Monday, January 09, 2006

The End of an Obsession

At last, I'm preparing to hang the remaining window quilts. I've shaken off the obsessive feeling, and am looking back at what was fun about this project. I learned how to do several things I haven't done before--foundation piecing, machine quilting (I've only tied patchwork projects in the past), machine embroidery, using embroidery thread on the sewing machine, and combining "incompatible" fabrics.

In looking for advice on these topics, I was quite disappointed at the scant resources on the Internet. While I found a few useful sites on quilting, most of the "machine embroidery," "embroidery thread," and "machine quilting" links were to commercial sites crying "Buy our pricy books and equipment!" I'm puzzled. Why is there such good stuff about knitting, and such junk about quilting, garment construction, and machine embroidery? Here's one theory: Knitting is popular among young folks, who haven't taken up those other crafts. Ladies my age, who learned to sew back in the day, are not computer literate. The Linux boys, for example, all use their moms as the metaphor for a clueless person who can't be expected to move from Windows to Open Source software. Perhaps they're right. The (male) computer scientists who controlled access to the Unix Big Iron back in my youth did try to keep us girls out. Maybe it worked better than my friends and I realized.

In any case, perhaps I should be writing sewing how-to's, and getting the word out that there is an amazing world of fabric out there, waiting to be turned into cool stuff the ready-to-wear folks can't even imagine. I have been working sporadically on a how-to for sewing new necklines into old turtlenecks, at the request of an anonymous commenter. I'll be moving this to the front burner shortly.

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