This is an introduction to me and also an introduction for me in writing blogs, so, wish me luck! This is an answer to the questions : what brought you to sewing? What was your very first quilt – do you still have it? Are you part of a sewing group – what do you get out of it?
Firstly, it was my Mother who taught me to sew. She was a lovely woman and a professional tailoress (before I came along and disrupted her life). She used to make lots of things from wedding dresses and clothes for the family to stuffed toys. People weren’t really encouraged to go into business then (I am 65) so I missed the opportunity to do that with her. As I was an only child, if she wanted to get on with something, she needed me to be occupied. Being a very wise woman, she not only taught me to sew by hand but, by age 7, had stuck me in front of a sewing machine. I must have driven her completely mad getting the cotton tangled up etc. etc. but eventually got the hang of it.
Because her work was so impeccable, although I can make clothes, and still make a few, I knew I would never be able to get up to her standard. I always enjoyed making things for the home more, cushions, curtains, bags etc. I made a patchwork bedcover for my room from her scrap bag at about age 9. It was large hexagons which I put together on the machine. No-one I knew did quilting so it didn’t occur to me to do that. I haven’t still got this but I do have the baby quilt I made for my son, my friend also remembers me doing one when her boy was born. These were simple squares and quilted.
Throughout my career as an artist/designer I have incorporated textiles, from large wall hangings, projects with children to cushions and bags with my “designer labels”. I also made 9 children’s costumes for the town’s entry to the RHS In Bloom competition, all about the ecology of our river. I had broken 3 sewing machines previous to this (trying to sew things which I knew were too thick) so was pleased that I had chosen the Singer Heavy Duty before I started on the costumes.
About 4 years ago I started to seriously go through my scrap box to use up the bits and made lots of cushions and bags to sell. Very pleased with myself, I then realised that I hadn’t made a bag for me. If you could see the bag I was using at the time you could see it was much needed. Myself and a friend always go to the “Craft for Crafters” show at Shepton Mallet Showground. If you live locally and haven’t been, it’s a fabulous day out. In the Autumn (there are 2 shows a year) there is a complete building full of quilt exhibits. It was at the last one I found this group (but I digress).
Being a cheapskate, I am always looking for bargains when it comes to fabric. The charity stalls are upstairs at the show, so, after lunch, my friend and I were cruising around up there when I found a stall with the cheapest fat quarters on site. We must have been there nearly half an hour, with me picking out some wonderful pieces for my bag. Very happy with my purchases, I then thought of asking what stall it was and the lady said, “we are Project Linus”, which is where the next part of my journey began.
This was the bag I made for myself, I really love the fabric with the flowers in the teacups. This has a pouch at the front. Two pockets inside and a velcro fastening. This was my first real go at quilting anything rather than just creating patchwork and was the beginning of my obsession.