Friday, June 27, 2008

A little More About Me!

I thought today I would add a little more about myself and how I got into sewing and quilting

I am a self taught quilter. I watched my Mum as a small child sewing clothes for herself and for me. She made my school uniforms, high school graduation gown, as well as play clothes growing up. My earliest memories of sewing was as a child of maybe 10 years old. That Christmas Santa gave me a Blue Holly Hobby plastic sewing machine. It came with blue plastic spools of thread in many colours. I don't remember using it much. Mum said she tried to get me interested at a young age, but I just didn't seem to have the bug at that time.

By the time I was 14 or 15 I began showing an interest. I remember begging my mother to let me use her sewing machine so I could sew up her scrap fabrics. My Mother was not a quilter. She strictly kept to clothing and home decor. I begged and pleaded to use her sewing machine, but I was not allowed to use it unattended. She was afraid I would start moving all the dials and knobs that to her were at the EXACT location they needed to be. She figured I would screw up her tension. I FINALLY won her over and she gave me a pile of scraps where I made two scrappy pillow tops. I have no idea whatever happened to those. They made it to the rec room when I completed them but I don't remember them staying there long LOL.

By the time I finished high school and started university I had the bug to learn the proper way to sew and had an interest in designing my own clothes. While studying for my business degree, I took a one year program called "Garment Construction and Design" through Cabot College (now called College of the North Atlantic, CONA)in 1995. I loved every minute of it. I had so much fun making my own clothes and designing patterns.

In 1994 I dated a fella whose mother was a quilter. I was fascinated by the beautiful designs and hand work. That year for my birthday she bought all the fabrics I would need to make a sampler quilt. She gave me the very very basics. I was hooked from that moment on. From then on I taught myself as much as I possibly could get my hands on about quilting and all the techniques out there.

In June 1996 I moved to Nova Scotia where I found a job in a fabric/craft store called Atlantic Fabrics. My boss hired me as they needed someone with some quilting experience. By that Autumn she approached me to say she wanted me to start teaching quilting in their little classroom out back. I was scared out of my mind!!!!! I HATED.. in fact LOATHED the thought of standing up in front of people to discuss or talk about something. In school I was very shy and hated when public speaking season came upon us. Back then we HAD to take part in it whether we liked it or not! How was I possibly going to get through teaching????

I remember that first class was a bargello vest. I put my interest in clothing and quilting together to make wearable art. Ooh what was I thinking??? I was soo nervous I would screw up! I remember the evening of the first class. I had 10 women sit in front of me staring up over their sewing machines. To this day I don't know how I pulled it off but I did. My students enjoyed the class and was requesting more classes. The more classes I did the more comfortable I became at standing up in front teaching. I began to find a love for it. WOW... to think that was 12 years ago and I'm still teaching!

Since then I also taught my Mum who is now just as addicted to the quilting as I. We formed a small quilting group of our friends that meet Thursday nights at her place. We have been sewing with this group for almost 5 years and loving every moment of it. Eventually (once I figure how to post photos) I will add some photos of all of us.

I also plan to add some photos of my present students and their work. I now teach at the H.G.R. Mews Centre here in St. John's, Newfoundland. I have been there for the last 4 years. I just love it there! I also teach privately from time to time. If you are in the St. John's area and interested in taking a course, please call the Mews Centre for upcoming classes. I will be starting up classes this coming September.

Well I don't wish to bore you all too much, so I will end this post here. Stay tuned for more in the coming days.

oooh and on a short note.. remember how I mentioned above how Mum hated me playing with her tension dials and knobs on her machine as a kid.... I do it all the time now! I do all the service and maintenance on her machine!!! LOL

Quitlingly Yours

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