Friday, March 31, 2006

We've Got Sewing In Our Bones!

The other day I was at a Sewing & Quilt Show/Exhibition with my mother and sister-in-law. My mother and I have been attending this show for several years now and have always liked it. Of course we both have been sewing for a very, very long time and have sewing in our bones.

This year my sister-in-law decided to attend which was wonderful for us. She has also been sewing for a very long time and has sewing in her bones, too. In fact, when she married my older brother my mother sewed her wedding dress and I sewed her maid of honor dress.

My mother had asked one of my nieces (the cutie pie on the right in the picture to the left of this column) if she wanted to go as well, but she wasn't able to. That picture was taken a long time ago and she is now a young adult. It was unfortunate that she couldn't attend as it would have been nice. She is a sewer, too, and also has sewing in her bones.

It would have been truly wonderful if my other niece (the other cutie pie on the left in the picture above) had been able to attend as she also sews and has sewing in her bones. In fact, she sews and designs all of her own clothes. She may very well turn out to be the MOST talented of all the sewers in our family.

If my nieces had been able to attend we would have been three generations of sewers attending the Sewing & Quilt Show/Exhibition. As we walked around the show I started to think about sewing and how sewing, too, has been affected by computers and technology. Who would have thought that a sewing machine would become computerized? Certainly not I.

Some of the computerized sewing machines that they have today are just unbelievable. You can pretty much design an image and have the sewing machine stitch it for you. Simply amazing.

If you're into quilting as a business or use machine embroidery for your business then you need a computerized sewing machine. However, if you aren't going to do any fancy stitching then all you need is a tried and true basic sewing machine.

When we were walking around the exhibition part of the show looking at all the wonderful quilts I couldn't help but think that there were some fabulous quilts being displayed. My mother, sister-in-law, and I have all made quilts of some sort or another at some time or another. Some of ours were machine stitched, some were handsewn, and some were knit. Over the years we've definitely made our fair share of quilts.

Almost all of the quilts in the exhibition were machine quilted and had the final machine embroidered detailing on them. They were simply magnificent. That is, until we got to the quilt that had been totally handsewn.

The machine quilts were gorgeous. No doubt about that. The handsewn quilt, on the other hand, was a "Work Of Art!" You couldn't help but marvel at the intricate little stitches and the sheer length of time it took to handstitch this quilt together.

My mind kept picturing a group of women sitting in a circle - each having their own section to stitch. They would be there sitting and talking and stitching away. They would probably meet two or three times a week for months sitting and handsewing until the quilt was done. Of course, in olden times the quilts were a necessity for keeping warm. I'm sure the women loved the camaraderie but, the primary purpose was to sew a quilt for warmth.

As we got to the end of the quilt exhibition we noticed that an area had been set up with tables and chairs for women to gather in groups and knit. I know that some of the yarn stores now have sitting areas for groups of women to get together and just knit and talk, knit and talk. I couldn't help but think what a relaxing environment that would be. I made a mental note that, when I had time, I would investigate one in my area.

My mother mentioned that there was a group of women she knew who get together once a week to quilt and I thought that would be wonderful, too. How relaxing. My sister-in-law asked her why she didn't join it. Well, my mother replied, "I can't stand any of the women!" With that I just laughed and my women's quilting group fantasy was brought back to reality. It certainly would help if you liked the other women.

In any event, we had a wonderful time and a wonderful lunch. Between the three of us we, collectively, had over 150+ years of sewing between us. If my two nieces were there we would have had over 180+ years of sewing. Three generations of sewers with over 180+ years of sewing under our belts. Pretty amazing.

If I were to add my sister and my two other sisters-in-law to the mix we'd have, collectively, over 260+ years of sewing experience between us. There's no doubt about it. We're a sewing family. We've got sewing in our bones!

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