Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Going over the rules ... again ...


Marlene Terry
Back at it after a few decades of inactivity, I'm once again, teaching my baby daughter how to sew.

She's already pretty good at the everyday things such as repairing the occasional hole that shows up in the knees of her little boy's pants. She's also good at any project she chooses to take on. 
Take those rag quilts you see in heritage shops, for instance.
She was college-age when she saw one finished and on display and promptly fell in love with it. ... And she wouldn't quit until she'd taught herself the process of how to create such a quilt and then sewed, unpicked, and sewed again, until the one she chose to make for herself was completed.

Her interest in sewing began during those years when she was just a little girl and I ... had more kids than a budget.
Needless to say I spent hours creating and constructing T-shirts, jeans (every kind imaginable), pajamas, skirts with yards of ruffled tulle underneath, prom dresses, coats, costumes and much, much more.

At first, she was happy to sit at her little table, that was a permanent fixture in my sewing room, and string beads. I'll never forget how her eyes would twinkle every time she produced another amazing crown, bracelet or necklace.
Later, after Santa brought her a child-size sewing machine, she joined me in learning how to sew and started creating items on her own.

She was a fast learner. ... The faster the better. And even though I did try and teach her the rules and the CORRECT way to do things, her "do-it-myself " attitude had her always looking for shortcuts and the EASIEST method.
   
I still have my cute handmade apron from her teen years. It was her gift to me on Mother's Day ...  complete with unhemmed or finished in any way, raw, stringy edges!.

"Hey. The apron is PRIMITIVE style," she'd said laughing when I offered to teach her how to hem.

... The truth is, Mary's creations are always made on her own terms.
1. Guess how big it should be.
2. Cut it out FAST!
3. Sew ONLY the seams you need to sew  ...
... and Voila! ... It's done!

That's why her recent request was such a big surprise.

She and her two adorable children had come for a visit when she suddenly asked. 
"Mom," she said grinning, "I brought one of my baby bibs that's just about worn out for you to look at. And I wondered if could teach me how to make one?"

... It's true she didn't say "I wondered if you'd teach me how to make one ... the correct way, without all those raw edges and strings hanging out." 
... But although it wasn't spoken out loud, IT WAS in her demeanor, her sweet grin and most of all ... that twinkle in her eyes. ... The same one I saw the first time she strung beads!

♦ Hope you'll let me share YOUR stories and photos here at my residence "In a Nutshell." Email me at nutshellstories@gmail.com.