the means, not the end

Lately I’ve been thinking a little bit about why I make things. Some of my favorite projects are ones that are born of necessity. For example, this past weekend my two closest friends from college, and their families, came to visit. As I was changing the linens on the guest bed and organizing sheets for the pull-out couch, I realized that some of our spare pillowcases looked like they have seen better days. They weren’t in such bad shape that the situation warranted an emergency trip to the store, but I was able to pull some pretty fabric from a shelf and make two simple pillowcases in a print that I love. I felt like I was adding a teeny tiny bit more comfort to the poor couple who got stuck on the fold-out couch. To have the ability to make something useful that adds some warmth and comfort to our home is, for me, empowering. Basic utilitarian projects are some of my favorites. And a good number of them don’t make their way onto the blog.

Gift giving is another reason why I make things. I enjoy the challenge of coming up with a gift that will be useful and beautiful and is made with a certain person in mind. It is a fun process. I’ll take note of things that they have commented on in the past. Or I will show a person a stack of pretty fabric and ask them to choose their absolute favorite. The goal with these projects is to create something that they will love and that they could not have bought for themselves.

Another type of project is one in which the process of making an item is just as important (and perhaps even more important) for me as it is to create something nice for the recipient. With this kind of sewing, the end result is a lot less important than my ability to express to the recipient that I have been thinking about them. That I have been praying for them. That I think that they are beautiful in every sense of the word. The tissue holders pictured above were one of those projects. Even though they were given to three wonderful women, they turned out to be little gift to myself. A little gift of time to reflect on someone very important to me.

And in case you were wondering about how I made the tissue holders, the basic idea came from this great tutorial. {I know. Thank goodness for the interwebs. How did anyone ever sew anything before the dawn of the blog tutorial?} I added a little patchwork and overlapped the two top pieces more than the tutorial recommends because the opening was a little too floppy for my taste. Another angle that shows the tops of the holders is here. The fabric is Denyse Schmidt’s Hope Valley and I think it lives up to all the hype. So pretty!

P.S. I realize that parts of this post seem a bit cryptic. This is because I don’t tend to get overly personal in this space. That said, what I wrote in that last bit is just a shade personal, so I am going to close comments. {Thank you for understanding!}