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No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

[The title makes me laugh, only because Kevin hates when I say that. “Meg, it’s not true!”, says he, and he’s right, but I refuse to let this old chestnut go. I’ve tried replacing it with”No deed goes unpunished” instead, but he doesn’t like that one either. Sorry, Honey.]

Several months ago (possibly right after Christmas, but I’m going to be kind to myself in this story and go with, say, springtime), my employer/friend, asked me if I thought I’d be able to sew up some Christmas stockings that would at least sort of matched the ones she’d picked up at a now-defunct craft mall a few years back. I told her I’d give it a shot. I mean, I’ve made stockings before and really liked it, so why not? And she was so low-key about the whole thing that I didn’t even feel pressured or guilted into it, which is always a plus, so I took ’em home to get started.

Here are a few reasons to refuse, in case someone approaches you with a similar, seemingly very reasonable, request:

  1. You might think that the speckled fabric that you remember seeing everywhere, every year, will be easy to find, but it will not. It will be nowhere to be found. If you’re lucky (and I was), you and your fabric-stacking mother will have a couple of similar pieces in your collection. They will not be the color you wanted, but they will do.
  2. Speaking of fabric, the originals here were made using materials I’ve never seen in any fabric store maybe ever. Seriously—never touched fabric this oddly unnatural, and I’ve come across some crappy stuff.
  3. What looks like a simple applique may, in fact turn out to have a hundred different pieces, leading you to try and get all creative with your own ideas. And, since you’re trying to coordinate with a whole matched set, this can be a little paralyzing.

Still, I pressed on, because I really wanted to make good on this. So, I cut out a bunch of appliques and figured I’d wing it.

In winging it, I realized I only liked one of the appliques I’d cut by the time I’d finished the whole stack. Oh, and also: I don’t have any transfer pens that are doing the trick on the navy blue and dark red backgrounds, so I had to use pins. I’ll be picking up some tailor’s chalk before starting the other two, because this pin method is for the birds. To wrap up this already too-long story, the heat n bond wouldn’t work with the wool felt pieces, and the thread that I used to sew on the appliques turned out to be bad, which resulted in a bunch of skipped stitches and near panic on my part. I cannot handle another machine giving up the ghost because of zig-zagging! Not my wonderful new machine! Then I figured out what was wrong, re-threaded the machine with a different brand, and finished up phase one. 

Yeah, that’s real progress. When did I cut the appliques? About two months ago, I think.

Anyway, the other good thing is that I woke up this morning knowing that I needed to just scrap the other appliques and start over, and I even had an idea of what to do. Sometimes you have to know when to let go, you know? So I’ll start that again soon, because – and I can’t stress this enough – I really want to finish these and send them on their snowy little way.

Doh! I can’t believe I almost forgot to thank you, Friends, for the kind and encouraging comments in response to my last lament of a post. I’ve gotten behind in responding, so please forgive me, but you sure know how to give a mama a boost. Really, thank you.


3 responses »

  1. oh goodness this is funny. i’m so sorry – hope it comes together alright in the end!

  2. Oh yikes. What a project. You’re nice for doing it, but I think you’ll need a big fat AWESOME something in your own stocking for finishing it.

    Lord, did I just say stocking? LIke Christmas? This is too much.

  3. Pingback: Glory Hallelujah! « Make it Snappy

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