What is the Life-Changing Magic of Slow Sewing?
Recently, I read this book called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. It’s a best seller and lots of folks are getting into the KonMari Method of decluttering. Just search “konmari” on Pinterest and you’ll understand. (affiliate)
For me, I’m not really changed by the book. I keep a fairly tidy home and have brutally decluttered with our last move. However, what Marie does talk about over and over are the feelings associated with getting rid of clutter and organizing your space. Her mantra is, “does this spark joy?”
I was reading a recent chapter on how she methodically enters her home and bit-by-bit puts away her purse, shoes, and keys; and I was struck by how this was her way of restoring order to her life. In a nutshell ~ she is able to find peace because of her orderly home.
I have found a different path that sparks joy within me. Slow Sewing.
What is Slow Sewing?
It’s about stitching a slow sewing project by hand.
It’s about hand embroidering a sampler for fun.
It’s about hand appliqueing a design to a quilt top.
It’s about all types of sewing handwork.
It’s about taking the time to pause and reflect on what you’re sewing.
Why Slow Sewing?
Have you ever attended a sewing class? They can be really fun. You make a few friends, you learn something new, and you go home fulfilled. On the downside ~ you have to pack up your sewing machine, sewing supplies, plus a ton of fabric. There’s usually a little prep work before attending the class. I don’t know about you, but after I’ve attended a class I usually deposit everything in my sewing room and then redistribute things a day later. It takes a few days to get it all sorted out and by then I’ve lost some of my class Mojo.
What if all you needed was a small basket (or Zippered Box Pouch, in my case) that was always ready to go. In it there is a square of fabric fitted into an embroidery hoop, a couple of needles, some thread, and a pair of scissors.
That’s what I mean about slow sewing. It takes up very little space and the supplies easily fit into a small basket.
Slow Sewing is about more than just sewing…
I think when sewists started purchasing bigger and better machines that did it all, we lost sight of the value of handwork. Why hand embroider when a sewing machine can do it in minutes, right? Or, maybe not-so-right. While we can get the task done in record time, there is real value in the time spent doing something slowly.
Think about gathering together with a few sewing friends. All you need is a small basket of supplies and you can get together to help hand bind a quilt. If everyone had to drag out their sewing machines, no one would come.
Imagine the fellowship that could occur at a simple gathering where you bring a needle-turned design you want to appliqué onto a quilt block. You are hand sewing and visiting with friends. Sharing techniques, growing skills, working with your hands, and talking about plans for future quilts.
Slow Sewing Inspiration:
Have you heard of the quilters from Gees Bend, Alabama? You could say they wrote the book on slow sewing. You will have to watch this video because there.are.no.words.
Step away from the screen and do something with your hands…
Screens, screens everywhere. Even on sewing machines. I challenge you to step away from the screen and pick up some hand sewing.
There really is something magical about working with your hands which is why I titled this post The Life-Changing Magic of Slow Sewing. Being able to slowly create something with my hands seems to alter time a little. It takes me from multi-tasking down to doing just one simple task. When I’m in this place I can feel myself breathe.
And somehow order is restored.
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