31 March 2011
Dear Amy Butler
Hello Amy Butler.
I saw you speak in September 2010 at The Creative Connection Event. You were darling and made a very good presentation. Your textiles are beautiful and you clearly have made a successful and long career that has impacted design in this country.
I bought your Style Stitches book so that I could participate in Jemellia's Style Stitches Monthly Bag Challenge. And it has been challenging as I have never followed a pattern before, having only quilted and made primitive dolls. During month 3 we were to make the 6 Origami Zipper Bags, my first attempt at sewing a zipper. I got all my zippers in and up to step 5. I then finished one bag, turned in right side out and your directions side to "smooth the sides." I had ghastly gaps with no fabric left to smooth, tuck or close. I saw on the Flickr group that people were hand stitching these gaps, or using alternative zipper techniques to finish these bags. It simply didn't work as directed.
For three weeks that stack of unfinished bags caused me grief. Now look, I do not want to feel negatively toward you Amy Butler, certainly not toward sewing. My machine is a kind of altar where I go to find peace. Life has lots of frustrations and drudgery, confusion and problems, I certainly don't need my time for creativity to be unpleasant. Not perfect, not without challenge, but these things could certainly be explained better, so that a novice who can follow reasonable directions can get a decent result.
After whining to another member of our group, trying to keep my issues from Jemellia, I researched and grinched through until I found a completely easy solution that closes the bag beautifully and is only a minor adjustment to your instructions.
I have to say, these difficult directions actually made me learn more. It, however, was not particularly enjoyable.
They are complete. I was challenged. I kept my word to Jemellia to participate. I just don't know how drunk I will have to get before I am willing to start month 4 which is designated "intermediate" level of difficulty.