One of my favorite activities is sewing. I discovered it somewhat recently; prior to high school, my experience was limited to sewing buttons and repairing holes in clothing. My first project was a small, rectangular pillow sewn by hand. After that, I started making pillows in different shapes and putting embroidery on them. I was hooked.

I next made an apron and a denim skort (a pair of shorts designed to look like a skirt) with a sewing machine. It wasn't as fun as doing things by hand, so the next thing I tried was basket weaving. That was entertaining for others to watch since I made a lot of showy hand movements. It was also fun to try out different patterns and colors in the baskets.

I'm currently interested in cross-stitching, in A stitched ladybug which I sew many small, colored X's onto cloth to make a bigger image. I have finished several large projects, including one that took me months to complete. I start with a cross-stitching kit that comes with its own picture, thread and instructions. I get a feel for the design and decide what I like about the image, then start to stitch. I use the guidelines at first for major features, but eventually I will add my own colors and add or subtract elements from the original picture. The finished product is recognizable but unique.

Embroidered cross-stitch of a bird and flowersCross-stitching is probably my favorite hobby (after reading, anyway) because I find it so soothing. I like working with my hands and seeing the design slowly develop. I can spend hours sewing, but it's also easy to work for just a few minutes at a time. That convenience is important because my schedule doesn't allow me the long, uninterrupted periods of free time that other artistic projects would require. In general, sewing is the perfect way for me to be creative in a busy environment.