Taking Time to Reflect on What Sewing Has Given Me

It’s early on a chilly winter morning, just before the holidays begin with fervor, and I am sitting here in front of my wondrous bookshelf and fake woodstove sipping a cup of decaf Hazelnut coffee with pumpkin spice creamer. Does it get any more cozy than that?


I do it all here: reflect, read, sew—but I
have to share.

Soon the Christmas holidays will be behind me, and 2014 will stretch in front of me like a lovely blank slate with the story yet to be written. Christmas will be but a memory and New Year’s Eve, with its celebrations and resolutions will be on all of our minds.

I can honestly say that 2013 has not been the easiest of years. My family suffered a terrible loss very early in the year, and we collectively spent much of 2013 reeling and healing. It brought us much pain, but also much appreciation of the love we share as a family. In the year’s end, a small miracle has occurred, and it’s the miracles that save us.

I truly believe that sewing is a miracle that has been bestowed upon me. I don’t know why I started, but I do know that sewing has been there for me like a steady and patient companion in good times and bad. I know that no matter how difficult life can get, I can always pick up a needle and thread and make something beautiful for myself or someone else. That comforts me. Sewing has been a good friend to me.

I am sitting here counting my blessings: a devoted dog at my feet, a warm cup of coffee, a crackling woodstove, a lovely shelf built by my talented husband, and sewing.

If you are a beginner at sewing and you want to develop this friendship with a craft that will carry you through good times and bad and always be there for you, I hope you will take a look at the back issues of Stitch. There are so many projects that are accessible, yet beautiful.

What gifts has sewing given to you? Please share with us.

Happy New Year and many blessings to your and yours. And happy stitching.

Other sewing topics you may enjoy:

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Amber

About Amber

Amber Eden is the editor of Stitch and SewDaily.com. She LOVES sewing and editing Stitch and SewDaily.com. She also loves dance, yoga, iced decaf triple espressos, and her two golden retrievers. She divides her time between Boston and New York.

19 thoughts on “Taking Time to Reflect on What Sewing Has Given Me

  1. I really liked how you put it, “sewing has been there for me like a steady and patient companion in good times and bad”. Not many weeks ago I was in my sewing room working on Christmas gifts. As my iron steamed over fabric from my stash, it sent up a lovely sachet scent that whisked me back at least 16 years. (Yes, that’s how long I’d had the fabric waiting for just the right project!) Back then life was very hard and I didn’t have many bright spots, but I had an old dresser which housed my sewing supplies and I studded it with sachets I had made. As I stood there in my dedicated sewing space in a happier time and place and remembered when it was just me, a few drawers, and a simple machine, the past and present were married for an instant. Sewing has indeed been my companion in good times and bad. At that moment it felt exactly like a very dear friend.

  2. Sewing has given me downtime to choose either simple sewing and chilling out – or the challenge of learning more complex sewing skills. The choice is mine. It has given me the thrill of finding the perfect project to make as a gift for a family member or to make and enjoy for myself. It has provided me the best friends anyone could wish for- friends who simply and openly share their love of the craft and provide creative encouragement to the group. It has been the gateway to additional love, healing and generosity- a wonderful addition to my life.

  3. Sewing has given me downtime to choose either simple sewing and chilling out – or the challenge of learning more complex sewing skills. The choice is mine. It has given me the thrill of finding the perfect project to make as a gift for a family member or to make and enjoy for myself. It has provided me the best friends anyone could wish for- friends who simply and openly share their love of the craft and provide creative encouragement to the group. It has been the gateway to additional love, healing and generosity- a wonderful addition to my life.

  4. Sewing is a stress reliever for me. We travel a lot and sometimes the stress of not being home gets to me. My machine goes Everywhere with me. It has seen me being stuck with no way home for a while. Next year will be even more productive than this year. Happy sewing everyone!

  5. After my first child I began to struggle with unaccountable periods of deep sadness. Nobody knew much about “postpartum depression” back in those days. Once, after days and days of hopeless despair and fear that I was crazy and an unfit mother I was desperate to do something, anything, sane and productive. Money was awfully tight but my husband took me to Walmart where I bought a men’s shirt pattern and yardage for two shirts.

    I have no idea what made me think my very basic skills were equal to turning out something nice enought for my husband to wear to work, but that’s just what I did. And somewhere in the midst of the creative process my mood lifted and I regained my joy, optimism, and ability to cherish my many blessings. I learned that making a plan, having a goal, being in control of something positive and creative were my keys to keeping a calm mind and peaceful heart. In the many years since, sewing and stitching has indeed been a “steady and patient companion”.

    By the way, my husband wore those shirts for years!

  6. My Mom taught me to sew when I was 9, Im now 56 & have used my sewing skills through my life. The sewing machine I learned on was a Singer treadle built into a piece of furniture that closed it up & had a glass window, so you could display nick-knacks, built by my Grandpa. I treasure that sewing machine as I have it today. I have a Bernia to do most of my sewing on now but never forgot the joy the tredle gave me as I made my own clothes & other things. The treasure of sewing has been with me all my life, thnaks to my Mom!

  7. Thank you for this great post – I appreciate your honesty about hard times. I have to echo the previous response… postpartum depression, a dress pattern and material from a very cool Ben Franklin shop, and tackling a project… it helped so much! In recent years, when I can get to my machine, I get into a zone where I lose sense of time and really just live in the moment. I love sewing! I have an MFA in painting, but I really enjoy making something practical, that will be used in every day life.

  8. My Grandmother sewed quite a lot and when she passed away I inherited her old Singer as all the other sewers in the family already had machines. I had a toddler at the time and used that machine to sew for her as much as time would allow. I wasn’t very skilled at it, but two year olds aren’t very critical of their clothes, so she didn’t mind. Eventually she got too old for handmade clothes so I used the old machine for home dec projects and Halloween costumes. That toddler is all grown up now and about five years ago I got a new machine. It sits on Grandmother’s sewing cabinet with her old Singer folded up inside. My sewing projects now are born from desire, not necessity, and I find them much more enjoyable. Grandmother’s been gone for over 20 years, and I still miss her terribly, but I feel a special closeness to her when I’m sewing. So I guess the gift that sewing gives to me is a chance to feel a special connection to someone who is gone but will never be forgotten.

  9. Perfect summation….”sewing has been there for me like a steady and patient companion in good times and bad”

    The gift of sewing has provided so much through my life time. I was taught by my Mother, Grandmother, and a wonderful HE teacher way back in 7th grade, and throughout high school! These three memories alone are precious to me. Throughout the years, I have been able to count on sewing as my therapy, an income when my children were small, my crazy creative flair, good and bad, lol. It has allowed me to make my sisters wedding dress, my daughters baptismal gown, prom gown, and create so many quilts for baby gifts. Each and every item creates such special memories. From redecorating bedrooms, to full out bed and breakfasts! Now I teach sewing as a vocation to endangered children on a daily basis, it creates a bridge to healing! After writing this I feel more thankful than I have ever! Thank you for reminder about how much sewing truly means to my life…..It has been one of my most steadfast friends through my life!

  10. I had the good fortune to stay at home raising my kids for 15 years but, always wondering what was my next phase in life. The only skill I felt competent at was sewing. I started taking classes to increase my skills and possibly work in the fashion industry. Instead I was hired to teach basic and intermediate sewing at the community college. It’s been 11 years and I still love sharing sewing with my students.

    WeSew.blogspot.com

  11. Just loved reading this. It also makes me feel very special being blessed with this talent. I am working on a crazy quilt at the moment well for 3 years now but have been embroidering on it non stop for a year now and am nearly at the end of my journey. I have had many ups and downs during the making of this special quilt. And it also came to mind how privileged I am to be able to afford this quilt and also have all day to stitch to my hearts content, kids are out the nest and we have retired. Thank you for sharing your feelings with me.

  12. Sewing has been something that I shared with my mom, grandmother and aunt. They taught me when I was very young. My grandmother taught me hand sewing and my mom taught me to use a machine. My aunt was a wonderful tailor and anytime I didn’t understand a pattern she always had the answer.
    I love the instant connection that happens when you meet someone and find out they sew too. We understand each other and have a common creative spirit. I made a pouch out of selvages a couple of months ago and it was fun to watch people’s faces when they saw it. Those who didn’t sew could not figure out what it was made from, but sewers knew right away and were amused.
    There is a satisfaction that comes from creating something completely original that makes me very happy.

  13. Sewing has been something that I shared with my mom, grandmother and aunt. They taught me when I was very young. My grandmother taught me hand sewing and my mom taught me to use a machine. My aunt was a wonderful tailor and anytime I didn’t understand a pattern she always had the answer.
    I love the instant connection that happens when you meet someone and find out they sew too. We understand each other and have a common creative spirit. I made a pouch out of selvages a couple of months ago and it was fun to watch people’s faces when they saw it. Those who didn’t sew could not figure out what it was made from, but sewers knew right away and were amused.
    There is a satisfaction that comes from creating something completely original that makes me very happy.

  14. My start at sewing was near the age of five. My mother while sewing for me and my three younger sisters would take a piece off of the sewing machine and give it to me. My job was to pull both threads to the same side of the fabric and knot them. Sewing has been a great companion for the next 60 years. It has let me help many friends. It has introduced me to new friends as when I would get a call which said “You don’t know me, but I was looking for fabric (in a store some 30 miles away) and a customer there gave me your number and said you might be able to help me.” Although sewing may seem to be a solitary activity, it has far reaching tentacles.

  15. My start at sewing was near the age of five. My mother while sewing for me and my three younger sisters would take a piece off of the sewing machine and give it to me. My job was to pull both threads to the same side of the fabric and knot them. Sewing has been a great companion for the next 60 years. It has let me help many friends. It has introduced me to new friends as when I would get a call which said “You don’t know me, but I was looking for fabric (in a store some 30 miles away) and a customer there gave me your number and said you might be able to help me.” Although sewing may seem to be a solitary activity, it has far reaching tentacles.

  16. My start at sewing was near the age of five. My mother while sewing for me and my three younger sisters would take a piece off of the sewing machine and give it to me. My job was to pull both threads to the same side of the fabric and knot them. Sewing has been a great companion for the next 60 years. It has let me help many friends. It has introduced me to new friends as when I would get a call which said “You don’t know me, but I was looking for fabric (in a store some 30 miles away) and a customer there gave me your number and said you might be able to help me.” Although sewing may seem to be a solitary activity, it has far reaching tentacles.

  17. Sewing is a wonderful skill, and I think that the creative aspect of sewing is one that runs thru many parts of our lives, whether in good times or bad. It can give enjoyment as well as healing, thru using our hands and our minds, as well as the companionship we get with other sewers.
    My family, too, suffered a devasting and confusing loss, tho in 2011 not 2013. I don’t know where I would be without the support of the ladies in my quilting group. They banded together and were so supportive, even if that just meant being there or listening. Under their guidance, I found my way thru, by little steps, little stitches, small projects or none at all. I tend to think that people who create, people who stitch – maybe it’s something women do, and that’s why they are in these groups – are also ones who have a compassionate view of the world.

    How many people have been held together by their sewing groups? I think this has happened down thru history. You share your skills as you share your lives.

  18. Sewing has given me a place in my life to be creative and useful, a way to challenge myself . I am disabled, and so there are many things I can no longer do. But sewing offers me so much..I have to use my brain to make alterations, be patient when I’ve made a mistake, and have a concrete reward when I’m done. I sew for flannel blankets for preemies, and outfits for my grandsons, and it all ups my self-esteem. When I sew clothes for myself, I am making a statement against cheap, fast clothing makers, and I support small businesses. It’s all a win-win.

  19. Sewing has given me a place in my life to be creative and useful, a way to challenge myself . I am disabled, and so there are many things I can no longer do. But sewing offers me so much..I have to use my brain to make alterations, be patient when I’ve made a mistake, and have a concrete reward when I’m done. I sew for flannel blankets for preemies, and outfits for my grandsons, and it all ups my self-esteem. When I sew clothes for myself, I am making a statement against cheap, fast clothing makers, and I support small businesses. It’s all a win-win.

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