MY STORY - chapter 3

My Story - Chapter Three

I am mostly self-taught, when it comes to everything that relates to sewing.  I experienced a lot of "trial and error". I made some colossal mistakes and also developed some innovative methods and tricks .  I took Home Economics in high school, a couple of different times. By that time though, I knew more about sewing than the teachers did. However, I still look back at some of the things I have sewn and laugh.  We all have to start at the beginning. And the first time we do something is always the prototype.  We all make mistakes and we all struggle with certain projects.  Eventually we get proficient at what we do and become good enough at it to teach others the skills we have learned.  Over the years I have taught many women and girls, and even some boys how to sew.  My children, 2 daughters and 1 son, were top of my list to teach.  Unfortunately, neither of my girls were the slightest bit interested in learning to sew when they were living at home.  {it's a different story today}   My son, on the other hand, was quite interested and learned to sew. After all, a sewing machine is a power tool !  Right ? :)  Recently I have been teaching my husband Christer to sew.  He is picking it up very nicely and is now working on his first quilt.

Out of my mother's 5 daughters, I was the only one to really embrace, be passionate about and become an avid seamstress. All of my sisters can sew and have sewing machines, but most of them don't sew very often.  I am the oldest of the family. The next one is line is my sister Amber. We grew up always sharing a bedroom and many other things as well. We have had our share of fights, secrets, and most of all laughs.  She is my sewing soul sister too. She never did much sewing until she discovered piece work quilting. Then she went quilt crazy.   She is the one who introduced me to the fine art of piece work quilting.  Up to that point, I had always designed my quilts on the fly without a pattern. I knew how to piece, but what I did were big, huge pieces of fabric sewn together, 12 inch squares and triangles or sometimes even bigger. Some just a couple of pieces of yardage sewn together, sandwiched with batting and backing, then tied or machine quilted.  Most of my piecing was quite big. Back in the 70’s, the waterbed era, I made custom quilts for a bedding shop. I cringe now at what they must have looked like. Huge blocks, 18” to 24” squares. I did pretty well with color coordination, but oh my, did I have a lot to learn about the fine art of quilts. Amber showed me what you could do with a pattern, smaller precision cut pieces to make beautiful works of art.  She introduced me to patterns and magazines with fabulous designs. I was in heaven! Make no mistake, I'm precision to a fault, a perfectionist with my work. I just didn't know what I was doing when it came to piecing a quilt top together. I was fumbling around trying to make the best of what little knowledge or exposure I had.  Remember, Grandma didn't do piece work, she made whole cloth quilts.  It was Amber who built upon grandma's foundation and expanded my quilting experience to the point of owning a quilt shop !!