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I remember when I was a child there was always a “mending pile” — items waiting for Mom to sit down and sew on a lost button here, fix a falling hem there.  I vaguely remember a “darning egg”, a piece of egg-shaped glass that she would slip into the heel or toe of a holey sock to help in re-weaving the yarn to make it wearable again.  These were small tasks that, taken one at a time, didn’t warrant the effort to gather the necessary needle and thread, but made a difference when completed.

I had accumulated a few things for my own mending pile that were beginning to get in my way, so this morning I gathered the necessary tools and settled down on the couch to tackle them.  The first was a lovely patchwork angel whose left arm had somehow come off (last year some time, I believe).

How hard could it be to re-stitch a cloth angel arm into place?  Challenge number one was threading the needle.  When did the needle’s eye shrink so, and the thread become so fat?  On my next trip to Joann’s Fabrics I need to stock up on those crazy wire needle threaders, and perhaps an Ott Lite!  Once I got the needle threaded, I found challenge number two:  how to sew a curved and stuffed fabric arm onto a pieced and padded angel body.  The first try resulted in a left arm that was a good half-inch higher than the right, and made my angel look hunchbacked.  So I snipped out those stitches and tried again.  And again.  My third attempt was successful, and my confidence grew.

Next up:  a little toy leopard whose back seam had come undone, threatening to come unstuffed and end up in the trash.  This little guy was much more cooperative, and sat quite still while I sewed up his back seam and then placed him on the bed next to his still-sleeping small owner.

Challenge number three was to hem a pair of gi pants that I pinned up before moving last fall.  On closer inspection I realized the hem was ridiculously crooked, so I set them aside to be tried on by their owner and re-pinned before hemming.

Two successes out of three attempts left me feeling content and ready to tackle the rest of my day — humble, but necessary, little tasks that helped brighten my corner of the world.

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