Sunday, January 12, 2014

“We're all mad here.” ― Lewis Carroll

     I've always been crafty.  My mom was artsy and always encouraged whatever creative endeavor I decided to undertake. But I always felt like I was searching for...something more.
     I've tried all sorts of crafts, oodles in fact.  Each new thing led me into something else, a swirling labyrinth of craftiness I was determined to navigate with very little instruction or guidance.  I gravitated towards the difficult, the more steps involved the easier it was for me to become entranced.  Charcoals and acrylics were my gateway drugs.  I painted, did collage, took printmaking and pottery classes.  I learned how to use a darkroom.  Knitting led to felting and a winter spent needling miniature wool animals that now reside on a bookshelf collecting dust.  My friend taught me how to Viking knit (her boyfriend made us the dowels), I painstakingly inked and colored shrinky dink necklaces, made bath bombs, soaps, body butter and lip balms one Christmas.  I suffered from craft ADD. I was a quick learner but didn't particularly excel in any one thing and still hadn't found IT.  This went on and on for years.  If I saw something I liked I bought the materials and taught it to myself (thank you, internet). The result was a room full of craft materials, unfinished projects and handmade gifts.  And disasters. Lots of disasters.
      I don't know why it took me so long to take up sewing.  My grandmother was an avid seamstress and taught all 7 of her daughters how to sew.  Or attempted to anyway.  My mom's first sewing lesson ended when my grandma asked her if she was having fun and my mom instantly broke out into tears. Needless to say, she was not a fan.  
     I had sewn before, in high school Home Ec.  A backpack made out of some dreadful slippery material that refused to get along with me.  I remember being confused by the machine and bored out of my mind.  After that, I may have hand sewn things here and there but didn't touch a sewing machine again until last year.  So, when I bought my Singer I did it with very low expectations.  I never intended to follow the white rabbit into wonderland but that is precisely what happened.  
     Sewing satisfies the need I have for my craft to be ritualistic.  Meditative.  I like how it makes me lose track of time.  It can make me feel very small (like realizing I've sewn something on upside down) and very large (attempting an invisible zipper for the first time and nailing it) all in the same project.  I love the ups and downs of it.  The frustration and feeling of accomplishment.  I am constantly learning and completely mystified and absolutely in love with it.  It's magic to me.
    I've gone down, down into the rabbit hole and found my craft.  Sometimes, I wonder why I didn't find it sooner.  But, I think it happened at the perfect time, what with the vast amount of information out there.  This blog is a way to chronicle my progress and provide other new sewists with the inspiration, tools, tips and guidance that have been so immensely helpful to me, as well as thoughts and meditations on the wonderful, exciting and often beguiling world of sewing.

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