A Toast to Natural Gifts and Elegant Triumphs

I won’t bother with the backstory of getting fabric for an incredibly frustrating project. It’s simply too tedious to type except to say that pure pig-headedness, one of my natural gifts, prevailed. But I can’t think why the purchase of a single metre of fabric should be an experience requiring mind-boggling persistence.

How short-sighted of purveyors who give no attention or service to small clients. Where is the realization that clients needing small jobs done now, if served well, will remember an establishment and return the next time they’re into a mega-project?

Since I needed two small accent pillows for my new sofa, originally I’d thought I’d have the pillow covers custom made. But for two 12” X 20” pillows I was quoted $350 and $400!  That’s not including the feather pillow or the cost of the fabric. No steal at $125 per meter—yeah, I know—but once I saw the hound’s tooth sample there was no other.


I’ll admit that I can be frivolous, but $525 plus taxes for two pillow covers? I’d make them myself. Frankly, I’d rather have $525 worth of massages.

As I hadn’t sewn an invisible zipper for about 3 decades, I was delighted that YouTube offered great instructional video reminders. One fine morning I finally got at it. From set up to clean up I thought it would take 2 hours tops. How hard could sewing 12 straight lines be?

Grrr! Very. The problem was not so much the sewing but a cantankerous machine which behaved badly—something it’s never done before. The only answer for it was patience. Repeatedly sewing test seams, making adjustments, ripping out stitches and starting again. The only thing for it was more (exhausting) patience and refusals to get rattled. Finally, 8 hours later the machine was back in the closet and the cushions in place. I’d reached the glorious end.


While the photos don’t show the full effect of the fabric’s sheen, I love how the two patterns work together. Still, all the hassle tainted the usual sense of gratification characteristic of creative projects. Alas, even though I’d saved all that money, once finished bending over the machine all day I needed $525 worth of massages. Instead, I raised a glass (okay, maybe two or three) to natural gifts and elegant triumphs.

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3 Responses to A Toast to Natural Gifts and Elegant Triumphs

  1. Anne says:

    Yes — make and make and make does not always equal satisfaction.

  2. Anne says:

    The cushions look great. I thought I might take up sewing again in my 60’s but reading this made me remember the frustrations and fumbles of my sewing heyday. Still there’s something about those projects that stay with me. Not the products, just the sense of making. And the seascape triptych is gorgeous. It works perfectly with your wall clour and fabric and, more importantly, it creates a magical feeling of expansiveness.

    • Lynda says:

      Thank you, Anne. You’ve nailed it exactly. The sense of making (when not thwarted) is a wondrous thing. For me it’s a fine balance to writing. With writing one can make and make and make with little or nothing to show for it but a few pages of still-in-progress lines. Six measly pages after 3 years of working on a story. Grrr!

      As for the triptych, you described it perfectly. Magical and expansive indeed. I now have a waterfront view without the hassle and expense of moving. Bonus!

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