Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Mending and Hemming

I am a quilter. I hate mending, and I hate hemming pants even more! Which is a problem because for the last 15 years I have had to alter almost every pair of pants I have purchased for my children. One is too thin and needs the waist tucked, and one is too short and needs the legs hemmed up. I might even describe this activity as bordering on torture for me! Here is a photo of my sewing machine where I am hemming yet another pair of jeans. I cut off 6" from the bottom of each pant leg, and force my machine to sew around each leg twice. Now, when I write that down, it doesn't sound as tortuous as it is. I procrastinate the task as long as I can until the children start getting worried about not having any pants to wear...okay I either have to do laundry or hem the darn pants!
Realistically I admit my reaction is bizarre, since hemming pants and quilting a quilt involves the same steps, the same skills, the same equipment. So what's the problem?? I don't know...I just know I hate it. After this past season of buying new pants, my husband offered to take them to the tailors shop at the mall so I didn't have to be tortured. That was very sweet, but made me think ...which do I hate more, paying a lot of money to have someone do something I could easily do, or hemming the pants?!?!?!? I hemmed the pants.
Which reminds me of a saying (I don't know the original source) but it goes something like this: Asking a quilter to hem pants, sew on buttons or mend clothing, is like asking Michelangelo to paint your garage door.
And speaking of painting....That is what I could be doing instead of hemming those jeans! These photos are from the fabric painting class I taught this past weekend. I love painting and wish I could schedule an "artist date" to paint once a week. The first piece was painted with blue and yellow and was heavily salted with course canning and pickling salt. I still need to heat set and then rinse the salt residue off before I can work with it. This second piece used the same colours, with a little purple added, and the paint was more diluted. Once the fabric was painted, it was pleated until it dried. Where the pleats were, the paint leaves a darker line. I am thankful to my first fabric painting teacher Maggie Vanderweit, who reminded me how much fun painting is, and my second teacher Michele Scott, who taught me about working with Setacolor paints and colour blending. See how much more fun this is than hemming pants!