Thoughtful Thursday – Broken Needles


I recently purchased a new sewing machine and I LOVE it! One of the features that caught my eye when I was looking at different reviews was this machine’s ability to sew through thick layers of fabric. I clicked the purchase button!

I’ve been pretty pleased with my sewing machine, but soon started breaking needles when sewing through the thicker fabrics. Like LOTS of needles. I have to admit that I wondered if I made a mistake in choosing this particular machine, thinking that perhaps someone exaggerated a bit. It works great for the most part, though, so I thought that I would have to just give up my idea of sewing bags made out of denim and other thicker fabrics. Certainly not the end of the world, but disappointing none the less.

I had an epiphany last week, though, that makes a lot of sense. I made a bag from reclaimed jeans and rag rug. (Yes, you WILL see pictures.) No broken needles. I spent the day gusseting and seaming to my heart’s content – until I broke two needles. I didn’t understand how I had spent all day sewing through layers of denim and rag rug with no issues only to start breaking and bending needles again. What had changed?

Turns out that when the needles break I am usually trying to sew fast. I am a little impatient. Which is why I can never figure out knitting…it takes too long, but sometimes I get distracted and tend to push too much fabric too fast. (Who am I kidding? I’m distracted all the time!). This is a no brainer, I know, but as long as I keep the speed to a steady pace, the machine does fine.

And this is when I had the epiphany…something usually breaks in ME when I spend the days rushing through trying to push many different layers through as quickly as possible. Something (or someone) will take the brunt of my crazy busy days and that stress will weaken or even break something important in me.

That made me think about my life a bit. Slow and steady wins the race, sometimes. I need to prioritize and make some decisions about what is truly important in my life. I need to also understand that I am human. Very human.

And humans have limitations.

I cannot be everything to everyone and I am pretty powerless to change a lot of things – like adding more hours to a day or more days to a week. I need to operate how I was made to operate, and not try to push so much through at a time, and I think when I accomplish this, I will find real freedom.

Because I will be operating the way I was made to operate and it turns out that I’m a human being – not a human doing.


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