Friday, February 1, 2013

Sew Thinky Thursdays

Emily at Mommy's Naptime blog is starting a Sew Thinky Thursdays linky and I thought it sounded fun, so I'm joining in!  Every Thursday, she'll post a quilting related question to answer.  (I know it's Friday, but I just found out about this today!) So, here we go with the first question...

When did you start sewing? Tell us a bit about your sewing history. When did you realize you were really hooked?

When I was little my grandmother and I were very crafty - we did everything from ceramics to candle making to decoupage.  But NO sewing!  She crocheted and she tried to teach me, but I have never gotten beyond double crochet (I chalk that up to her being right-handed and me being left-handed, but that's probably just a cop out.)

Anyway, fast forward to junior high school and my three months of sewing in Home Ec.  My project was a dress.  I still remember the fabric (and I may still have this thing stashed in the attic somewhere).  It was a dark dusty pink linen-look something or other fabric.  As I recall it never really got finished.  That was it for the sewing for a while.  I wasn't doing anyting crafty at that point either. 

So, let's skip a few more years until I was in my early twenties.  I think I was married but it was definitely B-K (before kids), so I'm thinking around 23 or 24 years old, my Mom (the most uncrafty person I know, but she has lots of other good qualities - loving everything I do being a major one o:) )  bought, opened and promptly packed up and sent me a cross stitch kit.  I was intrigued but had no clue how this cross stitch thing worked.  My job at the time had lots of downtime, so the other assistant in the office and I would sit during our long lunches and cross stitch (I convinced her she should do it too - LOL!)  I liked cross stitch and, as is my nature, I needed to have all 356 (at the time) skeins of DMC floss (I remember with delight when that mail-ordered (way before on-line buying) bag of floss showed up on my doorstep!), lots of charts and magazines and weekly trips to the cross stitch store.  We had a great cross stitch store in the area at that time - Peace of Thread.  Sadly, I think it's closed down now.  So, I cross stitched for a number of years, didn't finish much but I spent a lot of time doing it.

Obviously, this one needs a little cleaning!

Then came baby Ariel and I decided I wanted to sew clothes.  So, I found a local seamstress who taught individual classes in her home and I recall hubby and baby driving me to my lessons every week.  I also remember the lady always had coffee breath.  I did about as well as I did in Jr. HS.  I think I made a sundress for Ariel, which, being a toddler, she wore, even though it was really pretty bad (and I'm sure that's still up in the attic too).  Well, the fabric was cute as I recall.  So, that endeavor really didn't go anywhere.

Then in 1994 (I remember because i still have the first quilt magazine I ever bought), a friend at work brought in a quilt she had made.  I was blown away (which was surprising because I remember looking at a quilt in a store window a few years before that and thinking "boy, I don't like quilts, they are boring" -which I find absolutely hysterical now!).  I came home and announced I wanted to quilt and luckily, it was near Christmas time, so hubby bought me a $100 Singer from the local Woolworth's.  I loved that machine.  So, I set out to make a project from that first quilt magazine - a Christmas stocking.  It's still in pieces in the box.  But, I kept at it and worked at my dining room table and loved every minute of it.  I think I was hooked from the very beginning of my quilting journey - I don't know why that "took" when I'd just dabbled in other crafts and then they all fizzled out.

Not long after I started, I wandered into my LQS at the time - Granny's Sewing Den - and met a lovely woman name Jo, who insisted I should join the small bee that met there on Thursday nights and that I really should come with them to the guild meetings once a month.  Those ladies took me under their wing - and I was a good 10 years younger than they were and so far behind them in skill, but they never once made me feel like I wasn't good enough - and they taught me a lot of what I know.  They are all fabulous quilters and every one of them is an amazing hand quilter.  So, Jo, Bee, Julie, Nancy and Barb - you ladies rock!

I took my first quilting class at Granny's - the standard Sampler Quilt.  It's still not finished - well, not quilted anyway - it's another hand quilting project (notice a theme here???)  
Taken at a PMQG guild meeting a few months ago when I did a retrospective on my quilts - thanks for the photo, Becky!

Since then, I've taken many more classes, moved up from that Singer to a Bernina and a Juki TL98E and an HQ16 mid-arm machine.  I've been doing this for almost 20 years now and I'm even more excited for the next 20! 

Well, I don't think I was supposed to write a book, but there you have it - my sewing story!  Check out Emily's linky post to read more stories!


emedoodle said...

Awesome story! I love that it seems like you were taken under wing by your group years ago in the same way that I feel welcomed by my group! :) I may be one of the youngest in the group but no one bats an eye!

Thanks for linking up! Hope you join us next week too!

PS You're a fellow Juki TL98E girl! :) I LOVE my juki.

Karen said...

It's exciting to see where your journey started. Sometimes it just has to be the right thing before it all falls into place. Glad it did!!

Sarah said...

I loved reading your quilting story. I have a similar background, particularly the cross stitch. I still love it but it's just too slow now. I like fast and straight which is why quilting suits me so well!

Linda in Calif. said...

I totally enjoyed every word of this story. So fun to see your journey. I remember those cross-stitch days and getting thread in the mail. Yep,that was wonderful. And I too, remember my Home Ec project. Cute outfit that I wore many times. As for your first quilt - oh you have to finish it. It so pretty! I love the colors.