A Needle and Thread


It’s no secret that I have an affinity for all things simple and lost in decades of technology (Note the irony of me posting this to the internet from my computer as my children watch a movie). I am obsessed with Anne of Green Gables, Little House, and the eras of life that involved a fireplace and Pa playing a fiddle. Todd needs to learn to play the fiddle. Also, I could use a dose of Ma’s patience. I wonder if there are a series of “lost episodes” where she goes ballistic over the fact that she needs a night out or tells him she is really sick of doing all the laundry. I think it would give her a little more street cred. Bonus points for whipping her hairpins out and flinging them on the ground while Pa whittles something.

In the past several years (and by “several years” I mean since birth) I have been on a quest for simplicity. Despite the fact that I have failed miserably, I still consider it a good goal.

I bet that is one of the reasons I love sewing so much, at least in theory. I have a computerized machine that connects to my computer, so Ma wouldn’t exactly be impressed but the sentiment isn’t lost on me. I have set up coloring books, a kiddy sewing machine (that DOES. NOT. WORK. Seriously), scraps of fabric and other creative things so that the girls can sit with me while I sew.  I am so blessed to have a sewing “closet” off my bedroom but as most of you know from my last post, I am not likely going to have it for long. I’m already thinking of ways to be creative in a small space (and any ideas about setting up a sewing area in a bedroom are appreciated!)

I started sewing just after Todd and I were married and I taught myself the basics. I loved it but mostly focused on straight lines for quite awhile and then picked it up a little more once the twins were born. The last thing I remember making was going to be for Audrey, and after her diagnosis, I shut the door and ignored it. Even months after we lost her I would walk by the door and stare straight ahead, too emotionally fragile to see the pieces of a dress that wouldn’t be worn.

I finally did go back in several months ago and I sat in there and let myself mourn again. I keep all of her little keepsakes in there-her little footprints on clay, snippets of her hair, the graph of her heartbeat that the nurses gave me, and the half sewn promise of reunion one day.  Unless you have been in a similar situation, it might not make sense, but there are certain areas that have just become “safe” for grieving. I can go in, close the door, and forget that the world is moving on outside my house. I light a candle, listen to a good audio book or music, and piece together my thoughts and memories.  I have a little desk set up there where I can have a quiet time and be still with the Lord. I remember Ann Voskamp talking about having an area like this and she is right…it makes a difference to have an established spot with everything ready for study, prayer, and reflection.

I have told Todd that Ann also mentioned this should preferably be a large, shabby-chic, bead-boarded room with a fireplace, a rustic brick wall, wide-plank weathered floorboards and several bay windows. I can’t find the exact post on her blog but I also remember something about it needing to have a spa area with an on-call masseuse. I’ll find it and post it here for you all too. Anyone who reads Ann’s blog knows she has a flair for over the top glamour. It’s just who she is, you know? (Ha).

So, I wanted to share my special spot with you all and ask if you have any questions about sewing that I can answer. I feel like I am enough of a novice to relate to basically anything you are wondering about, so don’t be intimidated :) I have also gotten several of my friends hooked. My most recent convert is Audra, who came over and worked on a sewing machine next to mine while we laughed our heads off while creating skirts for all of our girls (6 and counting at this point…).  In typical Audra fashion, she surpassed me in ability and creativity in approximately 25 minutes-one of the many, many reasons I love her. Seriously, there is nothing the girl can’t learn in under a half hour. Now that I’m thinking about it, it’s actually really irritating.

Let’s consider this post #1 just to get some conversation started (for all 7 of you who like to sew/are interested in sewing) and I will do a follow-up when I know what sounds interesting to you all. Feel free to leave links to your blogs/sites if you want to share any sewing tips, products, tutorials…whatever!

I do realize that most of you are going to be bored stiff with this post. My apologies :) To those of you who aren’t, let’s all get together at my house once I get the ginormous prayer/sewing room and we can form a quilting guild.

The spa people will care for the children, just like in the old days…

Much love,
Ang


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  • Monique Zackery

    I totally just started sewing! I took a class at Joann’s this week and I’m so hooked! Now I just need a sewing machine, ha ha. Looking to find one for free or for dirt cheap! Know of any? Just thought I’d throw it out there. :) Oh, and if you post more about sewing, I certainly will enjoy it! looking for lots of ideas. :) Blessings to you and yours! -Monique

  • Vermontsw

    I love this post…I LOVE Anne of Green Gables as well and watched it with my 9 year old daughter who also fell in love HA! This year I began teaching myself sewing for both my girls in an effort to retain modest acceptable little girls clothing you cannot find in retails stores. Hope you share patterns…always looking for a new pattern:)

  • http://holycamp09.wordpress.com/ Deborah Boutwell

    Angie, I love your idea of the special room. I’ve created one for myself. When my daughter moved out I was left with two complete lofts to play with and have turned them both into sewing rooms and have started giving classes and having sewing groups met. My daughter comes over every Sunday and we just “sit and sew”. I love it. I’m about an hour west of Nashville. Maybe one day you can come and “sit and sew” with us.

    I created a blog just for the sewing, http://stitchedtogether-boutcrazy.blogspot.com/, I’ve been finding some healing in working in the materials that once belonged to my mother and my grandmother.

  • MWolf

    Ohhh dear. I am ridiculously overwhelmed and nervous about trying the fancy shmancy sewing machine my family bought for me for my birthday, like, five years ago. It sits in our storage room calling out to me, taunting me with all the fun projects I could attempt at starting… All the money I could save and the pride I could feel in creating stuff for my brand new three month old baby. Ahhhh. 
    I am feeling encouraged. Do I sound encouraged? Okay, I’m still overwhelmed. As of five minutes ago I have decided that on the morning of February 2nd I will pull it out of the storage room, dust it off and read thru the manual. I’m scared. But I’ve been inspired. Thanks for the awesome post. 

  • MomaD (aka Denise)

    I’m an on & off reader of your blog and so enjoy it every time I revisit.  Grew up with a wonderful seamstress Mother,  learned & loved to sew for my girls (now 30 & 26).  Stopped for a while except for repairs–local fabric shops just can compete with Wally-world & Target for wardrobe additions–toss in Goodys & Dillards’ after Labor Day sale & I couldn’t justify the price of patterns, fabric & notions.  Still love to sew and g-daughter loves horseback riding so I’ve found vintage western shirt patterns on Etsy.com to use in creating some special show garments for her.  My daughter Lindsay is an artist and has a shop on Etsy that features some “I heart sewing art” you may find interesting.  Here’s a link to her shop.  
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/penandpaint?section_id=11393009 
    Thanks again for a wonderful blog!

  • Julie Grau

    Just heard you speak at WOF in OKC and a friend linked me to this post. You were (are) fabulous and now knowing that you love Anne of Green Gables and you sew just makes you even more of a kindred spirit.  Thanks for sharing and consider me a new blog follower!

  • Rachel

    I see that this post is few years old, but I still would like to ask a question. I don’t know how to sew, I want to sew, I have three boys and need to start patching up those knee holes in there pants that happen almost when I bring them home from the store. I don’t own a sewing machine and my question is with a beginner beginner, what would be the safest, most simple machine to purchase? Thank you!!! And I love your posts and how beautifully transparent you are, being transparent makes you real. blessings of joy and comfort.

  • Jennifer Ann Fox

    I just came across your blog while looking in Amazon at one of your books. I have a needlework blog and have for 5 years called Feathers in the Nest. I am a Christian and love cross stitching samplers, designing samplers and my new found love of knitting for the past year.
    I will post a link on my blog for your posting here. I think people would love to connect with your blog because most of my followers are stitchers. You and I have a lot in common! I also watch The Waltons, Little House on the Prairie every single night. It’s the simplicity that I crave. I live in the North Georgia mountains and our lives are more simple but still some cons to it. I wish life was like The Waltons again where women were women and men were men. Anyway, if you like to do guest blogging I would love to have an interview session or you could write a post on my blog. I love your books by the way. My link is http://www.feathersinthenest.blogspot.com/