Sew What?

AUTHOR:  Jennifer Dynas
DATE:  07/20/2020

Finding Your Creativity

Intellectual wellness is defined as the ability recognize your unique talents, to be creative, and to seek out ways to use your knowledge and skills. It is the awareness of and motivation for, an individual to reach an optimal level of stimulating intellectual activity by continue to learn, develop, use and share knowledge. For years I kept searching for my talents, wondering where my creativity was hiding. Fast forward to my first married Valentine’s Day and my husband bought me a sewing machine (at my request). I took a class on how to make a bag. I sewed a few basic blankets and then it sat while I had my girls.

Years later I reconnected with a friend from high school who sewed amazing quilts. I asked her to teach me how to make quilts.  I started with rag quilts which were easy. I made four for Christmas gifts that year. My friend, besides being an amazing sewer, is super creative and has a gift for math. I wanted to learn how to make real quilts. Baby quilts for my niece and nephews were next for me. My friend designed them for me and walked me through them if I had any problems. My favorite was a sunflower rag quilt I made for our bed (that we still use). I also made quilts for my daughters’ beds. Although they’ve outgrown them, my favorite was a Paris themed quilt with matching pillows for my older daughter when her room was decorated with all things Paris.

sunflower quilt.
paris quilts on a bed.

Photo's courtesty of Jennifer Dynas.

Growing Your Talent

I received a new (to me) sewing machine about seven years ago. At that time I was sewing in the dining room or at the kitchen table. I had a sewing table I could put away when I was done using it. We, however have cats, and one year one of our cats ate some of my thread which wrapped around her stomach and intestines and tongue. It cost $1,300 for exploratory surgery on her. Not long after that my husband built a craft/sewing room for me in the basement.

Not long after I began to be interested in embroidery machines and received one. I used the embroidery machine in connection with my sewing projects as well as making projects solely on it as well. I made makeup bags for my daughter’s friends. I made personalized stuffed animals. I made baby bibs and hooded towels. I made personalized reading pillows. I embroidered kitchen towels and pot holders. I was hooked and found my talent. Since I’ve had friends come to me to make or fix things that require sewing. My husband laughs because I’ll tell him I’m only going down to my sewing room for 15 min or half an hour and next thing I know, it’s been 3 hours.

hooded towel.
embroidered makeup bag.

Photo's courtesty of Jennifer Dynas.

Branching Out

My newest obsession is making purses using fabric and vinyl. My daughters’ friends received purses for Christmas this year. I’ve made myself a few as well since they fit a phone and wallet. I love being creative and mixing fabrics and colors. I have been learning to follow patterns as well. I made us all pajama pants this winter as well. Youtube and sewing blogs with tutorials have allowed me to hone my craft. I also took a class with a friend at a local sewing center a few years ago to learn how to make a lunchbox. When COVID-19 began, I made over 70 masks and gave them to friends and family for free.

I love using my talent to make gifts for my friends and family. I like taking fabric and turning it into something special. Sewing relaxes me and lets me get away from the world for a while. I listen to music in my craft room and just create. I also like with sewing I can continue to learn and evolve and be stimulated intellectually.

dr. suess themed reading pillow.
face masks.
purse.

Photo's courtesy of Jennifer Dynas.

Connect with Me

headshot of jennifer dynas.

Jennifer Dynas

Assistant Director for Business and Technology

Recreation

175 Alumni Arena

Phone: 716-645-5097

Email: jdynas@buffalo.edu