Friday, July 31, 2009

Who's Grading?

You may recall that I said I do not sew. Well actually, on occasion, I've been known to sew----for decorative purposes only. I think that I would probably sew more if it weren't for those horrid memories of Junior High Home-Ec sewing class. I remember unpicking more stitches than I sewed, or at least it seemed that way. I wanted my project (a cotton slip with lace and an elastic band waist) to be perfect so that I could get a good grade. Yes, I unpicked and unpicked and unpicked so much that I dreaded sewing and hated the finished product.
But lately I've been making some changes in my life. You see, I have spent my entire life only trying things if I first knew that I could do them well. I steered clear of experiences if I felt that I couldn't succeed.
But I have finally realized that I have held myself back from so many wonderful adventures in life. Why do I still feel, years and years after graduating from school, that I am being graded on my performance?
The real truth is,
I'm the ONLY one that's doing the grading!

Even if someone else comments on my performance, it's still MY CHOICE to let their opinion influence my life.
And so, with those thoughts in mind, I pulled out the sewing machine, plopped my faded outdoor cushions on top of pretty fabric and got to work. About an hour later I proudly placed my newly covered cushions outside. I had a real feeling of accomplishment! Are the covers perfect? Let's just say that if I was being graded I would not get an A for quality. But I would get an A+ for effort----and that's really all that matters!
My family and friends will enjoy the new seating. It won't matter to them that the seams aren't perfect. They, and I, will appreciate the overall beauty and comfort of the cushions and the memories that we will make on our back patio.
I have the satisfaction of knowing that I created something beautiful. But even more, I have learned that life isn't about grades, it's about
making mistakes,
and realizing that making the effort
to learn and grow is when we
truly succeed.


Tiffany said...

I'm not a perfect seamstress either, in fact, I would consider myself a hack. I've just figured things out instead of learning the "correct" way to sew. My sewing is just for decoration, anyway and I don't mind hiding the imperfections. :)

missyg said...

So true! Congrats on your accomplishment from another girl who tries to sew but the character always shows through.

Gwen said...

I couldn't have said it better:)

Your pillows look great and comfortable, just what was needed.

Unknown said...

Joy, I just love this post! Last summer I dug my sewing machine out of the closet, dusted it off, and learned how to make handbags. Perfect? No way. But I loved them and gave them as gifts. Love your cushions!

Beth said...

That is a good lesson to pass on: don't worry about what others think, as long as you are happy with your success! Your cushions look great to me :)

Cottagecheap said...

You go girl! They look awesome! I remember hating all the 'seam pressing'. I don't IRON...I just don't. IF I am speaking at a show, I iron (if I was stuipd and bought the wrong outfit).

I have larned that my son LOVES his elmo pillows I made him....and I didnm't press a single seam or even MEASURE, I just used remnant elmo fabric. I also find i don't mind that he chews on the edge of them...bc I didn't make them so perfect.

Enjoy those seats and know those imperfect cushions means you won't care when someone spills KoolAid on them! LOL

Ceekay-THINKIN of HOME said...

I used to sew a lot but no longer....your cushions look the colors. Good for you!

Richella Parham said...

You are SO RIGHT! I know just what you mean about steering clear of something unless you were certain you could do it "right." I, too, was a mess in Home Ec, and hated every bit of the sewing component. It's sad, because now I wish that I'd gotten a degree in Home Economics--that sounds really useful to me! But it does give you a real feeling of accomplishment to make something, doesn't it? And no one's grading us but ourselves. Amen, amen, amen. Thank you for writing this--so many women read your blog, and I hope they'll all be influenced by this!

By the way, your pillows look great!

Cottage Rose said...

Bravo and very well said!!! After reading your lovely and oh so true post,, when I get our my sewing, I will remember what you said.....
love you pillows... have a great weekend.


bj said...

The pillow looks great to me!!

Lou Cinda @ Tattered Hydrangeas said...

I can't sew a stitch worth a hoot! But I "try"!!

I think your cusions look FABULOUS!!

Have a great weekend :)

Lou Cinda :)

MiriamR said...

I love this post. I am going to pull out my sewing machine (that I have used once) and sew a pillow because of this post. Practice doesn't necessarily make perfect but it makes it more comfortable. Thanks for the inspirational post.

NicNacManiac said...

Way to get out there and just do it!! Your cushions look fabulous and your next sewing project, cause you know now, that there will be a next one....will be fantastic as well!!
Hugs xOxO, Nerina :)

Hattie said...

Oooh, Joy,

You give me courage. I have been thinking of recovering the cushions on my faux wicker. Now I think I will follow thru.

Hattie In Tennessee

Brenda said...

I can relate to the dreaded HOME Ec class! I hated sewing after High School Home Ec. It's funny that I love to sew today! We need things done on our own terms, no rules, just freedom of creativity, you should be graded on effort! Thanks for the flash back! Congratulations on your accomplishment, it looks great!

Terri said...

Let me tell you, Joy,
My original major in college was home economics (fashion merchandising) and those old maid professors were something else. When we took cooking class, the professor chopped up our muffins to measure whether or not we stirred too much and stretched the glutin.... And then we learned to sew and had to press and cut out all our pattern pieces BEFORE cutting them out of muslin and then fitting them to our bodies BEFORE we cut out the fabric cause the seams HAD TO BE 5/8 inches all the way down. It was CRAZY and I promptly changed my major!!!! After all, what's the purpose of a seam allowance other than to allow some give and take?? You are doing just fine, believe me!!!

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Gayle said...

Joy - Your new cushion covers look just lovely! I feel so bad that you had awful experiences learning to sew in school! My mom started teaching me when I was about 12 and it's been a passion of mine ever since. Glad you decided to tackle it once more, and with your good results you'll be encouraged to try more!

Anonymous said...

I used to sew a lot but no longer....your cushions look fantastic...

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