Sunday, June 24, 2018

Throw away versus fix

I'm sure we're all aware of how much our society has become a throwaway society. Clothes and other items are so cheap these day (quality and price) that often a couple of uses and the item is literally falling apart. Apparently, the clothing industry is one of the worst for this and it drives me crazy every time I hear an ad on the radio - T-shirts - only $4, shorts $6. People just don't appreciate value anymore.

It's the same with service - consumers would rather go where they can buy things cheap (like books) but don't get the service or the atmosphere of buying those books in a physical location. People don't care about service as much as they used to, yet the quilting industry (especially the quilt shops) rely on providing customer service in order to survive. Think about it - if everyone bought online - guess what would happen? There would be NO quilt shops. No place to browse for fabrics, no place to pop in for advice, no place to chat with fellow customers and staff and certainly NO PLACE to physically take a lesson. I get it that stuff is online - I really do, but I hear over and over again how people are watching and watching hours of those online tutorials, but they don't get the spark to actually do something. That's hopefully what I give my students. That's like having a shelf of books and expect to learn just because you own them. I hate to say that you got to read them or practice!!!!  Our society is becoming so passive that we're happy to sit and watch someone do a great job on a project, but afraid to step out and do that for ourselves.

Well - that was sort of two topics combined there! But hopefully, you get my drift. We have to STOP being so dependent on throwing away and living such a passive life. We only have one life and if we don't get ourselves together, we're going to be on our death bed and have owned nothing of great value and have done nothing productive with our life!

All that to say that I repaired something the other day. DH has a sleep pillow for the plane. He had given it to me a while back and asked if I could fix the snap as it had broken. Of course, I can fix that. That's the part of me that I inherited from my Dad. However, I needed some tools to fix the snap and it took me a while to get myself in gear to actually buy the tools. But I did.

A couple of days ago when I went to fix the snap, I couldn't figure out how the tool worked and I left it sitting there. Then I watched a YouTube video, just like my Dad who is addicted to YouTube. He comes home from tinkering at the museum workshop where he builds parts for antique tractors and watches YouTube to learn little bits and pieces that he wasn't able to figure out on his own. I mean - can you do the math when you have to make a gear where the teeth measure something like .0075647849 or whatever the silly things are. I don't understand it. Then he goes back to the museum the next day to experiment with his new knowledge. That's what happened to me with my snap.

I watched part of one video and then realized that while I had the tool, I did NOT have the little fittings that were needed to press the snaps back into place. On one of my errands this past week, I managed to get the missing bits.

Then I had a good look at the broken snap. OH - I can't just add a new snap on the one side, I have to remove the other side as well as the new one wasn't the same size as the old one. But I managed to get rid of the old bits.

The old bits are removed
 How did I make that happen?? A handy dandy screwdriver and those bits were gone, but not before the screwdriver slipped and scrapped the length of my thumb. Ah well - it happens. No major damage was done. Thumb feels fine today.

Snap removing tool

So to replace that snap, I had to buy the tool, the little cap things, and the snaps. I probably could have purchased a new pillow for the price, but I had the satisfaction of fixing this. That satisfaction is a dying art!

Tools to fix the pillow
 Then I watched one more YouTube video to actually see the process at work. A few minutes in and I was good. I was downstairs and had that new snap in place in seconds. It was super easy.

Repaired snap

DH left yesterday morning and I thought he might like his pillow, but it wasn't a long enough flight for him to take the pillow and besides, he already had a ton of luggage that he wouldn't normally take including the crystal and the sewing machine for M. But the pillow is done and I can cross that off my list.

I'm going to be teaching a class on mending later on in the year. Just trying to set dates.

Speaking of classes, we had a couple of great classes yesterday. One on free motion quilting. I love teaching the quilting classes as I see the light bulbs going off for people and I see what they have (and CAN) accomplish in a very short period of time. Now the trick to that is to go home and practice. And I was chatting with another person the other day and I said that we should all have some ME time. She couldn't because there were 6 people in her house during the week and 8 on the weekends and she was busy with them. I would NEVER stand for that in my house. I'm selfish and I NEED some personal time - EVERY DAY!

On Friday evening, I taught the rope bowl class for the second time. We had a blast and I just love how everyone's bowl turns out so different. With practice, you could predict the shape of the bowl, but it's hard to explain that. So it's always fun to see how different all the bowls turn out.

Happy students with their rope bowls

If you're interested, get in touch with Oh Look Fabric as I think we have another class scheduled or your name can go on a wait list if you want. It's loads of fun and the bowl can be customized for anything.

When I got home last night, I madly wrote up that list of things to do as I didn't have time during the day. It was a crazy busy day. I slept much better and I see I wasn't the only one who had a sewing nightmare this week. Going to retreat without anything to sew - well that would be a nightmare for sure!!!

I'm collecting information on decluttering and hopefully this coming week, I'm going to share with you some tips on what to do with your china. It's HUGE. I see loads of people are starting to declutter or getting back to it. I'm so proud of us all for tackling this issue while we can and not leave it for someone else to deal with. We should all give ourselves a pat on the back.

On that note, I'm out of here. We have sit n sew today. A small group, but that's OK because I have something that has to be done and I'm going to work on it today. No choice.

Have a great day and stay tuned - there'll be loads more stuff on decluttering and quilting as I get my life in order. If you could see my kitchen table, you'd think, I'm slacking off in the decluttering issue, but I literally haven't had time to put a few things away. And there's a new submission call for magazine quilts that I've sat on for a week and today is the deadline. I was madly designing quilts last night and this morning and now to pretty up the submissions and get them in!!!!



  1. I agree with you on fixing things but I am darn tired of mending my husband's pj bottoms. they are old and now the fabric is starting to give up the ghost. How long must I keep doing this before I can buy him a new pair. LOL

    1. Hey - you march out there and buy him a new pair. Just toss the old. Enough is enough!