The Pillowcase


Okay, so some of you are asking…”What the hell? Has she gone off the deep end? Who cares about a pillowcase?” And this picture isn’t exactly wonderful. But I am no photographer.

Before we get into the pillowcase (no, we are not all going to get in it), there is BIG news from my psychiatrist. I went to see him this morning and he said I don’t have to come back for TWO whole months. This is because I am doing so well. If you’re mentally ill, you know two months is a big deal. Woot!

Back to the pillowcase. Lots of people have told me I need a hobby. I read that producing something is the most satisfying kind of hobby. Many mentioned crocheting and knitting, but that just didn’t sound good to me. I live in a hot climate and really, no one needs scarves or baby sweaters around here. I chose quilting.

I found a quilting store in my area and sent the gal an e-mail. I told her I had been seriously depressed and needed a hobby. I told her I had a sewing machine but hadn’t used it in twenty years. I wasn’t even sure it worked. She wrote back and said to come on in to “free sew” and she would help me.

I went to the craft store and bought some scissors (left handed), some thread, sewing machine needles, and a yard of fabric.

I was so scared. I have not walked into something new for a long time. I was even nervous to drive over alone. I figured all of these ladies would have fancy computerized quilting machines. And they’d all be experts. Which they basically were. I drug my old machine in and Sue, my new teacher had a look.

“Uh, you are missing the bobbin casing and a bobbin.” I sighed. I was sunk before I started. I started to go home and she said…”No, just go down to this sewing machine and vacuum store and get the parts.” So I drove over there and they actually had what I needed. And it wasn’t far away.

I started to leave the sewing machine store and couldn’t get the car started. The steering wheel had locked up. And boy, was the weather ever hot. So I sat in the parking lot and prayed. And God answers prayer cause it started.

I got back to the quilting store and Sue showed me how to run a bobbin and thread my machine. (She showed me pretty quickly so I don’t know if I can duplicate that.) She had me practice straight stitching across some old fabric. Using the machine came back to me somewhat.

Sue then announced I would be going home with a completed pillowcase! I thought she meant some little thing for a baby pillow or something. But nope, she meant a REAL pillowcase. I picked out some fabric from the store and we got going.

Did you know that you don’t use scissors to cut fabric anymore? You use something that looks a lot like a pizza wheel. It really cuts nice and straight.

Sue was a stickler. I had to iron and iron after I sewed each part. The seams were all finished neatly on the inside. (The case looks wrinkled in the picture because I slept on it.) I was patient, although I got really tired and the darned thing turned out! I had made a pillowcase.

Now my hobby is to be quilting. So I signed up for the very baby beginner class. It runs from 5:30-8 on Tuesday nights. This is right after my bipolar group, so I will be exhausted on Tuesdays. However, it’s only four weeks. And I saw the quilt we’re actually going to make. It’s not huge, but it looks good. Like something you could hang over the back of a chair or sofa.

They gave me a list of what I needed for the class. Whoa! A lot of different fabrics and supplies. I decided to make a Christmas quilt. There were so many fabrics to choose from and I got overwhelmed. There was a young girl working there and I asked her for help. I picked out a few I liked and she helped me pick the rest so it would all look good together. (I have a pile of like 13 different fabrics for this thing.) I got a few more tools…a mat to cut the fabric on and a seam ripper. (I’m sure I’ll get a lot of use out of the seam ripper.

I start next Tuesday. I’m not as nervous as I was, but I hope I don’t have to thread my machine.

Speaking of machines, mine sews a straight stitch and a zig zag, so I think it will do. But some of these ladies had machines that looked like airplane cockpits. I wonder if they use all of those features.

I don’t expect to make any fancy quilts or even big ones, but I think it’s a good hobby. My shaky hands are calm enough to use the machine, and I can see it all well.

So, no, this is not going to turn into a quilting blog, although I do plan on showing you my progress on my quilt as I go.

I call it “my recovery quilt”.

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