Hello hand-sewing friends! Here we are already in the middle of June and I've realized another spring has past without spending the time organizing the 100 Day Summer Sewalong... but you know what? I'm okay with it and I'm going to explain why.
Over the past few years I've been trying to carve out time for myself to slow down. As most of you know, I work full-time as a Brand Manager/Graphic Designer and Sew Fine Thread Gloss is my side hustle. I have two VERY active kids in sports and both myself and my husband are heavily involved in the girls' hockey association. Add in additional family/social things and there's not much time left in a regular week! So my wind-down time is in the evenings (sometimes fairly late evenings) and I spend that time hand-sewing; usually needle-turn appliqué work. This is what I do to relax after a day spent on the computer, and an afternoon/evening spent making thread gloss or running back and forth to a rink. I find hand-sewing meditative; the simple task of holding fabric and stitching it together is, for me, a calming, stress-free activity. It feeds my desire to quilt, but also allows me to slow down after a busy day.
As I'm sure a few of you can agree, when you make your hobby your business it can easily lose some of its shine. It's not "for fun" anymore. I selfishly don't want to design/choose a pattern to dedicate to the sew along this summer because I already have a few needle-turn appliqué patterns on the go (I'm simultaneously working on the Blomma II BOM as well as the original Blomma BOM which is now sold as the full pattern - both by Sand and Stars) and have a quilt top that's been waiting to be hand-quilted for a few years. I DESPERATELY want to hand quilt it on my porch this summer with the nice big free-standing frame I bought off Facebook Marketplace last year. So I'm going to make it work.
This year's Summer Sewalong will be a combination of slow sewing and accountability. All I ask is that on the weekend you share a post on IG with what you've worked on that week and tag me so I can see it. I will cheer you on, as I hope you'll do for me, and at the end of the summer (if I make an official "end date" I'll let you know!) I hope we'll all be happy with what we've accomplished together. No pressure, no hard deadlines, just relaxing, enjoyable hand-sewing.
Carolyn said it perfectly here: "Sewing ... is a real activity, providing real value, and an actual product that we can see, feel, and use. The act of doing it can be this wonderful process if we just let ourselves enjoy it–especially in contrast to all of the other things that crave our attention on a daily basis."
In this blog post Carolyn references a Michael Pollan book, which talks about giving yourself up to a task/project, and while I haven't read this book myself the quote Carolyn pulled out is striking and embodies my desire for myself and all of you:
"It seems to me that one of the great luxuries of life at this point is to be able to do one thing at a time, one thing to which you give yourself wholeheartedly. Unitasking.”
What a concept. Are you in? Leave a comment below and let me know what project(s) you might spend some undivided time with. And when you're posting on IG be sure to tag me (@sewfinethreadgloss) and our hashtag #2023summersewalong.