Saturday, December 24, 2011

Embracing a Different Kind of Christmas and a Different Kind of Sewing as Well

Merry Christmas! Christmas has been celebrated and with a bit of time on my hands I thought I'd share something with you. You see, I was just looking at the present I got for my mother in law. It was Pokey Bolton's new book, The Best of Quilting Arts and  just now I realized how many of the techniques introduced in the book really appeal to me. I'd like to try gelatin printing. I'd like to use photo's to create a quilt pattern, I'd like to print and stamp and dye fabric as well. While we're here my MIL has been teaching me about machine sewing. I don't know if I mentioned it, but I got a Janome sewing machine last September. It's the first sewing machine I ever bought. It was a spontaneous purchase at a conference I attended. I hadn't intended on getting one, it just happened. They were selling the teaching models and had a killer deal on them. I swear tears came to my eyes as I first saw the ease of sewing just a straight seam with a good machine. I'd played with my grandmother's machine for a while but honestly, couldn't get it to sew a straight seam for the life of me. And you had to pull and tug at the fabric to get it to go through at all. I figured it was me, and that I just couldn't use a machine right and I decided to stick with my hand stitching.

That was 4 years ago and for four years I've very contentedly been hand stitching my little heart out. I've actually been glad for that broken down machine because I love the time I've spent learning embroidery and creating hand stitched art as a result. So much so that I'd actually decided against owning another machine. It's a different kind of sewing and I was afraid I'd lose what was unique about my work, what marked it as hand done art.

But in the last year, I've secretly been wishing for a machine to help as I do more and more construction instead of just embellishing. I love the clothes I've altered, but I have to say that it made me so frustrated to spend time just sewing seams that would get covered up. If I'm going to spend my time hand stitching I at least wanted it to show.

Time, I guess is really what it comes down to. Because the less time spent on construction allows me more time with my family. It also allows me to reach farther and do more creatively then I could before. With the world of surface design opening up before me, and with the joy of learning what my new machine can do, comes the desire to sew at a higher level. To understand all about different seams, and thread types, and machine stitching. To try free motion stitching, and get really really good at using my machine as another tool in my art.

 Today was spent so differently then past Christmases. We're with my husbands family, instead of mine. Which means instead of 20+ people and kids there's just the five of us. Instead of church, we watched The Star of Bethlehem movie (highly recommend it), read the Christmas story and fondued. It's different but not bad, in fact, other then missing my family, it's been a good day. I think that's how I need to see the machine vs. the hand work I've done. It's different but not bad. Plus, I'm having so much fun learning from my Mother in Law, and enjoy so much sharing my Mom's excitement of getting  a new machine herself. It seems sewing is something that's drawing us all together right now and that I have to believe is really the biggest blessing of my new machine.
Merry Christmas Everyone!!!

1 comment:

Jill said...

Merry Christmas Jen! I hope you enjoy sewing with your machine. Your work is always so beautiful and inspiring!