Like sides

“Just remember that like sides always go together.”

My very patient friend sat across from her dining room table, patiently pinning together fabric to fashion a throw pillow for our baby’s nursery. Not only was she patient with the fabric and with the process of learning a new technique, but she was also patient with me.

Unfortunately, the small hand-eye coordination thing wasn’t one of the gifts God granted me. Dancing? I can do that with my eyes closed. Gymnastics? Easy. Knitting? No. Crocheting? Not even after lessons from one of my mom’s friends. Scrapbooking? Not for more than 15 minutes at a time. Small pieces and objects don’t coincide with the way my hands works, much less the level of patience I possess.

Yet my friend answered all my ignorant sewing questions and let me watch her seemingly seamlessly create useful, beautiful objects from huge swaths of fabric.

When I told her that I didn’t understand how she could just throw things together and make them work, she explained that sewing actually has several constants, and if you get them right, you normally wind up with a nice finished product. Like sides go together. Take your time pinning the first time, and you won’t have to redo your work. Save your scraps for other projects.

She might not have meant to, but she gave me food for thought and life lessons to chew on while I nibbled on chocolate chip cookies, watching her work. I felt grateful when I realized that these lessons resonate within me now, rather than falling on deaf ears. I understand the importance of spending my short, precious time on earth with people whose values and interests coincide with mine. I have acquired the ability to take my time the first time when cleaning, writing, and living, eliminating much of the frustration I used to feel in my younger days when I’d wind up redoing a task three times before I got it right. I’ve learned the benefit of thriftiness since I was a child, and as I spend my time finishing graduate school without the added stress of holding down a job in order to pay for expensive possessions, I give thanks for those who taught me to be content.

So maybe sewing isn’t that bad. Or at least watching someone else sew while eating chocolate, anyway.




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