Friday 15 July 2022

Learning Curve

This phrase was coined by psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaous back in 1885 [yes, I thought it was much newer than that too] 
If it is hard to acquire a new skill, it is called 'a steep learning curve', because it can feel like climbing a mountain.
It has been just 3 years since I made my first Memory Bear for Jenny's friend Jill. I've now done nearly two dozen - and it has certainly been a steep learning curve.
With each bear I make, I pick up new skills, and find ways to improve the process. It still takes around 8 hours per bear though - I just think the finished articles are getting to look more professional, and better finished.
I have done lots using men's shirts, some using women's dresses and blouses, and the most recent pair have been created using fleece bodywarmers* [and I only had 2 garments- I usually have 4 or 5 items to choose from]
I spent an afternoon sticking my pattern pieces onto thin cardboard - they were beginning to get a little ragged. There are 30 in each bear - and I printed them on 4 different colours of paper to make the patchwork balance. I've also produced a ticklist now, especially useful when I am making a couple of bears at the same time. This stops me sewing up the back seam without making and inserting the tail, or stuffing the head before I've added the safety eyes and stitched the smile.
Everything is now tidily stored in a red folder, along with brown felt for the noses, and scraps of Aida for the personalised labels. This should speed up the progress of the next one I make!
And I keep climbing that mountain - remembering those pernickety schoolteachers in the1960s who delighted in looking at a finished piece of work, pointing out my errors and saying "There's always room for improvement, dear"
And remembering with slightly more joy, the ones who said "This is lovely, you have tried really hard with this, Angela"

* I will post pictures once they've been delivered


  1. 30 pieces! Thirty pieces? THIRTY pieces for each bear!?!?!?!?! I am amazed that you ever made more than one! What a labour of love.

  2. I just realised that I forgot to add in eyes, nose and backpack. That's another half dozen components. It is why the bears take a day or two to make.

  3. You have definitely been a perseverant learner and adapted to the difficulties of the challenge! They are brilliant!

  4. Your bears are lovely and are, definitely, a labor of love!

  5. Yes, as Bless said, a labor of love. This is the type of project that in my younger years I'd start and never finish. Now I know better and don't even consider. Good for you!

  6. I can see how you would need concentration to make a memory bear. But I think it is the love you put into each one which makes them perfect!


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