Sunday, September 13, 2009

A true story (and a side note to This is Sharp)

But first a message from our "sponsor" LOL Terri at Sew-Fantastic (see that button on the side there) is having a giveaway. After you finish here, go enter.

About a week ago, I was a guest blogger on the We Love Quilting blog. That link will take you straight to my post.

I am re-using PART -but not all- of that for this post. I have seen several "how I got started" posts lately, so I am going to fill in a few details.


When I was fairly young, my paternal grandparents lived next door. Granny Black, as we called her, was a quilter. I don’t remember ever seeing her piecing, but I am sure she must have. I do have vivid memories of her front porch with the quilt frame hanging from the rafters. When it wasn’t in use, it was just pulled up to the top. When it was in use there were several women crowded around it quilting and talking. Where was I? I was sitting in the tent. Ha, right under the quilt. I was plenty far away to not worry about the needles. But I was close enough to see the patterns from the quilt, which happened to look abstract from that angle. Plus there was the play of light and dark from the arms reaching to sew the quilting stitches. That is my earliest quilting memory.

I remember quilts too. There was always a quilt on my bed. One was a little Dutch girl that had blanket stitches around the appliqué. I loved the texture of that embroidery floss around the smooth fabric. I suppose I was a strange child. Some things never change. Ha.


So, I was always intrigued by making things. Dad was a mechanic, but I didn't like the grease and getting dirty, so I didn't try that. But, Granny Black had a stroke that left her paralyzed on her right side. Now, one of her passions was baking. Every Christmas she had at least four cakes, maybe more. If you came to visit you got served cake. My sister was the "hands" for a while, but she got tired of it (teenage girl - what can I say--boys on the brain) I volunteered one fall day to be the hands. Granny would tell me what to put in and I made the cake. (I love to bake, but being pre-diabetic, I don't do that a lot)
I also started crafting, learned to crochet (but still can't knit!) Then in High School, back when it was still politically correct to have different classes for boys and girls, I took Family Life. It was really Home Ec, but for the guys.

So, in Family life we had a section on sewing. Can you guess what we made? You got it, the dreaded APRON pattern. We had to use our apron later when we had cooking. (mine was flawless!) Anyway, that taught me to sew a seam, and -more or less- Follow a pattern. I don't typically use a lot of patterns, as I prefer to make it up as I go. Doesn't mean I don't look at them and I actually have a few. Sometimes I even use them. Okay, okay, I admit, I use them, but I change stuff - hey I do that when I cook too! It is the creative gene Kicking IN.

Later I got a job making enough to have "disposable" income. A church member was telling me about her NEW sewing machine. I asked about her old one. SOLD! LOL, yes it was used. It was (is, I still have it- still works) a Kenmore zigzag in AVOCADO green. I made shirts for me, and if I wouldn't wear one because I made a mistake, my sister would acquire it and she always looked so terrific in it, I wanted it back. But I let her keep it.
Now a few of you will remember the Dashiki shirts from the 70's. I got a pattern from those that I darn near wore out. I love shirts with no collar, so those were a joy to make and really easy.
For years I quit sewing except to hem a sheet to make curtains. LOL. I also did a FEW minor repairs on my clothes. But I hung on to that machine.

Fast forward, March 2008, a co-worker said "I am teaching a class on foundation paper piecing. I will give you your first class free" - Yep, just like a drug dealer 'just try it' So My first (I think) sewing post was this.


And I was hooked. I took the class she gave on making a table runner too..and well the rest is all in this blog.

The Side Note to "This is Sharp": Several people commented on using the oil - most didn't use it. Some wondered why. I got curious. The oil acts as both a lubricant AND a vehicle to carry away the grit and fine grindings from the blade. Thus the blade ends up sharper than if you didn't use it. I use sewing machine oil since I have it right there with my sewing stuff.

5 comments:

Barb said...

Gene, I loved your story.....and am glad you got hooked. You have become a good blogging friend....love your friendship and works of art. Keep on a sewing!!

sewmeow said...

Loved your life story of how you got to quilting. Thanks for sharing it.

Barbara said...

If I read that right, you've only been sewing for about 18 months? Pretty neat progress for so short a time!

ooglebloops said...

Love your his-story!!! Your dashikis sound very similar to my hippie/boho blouses I was making around the same era!!! I am glad we didn't make aprons in home ec - I didn't appreciate those until way later in life!!!LOL

Melinda Cornish said...

I love how many of us quilters started later in life...what a cool thing and your block is gorgeous!!! melinda