I have been in a crafting frenzy for the past weeks. I got this idea that I wanted to create wall hangings for my nieces and nephews this Christmas. I have been interested in sewing but never patient enough to learn all the proper techniques. I basically could do pillow cases and bags – no zippers, of course, and don’t even think of checking the seams on the inside …
My grandma showed me when I was little, but as far as I remember, when it got tricky I just let her do the work for me. But, as it turns out, you you can still do some pretty amazing stuff with a sewing machine, even if you don’t know very much. Which is great for someone like me who doesn’t have a lot of patience when it comes to learning new things. I want to be able to create something I like right away, I don’t want to have to practice and do a lot of projects that are doomed to turn out sucky just because I don’t have the techniques down.
My sister-in-law gave me a sewing book by Poppy Treffry a few years ago which I loved and found very inspirational. Basically, this artist uses her sewing machine to draw beautiful, quirky, and – what I probably love most about them – very colorful pictures.
A recent trip to the library reminded me of another crafty person whose work I love: Karin Holmberg, a Swedish artist. She does mostly embroidery, inspired by traditional Swedish techniques and patterns, also very beautiful, fun, and colorful.
Embroidery is even better than sewing in a way from the perspective that you need even less equipment, knowledge, and/or patience (at least when it comes to the mastering-a-skill-part).
So for my wall hangings I combined the two, sewing and embroidery, and it was very rewarding for several reasons:
- My compulsive fabric purchases at thrift-stores finally were justified.
- Sewing and embroidering turned out to have a highly meditative effect on me. Maybe due to my inexperience I found myself very focused on what I was doing, being very present in the moment, and for once: not thinking.
- Also: like most people, I enjoy physically creating something, especially when it’s something beautiful. Is there anything greater than the feeling you get when something you pictured comes into physical existence through your hands, and turns out (nearly) exactly as you saw it before your mind’s eye?
Unfortunately, my camera (actually, the batteries) and I weren’t really seeing eye to eye today, so I don’t have very many pix, and even less good ones. But here’s what I’ve got, will try to take more soon.