Small-Scale Tools of the Trade

Sewing has been a hobby of mine since I was 9 years old. I needed another Girl Scout badge and I liked the little sewing machine on that one.

Please go to Choose “Discover” in the top bar menu. Click Design Challenge from the drop down menu.

When I retired, I returned to sewing as a hobby, and a therapy. It is calming to me to put pieces together. I never seem to know how the piece will turn out, even when I use a pattern. I prefer not using a pattern. I enjoy thinking about how to make a fabric art using the techniques and skills I’ve developed over the years. I often test the limits of my machine’s ability by pushing too many layers under the foot. I’ve broken needles and jammed it more times than I can remember.

Today, I jammed my machine so much I called to make an appointment for repair. Due to Covid, the next appointment wouldn’t be till September 3rd. However, the woman at the store suggested I check a few things. Turns out, I had knicked the bobbin holder. Never had THAT happen before. I had to sand it smooth, reassemble my machine, and vwala!!! I’m back in business. I’ve learned another trouble shooting skill, repaired my own machine for free with a little help from a Sewist on the end of the phone.

I’ve come to realize that sewing is never really a solo performance. It is the cumulative effort of like-minded individuals sharing and teaching each other a variety of skills over time: my Girl Scout instructor, the workshops I’ve taken over the years, the Free Range Quilters who have taught me other ways of combining fabric for a variety of artistic outcomes. How those skills come together can be different for each Sewist. This development applies to other art forms as well.

No artist, in any medium, really has the right to be arrogant, even if they are extremely good. It has been the support and inspiration of others that has create any artist worth their salt. The tools of any trade, or art form, are like a string of beads in a necklace. A single bead does not make art, only the group working together makes art. Individuals certainly play an important part.

Some of these thoughts went through my mind as I developed my next Design Challenge for Spoonflower. Once again, I’d be grateful if you’d enjoy the variety of artistic designs for this next challenge, and cast a vote my way. Voting ends August 11th.

I’ve included a background of colorful spools of thread, a sewing aching, bolts of fabric, a variety of scissors and notions. I particularly like the “crane” scissors, although I’ve never owned a pair. Of course, chocolate is fuel for all inspiration. There are several “sewing” themed choices. Feel free to vote for as many as you like. Thanks for your support.

Happily retired! Renewing my interests in music and art. Hoping to improve my skills in all creative areas.

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