unstitchingWhen I’m teaching machine-piecing classes, I always tell my students that, in the unlikely event that unstitching need occur, I am happy to do the unstitching for them.  I mean it, sincerely!  After all, we have limited class time, and I would much prefer that the students spend their valuable time doing “the thing” (whatever we’re in class to learn) than spending time unstitching.  Besides, I have experience – LOTS of experience – at unstitching.  Trust me, I am qualified to offer this service.

Having said that, I found myself gaining more experience just this morning!  Look at that beautiful seam!  A wonderful, even, scant-quarter-inch beauty, if ever I saw one!  However, I sewed the wrong d#@% pieces together!  Unstitching required.

As I was doing the deed, I recognized the choice and the opportunity that lie before me:  I could choose to be irritated at myself for sewing those pieces together in a place where I didn’t want them OR I could choose something radically different: kindness and appreciation.  This morning, I opted for the latterI.

I appreciated how well the seam (that I was now unstitching) had been sewn (on my BERNINA.)  I appreciated the quality of my thread (Presencia 60 wt cotton, BTW.)  I appreciated the beautiful color of the fabric, the quality of the tools that I get to use, and how very much I enjoy what I do (even while undoing it.)  And so on.  You get the picture.  My unstitching time became an opportunity to slow down; breathe; gain perspective; be nice to me; appreciate the journey while preparing for the next step.

I am never irritated with students when something gets sewn in an unwanted place.  It’s “no big deal”; “easily remedied”; “we’ll have those stitches out in a minute”, etc.  Yet, believe you me, there have been many a time when I’ve chosen irritation when it comes to my own mis-stitching.  Irritation doesn’t feel very good.  Kindness and appreciation feel a LOT better!

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”  Absolutely!  And, I might add: “Do unto yourself as you do unto others.”

My wish for each of us is that we can find the radical opportunity in every experience.  Let’s treat ourselves with the same kindness, love, patience, and appreciation that we offer to those around us!

6 responses to “The Joy (and lessons) of Unstitching”

  1. Kelly, i have goTten to the point where i consider “unsewing” to just be part OF the process, but YOU’VE taken it to a whole new level! Im going to start thinking likE you do as i fix those errors.

    • Hi, Karen!
      This is a shift for me that has been a long time coming! It’s so easy to beat ourselves up over little things, and over time, all that beating ourselves up takes its toll! My intention is to be as kind to me as I am to others – and believing that the whole thing becomes reciprocal. The kinder I am to others, the kinder I become to me AND the kinder I am to me, the kinder I continue to become to others. Just maybe, that kindness will ooze out into the world whereever needed…..like osmosis. 🙂

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