I have a confession to make. Until a couple of months ago, I didn’t know how to sew.
Well, I knew how to sew, technically. But only in a pinch. And never with even a shred of enjoyment, or any real skill.
Despite working at Quilts, Inc. for close to 10 years now—and the well-intentioned efforts of many co-workers over the years who tried their best to teach me to love sewing—I just…didn’t. It’s not for lack of effort. I tried. I really did. I wanted to fall in love with it. But the chemistry just wasn’t there. So, for a long time, we settled on just being friends.
Sewing and I worked together every day—I am well-acquainted with all of the tools, the techniques, the fabrics. That’s my job. But at the end of the workday, sewing went its way, and I went mine.
After fall Quilt Market (our trade show) last year, a contact at a fabric company kindly sent me a bundle of "Minions"-themed fabric, knowing my four-year-old is quite the Despicable Me fan. I knew I couldn’t let it go to waste. So, when a member of our Quilt Festival Piece Corps, Ginny Jones, offered to teach several of us on staff how to “properly” sew, I decided to give it a shot.
(Side note: If you saw the garments that Ginny has sewn, you’d understand quickly why I had to jump at this chance. She’s an artiste!)
Ginny is a tough teacher, but a great one. In just a day and a half, we learned how to do everything from winding a bobbin to inserting a zipper. We even left having sewn our own apron. And so far, mine has even stayed intact.
Aside from an apron, I left with a new interest that has quickly developed into something more. I mean, I’m a little bit in love. Who knew that the process of sewing could be so relaxing, and so much fun? Well, you all did, I suppose. But whatever wasn’t clicking for me before finally clicked.
Since that time, I’ve sewn pillows, blankets, bags, and entirely too many fabric bowls (as in, no sane person could ever use that many fabric bowls). A lot of people in my life have been receiving fabric bowls as gifts.
A few things I’ve learned along the way:
• Good posture is imperative (My back and I thank you, Ginny!)
• So is good thread. And fabric. I never understood the difference until I understood the difference. Enough said on that.
• No matter how much time or effort or love you put into a project for your four-year-old son, there’s a good chance you’re not going to get the reaction from him you’re hoping for. That’s okay. He’ll appreciate it more when he’s older.
• An uncooperative machine can quickly become your worst enemy.
• A seam ripper can quickly become your best friend.
• Pinterest is definitely not the authority on what should be considered “beginner-friendly.” (I’m looking at you, “Easy Bias Tape for Beginners” tutorial.)
• And getting to tell your grandmother—who you’ve watched enjoy sewing your entire life—that you finally get it is a GREAT feeling.
Yes, I realize I'm probably not telling most of you, our readers and quilters, anything you don’t already know, but I hope you enjoy reading this—and, hopefully, relating to it—nonetheless.
And because we’re all about variety, in this issue of Friends@Festival, you’ll also find a lovely write-up about the Magna Carta Quilts, an interview with a quilter who has combined her love of quilting and Classic Rock, and a fun piece inspired by Mother’s Day.