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How I found my way to slow crafting

slow crafting for high-tech device

It was Sunday night and I was itching to make something. I’d reached the point in the sweater when I will have to put the whole thing on a temporary thread and try the yoke of the sweater on, but that was more of a task and not appealing. The thought of sitting at the sewing machine didn’t interest me either. My fingers wanted to be in on the party, doing something, and besides, the sofa felt too good to leave. A few days prior, on an artist date to my local book store, I had discovered and couldn’t leave without the latest issues of Mary Jane’s Farm and Pieceworks magazines. The featured theme in the Sept./Oct. issue of Pieceworks is needlework in literature. With a reference to Miss Marple on the cover, I had to have my own personal copy! Pondering the photos and skimming the articles in both pubs got my wheels turning on the intersection of handmade (really handmade) and the pervasive presence of technology in my life.

What you don’t know is that I am a purist at heart. For example, it took years for me to accept the convenience factor of the food processor. I insisted on blending and chopping by hand. I prefer to use a hand-pushed rotary mower for the lawn, and you won’t find a microwave in our house.

How ironic that the lightbulb inspiration on Sunday night was a padded case for my (brand new!) cell phone/camera gadget. I had been perfectly happy with my vintage model, and had no notion of upgrading for a fancier model. But when the old one simply refused to turn on last week, my hubby just had to rescue his missus and see that she was outfitted with the latest and greatest (aka, most complicated) model. Forgive me – I’m exaggerating. It may not be the latest and most complicated, but it is certainly sophisticated and offers a multitude of capabilities other than making a phone call.

Starting with some leftover quilting from a pocketbook I made a few years back, and a roughly sketched pattern on a piece of lined notebook paper, the gadget case began to take shape. I started stitching. By hand. I suppose you could say there’s a meditational state of mind that kicks in. I found my zen. The vintage kimono scraps that have been hanging around, waiting for the right project, are just the right size for the liner. And I just love that the entire phone cozy is stitched without aid of an electronic device. I guess you could say that this project was my way of “leaving the grid,” even if it was for only two hours. And it was such a satisfying experience,  I made another one the next morning. This one has a frog closure instead of snaps. It’s safe to say, I see more slow crafting in my future. How ’bout you? Do you like to hop off the grid every once in a while? What does that look like?

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  • Melanie Gray Augustin October 30, 2010, 11:22 pm

    That phone cosy is just so sweet! I also like getting into some simple, relaxing handstitching – my current favourite is making Japanese fabric flowers from vintage kimono scraps.

  • Jenny October 27, 2010, 1:17 pm

    Okay, seriously cute phone cover! I’m thinking it’s a great little project for those “not getting off the couch” days, and oddly enough, I miss hand sewing. Thank you!

  • theteacuplist October 24, 2010, 2:26 pm

    OoOOOooOOoOoOo…someday I’m going to sew something, and I hope it’s as cute as this!

  • Fran October 22, 2010, 8:51 am

    Love your phone cozy! And I’d love to fall off the grid more often–if I could take time off work! 🙂

  • Sue West October 21, 2010, 6:44 pm

    Slow crafting. Leaving the grid. I love it. I’ve recently decided to return to needlepoint after a decade’s hiatus. My grandmother taught me. My teaching probably started when she was widowed at a fairly young age – so lots of time to teach and talk.

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