It took Jane and I ages to agree on a name for our little business enterprise. It was only when I made a passing comment saying that I didn’t consider myself as the norm when it came to sewing.
“What’s the norm?” she asked.
“Someone who can sew!” I replied!
I’ll let you imagine the look on Jane’s face! Maybe I needed to reassure her?
So over several cups of coffee and plenty of cake we chatted about my experience of sewing and why I didn’t think I was the norm.
I explained to Jane that as a young and impressionable 12 year old my domestic science teacher told me I had no talent for sewing and I should stick to playing hockey! I was an eager student with a creative mind but when it came to sewing lessons I had no confidence. I dreaded having to take my work to the textiles teacher at the end of the lesson knowing she would criticise the fact that that none of my stitches were even and I couldn’t sew in a straight line. I can’t count the number of times I was told to unpick my apron due to dodgy stitching and I never got to cook because I never finished the apron I had to make before I could bake coconut macaroons!
So I left secondary school with no interest or qualification in any DT subject, choosing to channel my energy and creativity into sport and teaching. I have somehow managed to avoid a needle a thread all my working life opting for a career as a PE teacher instead.
That was until I retired last year and Jane introduced me to Free Motion Embroidery. I wanted to try something totally different that would challenge me.
To be honest I never imagined that that challenge would involve sitting behind a sewing machine creating pieces of art with textiles.
Apart from the fact that I was convinced I couldn’t sew, I never considered it as something I would enjoy. Hence I didn’t think I was the norm.
I have always preferred to be outdoors and working with a team rather than being indoors and working alone. However discovering Free Motion Embroidery has smashed all those pre-existing ideas I had about sewing. It’s not what I considered to be the norm as far as sewing was concerned.
I do work as a team, with Jane and with other like-minded people on social media.
Yes, we do work indoors, but our inspiration comes from outdoors. From our family whom we capture as they walk through the park, from the photos of flowers that we shoot whilst out with our cameras and from just being outside of our comfort zone.
Free Motion Embroidery has taught me that sewing in a straight line and having neat even stitches are not needed to be creative with a sewing machine. On a personal note I have discovered that I am able to unleash my creativity without being bound by those constraints forced upon me as a young enthusiastic teenager.
Having listened and chuckled at some of my stories we agreed that maybe
Not the Norm Textiles was an ideal name for our business
I am still learning (as the images in this blog show)and I am still enjoying the challenge. At the moment I leave all the complicated sewing to Jane and I do the cutting and sticking but Not the Norm is encouraging me to practice and improve and I think I secretly love the fact I have proved my domestic science teacher wrong…….
I can sew just……. NOT THE NORM!