Then, inspiration struck. I remembered this framed picture of appliqued fabric flower cutouts that I'd seen at Anthropologie last summer, and I decided that my sewing machine and I, distant friends though we were, could band together and do this for my soon-to-be niece. I took a trip to my local Hobby Lobby, also known as my dealer, found some cute fabric that I thought might match Madeline's bedroom decor, and went home to start cutting. I opened Microsoft word, typed Madeline's name in all caps, and changed the font and font size to match my project. I printed out the letters, and then used my rotary cutter to cut the fabric to match.
I didn't want to use a satin stitch (very close zig zag stitches) to applique the letters because I didn't want a nice 'finished' look to the project. I wanted the edges to fray a little, giving it a more childish, crafty look, so I just used a straight stitch and sewed the edges of the letters onto a piece of off-white cotton. It was not a perfect job, but I was happy with the result because it was my first real sewing project in ten years. (And I thought it was kind of cute.) I had it framed at, you guessed it, Hobby Lobby, and this was the final result:
(Pardon the smudges and glare on the glass...I'm not a professional photographer, though it is something I'd like to learn!)
Now the worry was that my sister-in-law wouldn't like it, either because it looked so homemade or didn't match Madeline's room or she didn't have space for it or...something. I was just very unsure of myself and my work. However, my worries were unfounded. She loved it, and it matched Madeline's decor so well!
This is a picture of it hanging above Madeline's bed, courtesy of Elizabeth Duvall and cropped by me.
The point of my little (or not-so-little) story is this: don't let what you can't do stop you from creating something. You can always learn a new skill, or you can take the ones you already have to do something else that's just as good. Happy crafting!