My head is still spinning from last week. Besides having our first week of school (go on over to Kindling the Fire to read all about that), my mom decided at the last minute to come to town. So all of the time that was not spent on school/soccer/Cub Scouts/martial arts and on what little housework I did was filled up with playing with my mom and Allison.
The good news is that I got to bed early most nights and got up early to exercise every day, something I never would have done if it weren't for this exercise challenge! So far, I haven't missed a day, although points-wise I am way behind the overachievers (Debbie, Prudy, and Malia are putting me to shame.) Still, for me it is a victory that on a week when I otherwise might have felt justified in sleeping in I still managed to exercise and stick to my routine.
One of the things that we did with my mom was a sewing project. Now, my mom is an excellent and accomplished seamstress and Allison can sew although she does so in spurts. I on the other hand. have a brief but ugly history with sewing.
I remember making some drawstring pants for myself before my study abroad in Jerusalem. Somehow I managed to put the drawstring in the back of one pair, and sew another pair inside out. Not destined for sewing greatness, but there were other possibilities for me, I was sure.
The next time I even considered a sewing project was several years later, while I was pregnant with Henry, when Alli and I decided to make my mom a quilt for Christmas. I will confess that Alli did the majority of the machine work because I am scared of that thing, but we spent many many hours slaving over the quilt. It turned out to be enormous--much bigger than her double bed required. It also turned out that the pattern we chose, which we thought would be easier and more forgiving than most for us beginning quilters, required acute precision (not my strong point.) In the end, the quilt was beautiful and we were burned out--in fact, we decided that if Mom didn't cry on Christmas morning that it would not have been worth it. Luckily, she did cry. (In my family, we all try to get my mom the Best Gift of Christmas, which means the one that makes her cry.)
Since THE QUILT, I have done very little, largely because I have lived far away from Mom and Alli for most of that time and I am completely dependent on them for any sewing that I might do. My goal is generally to "participate" in the project while letting them do anything that might require skill, accuracy, or attention to detail. And yet in the past year I have really been wanting to learn to sew independently. Maybe it's because the new me is thriftier, maybe because I realized that I'm really lacking in the self-reliance area, maybe it's because I have a daughter now and I am shocked by the immodest clothing that is ubiquitous for young girls and teens. But it is on my list of things to do before I'm 40.
Well, this project still relied heavily on my long-time crutches, but I did more of the actual sewing than I had in the past. And I came to understand the importance of the precision, etc. I can't spill the beans on what we made because it might involve Christmas gifts for some nieces and nephews-- and we're not quite finished yet. But I was filled with an undeniable thrill as I stitched away on the sewing machine. (As invigorated as Bob is about sailing in the following clip, I called out: "I'm sewing! I'm actually sewing! I'm a sew-er!")
So my Christmas gifts are mostly done (for those nieces and nephews--I wish my whole list was done), and even though I am a classic almost-finisher, my Mom and Alli will make sure I do this time. (Plus the new and improved Michal of 2008 would never abandon a half-finished sewing project and spend twice as much money on different gifts rather than finish what I'd started. I'm far too prudent for that! I hope.) (I am going crazy with the parentheses tonight, aren't I?)
This project won't count for my 40 list since my crutches still did more of the work than I did, but it is instilling some confidence in me that I can be a seamstress one day. Before the millennium.
Do you ever start a project and not quite finish it? Are there talents that run in your family but that seemed to have skipped over you completely? Help me feel better about myself and tell me about yours.