If you sew, quilt, do machine or hand embroidery, make sewing projects for friends and charities then welcome! Please visit with me as I let you know what is going on in my sewing room. I sew in a room that is like a tree house. I use a Janome Skyline S9 and 9000 for my sewing and and embroidery. I still currently have my Janome 300e as well. Let's sew, quilt and embroider or at least talk about it!
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Friday, October 07, 2016
What has been your Needlework Story?
Seeing some posts in the Janome Digest that I belong to, posts about their sewing journey to
this point made me curious about when others started needlework, what kind did
they do, how did they learn, what is their favorite thing to do. So this is my story, what is yours?
My mom had an old Singer and made most of my sister, mine
and my mother’s clothes when I was young. She also embroidered at times and I
took that up. I hand embroidered two sets of pillowcases for my ‘hope chest’.
My friend at school taught me to knit and after making two potholders, that was
enough for me. I also learned to crochet granny squares and finished making
enough of them to make an afghan around the time my oldest was born and my ex’s
grandmother sewed them all together for me. As they had been made over many
years, the gauge had changed and so were all different sizes. I also crocheted
a doily using that little green covered book I think it is called Teach
yourself to knit and crochet. At most points in my life my local library had
very few books on needlecrafts of any type and my mom only knew the basics of
sewing and I didn’t have grandmother’s or aunts to teach me. One grandmother’s
hobby seemed to be having babies along with making bread. She had I think 14
kids and would make 30 loaves of bread at a crack. I do think I inherited her
bread making gene!
I was learning to sew garments at home before I started home
ec. I knew more about cooking during that class than the teacher taught as I
grew up helping to can and cook. I hated sewing in home ec. And it made me hate
installing zippers and hand hemming the rest of my life. I don’t think that was
how it was supposed to work. But since eighth grade (age 12-13) I have been
making many of my own clothes over the years, but not so much anymore as the
clothes I made won’t wear out and the thrift store has had things in my size at
a good price.
I was highly influenced by Little House on the Prairie books
which I think I lost track of how many times I read all of them after 20 times
each for the series. And since you can’t be a clone of Laura and Mary without
taking up a needle of some sort, I decided to make a quilt! I’m appalled at
what I did to make that quilt. I started it in 1968 prior to the Bicentennial
and all the quilting books and fabric that came out at that point). I knew
nothing of templates and so cut a square out, laid it on another piece of
fabric and cut another square out and so on! Incidentally I was using fabric
from my mother’s ‘rag’ bag of leftover sewing bits. So this quilt had squares
of upholstery fabric, and lightweight crepe. Lots of cotton/poly blends as 100%
cotton was hard to come by. I finished the top right before I left for college.
My mom bought me backing fabric and batting and I tied the quilt using red
string that I could barely get through the quilt sandwich. However, I was as
proud as punch when it was finished. A bright happy quilt that I took with me
to college. It lasted about 10 years before it fell completely apart. I ran
into some old squares one day and I finally knew many of the things I had done
wrong. Those ‘squares’ differed in size by up to an inch! I sewed them together
with whatever stitch length my mom had last set the machine, so many of the
squares where basted together! I still have a few cherished pieces from that
quilt that I insert when possible into very special quilts.
When Log Cabin Quilt in a Day came out, I started making log
cabin quilts and then branched out from there. After 50 quilts, I stopped
counting! Most were given as gifts or to Project Linus. I also still do garment
sewing, Made window covers for several of the rooms in the house, through
pillows as well. I do some hand embroidery and want to get more into that as my
hands can handle holding the hoop. My favorite thing is reading about sewing,
quilting, embroidery, etc. We are so blessed at this point in time to have so
much reference material for any type of sewing we want to do. I still remember
not being able to find anything to teach me how to quilt. I got to take a
quilting cruise with Doreen Speckman using a sign on bonus that I got years ago
in 1990 and that was the only in person teaching I’ve ever really had.