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Jun 11, 2020

All I Want to Do Is Sew

Laura and Jon’s couch/afghan was my latest inspiration

Don’t get me wrong! I’m adhering to a quarantine regimen of coaching, writing, eating, sleeping and a bit of cleaning.

But in between those activities, I choose not to go on social media, read, watch movies on Netflix, or leave my apartment. Which is fortunate, since I only allow myself a one-hour window outside each day.

PowerPoint ‘sketch’ of pillow design

Rather, I want to fiddle with my collection of wool swatches, play with beads and buttons, and design my next project. I love every aspect of its development. My daughter and son-in-law sent me a photo of their couch when I offered to make them a pillow. The nearby chair needed a smattering of color, so I wanted to pick up colors from the couch’s afghan and apply them to my next design. I designed in PowerPoint where I could manipulate the circles to get an idea of composition before actually cutting the fabric. Wool is very expensive, so I didn’t want to make a costly mistake. In woodworking (and sewing) they say, “Measure twice, cut once.” I’m following that sage advice by laying out the colors visually first.

Once I had the layout done, I played with the assortment of wools I had on hand, figured out what colors I still needed, then went on etsy.com where there are several shops selling hand-dyed wool swatches.

Then there’s the waiting. Because we’re living in a very special time, I’m not able to go to a Michael’s or Joann’s and fill a cart with what I see on the shelves. Rather, I’m looking in new places, like etsy and Herrschner’s for materials to purchase. I order, then watch my package tracker to see when I’ll be allowed to take the design a step further.

Anyone remember the Wells Fargo song from Music Man? I feel like one of those town citizens waiting for my ‘raisins from Fresno’ each time UPS or USPS makes a delivery. The excitement is compounded now in my building since we are only permitted to pick up packages between 6-8pm each night for fear of contamination. It makes the delivery that much more meaningful as I carefully rip open the packaging to see my beads, threads or wool fabrics.

Each stage of the process has its glories. I want to take pictures at every step to remind me of the joy in creation. But the greatest joy, I’ll admit, is in seeing the finished product, and then the appreciation of the recipient.

“It solved our chair’s pillow problem.”

While I’m at work, in the Flow as Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi calls the Psychology of Optimal Experience, time goes by, there are no antibodies or particles, just me, a needle, some thread, and beauty.





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  1. Lynne Marino

    Absolutely beautiful Jane! And being present to enjoy the process as well as the finished product! I’ve found this joy in making bread! The creating, dexterity and sensory feelings – and the delight from my family and friends inside my bubble! Especially satisfying to have the WASPy girl deliver to the ever appreciative Italians who can’t get New York bread in Florida!

    • Jane Pollak

      @Lynne You made me laugh at the WASPy girl line! Lovely to step out of those pre-conceived images others have of us, even in our seniority! Thanks so much for sharing this.

  2. Liz

    Can you see my huge smile? Just beautiful! ?

    • Jane Pollak

      @Liz I can! Your face is engraved in my heart these days, and your shining smile is a great motivator. Thank you!

  3. Dawn

    Love this post Jane!! And yes, I can see Liz smiling too!

  4. Barbara Hogan

    Your creation is stunning! And with love in every choice and stitch, it takes ‘special gift’ to a new level. I, too, am drawn to hand work during the increased time at home. I just finished knitting a sweater for my granddaughter and have been looking into penny rugs and pillows on Pinterest. Many beautiful creations, but none more beautiful than yours.

    • Jane Pollak

      @Barbara Thank you! I’m so happy to hear you mention the love in each choice and stitch. Definitely part of my love and soul in every item I work on.


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