Monday, January 23, 2012

Finishing the Final Case

Before I regale you with the events of Pillowcase #3, I wanted to let you in on a little perk of this endeavor. Since we’ve been creating marvelous masterpieces, the girls have had less time to memorize infomercial taglines. Sigh of relief!

There is just so much “They’re happy, Happy Nappers, and they love to play with you!” or “Wuggle Pets, Wuggle Pets, snuggle my, huggle my, Wuggle Pet!” or “Now, get the best of both worlds with Pajama Jeans!” I can take.

My kids are walking ads that spit out taglines at will. I have been informed that the Buxton Leather Organizer could really help me every day, or that the Gyro Bowl would keep the car clean. Thank you, Disney Channel, for your discerning commercial selection process.

Now, though, they aren’t getting much post-homework TV time and my brain is getting a much deserved hiatus from infomercial-theme drivel.

Moving on to the pillowcase process with my middle child. I have said before that nobody needs to be told she is the middle child. Spend five minutes with her and you’ll be pretty confident of her birth order. She is also a very quirky, funny pinball of a child who never stops asking questions. I literally had to stop the process 14 times to jot down what she said.

This child also has a little sewing experience. Last year, in first grade, she worked on a hand-sewn quilt block. Therefore, she declared that she “knows how to sew.” The machine and rotary cutter were new territory, however, so I had to tell her that she did not “know how to sew.”

Here is her first experience sitting in front of the machine (please read the next part at high, high speed for accuracy):

“Are we going to use any of those big quilting feet you showed us yesterday? I was wondering if we can use a cool crisscross stitch on mine. Why does the machine say computer on it? I want two different colors of blue thread, one in the top and one in the bobbin. Why does the machine make that sound when you turn it on? I already moved the pedal so I can reach it. Oh, this machine was made in Sweden!”

And then it was time to take the first stitches.

I had her guide the fabric carefully through the machine, stitch steadily, and she did a decent job of keeping everything together. Then she started veering off course a bit. I had her stop and readjust. Soon she was doing it again and I realized she was staring at the metal gears and arms that move the thread through the machine and not at what she was sewing.

“What are you looking at,” I asked her.

“It’s fun to sew with the machine because you can watch everything work,” she said. “That part is going up and down when I push the pedal. It’s like it’s popping out of the machine to see who is sewing!”

We proceeded.

“Can we decorate the edge using that foot that you have to lower the feed dogs to use,” she asked. “The feed dogs are helpful. Thank you Mr. feed dogs.”

She had to stop to switch fabrics and for me to iron the seams. That gave her ample opportunity to poke around the nooks and crannies of the machine.

“Its cool that you have two places to keep stuff you need for sewing,” she said. “Do you like using the machine better or sewing by hand? I like that you can take a job that might take a month by hand, and do it in an hour with the machine.”

I agreed with her but shared that it was very cathartic (that’s fancy for soothing) to quilt by hand and that I preferred it sometimes. She agreed. “I really liked sewing by hand and making all the stitches on my quilt last year,” she said. “But I poked my fingers a lot.” She then put her finger directly under the foot and needle and said, “Look, my little pinkie does fit under here.”


She got back to sewing, attaching the flange to the main fabric of the case. “I like sewing with you better than sewing alone,” she said. (Go ahead and awwwwww now, if you so choose. I mean, serious case of the warm fuzzies here!) She continued with, “Did you like sewing with my sisters?” I said that I have loved sewing with all three of them.

One thing that cracked me up was her little sing-song repetition. Every time she finished a seam she would raise the foot, pull the fabric to the side and sing, “Raise, pull, scissors, open and snip!” Every time.

We took the finished case to the ironing board for a last press and she said, “The kid who gets this pillowcase is going to be lucky because this is my original design that will only happen once.”

If only there was a way to boost her self-esteem…

I am so glad that we took on this project. It really could not have been a better case study in personality and I loved all three experiences. I also love the pride that radiated off of them when we delivered the pillowcases. The lady at the shop asked if they had helped Mommy with the project. All three piped up “WE made them!” and they sure did.

We did it!

Dropping them at Quilt Country

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