Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Why I Sew

Hmmm... how did I start sewing?

Well, I have to say I came from a very crafty line of ladies, on both sides. Two of my great-grandmothers were crafty.
One (my mother's grandmother) was a crocheter. She was well-known for her baby sets of sweaters, booties, and bonnets. Everyone wanted at least one for their baby. She died when I was 15, but not before she taught me how to crochet. She also sewed a bit: little blankets here and there and clothing.
Move along to her youngest (of 8) daughter - my grandmother. Now there's a crafty woman for you. She is 74 years young and for all of my 33+ years, she has been sewing, crocheting, and knitting. I don't remember any day when there hasn't been a crafty project by her side. All of her 6 kids and their spouses, her 11 grandkids, and her 5 great-grandkids all have a knitted Christmas stocking with their name on it. Growing up I always had new stuffed animals made by Ma. My kids still get some every year as well. And she has carried on the baby set tradition that her mother started almost 100 years ago. As a teenager, she taught me how to use her sewing machine to make scrunchies for my hair. That was my first experience in sewing.
Then there's my mom. She also sews and crochets. Many of my childhood clothes were homemade. I have afghans to keep me warm. She passed along the gene, but had a hard time teaching me anything (little girls never make it easy for their moms to teach them anything). One of her sisters is also a crocheter who makes Barbie clothes. It's in their blood, I guess.
And then I move over to my dad's side of the family. His grandmother sewed me a beautiful quilt when I was a baby. It's tucked away in my hope chest now, but I used it as a wall hanging when I was little.
Her daughter (my other grandmother) makes quilts. She has been my biggest quilting inspiration to date. When I was young she taught me how to cross-stitch and needlepoint. She then taught herself how to crochet (left-handed). And then she started making quilts over 10 years ago. She is very traditional in her style, yet inspirational to me. She made crib size quilts for my kids and that is what inspired me to do the same for my nieces and nephews.
That year (5 years ago, maybe?) I borrowed my mom's Kenmore sewing machine and bought a bunch of fabric at JoAnn's. I made 5 crib size quilts to send to NJ for Christmas. I was so proud of myself. I guess Bobby was, too, since he went out and bought me my own sewing machine.
And then a good friend of mine (Deni) got me hooked on purse-making. And boy, was I hooked. I have since made purses, wallets, totes, etc. for birthdays, Christmas, myself, my neighbors, my friends, my family, for fun. I have designed my own and used patterns and tutorials. I am so addicted.
And then Deni introduced me to the world of Local Quilt Shops and Moda fabrics. Wow!!! I knew I had to make a quilt for my own bed. What a huge undertaking to make a queen size quilt. I only allowed myself to use Moda fabrics from different lines. I made the top in 2008. In 2010 I added to the top and pieced the back. And then - oooohhhh then - then I got to use a longarm machine to quilt it. Eek!! Thank you to my mom's friend, Judy, for having this wonderful piece of equipment in her home and for allowing me the chance to use it. How much fun did I have? You can see the finished results in my earlier posts here .
And now... well now I just sew whatever feels right at the moment. I want to make more quilts. I want to design more bags. I enjoy making baby shower gifts, etc. I think the crafty sewing gene is something I cannot shake. It's in me and it's not going anywhere. Ever. I love to sew because of all the inspiration I have had in my life. I read sewing blogs every day, but were it not for all those wonderful women in my life, I would have never had the interest to get started.


  1. I have a couple of your sewing projects and can testify that you do an excellent job!