Sewing Keeps Me Going!

Sewing has been my obsession since I was 5 years old. And now, approaching my 70th year, it is dearer than ever to me.

I have sewn through divorce, widowhood, deep grief, poverty, desperation, long nights of the soul and great joy.

I sewed after my cataract surgery using two, yes two pairs of OTC readers on top of each other. A bit murky and fuzzy, but I was sewing. I tried it as a turned edge, but couldn’t see well enough! So I switched to raw edge and made it through to crisp vision by the time I finished. I took my first try at micro quilting in the middle.

My “cataract” quilt! The pattern is Esther Aliu “Hope” and I just hoped all the way through that it wouldn’t be a disaster. I didn’t make the full pattern, but used the center as a wall hanging.

Now my challenge is greater as I, like many people, have been diagnosed with an auto-immune disorder in the Rheumatic family. Yes, I am “coming out” as a sibling Rheumatic.

I can’t bend over and keep my balance, but I can sew. I can’t baste my king size quilt, draped patiently over the quilt stand across the room. I can’t stand or sit for long stretches, but I can keep sewing and going if I take frequent breaks. Sit, stand stretch, repeat. And walking up and down the stairs for my breaks is good for me too.

When the stairs are too much, I can watch wonderful videos, learn new techniques, blog, communicate with other fabric artists around the world and plan future projects.

Sewing is slower now and will be into the future as my treatment plan is a “long term” haul to improved health. Could that possibly be a good thing? Speediness is not an essential characteristic, I am finding, to my sewing joy. If anything, I feel more focused and more grateful than ever that sewing is my constant companion in life.

Adaptability and learning are the key. Adapt techniques, learn new ones. Expand my repertoire of tricks and tips.

The Secret Garden quilt I started this summer is the perfect intensive, long term project to take my brain away from worries, pain, brain fog, medication side effects and uncertainty. I need to be more careful about where I am in the pattern, measure and count slowly and deliberately, make check lists and triple check everything. When I flub, I will begin again, grateful to still have this work before me.

SG sneak peak!!

I will sew here, I will sew there. I will sew most anywhere.

In a closet (did that decades ago in a tiny apartment), on a table, where ever I am able.

Fast or slow; machine or hand. Fabric thread and needle are my merry band!

We are reinvented throughout our lives. Young, then old; thin and thick and back again. Pretty, plain; slow or quick. Nimbly, tardily; clearly, foggily. And just to show the universe…pink hair.

Rose gold/pink rebellion!
A perfectly improbable dahlia from my garden! I am that white petal in the midst of pink/red. I am here and I am sewing!

Happy sewing to all! And I will see you next week, slow sewing and blogging!



  1. Hi, what a lovely bl9g, I am sorry your health is not 2here you want at moment butt things will get better. You sewing is superb and always will be it will always be there for you. I am here for you to in anyway I can be xxxxx


  2. Hi, what a lovely blog, I am sorry your health is not where you want at moment but things will get better. You sewing is superb and always will be it will always be there for you. I am here for you to in anyway I can be xxxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh Lennea, now i begin to understand my attraction to you and the manner of all your work, we must be some sort of soul sisters!!! i have been sewing, or knitting or crocheting since i was about 4! did a stint of hand quilting as a teenager, and now, as my “ra” won’t allow hand quilting, i picked up machine quilting, and as you know, machine raw edge applique. it has been a “safe” place for me through all life’s twists and turns, slowly building into something beautiful and new. keep it up, when there is no longer anything you can do about something, retain your curiosity as to what “this” really is, and what is coming next.


    1. Thank you, Helen. Progress is slow and two steps forward and one step back. It will take as long as it takes, but in the meantime, I am so grateful for my love of sewing.


  4. Such a positive blog Lennea, you made me feel a lot better knowing you were out there blogging for so many of us, who use sewing as our therapy, our place to escape to from daily life and pain. As long as I can sew I’m happy, I gave away my clothes when we had to down size but none of my sewing gearLOL. I Was very sad to read life has thrown you this challenge now Lennea, but I-promise you, you will find away around it, as I’m doing. Keeping in touch with other quilters online is the first step if you can not join up with quilters physically. Big Hugs your way Dear Lennea.


    1. I agree! As long as I can sew, I can sew a path through this new obstacle course. So often we yearn for yesterday or tomorrow when things were or might be better, but all we really have is the day before us. So let’s get busy! Some days are a toss away, but if we can do one hour or 30 minutes of something meaningful, it is worthwhile. Hope you are maintaining your healing progress. Big hugs back!


  5. Hi Leannea,
    I can sure relate to your feeling perfectly in the health part as I can see pretty much myself in it. The difference is my body rejected all RX so i rely on supplements, at hone PT and activities as tolerated. I too find solace in sewing and quilting i will reach my 80 in 2 years. – You are blessed with so much skill in your sewing and quilting that glow in your work. That’s great God gift.! So keep going ! Like the saying: if there’s will, there’s the way! Much love from a quilting friend!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Lennea, what a heartfelt description of your relationship to sewing and of your determination to adapt your craft to your abilities … very inspiring.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Beth! I have known too many quilters who encounter a catastrophic life event and lose their relationship with this most marvelous activity. It just makes me dig deeper.


  7. Hi, you are my sewl sister. I am battling rheumatoid arthritis and my therapy is sewing also. My daughters bought me some battery powered scissors (love them) and I use pattern weights instead of pins when my fingers aren’t feeling nimble. Just keep sewing and doing your beautiful work. You can buy magnifiers that attach to your sewing machine too, I believe.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Fortunately, the eyes are working well! I had cataract surgery a few years back. And I have “readers” only they are really “sewers” for close up work. Thanks for the tips!


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