I Believe in Sewing

Jessup - Cincinnati, Ohio
Entered on April 28, 2008

At the end of freshman year I received a letter affirming my acceptance into a program called Artworks. At first glance I was really excited to have made it in, but with further inspection I saw that I was admitted to my third choice, Sewtaft. When making my top three choices for the program, I had no idea what this project was about, but it seemed to be an excellent alternative to painting outside all summer in the blistering sun. I willingly checked the confirmation box saying I would participate in Sewtaft unaware of the things I would experience.

On the first day the name of the program sank in as we learned a variety of stitches and construction processes. I was going to sew for six hours a day for the next six weeks. My summer was looking bleak until we decided to sew together on an old couch in the studio which soon became the location of our deepest conversations, arguments, and at times, sorrows. I made a few of the best friends I’ve ever had on that couch while sewing a myriad of embroidery-floss to create designs mirroring the museum itself.

I believe in sewing. The time I took each day to grow closer to these friends was much like the delicate process I went through to make a decorative pillow. Each time I was going to stitch, I had to carefully separate the eight strands of floss into only two. With this I had to embroider tightly the delicate design of a piece of tapestry. With every stitch, appliqué, and pattern my pillow became more and more complete, simultaneously with my new friendships. These growing relationships were being nurtured by every secret, thought, and lunch-time activity as the days of sewing wore on. As I finished the pillow, sewing a blind stitch to close the last crease, my friends and I were being pulled tighter together. At the gallery opening where our work was featured, I finally realized the effect this recreational sewing had on my life. In a slow meticulous process I had not only created a piece of art, but also gained several amazing friends. I believe in sewing’s ability to draw people together, and form friendships over a common hobby.