Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Searching for my craft gene

I come from a crafty family. (You can interpret that however you wish.) My mother was an excellent seamstress. It seemed like she and my aunt were constantly making quilts when I was young. Unfortunately, I never learned how. It wasn't "cool" to know how to sew back then, so I never made time to learn from them. I also took home economics in school. I attended a small, country school and it was required for all girls. I didn't learn much there either though. The teacher was very mean, and all I remember was that I never wanted to have to take one of her classes again.

After my father died, my mother turned her hobby into an occupation. She started sewing and selling quilts and other crafts at shows throughout the Midwest. My sister bought a kiln and started making and selling ceramics.

One time I hosted a craft show for them at my home. I lived in the suburbs of a populous Midwestern city and just happened to have an extra large living room, perfect for them to set up tables in. Lots of people from the neighborhood and our church came to the sale. After looking around at all the merchandise, one family friend commented on how beautiful everything was. Then she turned to me and wondered why when everyone else in the family was so talented, I didn't know how to do anything crafty! I sadly explained that, for some unknown reason, I just didn't inherit "the craft gene".

I love handcrafts though. I just don't know how to make any of them. I have spent many years attending craft shows in different states throughout the country. I always walk around oohing and ahhing at the beautiful things others have made, and wishing that I could make some myself.

A few years ago I even bought a simple little sewing machine. At the time I didn't really have any space to use it in though, so it became just an incredible hassle to even set it up. Earlier this year, I decided that I was going to try it again. I am determined to learn to sew. I figure that if I could learn how to drive a car and operate a computer, surely I can learn how to run a sewing machine too. Sometimes though, that sewing machine seems to have a mind of its' own.

A few weeks ago, I decided to make a table runner like one I saw in a magazine. Looking back now, I realize it might have been a good idea to begin with something that I had a pattern for, but I really wanted one of those table runners, so I just dove in head first. My first mistake was in not accounting for seam allowances which meant that when I first sewed my patchwork squares together, the runner was so small it was hidden under the centerpiece. Then I decided to add a border, but I wasn't exactly sure how to do this. Unfortunately, I did it wrong. When my make- it -up- as -you- go project was finally done, the runner was actually bigger than the table it was intended for. So I had to find another place to hide (I mean display) it. I also noticed there were some other issues which require the runner to be placed completely flat so you don't see the batting poking up. I have lots of stuff sitting on it now, so it may be adequately camouflaged in its' new location.

I am not defeated however. I still believe that I am going to learn to sew this summer. Who knows, maybe that long dormant craft gene will finally kick in, and I can be "crafty" too.


  1. Thank you so much for posting on my blog.
    Big Smile on this end.
    I love your table runner. You did a wonderful job. Perfect colors.
    Have a great day

  2. I have seen on your blog the darling things you make, so thanks for the encouragement.