Slow Down

potholder, slow down, bedlam farm, jon katz, maria wulf,
My first potholder from my new studio “Slow Down” (it’s  sold)

Jon and I moved a couple of tables into my new studio this morning.  I had everything I needed to make some potholders.  I put my table in front of the windows and even though I didn’t have my work chair, and was sitting on 3 cushions so I could reach my machine, I felt comfortable.  Everything about my School House Studio is warm, the wood walls, the lighting and the sun coming in the windows and  the electric baseboard heat.

  I started to sew.  The other day, the last day I spent in my old studio,  I did make a couple of potholders, but my machine kept jamming, I messed with the tension, changed the bobbin, the needle and the thread, but sill couldn’t get it to work right. So today I decided to start with a scrap piece of fabric and see what happened.  I was so eager to work, I was more than just missing working,  It felt more like a necessity, like my well being depended on it.  So I was really frustrated when my machine jammed again.  And again and again.  I realized I hadn’t done any free motion sewing since I got my machine back from being cleaned.  My mind started going down a dark path.  It must be the sewing  machine shop’s fault.  I wasn’t doing anything different, they must have done something while cleaning it.  (It was my mother’s voice in my head “Every time you bring the car to get fixed it comes back with something else wrong”)
So I called  Heirloom Sewing.  I told the woman what was happening.  She asked a bunch of questions and assured me it wasn’t the tension if I was using the same thread and needle and fabric.   At one point she suggested that maybe I was moving the fabric too quickly.  I made an appointment to bring the machine in to have it looked at.

Then I tried again.  Something she said about going moving to fast rang true.  Or maybe it was just that I didn’t like the voice in my head that wanted to blame the sewing machine shop, like I was just looking for someone to blame, because I was frustrated.  So even though I didn’t think I was moving the fabric to quickly, I paid closer attention to what I was doing and I slowed down.  And when I did, the machine didn’t  jam.  I kept practicing to be sure.  Then I made a potholder.  Slow Down.  It was a natural.

So there I was telling myself what I needed to do,  by jamming up my machine, I just didn’t get it.    And it took my mother’s voice in my head and the woman from the sewing machine shop to finally make me hear it.  Slow Down slow down…


8 thoughts on “Slow Down

  1. Oh boy, do I need to hear this. I have a hard time slowing down and allowing myself to let things happen as they will. Those of us who grew up in dysfunctional homes sometimes feel the need to push, push, push in order to make sure we do it right (whatever “it” might be) and in the process, we often make it even harder on ourselves. Good for you for hearing the message!

  2. Hi Maria,
    perhaps it was your own tension within, with all the changes that has been going on with the move, and of course the transition of your studio spaces. As you see, all the tension will fade as you ease into your wonderful, new, sacred space. Good work ahead! all the best, donna

  3. Maria,
    Oh how I needed to hear those two words; ‘slow down’. I am fighting the fear the media has stirred up over Sandy and feeling overwhelmed and unprepared, when in fact all is fine! I can only do so much. Also, your sharing of your frustration with your machine and wanting to blame somebody…wow, that was me this morning too! I work for a retirement home and found out through email that a dear resident has passed away. I am supposed to be called whenever there is a emergency with a resident, but it didn’t happen and so of course I was blaming them for her death, for my grief, for everything! Your words brought me back to earth. Thank you so much for sharing your life with all of us out here in cyber space. I learn something from you and Jon daily. Your new studio is beautiful!

  4. That happens to me sometimes, I get frustrated and nothing is coming out right. I just put down the sissors and go do something else for a bit. Go outside and breathe, then go back to it. There is something about having a deadline that messes things up for me, a reasonable amount of work in a few days becomes nothing but an epic when its a must. Wether that must is of our own making or a client, somehow the machines just pick it up. Wierd isnt it? I swear my machines each have a personallity and if Im not liking a job, they dont either and problems happen. Good for you you figured it out and heard what the day was telling you. You might have to keep that one and put it on the wall! Love Frieda looking out the window at Jon painting, too cute!

  5. Lovely, Maria! Reminds me of the old Simon and Garfunkel song, “Slow down, you move too fast, you’ve got to make the morning last…….feeling’ groovy”.

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