for him to find a no kill shelter in his part of Texas.

That took some doing. In fact every place I called, and he was working the car phone while he drove, they told us that they would have to put down any sick animal he brought in.

But they don't know my Benny.

In the end he located somehow a woman who was running a private rescue for sick and mangey dogs who told him sorry no room left, so many needy animals.

Ben went over there anyway and with a donation and offer to volunteer he persuaded her to take in the pup. He kept in touch and helped when he could.

Now months later here are shots of that little dog. Happy, fit and now placed in a forever home in Colorado. They call her Dreamy.

This little story reminds me that bothering to help and not giving up are principles to live by.

You never know, you just never know, we all need to remember that.

My Ben and the dog he found.

Chairs and learning styles

Well here is the dad's lazy boy done.

My part in this project was much of the disassembly, cutting, sewing and moaning.  My husband did the hard part, the putting it back together, stapling and not giving up.

The spouse like puzzles and likes detail. This is after all a man who buys crabs and spends five hours cooking them and squeezing out the meat to make a crab quiche like he hasn't even heard of a can opener.

Here he is in action picking up where I left off with the chair:

And below here he is doing the test elevation in recovery mode. It was a huge job, particularly for our first ever upholstery job:

And here is the final chair, with the weird eyeball fabric I thought at the time would update it:

Now I can absolutely say that if I did not have my husband's persistence this would not have ever been finished. Once I got into taking it all apart my own personal reaction was, you have to be kidding, this is waaay too much trouble.

I am not a fussy sewer. I can be careful and precise when I sew but it is not something I like to repeat too often.

I like variety, the challenge of a new pattern, trying to figure something out. My mind is so often on to the next project before I finish the current one.

I am a garment sewer entirely. I like that there are two sleeves and one collar. I would not enjoy 50 sleeves and 25 collars one after the other. It is beyond me how quilters can do 524 pieces the same. In fact one of my sisters, who is a meticulous quilter and I should add also great at upholstery, and I once tried to make a quilt together for our parents. I did my squares and sent them to her. She sent them back to me.

"Haven't you heard of a 1/4" seam allowance?"

I eyeballed it. Got it done didn't I?

Well not really.

I operate more on enthusiasm than a system.

It has taken me a long time to understand this is just part of my style and to go with it try to make the most of it, rather than trying to meet other expectations.

This orientation is why I am always a SWAP drop out, and probably why I nixed my one Chanel jacket project.

I am careful if I can do it once and say "Cool" but not if I have to do it over and over again.

Does this make sense to you?

What kind of sewer are you? What kind of projects do you enjoy most? 

What kind of sewing have you accepted you don't enjoy and stopped doing it?

What guilts have you given up?

This matters.