Friday, December 16, 2011

Joy in Service: Day 16 The Gift of Forgiveness

artwork by Dalyn Montgomery
My brother is a very good man. And an artist. And a grad student at an Ivy League University - something all of us are very proud of. We all paid our own way through college and after a long time out in the work force he's found something he is very passionate about and is taking steps to make it happen. He also donates long hours of service year round to the people in his congregation. He really does make the world a better place.

His local newspaper wrote a short article about both his service and his artwork which is hanging at the University. It was really nice. It mentioned the mixed race of his congregation, and his marriage.

artwork by Dalyn Montgomery
In the comment section about the article, as seems to be the usual case in newspaper comment sections, several people got really nasty. It started with bashing Mormons - no worries. It's the one socially acceptable group to stereotype and have false ideas about. We're used to it. What got me were the ugly personal remarks about my brother and his wife. I should have left well enough alone but I jumped in and tried to correct the false comments about our religion and defend my wonderful sister-in-law. Things got worse. I stewed. I tried to just let it go. I couldn't even though I know full well that people believe what they choose to believe regardless of facts and there wasn't anything I could do about it.
artwork by Dalyn Montgomery

But after a full morning of stewing I realized there is something I can do. I can forgive. I got on-line, tried to lay out a couple more facts, then wished all the attackers peace and a Merry Christmas. No. I didn't magically feel better - I was still simmering. Sometimes it takes a little work to truly let something go. What helped was realizing that people who spend their time attacking strangers must have very sad lives (with a heart five times too small - we're reading the Grinch) and no peace. The other thing that helped was blasting Christmas music and singing right out loud. I love Christmas music. After that there was no more simmering.

This was just a little tiny thing. I'm lucky that I don't have any big things. There are things that are sooooo hard to let go. But truly, forgiveness is even more of a blessing to the one who has been hurt than the one who has done wrong.
Tell me what thing, big or small, you have done to make the world a better place!

Work in Progress: Rockstar Boro (how to sew a decorative hanging pocket)

Progress on the Boro
Inspired by Melanie Testa's Rockstar Boro project.
I got the zipper put in (the right way this time!), and the hem finished with a triple row of zig-zag to give it a little bit of a lettuce edge.

I put it on and decided the pocket that used to be a shirt pocket is too small to keep my phone from slipping out when I sit or walk. Time for a free hanging deep pocket. Decorative I think. Deep enough to hold my phone and keys. Free hanging so it won't make the rest of the skirt bulge or get in the way of the swing. I really love clothing to swing and move when I do.

I sewed a triangular patch where I want the opening to be - you'll see it in a minute. You can skip this step entirely if you want to make your own hanging pocket - or make a decorative patch in any shape your creative mind comes up with.
Next I placed the first pocket rectangle over it and sewed the opening shape. Again - this is a place to use your creativity. A rectangle is classic but how about a heart or an arrow? I made a smile.
Make sure to leave at least 1/2 inch of cloth (I didn't) on either side of the opening. Also make sure the opening is at least as wide as your hand.

Slit and cut the inside of your opening - carefully go all the way to the corners.
Clip the seam allowances.

Trim the seam allowances if the fabric is thick and then turn it inside out.
Iron it so that you see just a bit of the outside fabric when you are looking at it from the backside.
Top stitch the opening if you'd like. You could also do some fancy decorative stitching here.

Pin on your second pocket rectangle.

Carefully sew all the way around the edge of the pocket. I sew from the back side of the pocket, pulling the skirt out of the way to make sure I don't catch it. This is the tricky bit next to the opening that would have been easier if I had left more seam allowance.
(That's my edge stitching foot - I was too lazy to take it off for this step.)

I finished the pocket edges the lazy way, turned them over and zig-zagged them. 

There's the triangular patch on the front. I also sewed another line of stitching all the way across the top of that triangle, catching the top of the hanging pocket. That way and weight in the pocket will pull on the full skirt rather than just the pocket opening - which would make it sag out anyway.
More to come tomorrow.