One thing I always loved when I was a kid was various types of arts and crafts projects. It probably helps that my mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother were all very into different types of handicrafts. And because of that they made sure to teach all of us the different things they enjoyed doing.
I remember my grandmother teaching me how to cross-stitch (I’m so-so at it now), my mom trying to teach me to crochet (I can not do that to save my life anymore), both of them teaching me how to paint in various ways, scrapbooking, cooking and baking. It was my grandmother who encouraged me to try my hand at bead work. And somewhere along the line we learned to sew, both by hand and using a machine.
I had all but let an irrational fear of sewing machines take me over until I was in grad school and decided to take the clothing construction course that was offered for my degree plan. Since then I have again found my love of the sewing machine-not making clothing however, I am awful at that, but other wonderfully fun projects like table runners and placemats, coasters, and other things that I have been able to do to help out my husband in his small business.
My new found joy of sewing also lead me to one of my very favorite jobs I have ever had the joy of working. That was teaching a group of homeschool girls how to sew on the campus of Southwestern Seminary. Through the homeschool elective program that the director at the time had established I spent several semesters working through all sorts of fun projects with the girls giving them the tools they needed to create their own small businesses, be effective on the mission field with a practical skill they can teach, or just create beautiful things for their own homes and families along the road. One of those students was my daughter.
Last week when I was in the furry of sewing up all brand new throw pillow covers and table runners and just getting my house warm and cozy for fall my oldest daughter, RaeLynn, was helping me out. She went to the store with me as we carefully chose all the beautiful things that would go on our shelves and wall and we talked together as we chose the fabric for the throw covers. Very sweetly she asked if she could also have a pillow case made from the same fabric so she could be ready for fall as well. Of course I agreed.
The day I sat down to sew she danced around me less than patiently waiting for me to get the work for the couch completed so I could begin on her pillow case. Then the thought hit me. “She knows how to sew. She can make this herself” And that is just what she did. We worked together as I reminded her how to measure the fabric, press the seams, and use the machine. And within the hour she had completed the project on her own…for the most part.
Would it have been done in half the time if I had done it? Probably. Would she have learned any lessons if I had done it for her. Absolutely, she would have learned that mom will continue to make the things she wants happen. But she wouldn’t have learned about the pride and joy she felt knowing she completed something, even something as simple as a pillow case, on her own. She enjoyed remembering the skills she learned while we were in seminary and she is already asking if we can go back to the store and get the supplies she needs to make pillow cases for her brother and sister (and maybe even her cousin too).
Making memories like these are things I look forward to. Sure we have to get through everyday life with chores, and school, and meals and those memories are just as precious. But these are the things she will remember for a life time. And I am providing a skill she can take with her no matter where she goes. So happy Monday!