I walk into my sewing room and sit down. It’s been years. Once this was my sanctuary; my place of escape. When the children went to bed, I retreated to the sewing room for an hour or two of peace. No questions. No begging. No crying. No arguments.
Each piece of fabric called my name. Even organizing it was fun. What would it become? Was it enough? Could I mix this with that? Would it look better with the body of this pattern and the sleeves of another? Should it have buttons instead of a zipper? What about beads or lace?
Most days, our kitten would join me. He had his own basket. Even after he outgrew his basket and I had abandoned my precious sewing room, it continued to be his retreat. Somehow he managed to fit his massive body into a little basket, with fur hanging over all the edges.
As a kitten though, he added joy and humour to the room. One of his favorite tricks was to grab the head of a pin, pull it out of the pincushion with his teeth and throw it as far as he could with the flick of his head. Pin by pin he would continue until there were no pins in the pincushion and a pile of pins laying on the floor.
Another favourite past time of his was to play with ribbon. My industrial-sized spools of ribbon were threaded on a rod close to the ceiling. From his perch on the table he would reach up and grab an end with his teeth. He would then jump down, run out of the room and unravel as much of the spool as he could. The work of rewinding and cleaning up was worth the humour. It was our special place.
Once this was a place of dreams. I took classes. I learned everything I could. New techniques. New equipment. Could I sell what I made? If I made 1, could I make 10? If I made 10, could I make 100? People complimented my work. Major craft shows solicited my business. Could I make an income doing what I loved?
Now everything is coated with dust. The sewing machines have turned yellow with age. Most of the things I made were given away or donated. Tools, books, and supplies line the shelves in the storage room. Paint, glass, fabric, cement, ornaments. Do I really want to do this again? Can I still create magic? My cat is now a senior. He crawls out of his basket with a dazed look and comes to sit beside me, purring. Yes, I remember when this was our room.
Purge. Yes, that is what I need to do. Good-bye to the fabric and lace from the 90’s. Good-bye buttons and zippers. Good-bye doll making supplies. Good-bye silk ribbon embroidery. Goodbye beads and jewelry making supplies.
But look. Here are some quilting patterns my mom gave me. The winter before her stroke she made a quilt for each grandchild – 13 in total. My 2 children were fortunate recipients. The quilts were well used and loved. Could I duplicate her quilts? Should I try? There is a quilt store down the street that I haven’t visited in years. Maybe tomorrow I will see if there are classes coming up. There might be a sale on fabric. Maybe even on machines. Oh boy, I can’t wait!