My first memories of sewing come from about 5 or 6 years of age, when my mother gave me a piece of paper and allowed me to use her sewing machine to sew little holes in decorative patterns on the paper. What fun that was! She also gave me little projects like sewing buttons on scraps of material. About the same time, my paternal grandmother began to teach me to embroider. Although I could never quite imitate her tiny, perfectly formed stitches I really enjoyed embroidery.
I began to sew clothing under my mother's tutelage when I was about 12 years old. I enjoyed sewing clothing; but found the directions difficult to read without her interpreting them for me. However, I persevered with her guiding me and cheering me on. She was, and still is, my greatest influence in sewing. I don't recall everything I attempted in those early years; but I'm glad that I have at least a few photos of those early projects. Be sure to take pictures of your sewing projects!
When I was 13, my closest friend and her mother invited me to go with them to Quilt-in-a-Day workshops with Eleanor Burns. We did a workshop on making stuffed animals (everyone I knew received my hand-made stuffed animals for the next couple of years!) and then we made her famous Log Cabin quilt. I still have that quilt today! I was immediately hooked on quilting and it consumed many of the hours spent at the sewing machine during the next few years.
In 1996 I discovered Elizabeth Lee's clothing patterns for nursing mothers. Her directions were concise and easy to follow. I again began to construct clothing, this time in mass quantities, transferring my improved ability to read patterns over to the major pattern manufacturers as well. I began to have "sewing days" where I would get together with other moms and their daughters to teach sewing.
Over the years that followed I spent a lot of time sewing clothing, making quilts, and creating window treatments (a couple of moves gave me plenty of windows to cover at the new homes!). I began to have others ask me to sew clothing for them, and I was commissioned to sew some very special quilts. I have taught numerous quilting classes and these were so much fun, that I decided to create these lessons for others to do at home.
My middle daughter has worn custom clothing nearly every day of her life. My mom and I both enjoy sewing for her, and when my parents visit we sew up a storm and have a great time doing so! Fortunately for my mom, this little girl enjoys the ruffles and lace that I did not "properly" appreciate!
My youngest daughter has been spending time with me in the sewing room since she was just 3 days old. At first she slept next to me in her carseat, now she likes to sit on my lap and watch the progress of my many projects.
With my eldest daughter, I have had the privilege of combining interests and talents and we often work on sewing projects together. She has assisted me in teaching quilting classes, as well as having taught sewing and quilting to others on her own.