I was trying to think back today to when I first learned to sew by hand, and I honestly don't recall.
I remember that I used to play at my grandmother’s feet (or maybe under them!) while she sewed at her machine. I must have had a keen interest in sewing even then and I am sure that at some point or another, she must have coached me with a needle, thread, and a piece of cloth, if only to divert my attention for a few minutes.
But I don’t have any memory of that moment when I first picked up needle and thread. You would think that with a craft that has become such a passion for me that I would recall that singular moment with great clarity.
It seems as if I have always known how to sew, and I can’t think of a time when I didn’t.
Isn’t that the way it always is with something that we love and have practiced often, especially if from a young age. The technique becomes so ingrained; the movements that were awkward at first turn fluid and intuitive.
Remember learning to knot a thread by rolling it over your forefinger? I tried to teach that once to a co-worker and we ended up laughing hilariously over it. She just couldn’t get the movement, no matter how many times I coached her. I am sure that my grandmother patiently taught me the same sewing technique with similarly mixed results.
But the fact is that there is always more to learn in sewing, and that learning never ends. The next time I am struggling with a new technique, I will try to remember to acknowledge how far I have come. There was certainly a time when I didn’t know how to thread a needle or knot a thread. But I’m glad I do now.
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Do you remember when you first learned hand sewing? Do tell!