Memories and Thoughts

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.

new-lamp.jpg

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. 

32 Responses to “Memories and Thoughts”


  1. 1 Jen September 9, 2007 at 6:56 pm

    I think your memory is just classic, as mine is exactly the same!! I also remember vividly my Mum saying..I cant sew that fabric at night. Obviously because it was too dark to see the details, at the moment I am just pretending that the same thing is not happening to me.. Is that old age or do I just need to visit the light shop! I love the fabrics on your table..oohh and the light too.

  2. 2 Lorrie September 9, 2007 at 7:07 pm

    What a nice neat sewing table you have! I do my sewing at night too, I give myself from 8pm to 10pm to work in my sewing room. Sometimes I just sit and look at my magazines and patterns. I’m looking forward to your mini-patchfolio pattern. I work with 7 secretaries and hope you get the pattern out in time for Christmas gifts!

  3. 3 Cheryl (Copper's Wife) September 9, 2007 at 8:37 pm

    Great thoughts, and all quite true! At 50, I do wear glasses, bi-focals in fact (ugh!), but I have no intention of giving up sewing, or embroidery, or knitting, or….you get the picture. Good lighting helps loads, and so what if I miss the needle with the thread once in awhile??

  4. 4 Mary September 9, 2007 at 8:55 pm

    Honey was pawing that same lamp at Target tonight. Glad to see one in action! And thank goodness for my needle threader! I wish I had one on my serger, because I do way too much lick-stick-and-miss on that machine.

  5. 5 Beth September 9, 2007 at 9:20 pm

    I have to wear my glasses almost all the time now! It’s a little frustrating. 🙂

    When we first moved into our house here, I had a clip-on light like I used to have for studying in my bed in college. I’d clip it to the edge of my table and angle it toward my machine. Unfortunately, it was also angled right at my eye and I think I temporarily damaged my vision. (It’s all better now, though.) It’s good that your light angles down on your table! 🙂

  6. 6 Christina.B September 9, 2007 at 9:53 pm

    I have the same memory as well! It is a Classic. I am sure my daughter will have that memory as well.( I never get it on the first try)

  7. 7 kerry September 9, 2007 at 10:07 pm

    Wonderful memory, pity our eyes fail us, I certainly hope I can still see to thread a needle when I am old as I could imagine a world without sewing.
    Kerry

  8. 8 Kim September 10, 2007 at 1:02 am

    great memory!! great light does make a difference…. I have great lighting in our new house, it is so wonderful!

  9. 9 Sue B September 10, 2007 at 3:06 am

    I think a lot of us have that memory tucked away. You wouldn’t believe how much light I have in my sewing room, hubby says one of these days a passing plane is going to mistake the light glaring from the room as a runway !

  10. 10 Ali September 10, 2007 at 3:35 am

    I’m noticing a slippage in my needle threading abilities. Eek! Perhaps I could just get eagle eyed 6 year old to do it for me. His blanket stitch is better than mine too.

  11. 11 Myam September 10, 2007 at 3:54 am

    uh, i think your lamp looks great!

  12. 12 Melanie September 10, 2007 at 5:35 am

    Lovely memory! Yes I know what you mean- I can’t do without creating things at the moment. I keep trying to use up some fabric stash to make room in drawers and create Christmas presents. The trouble is I keep seeing more fabric which is even more perfect than the stuff I have so I’m getting more instead of less!

    How you have such a wonderfully tidy desk is beyond me. Mine looks like a survivor from tornado alley.🙂

  13. 13 Mindy September 10, 2007 at 7:12 am

    Your area is so neat!!

    I remember my mom having me thread the needle!

  14. 14 Tracy September 10, 2007 at 7:39 am

    Very sweet post…I’ve worn glassed since I was 10, and have to wear them all the time. But as I approach 35 I guess it’s down hill from here! My DH, who is 45, is getting “long-arm syndrome” as his sight is changing…Guess that’s what I have to look forward to–LOL! Your lamp is fab! A Daylight lamp is on my Xmas list *SIGH* Maybe that will help me to see better ;o) Can’t wait to see more what you do with all that yummy fabric. Happy Days :o)

  15. 15 beki September 10, 2007 at 9:04 am

    Love your new lamp! My first observation is how neat your area is, gosh, mine always looks like quite the mess.
    I think all of us who grew up with sewing moms & grandmothers can relate to your memory, I know I sure can.

  16. 16 Alberta September 10, 2007 at 10:06 am

    I loved your memories…had a few of my own Mom!

    I also found I needed more light…sewing room is in the basement which is very dark especially in the winter months. Bought a very similar lamp and just find it makes all the difference in the world.

    Love your blog, keep up the great work!

  17. 17 pinkricrac September 10, 2007 at 10:57 am

    Makes me wish my mother taught me how to sew!🙂 I’m jealous of your sewing table. Very cool, chica!
    jennifer
    http://www.pinkricrac.blogspot.com

  18. 18 Alisa September 10, 2007 at 3:14 pm

    Thanks for the story! I have fond memories of watching my Oma sew, but I don’t remember that she had trouble threading the needle. She is 79 and still sews and knits alot. Love your light.

  19. 19 capello September 10, 2007 at 3:20 pm

    you area is so clean!

    amen to the light. i purposely put my sewing are in the laundry room where the previous owner had left a really bright light hanging from the ceiling. it totally rocks.

  20. 20 Karen September 10, 2007 at 5:09 pm

    Your sewing space looks heavenly.

    I’ve been curious for awhile . . . what type of machine(s) do you have?

  21. 21 Karen September 10, 2007 at 5:09 pm

    oh- and why did you choose it/them?

  22. 22 Stephanie September 11, 2007 at 12:32 am

    Good news for glasses-wearers! I’ve worn them since 10 years old, too–and the pair I got last week is a milder prescription. The optometrist told me as we get older, more epithelial cells layer on our eyes, changing normal vision to more farsighted, and those of us with nearsightedness notice an improvement in our vision. At this rate, I should be able to thread all your needles for you ladies by the time I reach 100 years old! lol

  23. 23 katie September 11, 2007 at 6:54 am

    I have the same memory, except it was my grandmother who sewed. I remember she had these self-threading hand sewing needles that you just pulled the thread down over the top of, and the thread popped in. At the time I didn’t know she couldn’t see the eye of the needle.

    I love the threader on our machines. Unlike you, I’m totally losing my eyesight. No glasses yet, but I can’t read the small print on medicine bottles (esp. at 2 AM when AJ or DJ is sick), shampoo bottles, or anything else like that. I’m getting to where my arm isn’t long enough and I’m gonna have to buy some readers. And I always thought people were like 60 when that started to happen. Ack!

  24. 24 Jes September 11, 2007 at 11:52 am

    Desk lamps are the best! I have so much light in my craft room and it’s still not enough some times (the walls are very dark, one day I will repaint). I still have one desk light on the cutting table and another facing the sewing machine. It’s amazing how much it helps. I would love an ott light too, but I just can’t justify the cost. I’m sure it’s lovely, but so is my ikea lamp =)

  25. 25 Sugarshop September 12, 2007 at 2:13 pm

    How funny, this must be quite common. I too have that memory of both my mother and grandmother…licking-sticking-and missing. LOL! I then became the needle threader. I always thought they let me do it because I liked it, now looking back, duh, it was easier for them!🙂

  26. 26 Chara Michele September 12, 2007 at 8:24 pm

    I like your new lamp! I can’t see well enough (without my glasses at least) and I am still young!🙂

  27. 27 Cathy September 13, 2007 at 3:57 pm

    That’s a good memory to have. I don’t have problems threading needles unless I forget to turn the light on🙂 I wish my machine came with a threader.

  28. 28 Yvette September 13, 2007 at 5:10 pm

    Thank you for your lovely website. I am a newbie at sewing [as in have never sewn anything in my life!]. I have decided to make my baby daughter a diaper bag [well, me really]. Your patterns are probably too hard for me but I am inspired anyway and hope to make one half as delightful as yours.

    Yvette

  29. 29 Lyn September 17, 2007 at 8:16 am

    This made me giggle! I have been dealing with my eyes and their strength lately. I swear this last birthday they just decided to throw me for a loop and not focus on little stuff! Overnight, it seemed!

  30. 30 Cindi September 17, 2007 at 9:52 pm

    Oh that looks like such a splendid trip. Now the guys are all ready to settle down to the books, eh? LOL!

  31. 31 Georgia October 1, 2007 at 12:21 am

    How funny, I use that same lamp for my sewing desk too! Except we received it as a wedding present years ago. I can’t believe they still sell it! I actually love it for sewing because you can move it to shed light exactly where you want it without moving the lamp. It does get really hot, though.

  32. 32 Carina October 12, 2007 at 3:34 pm

    Hi! Just wanted to drop a line that I really appreciate all the work you put into your site – your tutorials, your thoughts, etc. I first came across your site earlier this year (last year? my recent memory’s not so good…) when I was looking at “craft” blogs – yours stuck out because I thought I remember you mentioning you’re an OT? or used to be? ok, memory’s waning again…

    Anyway, this post mentioning how as one ages, you might lose your capabilities.. makes me think of clients/patients and how much of a person is tied into what they do.. helps give me insight as I study OT..

    Keep it up!
    Carina


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Craft Apple

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, right? Well, crafting is my apple. It's what I do to maintain my sanity while taking care of my family. I homeschool my three boys, ages 12, 13, and 14), am a quilter, a bagaholic, and a pattern designer.
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