Monthly Archives: January 2014




Way back in November, my son asked me to sew a national competition badge on his favorite marching band sweatshirt. This morning, as I pulled the often-worn hoodie once again out of my clothes dryer with a load of wash that needed to be folded, I realized that two months have passed, and I still have not honored his request.

When he asked me to add the patch to his shirt, I told him to put the badge next to my sewing machine so I wouldn’t forget. The patch is still there. I haven’t forgotten. I just haven’t done the work.

Each time I sit down to sew, I see the patch and slip it underneath other sewing projects only to see it rise and reappear at the top of the to-do list. When I see it surface once again, I casually slip it back underneath another new mound of work. This could go on for years.

Why can’t I get started on that patch? All I need is a needle and thread, a pair of scissors and 10 minutes in a 24-hour day. I cringe every time I see that patch, not because the work is difficult, but because the work hasn’t been done.

This morning, the weight finally became too heavy. The irrational burden of hand sewing a tiny 3-inch patch onto a shirt had to go. I did the task, checked it off my list, and I’m all smiles.

The feeling of accomplishment is wonderful! The happiness on my son’s face when he sees that the patch finally has been sewn onto his sleeve will be even better.

Worrying two months over something that took five minutes to complete makes no sense. From now on, Monday will be my anti-procrastination day — a chance to get started or finish simple sewing projects that I have been avoiding. I’m marking the new routine on my calendar.

I’m ready to sew.





Similar to the person who hasn’t exercised in a while and wants to start a new fitness routine without overdoing it, I’m easing into this year of crafting by knitting dishcloths.

Some people think this is a waste of time. The owner of an upscale yarn shop near my sister’s house sure did.

My sister stopped there for convenience instead of driving across town to a national craft store retailer.

A group of retirement-aged ladies sat comfortably knitting sweaters in intricate patterns in the center of the pleasant shop. They were surrounded by shelves from floor to ceiling stocked with beautiful, colorful and expensive yarns.

When my sister asked the owner to show her the 100 percent cotton yarn that was for sale, the shop owner asked my sister what she was planning to make.

When my sister answered, “Dishcloths,” the owner dropped the reading glasses from her face and let them dangle on their beaded chain next to her shirt.

“If you’re going to invest money and spend all of that time knitting, you should make something better than a dishcloth,” she said.

My sister left without a purchase.

Most people who have used hand-knitted dishcloths will agree that their benefits are plenty. Not only are they strong, soft and durable, but they also are a great tool for washing dishes and wiping up spills in the kitchen.

Their usefulness is versatile throughout the home and office.

I keep a set in my car to wipe the morning dew off my windows when I have to drive somewhere early in the morning.

In the bathroom, the gentle cloths can be used as baby washcloths or facecloths.

They also can be used to wipe the ink off of white boards or when cleaning mirrors and glass doors.

As a sewing project, knitting dishcloths is a good way to practice or try out new stitches. Novices can work on their basic knits and purls. More advanced knitters can experiment with some of the new patterns they’d like to try – from basket weaves to cables. For knitters attempting a new stitch, it’s better to mess up on a small dishcloth than a whole sweater.

Dishcloths also make useful and thoughtful hostess gifts, teacher gifts and presents for graduates, moms, aunts, teens, neighbors, seniors and friends.

The yarn comes in a variety of mix and match colors and goes on sale at various times throughout the year. One ball usually makes two regular-sized cloths.

So this January, I’m getting back on the knitting treadmill and experimenting with styles and stitches in a variety of dishcloth patterns. By February, I’m hoping to be in good enough shape to try knitting some drink cozies.

I’m ready to sew.


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Similar to the arctic vortex that dipped over the nation this week, my crafty side took a deep plunge over the past six months.

Glancing around my sewing room, I see that most of my projects have remained frozen in place while my attention has been elsewhere with the duties of daily life. Sadly, half a year of prime crafting time has been wasted.

My New Year’s resolution is to remedy this imbalance in 2014.

One of the best gifts I received at Christmas was a 2-year pocket planner from my sister, who knows that organization is the key for me to stay on track with my projects.

The cover of the calendar features a bouquet of colorful flowers. They will be my inspiration.

So let the crafting thaw begin. I’m ready to sew.