For a while, I had a line in my professional bio that I dream of quilting. I’ve always had a fair amount of anxiety about sewing. I couldn’t sew in a straight line; my machine, basic as it is, was a mystery to me; I never really grokked how it all works.

Then an old acquaintance moved to town and we started hanging out. Of course the best way to learn the lay of your new land is to get out and about, and that happens to be a good thing to do when you already know the lay of the land. So armed with the motivation of my friend who wants to get crafty, I joined her in signing up for a basic tote-bag sewing class at Spool of Thread.

Best $40 I’ve spent in recent memory.

The class was three hours long. The first hour was all about getting acquainted with the machine. The basic machines at Spool of Thread make my old clunker look like an inelegant oaf, but the gist of sewing machines is pretty universal. Right off the bat I realized my intimidation by my machine had kept me from fully understanding how to even thread the damn thing.

Being in a class setting forced me to focus, and focusing allowed me to really take in what I was doing. Guess what – it’s not actually hard to follow the guides and sew in a straight line.

Thea, the instructor, was awesome. Clear and patient, she managed to keep us all going even after we ended up working at very different paces. Turns out I was speedy. I forced myself not to stress out about every cut and every pin, which was the best thing for me to do. It’s something I’ll continue to do, too. No more anxiety for me!

And check it, I made a reversible tote bag. Out of chicken fabric.

Saturday I’m taking their beginner quilting class, and I won’t be fearful heading in. WIN.

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