i’m no betsy ross.

Sewing could be a metaphor for my life. Well, maybe not, but last night at midnight, I thought it could be.

I recently started sewing. Recently as in within the last couple of years. I pretended I could sew a little bit (like it’s hard?) and then I decided to challenge myself on bigger projects and have wasted countless yards of (thankfully cheap) fabric. Turns out, it’s not easy and you have to be super precise with your cutting / stitching.

Last week I took a sewing class and learned to make a proper pillow (with a zipper!). I have often felt like giving up on my adventures in sewing because as much as I want to be precise and perfect, I’m just not. I’m not dainty; my hands aren’t slow and steady. My mind races and I like to see complete projects. I also don’t have the luxury of a ginormous house with a craft room. My “craft space” is really a small joint office with my husband and let’s just say that he gets a little tired of walking around the ironing board and fabric piles. I guess I can’t blame him.

I’m making excuses and I was making excuses, so I took the class. Feeling like it was going to be a little slow for me (seriously, I can sew 2 pieces of fabric together) but wanting to start somewhere so that I could actually start to get good at a hobby that I think is pretty cool (in an old lady way).

It turns out that I learned a ton in that class (lesson learned!). My pillows are actually square, for one.


The navy and white fabric is by Amy Butler. It’s a 16” pillow insert with a 12” zipper. I used ~1/2 yard (with leftovers) to make one pillow. It looks a little lumpy in this photo, but I promise that it actually looks good in real life 🙂.


I added a pink zipper for some pizzaz because I’m jazzy like that.

I have sewn quite a bit since that class and I think that I’ve taken more time, been a bit more precise, not tried to rush it as much. I know that practice makes perfect, but I prefer to just be perfect :).

I am really into making burp cloths (similar to this, but smaller, obviously) for all of the babies in my life. They’re easy and I can finish a few in an evening, which plays to my need to see completed projects. I have made 2 quilt tops, but they’re nowhere near perfect. I will probably finish them, just for the practice on binding and such, but where they were once intended for gifts, they are now intended for my own couch time.

Last night J played a late tennis match so I spent the time sewing and intending to wrap up some baby gifts that I had procrastinated for far too long. I decided to get creative with one of the minky blankets that I can manage without screwing up completely and add binding. My first time binding. On a gift. What was I thinking?

When J got home at 11PM, I was in serious neck pain (I managed to F up my neck doing a Jillian Michael’s workout in the AM) and I was literally whining about what a failure the binding experiment was (which I am pretty sure ruined my blanket but am afraid to take it all apart to really see). After chatting with J, I calmed down a bit and proceeded to clean the office in preparation for the cleaning lady (yes, I clean for the cleaning lady).

So, is sewing a metaphor for my life? Do I move too fast? Am I not precise enough? Do I cut corners to try to get things done faster?

I don’t think so.

I think I’m just a terrible sewer that should stick to 1 fabric and squares for now.

And maybe I should actually take a quilting class instead of reading instructions on the internet and pretty much doing it, but not quite.

As my boxing instructor says, “protect your pretty”. He means my face, but in this case, I am going to use it to talk about my fabric. It makes perfect sense in my head, really. Slow it down, Mara. Don’t rush just to be finished because you’ll hate the result and ruin perfectly good fabric. However, it’s also important to me that I don’t stifle my creativity and desire to create by being afraid. Such a difficult balance to maintain – ha.

Buy me a walker, I’m acting like an old lady.

Also, my freakin’ fitbit is broken. Talk about dire situation… yes, first world problems. I know, I know.

0 thoughts on “i’m no betsy ross.

  1. ohemgee big time. THAT PILLOW. THAT FABRIC. I could barely read through the rest of the post after seeing it!!!!!!!!!!!! i’m seriously obsessed.

    but i did read.

    and i think it’s awesome that you clean for the cleaning lady. that you call her that, not the maid. and that you are hand-making gifts. i am naive and think everyone loves them.

    i miss you!!!!!!! i want to make pillows with you. true story.

  2. your pillow is awesome! and a zipper?! totally impressed… zippers are evil! (at least to me!)… and binding. yeah. i’ve yet to master binding…. maybe we need to meet up in indy and take a quilting class from brooke?! yes!