MY STORY - chapter 2
My Story – Chapter Two
I've sewn almost all my life, I was about 5 when I started. My mom was a very busy seamstress, making all the clothes for her large brood, (8 of us). She made curtains for the windows every time we moved, (which was often), home decor items and sewed for other people too. I have always loved sewing. Using the scraps left over from mom's projects, I made doll clothes, costumes, and decorated doll houses. Sometimes she would give me a whole piece of yardage to make something bigger. When I was about 8 or 9 my mom said to me, if you want to wear it, you have to make it. She was too busy with everything else and needed me to make my own clothes. I distinctly remember the first dress I made completely by myself and wore to school. It was a gold and burnt orange floral with set in sleeves, a gathered skirt and a zipper! I wore it to school and loved it. I was quite proud of myself and that dress, even though I'm sure it didn't look the best. Many, many, many more were to follow over the years, as well as every other thing you can make with fabric.
I learned to quilt from my paternal Grandma, Afton Johnson. She was a master, award winning quilter and hand quilted beautiful designs. She always made whole cloth or single fabric quilts. The hand quilted design was the beauty of the quilt. She taught me to make small, even stitches, how to stretch a quilt out on a frame and roll it as you quilt. And how to bind them when you are finished. I made a king size patchwork quilt for my parents for Christmas when I was 17.
My mom was not a quilter, but she taught me to sew fabrics together to create something wonderful and unique. My grandma taught me to hand quilt beautiful art onto practical items. I combined the two skills and developed my own style. Today, I mostly use my faithful sewing machines to create items of beauty and practicality. I think I have made everything there is to make out of fabric. Over the years I have tried my skills with men’s suits, wedding dresses, home décor, upholstery, window treatments and quilts of all kinds. I also love to do hand work and sometimes hand quilt when I have a few minutes.
And my “suddenly husband”, remember him? Well, our first outing/day date together was to a sewing machine repair shop to get my sewing machine fixed, and then on to buy fabric. He learned right then and there that sewing, of any kind, was my passion ! And to this day, more than 45 years later, he supports that passion and applauds my work. He’s even starting to dabble in it himself.
I’m tough and determined and still here.