Below is a brief history on how I got started sewing.
I am very new to quilting and if you meet me, I may introduce myself as an infant quilter. Meaning, I am still like that little wee one eager to learn how to walk, talk and experience new things - just with quilting and sewing. While others were learning to sew, knit, or cook, I was busy with dance classes, softball, cheerleadering, and madrigals (chorus). I never took home education in school and never learned how to use a sewing machine, although I am sure I messed up my mom's old sewing machine by attempting to sew barbie clothes when I was younger. I never actually made any clothes, but I think I managed a barbie blanket or two. That poor sewing machine.
In 2012, I got suckered, not really suckered but it makes a good story, into going on a retreat with a friend and a few other women in PA after someone dropped out. Having no idea what a retreat was, I thought sure I'll go. I was also wondering if I'd be bored, will those ladies like me, I'll miss my husband and dogs too much, and probably won't like it one bit! I mean spending time with little old ladies (I used to imagine quilters as little ol' grandmas with white hair sitting in rocking chairs sewing like they were on a mission and where you dare not interrupt their progress for the wrath would be horrible. Not a negative thing, but that's what my naive mind pictured.) WELL, my impression QUICKLY changed when we arrived at the retreat in PA; the owners were just as nice as could be and they weren't old at all - HA HA. And I can't forget Jake, the dog - he's awesome and greeted us when we all pulled up in the driveway.
I brought my work laptop and a newly purchased jewelry kit to pass the time while the other ladies quilted, because keep in mind I had NO CLUE what quilting was and was SURE I was too young to be at all interested. I did some work email, closed out some work actions, and got started on my jewelry kit. I bought this kit at Michaels - it was a necklace and earring set. Having never made jewelry before, I am not sure why I picked this particular project, other than I thought I needed to bring something CRAFTY or I'd look like an outsider. Those that know me, probably already know that I got bored with that necklace kit pretty fast - ahhh - so I started asking 1,000 questions about projects the other ladies were working on, visited the store (yes there was a store in the retreat house - how convenient - shopping!) where I asked the owner lots of questions, petted fabric, looked at everything in the little store wondering what the heck do you do with all this stuff! I learned about jelly rolls, layer cakes, fat quarters, charm packs, oh my!! If fabric had names like this, there must be something good to it, in fact, I really wanted a donut for some reason after listening to them talk of the jelly rolls! I think they grew weary of my probing, so before I knew it, I found a Halloween wall hanging kit, the owner lent me her sewing machine, Nanette gave me some thread, I borrowed a rotary cutter and cutting mat, Trish, Jackie and Nanette offered to teach me the ropes, and I had my very first project.
I sat there for a little while looking like I knew what I was doing and then finally cried UNCLE! CAN SOMEBODY PLEASE SHOW ME WHAT I'M SUPPOSED TO DO NOW?? I didn't really yell, but I was quietly thinking I don't know how to wind a bobbin (don't those come already wound?), thread the sewing needle, I see the rotary cutter, but it looks like a weapon so I wasn't sure what to do with that either, didn't know how to get these pieces of large fabric to look like the picture which had much smaller, nicely shaped pieces, there were all these rulers in various shapes (isn't a ruler just a straight stick from 0-12"?), and I certainly had no clue how to turn on the sewing machine much less what a 1/4" seam was. Let's face it, I was a mess! So, fortunately for me, all the ladies at the retreat had mercy on me and taught me what I needed to know to get that project done!
(Faces removed to protect the innocent!)
Anyhow, to make a long story short, all the ladies helped me through how to sew my first project, the owners at the retreat were most awesome and I had a spectacular time on my first retreat!
My view of quilters was altered as well, there are young adults (10-teens) and men and women of all ages that sew and quilt. The past year has opened my eyes to a hobby I love, I have a new respect for those I know that quilt, I've met people that offer friendship and knowledge of quilting, and the list of positives go on and on.
Currently, my two most treasured quilts are the one my mother in law made us with love for our wedding (1998) and the quilt my dad's mom (grandma Long) made him (this one is well over 70 years old and has been camping, hunting, in the yard, picnics, at the beach, made into chair tents, and the list goes on!) - I am in the process of trying to figure out how to reconstruct the areas that are warn through and re-binding it, as it's starting to show it's age. I'll post pictures once I figure out to actually use this tool.
So that's how I got started sewing; everyday is an adventure and every quilt has their own story - it's a wonderful life and there are many adventures waiting… ENJOY...