Quilting is music to my ears - The sounds in my sewing studio

I sew and quilt by myself and often when no one else is home. I usually don’t play music, podcasts or television. Yet my personal creative space is not at all quiet, I’ve even written about it before. Quilting is music to my years and is played on the instruments which create the sounds in my sewing studio. Close your eyes and imagine entering my sanctuary and using only your ears.

lights upSnap, the light switch goes on followed by more snaps as various machines and gizmos come to life.

Hiss, the iron is heating up, the steam is ready. Some studios lack this sound as a dry iron is preferred.

Bzzzzz, and even more frantic buzzing as bobbins are filled. Different machine means different bobbins. Some cruise and others are sports cars, noisy ones.

Click as the bobbins are snapped into their respective chambers. Sometimes we hear the gentle swish of a machine being cleaned with a brush or the light gurgle of oil cursing into the inner workings.

Scritch, scratch is heard as pencil sketches on paper. At times, crunching and thuds of paper on floor reverberate when designs are rejected.

Awww, the sound of satisfaction, of an idea transferred from a thought to paper and now to fabric.

The room is ready, the molecules of sound have combined to let us know that important and creative work will happen here today.

The slight swish or perhaps a louder thump as fabric is unfurled, smoothed and admired. Too gorgeous to cut, don’t be crazy. It’s made to be cut.

Snipping scissors or the soft crunch of blade on mat and we know that pieces are taking shape to be joined to others.scissors-icons-set

A nearly silent whoosh of pin into fabric, you have to listen carefully for this step. And maybe open those eyes to avoid stepping on one!

Now the best sound of all, the whirring of machine connecting fabric with thread. Sometimes it’s high pitched and whining, other times languid and constant. It is the sound of fabric taking on shape, of a quilt being born.

In the connected world of today we hear the click of a camera and the beep of a picture stored, shared or uploaded. The socialization of sewing, the virtual end of solitary sewists with whirls, clicks and taps.

Intermixed are pauses, breaks in sound and activity. Feet padding out and coming back. The clink of ice in a glass is the newest sound that allows for thoughts as well as refreshment.

The clanging in my head, the clash of ideas, the flashing of inspiration cannot be heard but my breathing reflects it. Can brain activity be perceived or only the product of it?

Purring, mewing, panting or chewing can occasionally be perceived as welcome and well-loved visitors paddle into the room.

After much repetition of key sounds there is sometimes a deep sigh of contentment as all the sounds combine to create a pleasing whole.

Other times there is the crash of project rejected, the voice of irritation, the throwing of an innocent tool.

This storm shall pass. It may take the ticking of time or the savoring sound of chocolate being devoured but it passes.

The ribbit of ripping may fill the studio with a bit of heavy breathing. But soon the soothing whirring of connection again is heard.

Smiles and cries of exultation will eventually fill the air. Creation, completion and satisfaction achieved. Crescendo and done.

The sounds of sewing? The concert of a quilt? Why it’s a snap, hiss, buzz cacophony of machines and tools. The combination of  scritch, scratch, crunch and thud followed by snip, crunch, whoosh and then whir. Now for the click, beep, whirl and tap. Clinking and clanking are muffled by purring, mewing, panting or chewing. Sighs! Crash! Tick, tock and rip.

Hurray, the sounds of sewing culminate in the touchable, seeable and enjoyable, a quilt.

pins-1358849_960_720Next time you sew, try for a minute to close your eyes and listen.

Just not when you’re near the pins!

Sew happy!

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If you enjoyed this post, check out this one which describes my love of quilting and sewing.

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