Can You Feel the Tension?

Caution: Very thinly disguised life lesson approaching.

It finally happened. All this experimenting with different feet and needles, and the tension on my sewing machine was a hot mess last night as I began my new project. I remember being a music student in college and dealing with “technical” issues on my flute. My way of dealing with those issues was to hand the flute to someone else. I was so afraid to take anything apart or tweak things for fear of causing irreversible damage to the instrument. I had confidence in my playing (for the most part, as much as the “twenty-something” me had confidence in anything) but I didn’t really take the time to know my instrument. I didn’t understand how it was assembled, or how all the parts worked together. What a shame I missed out on that. This time around, I had no one to hand the sewing machine to so I read articles online and watched my brightly glowing nighttime YouTube videos, digging into the reasons behind why I might be experiencing these tension problems. And guess what. I barely had to touch that dial. Re-threading the machine, re-installing the bobbin, just slightly adjusting the tension dial and I was back in business.

Something about sewing (maybe the fact that I have to fixate my eyes on these tiny stitches and focus so acutely) always makes me think of it as a microcosm of bigger life stuff. If things don’t break, if they don’t give you a little trouble, there is no growth. There is no learning. You’ll walk around in fear of how awful it will be if they do break, and without the knowledge that you just might have what you need to fix it. When they break, you have been given a chance to make it right. If you take the chance, you just might come out with a zippered Ipad sleeve (or something else really cool)!

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There it is, folks! My first zippered project. Thank you to fellow blogger Knitting in Flashes for the inspiration. I was going to do a button hole, since I have only used elastic enclosures for buttons thus far, but this tutorial on was calling my name. I had to learn to shorten and install a zipper, and as mentioned above, how to approach tension issues on my sewing machine. I didn’t have enough of the fabric prints I wanted to use to follow the exact instructions in the tutorial. I had to get crafty and patchwork some pieces together to have panels in the size I needed, but it was worth it because just look at those little owls. Finally, I stumbled upon some pictures online of geometric spiral quilting and decided I had to do that. Just had to. Can’t really provide a good reason. Turns out geometric spiral quilting can take some time. Here is my sewing machine glowing in the night while everyone sleeps.


Thanks for enduring my life lesson for the day. There are rustling sounds in the bedroom so it’s time to hide all the needles and put the laptop on a low-lying surface. Happy Friday!

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