I have this thing for projects.  I love to cook, bake, knit, decoupage, you name it.  (Okay, not decoupage.  I’ve never technically decoupaged.  But I have no doubt that if I tried it, I would like it.) My sister teases me fairly regularly about my so-called “Martha Stewart problem.”  One of my coworkers has suggested I quit the law business and go into granola and jam-making full time. (I believe she had selfish motivations for that suggestion.  For now I’m sticking with law, and canning is just a side project.)

It is a little funny, actually, that I have turned out like this.  I am not, generally, a detail-oriented person.  I tend to rush through things.  I was definitely not always crafty.  When I was a kid and everybody was making friendship bracelets, mine always turned out a tangled mess of knots with no discernible pattern.  (Don’t even get me started on lanyards- unmitigated disaster.)

But somehow, as an adult, I’ve become drawn to homemade and handmade things.  (Hi Etsy!  I love you!) I find this stuff relaxing and satisfying.  Maybe it has something to do with the fact that my work can be stressful, and it’s very academic- lots of thinking and writing and talking, but not much creating or embellishing or designing.  It provides nice balance to come home and knit a new hat after a long week of noodling over complex legal questions.  (It also provides something for one to do while one watches tv, so one does not feel quite so guilty about being a huge lump on the couch.)

But knitting is limited for me- I do hats, scarves, and quilt squares and nothing more.  I am terrified by sock heels, and I am pretty much certain that a sweater wouldn’t be worth the effort- I’d slave over it for months only to discover the sleeves were too short, or the fit not quite right or something.

So for a while, I’ve been looking for a new project, and when I heard about this cool store in the city that teaches sewing classes, I was sold.  Unlike pottery and printmaking (both of which I also considered,) I could see immediate, practical uses for sewing skills- starting as early as the holidays, which I’m hoping to do all handmade this year.  The idea of sewing classes left me with visions of handmade tote bags dancing through my head.  Plus, I remember very fondly the scores of Halloween costumes my mother lovingly sewed for me and my sister over the years, and I figured if I want to have a chance of doing the same thing for hypothetical eventual children, I should probably, you know, learn to sew.  So I coerced Nilsa into signing up for a basic sewing class with me.

I made this.  No one is allowed to put their head on it because it is precious.

I made this. No one is allowed to lay on it because it is precious.

Nilsa has an awesome, thorough description of the process for making these pillows over at her space.  I have pretty much already forgotten all the steps, but nonetheless I have to say: I am feeling awfully smug about my sewing skills right now:

Check out that craftsmanship!

Check out that craftsmanship!

Next stop: tote bags! Then aprons!  And maybe, someday, I’ll be ready for Halloween costumes!  (I just have to learn to read a pattern first.  Baby steps.)

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