When I was a little girl, I remember leaning up against my mom’s sewing table and watching her sew. I have a specific memory of watching her thread the needle. She’d cut the fuzzies off the end of the thread, wet the end in her mouth, then slowly and carefully move the thread toward the eye of the needle – and miss. Why did she miss? I’d wonder, since the eye of the needle was very clear to me and it was obvious that the thread was just a hair off. After a try or two, she’d get the needle threaded and go on with her sewing. I now know that being at eye-level with the needle (I was a shorty) and having the visual acuity of a normal 6 year-old didn’t hurt (and I’m still a shorty, btw). My machine now has a needle threader, but every once in a while when I’m required to thread a needle and miss, I remember watching my mom. And when I’m having a hard time seeing the threads on my fabric, I know it’s just age. Do I think I have a visual problem? No. In fact, I see better than some of my friends, but I just don’t see like I was when I was a kid. And since I do most of my sewing at night, better lighting seems really important.
So on my cutting table today? A few finished items, the beginnings of a mini-patchfolio, the materials for a pincushion and a brand-spankin’-new lamp from Target.
It’s no Ott Light, but what a difference a 60-watt bulb makes, especially at night! Do you all know women who used to sew when they were younger and no longer sew because, “I just can’t see well enough”? That just breaks my heart because I know that even when I’m a great-grandma I’ll want to be making things. Maybe I won’t need sewing as an outlet as much as I do now, but I think it will still be my apple.