About the BellaOnline Sewing Editor
Cheryl Ellex

I live and work in beautiful Colorado Springs, Colorado, so long I can easily claim ‘transplanted native’ as the local saying goes. All things sewing related is my passion for these many decades. Over the years I have sewn fashion garments for my friends and family, home décor items, gifts and whimsical children’s toys. I have had a feature article published in a past Sew News magazine “Sewing Machine Presser Feet (2007)". I also have experience repairing vintage ice skating costumes (remember the Ice Follies?). I understand the difficulty and at times frustration when altering garments. I so understand the economic necessity for continuing the valuable skill of sewing and have embraced a sewing philosophy – sustainable sewing, that is mindful of and practical for our planet.

Threads, stitching, and sewing, are those down-to-earth terms that link fabric with strong edge and seam, and carry through those well-known sewing and stitching metaphors that link us with words to the trials and tribulations of our lives. These metaphors punctuate our language and teach, soothe, convey traditions, and at times make us laugh.

The shortened phrase ‘a stitch in time…’ is commonly referred to as a cliché or commonplace expression yet, the phrase dispenses the traditional tried and true wisdom of addressing problems when they first happen, in order to save corrections in the future that could be more difficult to fix.

What is charming about this time-worn expression is its sewing imagery that can be usefully applied to all of life’s trying circumstances that begin small, are easily corrected if tended to early, and when overlooked can potentially mushroom into very difficult problems. Consider phrases, ‘hanging by a thread’ ‘threads of similarity,’ ‘a common thread,’ ‘threadbare,’ difficult as ‘finding a needle in a haystack,’ and the modern age ‘discussion thread´.

It is appropriate that sewing be used as a comparison for life, as anything sewing related touches our hearts, calms our minds, engages our hands of course, opens our eyes to new possibilities, and fosters our imaginations all the while satisfying a compelling need to use needle and colorful thread. To create something, almost anything, out of fabric is as emotionally gratifying as putting artist’s brush to canvas, clay to potter’s wheel, pen to paper, verse to music, camera to photograph, or coaxing seed to flower.

Sewing metaphors allow us insight into how to put life’s pieces together. Come share with me your sewing insights.

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