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Life lessons
Why didn't I figure this out years ago????
tourist
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tourist  Friend of PR
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Date: 7/4/11 12:13 PM

I was just figuring out how to do a funny little hand sewing job on my latest project and wondering why I had so much trouble in school learning the "rules" for various hand stitches. It was because I was so busy trying to learn the rules and not thinking about what I was trying to accomplish!

Since I am often "winging it" with my sewing nowadays rather than following a pattern, I am more often in situations where a technique pretty much has to be invented to do the job. So I have to think about what I can do to keep the piece secure rather than how to execute a particular stitch. It means my brain has to be a bit more agile, but it does not depend so much on the memory banks that weren't so hot when I was 16 and are seriously useless a lot of the time now, 4 decades later!

Anything you have suddenly figured out that you wish you had learned sooner?

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http://bgballroom.wordpress.com to follow the progress on my next ballgown.

Immelu
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Immelu  Friend of PR
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Date: 7/4/11 7:53 PM

It has nothing to do with sewing but...when putting together cheap furniture (you know..the kind with allen wrenches) LOOSELY put it all together first and then tighten everything at once.

I learned that one while putting together a table at one of my first apartments. I think I was on the third chair before the lightbulb went on.

Yarndiva
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Yarndiva
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Date: 7/5/11 10:54 AM

When pre-washing a large piece of fabric, fold and pin the corners together with big safety pins. Keep them on for the dryer. So many years of tangles and rumpled fabric in the washer and dryer could have been avoided.

It is good to try and learn something every day. It seems to keep things even with the things we forget everyday.

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http://silkmothsewing.blogspot.com/

AdaH
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AdaH  Friend of PR
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Date: 7/5/11 1:48 PM

At least look at the directions before starting to sew.

Never trim SA's until you are sure everything is OK. The number of times I have trimmed SA's and then had to rip the seam out, then try to sew it back together with a 1/4' SA, is in the hundreds.
grrrrr.

The biggest life leason I have learned is when to keep my mouth shut.

YarnDiva, another life leason might be in the making; how do you keep the large pieces of fabric from tangling in the washer and dryer?
-- Edited on 7/5/11 1:52 PM --

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Ada

tourist
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In reply to AdaH


Date: 7/5/11 1:53 PM

Quote:
The biggest life leason I have learned is when to keep my mouth shut.


You got that SO right, Ada! How much grief could I have saved myself if I had learned that sooner!! Maybe if I hadn't been so busy talking, I would have heard someone tell me that....

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http://bgballroom.wordpress.com to follow the progress on my next ballgown.

Canadian Jane
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Canadian Jane
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In reply to AdaH


Date: 7/5/11 2:55 PM

Quote: AdaH
The biggest life leason I have learned is when to keep my mouth shut

Maybe this is along the line of keeping one's mouth shut. Before I decide to speak - figuring out if I am helping the other person by sharing really sensitive info or freeing myself from having to keep a secret.

For example, my BFF - until I opened my big mouth - had a real jerk for a BF. He messed around on her a lot and told me about it one night while he drunkenly hit on me. I suspected he was fooling around and but had said nothing to her. I thought I should tell her about him hitting on me before someone else did. She was out of town when this happened and I told her when she got back.

Yeah - it made me feel better but did not do a whole lot for her. She was really angry with me and never really forgave me for telling her. She wasn't ready to hear it - especially from me.
Sharon1952
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Sharon1952  Friend of PR
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In reply to AdaH


Date: 7/5/11 8:12 PM

I would add to that "and to not hit the "Enter" button until I've read and re-read a post!"

------
Sewing: A creative mess is better than tidy idleness. ~Author Unknown

Karen31
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In reply to Sharon1952


Date: 7/5/11 11:18 PM

Quote: Sharon1952
I would add to that "and to not hit the "Enter" button until I've read and re-read a post!"

A former colleague gave me a great variation on this... do not fill in the "To" line of the email until you've re-read as noted above. Then at least if you committed a big faux pas you can't send it to anyone yet. (Note to self - WORK ON THIS when texting...).

Definitely second (third? more?) the one on keeping one's mouth shut. And pick your battles, don't sweat the small stuff, give up being right... all variations on the same theme.... I recently had an opportunity to revisit how important this is. A small matter, but made me realize I should look at as much as possible as small matters compared to the big picture, end to which we're working to achieve, and let 'em go! The other person may even forget/have forgotten about the incident, but they'll remember if you made a big deal about a small occurrence.

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Karen

Franksdottir

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In reply to tourist


Date: 7/5/11 11:29 PM

One of the best lessons adulthood has taught me - and I have had to learn it over more than once - is that some rules are pointless and do not have to be followed.

I am not talking about big things, like not killing anyone, or not stealing, or even about being careful not to hurt someone's feelings. I am talking about the sort of rules which get passed down and no longer fit in the modern world, or the kind which busybodies make up to force everyone to live the way they think we should.

My best example: I learned to do needlework, mostly simple embroidery, in Home Ec. I loved doing it. My teacher, Mrs Sandy Wilson, to whom I will always be grateful (waving at Mrs Wilson from a distance of forty-five years), taught us to take the floss out of the little skein and wind it carefully on a piece of cardboard. This made nice, neat little project groupings. I hated that part. Home Ec teachers (of which my mother was one) love making up little rules, partly because they have a need to convince themselves that... you don't want to hear my Home Ec rant.

Anyway, one day, in my twenties, I was embroidering something and I all of a sudden realized that no one was watching me, I didn't have to answer to anyone, and I could do as I liked. That day I stopped all of that stupid fiddly stuff which kept me from doing what I wanted. I have messy project bags now. I keep everything separate, and my backs are nearly PERFECT, but that is because I care about that. I don't care that my floss is wrinkled until I use it. I care about my workmanship, and I make an enormous effort for it. But I no longer have to be unwilling to start a new project because I cannot face the endless winding.

I went through this when my first baby was pretty new, also. My doctor said one thing, my mother was shouting at me over the phone to do another, and I wanted to do what I thought was best. DH said to me, "You're her mother. The hell with them. You do what you think is best and I will back you up." I did, and it turned out to be the right thing. That was the last time I listened to anyone else against my better judgment. This came in particularly handy when DS was little, because he was a quirky sort of kid and I had to keep the world from trying to break his spirit.

------
Barb

Vintage Joan
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Vintage Joan
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Date: 7/6/11 9:32 AM

Quote:
all of a sudden realized that no one was watching me

This is a big one. For some reason we get it stuck in our heads that all the people we've ever answered to are still watching us and waiting in the wings to correct us -- to tell us our priorities are wrong or to critique the way we do something. Last summer I was sitting there wondering why I wasn't drawing anymore, and I realized I was waiting for "permission" from all my critics. Why they would have opinions on this, I don't know (none of them are even artists). But like many people, for most of my life I've carried around an audience of critics in my head, assuming they would correct me and disapprove of things I did or didn't do... even if they wouldn't really. Anyway, I did start drawing again, and the critics in my head didn't say a word. I may have prejudged them. Critics typically don't even notice what we do right, anyway, when it comes right down to it. So don't wait for their approval.

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my shield and my very great reward ~ Gen. 15:1

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