Sunday Hand-Stitching

This weekend I packed up my “current projects” sewing basket, a box full of linen, and some handbags of sewing notions and hauled them out for sorting, labeling, and prioritizing. My sewing corner is now dusted and ready for work with stacks of projects waiting for me.

Prioritizing had the most effect on me: What I wanted to work on was not necessarily what I needed to work on first. The oldest “need now” projects were actually my finger cymbals (called “zills”). I would never have guessed that, but in honest reflection, they’d been on hold the longest.

(click a photo to enlarge)

Two of the three sets, ready again for class

The zills you see in the center of the photo are the oldest set in my kit. I’ve been using these since my college days, some well loved Turkish Saroyan cymbals.They’ve been good to me, but the elastic was at least two years old and getting worn. The orange crocheted mufflers, “zuffs,” were also getting a little bit worn. So I replaced the elastic and reinforced the zuffs. I also stitched some contrasting thread on the elastics to identify Right versus Left, Thumb versus Finger. You can just barely see some orange stitching on the Right zills and burgundy stitching on the Left zills. The finger zills have a spot of color on the top of the elastic, and the thumbs have a “T” stitched on the underside center.

The new SHINY set in the foreground of my Turquoise International, size B Turkish, 2 1/2″ cymbals. New, new, new! *grin* These needed their first set of elastics so I marked them the same way I marked my old Turkish zills, and I reinforced the zuffs before even using them.

We use the zuffs when we need to practice zilling without making a lot of noise. Some of our housemates work at 5 am so, to get out the door by 4 am, they need to go to sleep by 8 pm. Our advanced class runs from 8-9:30 pm, so we need to muffle our zills in the evening. It’s also really helpful to muffle them when practicing at home, out and about, wherever you need to save the sanity of other people but still practice all the technical work of zilling while dancing. My roomie’s mom lives next door (convenient!) and she makes these zuffs and the zill bags for sale, in a wide plethora of colors. You can see my color preference. *grin*

Finally, I had a Twisted Gypsy patch for ages and no idea what I wanted to sew it on. So I decided to add the patch to one of my zill bags. The other zill bag features a rough embroidered attempt at the Gypsy Sisters logo, since we don’t have patches yet. Now I have a new heavy set for my performances and my old set to loan to my fellow dancers in classes when they forget theirs or maybe they don’t have zuffs. Later, I need to add the elastics to my smaller Turquoise cymbals (they might be size A), which I’ll sew for tiny fingers. I have much larger fingers than some of my fellow dancers, so I cannot loan them my normal cymbals in class. I have a smaller set just for loaning to someone with tiny fingers. But that set of cymbals did not make the priority list… I’ll work on those later.

And just for fun, here’s a great image of Sydney and I (as Gypsy Sisters) dancing at the Secret Garden (Moorpark) at the Into It Tribal Nights August 30 showcase.

Photo by Roger Hendrix (Depictions by Roger)

P.S. You can buy your own got zills? bumper sticker from Faizeh on Cafepress.

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