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Finding my passion. (where I didn’t expect it)

2016 May 6

This post was going to be a re-cap of the Spring Creativ Festival (which was amazing!) but instead I’m feeling inclined to talk about why the blog has been so quiet for the past few weeks. I’ve included a few photos of things I got at the show, because this is a sewing blog after all! Aren’t they pretty? I’ll do a proper re-cap (with a fun giveaway!) early next week.

Love these Japanese fabrics from Kallisti Quilts! I’m going to make something for me with them :)

Going backwards first, a few months before the Creativ Festival Janome emailed and asked me if I would like to do a trunk show. I was super excited and honoured that they asked, but also super (super) afraid! I had never talked anywhere before – much less on a stage, with a microphone, for 45 minutes – yikes! It took everything in me to say “Yes” and take the amazing opportunity. All the while trying I was trying to believe that you should do things out of your comfort zone to grow as a person.

In short…. I got the chance to find my passion and prove to myself that I am stronger than I thought!

Long story?

The whole thing began with the idea to name the talk “Be Brave and Sew”. This topic provided an amazing basis for me to discover what I really love to do. I am so grateful to Debbie from Janome for suggesting it. As I thought about what to say about my sample projects I found that a lot of them were beginner-based free tutorials I’d posted. Simple projects – the Fat Quarter Skirt, World’s Fasted Pencil Case, the Super Hero Cape. I wrote my talk around hopefully inspiring everyone to begin with simple things and move on to more complicated projects as they felt ready.

My youngest chose Wrap It Up from Fabric Spark for a new dress that goes “to the floor”!

I don’t have an easy going personality and push myself way too hard to be “perfect” in absolutely everything blog-related that I do. Of course as a result, I pushed too hard on this and spent so much time worrying about the unknown that I am still recovering 2 weeks later! (Hence the quiet blog.) I was absolutely exhausted – emotionally and physically – afterwards.

On the day of I was (quite literally) feeling sick. Thankfully I didn’t actually lose my lunch – but I was pretty much a wreck. I knew I was going to be “ok” once I got up on stage because I needed to be, but before-hand? Yikes… I was so grateful that my husband was there to help, he was able to talk me through my tears and nerves – love him so much for being amazing and supportive.

Aurifil from Fabric Please! as part of her new Thread of the Month Subscription.

I got miked up (is that a thing?!) a few minutes early and was so excited to see my friend Lisa in the audience. It helped a ton to have a face I recognized in the audience. When I actually walked up on stage and started talking, I realized the mic wasn’t on, and it took a few seconds of inward-panic until I got it working. Despite the crazy start, the time flew by and amazingly ended on-time, even though I could have easily talked for a couple more hours.

After a rush of meeting so many great people that came up to say “Hi” (my favorite!), I got a few minutes to think and realized that I really actually liked speaking. This new revelation was so surprising to me! I started this blog thinking it would be “safe”. Somewhere I could express my introverted self’s love of sewing to the world without fear of interacting and actually talking to other humans. Through the past almost-four years I’ve found that humans are what I really actually want. Looking back I think I’ve become a lot less introverted as a result.

Saturday’s talk was so much easier in comparison. I got to meet a few more online friends in person (Yay!) and felt much more comfortable. I was able to relax a bit, hang out and talk to everyone and my kids even got to come visit as well! It just reinforced what I had learned the day before.

My oldest picked some florals for a summer dress from Country Clothesline.

The passion part? The need to share what I love with others runs so deep. I fount out I am most passionate about doing my best to inspire sewers to sew more, and beginners to start. I want to help others understand that sewing is not scary or hard. That there is a solution to everything, it’s called practice (and a seam ripper!). I want everyone to sew with the next seam (or step) in mind – not the finished project that looks “too hard” – because with enough desire to learn, you can sew anything!

I am so grateful that I have been allowed to realize all of these things. I am already doing something I love to do by writing here, and now I can go farther with it. This blog is so much fun, but I would love to do more – and I’m realizing that I am ok at being a people-person too! I’m hoping a day comes when I’m able to do multiple sewing-related things – talks, workshops, writing here… and whatever else comes my way.

Lacie Zippers from Border Creek Station

Last but not least…. I am so glad that I have been allowed to share space with this amazing creative community. I am so grateful that I’m literally in tears while writing this. You are all so kind to come back post after post. I have so many positive experiences to look back on and I’m so excited for where this is taking me.

I would be remiss not to especially thank Janome for taking a chance on inviting a newbie to speak. They truly have been so supportive, amazing and so nice to work with. Without them I would not have learned all of these things and I will carry that through the rest of my life for sure.

I wanted to write about my experience to hopefully inspire you to go farther in whatever it is that you love – it is never too late or too scary. And I hope all of you are granted the amazing gift I’ve gotten to find your passion in life. I hope I don’t sound high on myself, or sound like I think I’m the best at everything, because I’m not – I have just been allowed to learn about this part of me and I’m excited to see where it goes. Here’s to the future!

What do you think? What is your passion?

My youngest sewist was gifted this super cute fat quarter bundle from Fabric Please! She said Rita wanted to see a picture of her blue sewing machine, so here it is! I’ve got a mommy-daughter project all picked out for it :)

As a little P.S. for you since you are still reading! (Thank you!)  I’ve gotten feedback that I am likely speaking once or twice more this year in the Toronto area. Yay! I’m so excited and hope that if you live in the area that you might be able to come out so I can meet you. :)

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27 Responses leave one →
  1. Laura permalink
    May 6, 2016

    What a beautiful post! I wih I could have been one of the familiar faces in the crowd and I’ll definitely try and make it out to the next one. You’re an amazing and talented person and you’re bound for great things. Well done my friend! I still remember our early days in the park when you were telling me about this blog you started and were hoping “more than one person will like it”…and look at you now! Very proud of you! Thank you for being such an inspiration!

    • May 9, 2016

      Awww…. thanks so much Laura! :) Can’t believe it’s come this far and can’t wait to see where everything goes.

  2. Mary Weese permalink
    May 6, 2016

    I was at your Day 1 presentation, and you ROCKED IT!!!! I would never have known that you were so nervous. Of all of the sessions that I attended, yours was my favourite!!!

    • May 9, 2016

      Yay Mary! Thanks so, so much! I’m so glad you enjoyed it! :) I figured everyone knew I was nervous – good to know!

  3. Mom permalink
    May 6, 2016

    Go for it! Teaching is fun! Your writing is great. Your teaching probably is too. Wish i could hear you some time!

  4. May 7, 2016

    What a blessing to you that you have found your passion (and that you are so great at it)! All the best in your new ventures. I look forward to seeing you ‘take on’ the sewing world.

    Your daughter’s blue sewing machine is A-DOR-ABLE! It’s the perfect size for a perfect little beginner! Give her a hug from me and tell her I must see what she makes with the FQ’s!

    • May 9, 2016

      Yay Rita! Thank you! I’m so excited to get going on the little one’s project. :) I’ll for sure show we let you know what happens with it! Can’t wait!

  5. Patti permalink
    May 7, 2016

    I am so happy for you that this turned out to be something spectacular!! Kudos to you for getting out there and doing something challenging!

    • May 9, 2016

      Thanks so much Patti! I’m so glad it worked out so well – unexpected amazing things in life are so fun!

  6. May 7, 2016

    I was also at Friday’s talk, and I thought it was just great. You really inspired some new sewists around me who couldn’t stop talking about the ideas you shared :) I enjoyed meeting you and think you’re great at presenting – keep going!

    • May 9, 2016

      Thanks so much Melwyk! I just stopped by your blog and saw your beautiful blouse! So glad we got to meet and that it inspired you. Hooray! From what you are making I would never know you are new :)

  7. May 7, 2016

    It was so fun seeing your speech and it’s normal to be nervous before speaking, but sewists in general are a friendly audience! And remember, if your fabric is more than a year old, it’s free, so you might as well use it!

    • May 9, 2016

      Thank you so much Lisa! Haha! I’ve to a TON of free fabric in my closet, yay :)

  8. May 8, 2016

    Beautiful post, Sherri. Well done on continuing to be such a great inspiration, not only in terms of sewing.

    • May 9, 2016

      Thank you Celeste :) I’m so glad you think so, that is super encouraging, and I’m so glad it’s working out well!

  9. May 9, 2016

    Beautiful post. I love how you claim to be so scared of speaking in public, and yet bare your soul online. It definitely is a different medium, sometimes it’s easier to post something for thousands of strangers to see, then tell your closest friends.

    I’m so glad you’re able to pursue something you love so much. That is a rare treat in this day and age. I’m also glad to have found a love of sewing. I think I would say my passion is being creative…I’ve found different methods before with crafts….but sewing I’m finally able to make something that turns out as good as it looks in my head. Never happened with drawing or signing ahhaha.

    I LOVE talking about sewing and sharing tips and patterns, I’ve talked to random people in the Walmart notions isle for ages, sharing fabric sites, and blogs to follow. It’s awesome when you meet someone that is as eager as you are.

    I was so happy to be able to see your presentation on Sat…and I couldn’t tell you were that nervous. Nerves are to be expected but you handled it with grace and humor. My speech teacher would be proud, his motto was ‘Fake it Beautifully”. Never apologize to your audience, for being nervous, or not prepared..he always said I don’t want to hear that you didn’t finish it, or get to practice it or whatever. Get up there and act like you own the world. Fake It Beautifully!!!!!

    • May 9, 2016

      Yay! Thanks Rachelle! I’m so glad you liked it – and it was super fun to see you again on Friday! Love “Fake it Beautifully” – totally have to put that on my wall :)

  10. Jess Abbott permalink
    May 9, 2016

    What an incredible opportunity and great testimony!! I love that you pushed yourself like this. Public speaking can be so tough, but when you push through like this it can be such an incredibly rewarding experience. Congratulations!!

    • May 9, 2016

      Thank you so much Jess, You inspire me so much with everything you are doing! I’m so glad we have such an amazing DIY community :)

  11. May 9, 2016

    Congrats on finding your passion! It’s so fascinating how this whole blog thing can change a solo, introverted hobby into a community- and friendship-building experience!

    • May 9, 2016

      Yay! Thanks so much Meg! It is so exciting to be connected to all of these amazing people through our creative experiences. I am so glad to have found your blog also!

  12. Janette permalink
    May 9, 2016

    What a great post (even for the non-sewers among us :) )! I tell everyone how cool my sister is and how amazing that she has turned what she loves into an actual career. I hope I get to be as cool as you one day!

    • May 9, 2016

      Awww… yay Janette! I’m always bragging about you and your singing over here – so I think you’re already cool :)

  13. Janette permalink
    May 9, 2016

    Also, I forgot to say, those zippers are gorgeous!!

  14. May 14, 2016

    I’m so glad to read you’ve found your passion! I always enjoy reading your blog. This is one of the first blogs I started following 3 years ago, and one of the few I still read as much as I can. The story of you being introvert and now found out you love talking to and teaching people, is like reading a story about myself. I too am an introvert and perfectionist at some points. Therefore I’ve choosen an ecducation as far away from people: a technical ICT study. But after working about 9 years behind a computer, I found out sometimes its fun to work with people too :) . I still have to push myself doing this, but it gives mutch satisfaction (and pride…;) )

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