Vindication doesn’t make needle’s eye any bigger

Finally. Payoff time.

Last week I used a large padded envelope, circa 1990, that’s been stashed in my attic room for the duration. I needed it. I had it. I used it.

And it took just 23 years of moving and storage to save that two bucks to buy an envelope. Plus the gasoline getting to the post office, which is waaayyy across town, and the time it took to get there.

I feel vindicated.

That’s such a good feeling.

Good feelings popped up often these past few weeks. Probably to offset the times I wanted to hurt someone. But that’s another story and one I prefer not to relive.

Maybe a year ago now I made some table toppers for my daughter. Even showed them to her before they were done. Her appreciation bolstered me then, but took away the surprise of handing her a finished project, so that project never got finished.

Such is the way in my world.

Well, last week I finished that project. Had to sew down the binding on two table toppers. That’s all. Not a hard job and quite relaxing in the doing, but I just couldn’t get myself interested in the doing. Until I had to finish one for a friend. So I found the correct thread, my little stork scissors and a needle and went to work.

Now I remember why it’s so hard to get interested in binding. For those who don’t know, in binding you sew on the edge of a quilt or table topper or anything, then roll that edge to the back and hand sew it. The front is automatically nice because of the machine seam, and the back will look tidy once it’s tacked down. That’s called binding.

In showing me this way back when, my sister failed to ‘splain the concept of eyes getting old. And when eyes of the seamstress get old (I was going to say when eyes of the sewer get old, but that looks like I’m talking about a place where stuff goes to die) when eyes of the seamstress get old, it’s a sure bet the eye of the needle will get smaller.

So I’m sitting in my recliner, watching an episode of NCIS for about the fifth time, and I’m cheerfully binding a table topper. I’d gotten a pretty long thread the first time out, so other than fighting all this hanging thread, I was good to go for a while.

Then came the dreaded re-threading. I just grinned because this time I’d chosen a needle with an eye big enough to stick my toe through. Oh, sure, it left odd little pock marks in the binding, but there’s always a downside to genius.

I cut a length of thread and aimed one end at the needle’s eye. That eye must have blinked. The thread would not go through. I aimed again. Again no go.

Now I know why I put off binding. Threading that needle took up to 15 minutes each time.

And I re-threaded six times, for heaven’s sake.

So long friends, until the next time when we’re together.

Sandy Mickelson, retired lifestyle editor of The Messenger, may be reached at