As you can read in my previous post, I won a sewing machine at Nancy's Notions Sewing Weekend Friday night YaYa Sisters event.
I know that the machine was from Babylock and Nancy's Notions, and suitable thank you notes are making their way to them at this time. My mother always said writing thank you notes was part of our jobs as kids, and I continue that whenever possible.
But it just seems so perfect to have won that machine at the 'hands' of Rita and Mary Mulari.
I have sewing sisters who meet on a regular basis like Rita does. Mine meet on Friday nights at the home of one of my aunts (unless said aunt happens to be on a jaunt somewhere). We have supported each other through loss and illness and celebrated with each other the birth of grandchildren and eaten cake for birthdays. Girlfriends are true treasures. If you don't have some, you can probably pick some up at a fabric store or yarn shop near you. Really!
I like that Rita and Mary both appreciate that and encourage it. And they both encourage sewing for joy and with love, regardless of your skill level. And the more you do, the better you get at it.
My oldest granddaughter is the proud owner of the brand new Babylock machine I won last Friday. She is 13 and a half, very creative, loves to craft and she knows how to sew. She makes jewelry and wall art and is my best shopping buddy in fabric and craft stores.
About two years ago or maybe more, she made a placemat using both my sewing machine and my embroidery machine. She did it all herself. We guest blogged on the American Sewing Guild blog.
She is always up for trying new things. She tested all the fancy stitches on my machine on scraps of fabric just to see what they do, sometimes using pages from the telephone book to anchor her work because she thinks outside of the box.
This is one of my favorite things she's done, a fabric collage which she glued up on foam core and hung on the wall as artwork.
After I gave her the new Babylock, we went into the 'resource center' and kitted up a sewing box. I believe in using good tools, so I gave her a nice pair of 8 inch scissors, a small pair of scissors, every size sewing machine needle I had, several spools of basic colors of thread, a box of quilters glass head pins, a box of finer pins, a pin cushion, various measuring tapes and small rulers, and a yard stick, among other things.
For her first project, she's making a pair of PJ bottoms with some cotton fabric she bought for that purpose (as in, she picked out, I paid for and I was supposed to sew!) the last time we were at our local quilt shop. Black with spider webs... very cool.
I also let her pick out a whole stack of five inch squares from my scrap bin so she can practice her straight seams. I cut scraps of quilting fabric into usable sizes rather than keeping big piles of miscellaneous stuff. She is excited to be able to come away from the practice sewing with a potential quilt top!
Passing all this on to a new generation is invigorating and inspiring. I can't wait to see what she does. Whatever it is, I will love it! I hope to channel my great aunt Mary, who always emphasized the positive when she was teaching me sewing, and never made me feel like I'd done something terrible if I made an error. She's say "OK, how should we fix that?" and fix it we would, or find a work around, or even start over.
That's what I love about Rita Farro and Mary Mulari... they make you feel like you can do it. Whatever it is, try it. If it doesn't work the first time, try again, or reach out for some help because chances are, one of those girlfriends will have an idea. And Nancy Zieman too is always there, 24-7, on the internet, ready to help. They are a big part of what makes the sewing industry so special.
Not to mention YouTube, where you can find so much good stuff.
If you're in a sewing funk, having stitcher's block, not inspired or not motivated, I highly recommend getting together with some sewing friends, and sharing what you know. Put the fun back in!
Oh, and share your stash/resource center. You'll never use it all in your lifetime anyway...