Random Acts of Sewing Kindness

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Random Acts of Sewing KindnessHello friends of first Fridays!  It’s your old pal TJ from Studio Mailbox, here to roll out our plans for 2016.  I texted Heather while I was formulating this post and she suggested coming up with a theme for the year.  My heart sank like a dude who thinks he’s getting trapped into a committed relationship.  A whole theme? I thought, Well, I suppose if I’m going to be spending the first Friday of every month with you people we all better know what to expect.

Man, I had thought the theme of a humor column is humor.  I mean at least I attempt to find humor midst these projects that are sometimes surprisingly well executed but more often complete disasters.  My first thought was to set a goal and try tackle a project like I did the year I made the t-shirt quilt.  Then I realized it’s already February.  No sense in making lofty goals at this point!

Then it occurred to me.  I could become a sort of fairy god mother, using my limited knowledge to help others!  It unfolds naturally all the time when folks find out I sew anyway. (Of course these people are imagining somebody like Betsy Ross competently constructing something.  They do not know I’m a complete hack).  But it never fails; somebody wants to know how to hem their curtains, the hockey team needs their socks altered, another friend just wants pointers on how to make pillows for her living room.  Holy crap I am a genius. I’ll report to you from out in the field like a real journalist and it’s sure to make for fun and inspiring stories.  I’ll call the campaign RASK or Random Acts of Sewing Kindness. Immediately I started hatching my plan.

One of my friends, Christa, I know from the dog park.  She told me that she acquired this awesome machine and that she just wants to learn how to use it.  She told me she had taken it in to be greased and tuned and that they offered to give her lessons but that she had never gotten around to it.  Pfffft.  “I can give you lessons!” I informed her enthusiastically.  “You just have to agree to let me write about it for my column.  Thousands of people read the blog every day.  I have no idea how many people read anything I write, but still, I need material!” I totally convinced her.  She thinks I’m a pro.

DocAfter a few texts back and forth we settled on a day and time. I arrived at Christa’s greeted by Doc her rescue pit bull.  I am terrified of big dogs and tough breeds but Doc is such a sweetie and has really helped me get over my prejudice of Pits.  Who could resist this guy?

Anyway after showing me around and offering me a coffee I told Christa we had to get down to work because I was going straight to yoga class afterwards.  She ushered me downstairs and unveiled the grooviest little sweetheart of a sewing machine!  The instruction manual sort of looked like it was from a 1980s space movie but the actual machine had all kinds of controls and options on it that I have no idea how to use.

Clearly I had not anticipated that she would have a modern machine.  Or at least more modern that my old metal Singer with a hand wheel and two other knobs.  Gulp.  My earlier confidence, I can give you lessons! was haunting me just as Christa asked if I wanted to see the new boots she had just bought.  “Of course I want to see your boots.  What size are your feet?”

boot collectionHoly crap this woman proceeded to drag out the most kickin’ private collection of boots I’ve ever seen.  Shamelessly I tried them on, marching around her living room.  This is when Christa sprang another problem on me.  “Did you notice what Doc did to my couch?” Christa asked.

I’m sorry I didn’t photograph what I’m about to describe but that might have seemed a little rude for my first visit.  And frankly I’m not sure you’re ready to see something like that at this point in our relationship.

“Ummm, he did this when I left him home alone way back when I first got him,” Christa said. “I’ve got to patch it somehow.”

The leg rest of the reclining section of her sofa looks as if it’s been shredded by a very angry ex girlfriend or maybe a serial killer.  I mean shred-ded, as in shredded cheese. Then, out of nowhere, Christa pulls out this big piece of fabric, perfectly color matched to repair it with.  Apparently I’m working with the David Copperfield of craft projects.  Suddenly there I am wearing somebody else’s boots crawling under her couch and trying to figure out if we can use a staple gun, hot glue or just need to call my Grandma.

Machine and ScissorsLuckily I was saved by the clock.  “Oh my gosh I have to get going if I’m going to make yoga class! At least pose with your new scissors so it looks like we did something!” I suggested.  Sure enough, this is when I find out that Christa is also a lefty.  Apparently the Universe really likes my campaign for spreading sewing kindness and is making sure to keep the jokes rolling in.

We hastily hatch a plan to make a pillow cover for our next appointment.  I have no idea if I’ll be able to run her machine (or even thread it) but I’m planning to try.  As for the couch that will have to be another day or frankly an entirely different fairy godmother.  Either way, you can count on me to keep you posted.  Same time every month. I’m looking forward to another creative year with my friends at The Sewing Loft.  What are your 2016 sewing goals?  What’s your theme for the year?

TJ from Studio MailboxTJ Goerlitz is a mixed media artist who pretends to be a seamstress whenever possible.  Come connect with her on her site, Studio Mailbox, her Facebook page, or in Pinterest.  Join her on the first Friday of every month where she shares her latest sewing tales with the readers of The Sewing Loft.





TJ @ StudioMailbox
Tari “TJ” Goerlitz is an artist who has spent the majority of the last decade living and working in Europe. Since her relocation to the United States you can usually find her at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts where she explores Letterpress printing as the latest component to her mixed media work which is a fusion of photography, printing, sewing and journaling. Connect with TJ while she shares her creative journey online at Studio Mailbox. www.studiomailbox.com
TJ @ StudioMailbox

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  1. Sounds like you got the get-t-know-you-better visit out of the way. Next time means real business:-) I home schooled two lefty sons. They are more used to making the mental corrections necessary but it will drive you batty. As for the machine, visit elna’s website and see if they have any info on that era or style of machine. I have a couple of Viking/Husqvarna machines from the 1990’s to early 2000’s and their website has some really helpful sections.

  2. Linda Deutscher says:

    Loved your post, and I’m quite sure you’ll figure out how to use that sewing machine.

    My goal for 2016, is to continue the renovation work in our condo, create afghans, quilts and other home fashions for sale in my long dreamed small business, and I will make one charity item every month.

    • Thank you for chirping in! Love your last name (I’m married to a German and lived in Germany for many years)! I wish you lots of creative success with your small business. Love that you’re fitting in charity work too. I need to do more of that! xx tj

  3. Pat Oster says:

    Theme for 2016 is create!

  4. I love RASK. I am gonna steal that!

    I am currently binding a quilt as a favor to my sister. And I am sewing dreaden plates for a friend. She made them because I had made them look fun -she hates sewing them.

    I get random sewing texts and calls. I Am glad I’m not alone. Everyone thinks I’m a pro. I’m pretry sure that is 93% illusion. I always manage to help but I’m not sure how.

  5. You are too funny and I need more funny! My goals for 2016 are some shower curtains, a trundle bed coverlet,and some pillows. Thanks for making me laugh?

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