Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Age of Why

Since my oldest daughter turned two, I have been bombarded with "why" questions.  Now that my youngest daughter is two I am hit double.  Sometimes I know the answers and sometimes I have to make them up.  When Mimi was at the end of her second year or early third, she always wanted to know people's names.  Garbage men, maintenance men, truck drivers, usually men.  Which is interesting because she does not really enjoy talking to men.  One day in Royal Oak, she asked me the name of a homeless man.  I tried to be honest and tell her I did not know.  I had to name him Henry.  Well, we saw him all over town, all the time.  "Mommy, there is Henry!"  Once, when I was at work Mimi saw him with Kevin and exclaimed, "Daddy!  There is Henry!"  Kevin called me at work and asked how we knew the homeless man.  Violet is starting to follow in her sister's footsteps, everyone must have a name.  She just doesn't usually like my answer and tells me the person in questions name is, well, person.  You are probably wondering what the heck this has to do with sewing?  Yeah, um, well, nothing really except I did have a question about pin cushions.

Why are pincushions always shaped like tomatoes?  Tomatoes are yummy, juicy, and also rot.  If one was looking for a natural object to use as a pincushion, surely it would not be a tomato.  I decided to ask Google the question and see what sort of answers came my way.  According to EHow, pincushions were quite stylish during Victorian times and came in all sorts of shapes such as dolls, shoes, and various vegetables.  Once the pincushion was made available to the mass market, the tomato was the chosen form because it was easy to manufacture.  Also, because it is in the shape of a sphere, it is just practical.  Now it is tradition.  But also according to EHow, here are some other reasons the tomato pin cushion came to be.  1.  A ripe tomato on the mantel of a new home guarantees prosperity.  Because tomatoes were not available year round, a stuffed tomato served as a substitute and later became pincushions.  2.  During the Renaissance, tomatoes were evil but could contain evil so they were put on a mantel to keep the bad time away.  Again, since they were not always available, a stuffed version could be used and the pins may have been a voodoo addition.  That is the answer my quick internet search gave me.  Anyone looking for a topic for a school project or paper?  Could be interesting research.  

Then I started asking myself some more questions like, why do I always use the exact same cotton fabric?  Why don't I experiment a little?  As you may know from a previous entry,  Coupons: Are They Gifts or Pure Evil, I bought some new fabric.  I found a really good deal on flannel and decorator fabric.  The flannel made really cozy pillows.  Nice to snuggle, good for a bed.  The decorator fabric was fantastic.  I liked cutting it, sewing it, and I love the result.  I just should have ironed it BEFORE I sewed it.  So many things to learn. I am definitely going to be using this fabric again.  I can see why it is a little more expensive but I think the result is a beautiful and sturdy pillow for high traffic areas such as living rooms.  I was also thinking that corduroys might be fun to play around with.  All in due time...

Rectangular pillows made from decorator fabric
look nice on my bed! 

These pillows will also compliment your "Griffin and Sabine Trilogy"
and vintage Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden books!

  • Now, onto my final why question.  Why am I NOT trying to sell these cute little pillows on Etsy?  Ugh, self esteem issues again.  What if no one buys my pillows?  What if everyone I know thinks I am crazy? (I suspect many already think I am a little nuts.)  What if people write horrible reviews about my pillows online? What if. what if, what if.  There is a poem called the "Whatifs" by Shel Silverstein and it is one of my favorites, you should check it out.  I am not going to let the whatifs hold me back.  Maybe I will fail miserably at selling these pillows.  The worst thing that can happen is that I spend some money and time and no one likes them.  Big deal!  My family and friends might get some more pillows and then I will give it up.  I will continue to sew for myself and the benefit of other, just for the love of sewing.  Okay, now I am just sounding corny.  Time to stop.  


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  2. Corduroy will give you the opportunity for another sewing lesson. It is a fabric with a nap and is very important when you cut out the fabric and when you sew the pieces together.