Saturday, January 27, 2007

Of bobbins, pins, and screaming banshees

I haven't written in a while. I haven't stitched much. I had been trying to finish a present for my niece, but then I got a cold. I just couldn't motivate myself to work on it. Or much of anything. On Friday, I finally broke down and took the day off, in part to recover, and in part because the birthday party was upon us.

I was going to finish the pillow by doing a sort of patchwork around the stitched piece, but I didn't like how the black fabric I bought went with the lime and pink striped fabric. So I decided to applique it. I also decide to make an envelope pillow with trim.

Let's just stop to contemplate the stupidity of the task: three new techniques at the very last minute.

I had been studying my copy of Simplicity Simply the Best Home Decorating Book, and I knew I needed trim, stabilizer, and iron on fusing. So I lolled around on Friday until it became imperative that I get to Joann's. I bought my supplies, had lunch, and sat down to the sewing machine at 2:00. I practiced the applique on a spare piece of aida and the fabric I chose for the pillow and found out that you don't need to have a matching bobbin thread to do applique. Good thing because I had already looked around for spare bobbins, and--how does this happen?--I had none. I had used the iron on fusing but had no idea where to put the stabilizer. So I just didn't use it. It probably would have made things easier, but I was under a little pressure. I cut out the pieces for the pillow and then had to look up the very first instruction--make a double hem. Double hem, double hem, you'd think these books wouldn't use so much jargon. I basted the trim on...backwards...then upside down. I have to leave at 6 pm and it's past 4:30. I finally get the trim on and go to pin my pillow together only to discover...I have no idea where my pins are. I look in the obvious places, then in the not-so-obvious places, then I'm looking in the vegetable bin because you never know. I take a deep breath and decide I can hold three pieces of fabric together while I sew. It starts off okay, but then I'm swearing at the sewing machine. Next, I'm yelling at myself. Then I give myself a good talking to and take a deep breath. The next thing you know, I've sewn around the edges, and at 5:15, I turn it inside out actually looks pretty good. I stuff in the pillow form, wrap it in tissue, and stick it in a gift bag.

And the kid liked it! My cousin, who is an extraordinary sewer--and as a mechanical engineer, very precise--says it looks like I've been practicing my sewing, looks very nice. Of course, I think she missed the fact the trim is not even, a portion of the flat part of the trim is hanging out on the left side... Still, it passes muster and it was finished on time. But not with enough to spare that I could take a photo. I'll see if I can get one on Sunday.

Just to be clear, it's the seven year olds who were the banshees. Their favorite game at the party seemed to be running up the back stairs and down the front screaming at the top of their lungs. And people wonder why we don't have kids!


Leah said...

Whoa, your pillow finishing experience could have been written by me. heehee Glad it turned out well in the end!

Cheryl in DC said...

I'm so glad your niece liked it. Your tale sounds very much like some of my adventures into sewing, too.

Michelle said...

Hooray for getting it finished! Whew!