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Thread: Fun thread: Who taught you how to sew? Who taught you how to quilt?

  1. #26
    Super Member b.zang's Avatar
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    Like Patrice and mic-pa, I was matching plaids and tailoring jackets by the time I was in grade 8 sewing and bored to tears by kleenex box covers. Truly, I don't remember learning to sew, it seems something I've just always known, but my mother did teach me. As a teenager in the '60's, I had the shortest skirts and cutest clothes because I made them all myself. Then kids came along and I turned to doll clothes. I tried dressing my tomboy girl in some frilly dresses I made but other than posing for a picture she barely tolerated them so sewing went by the wayside. Instead, I picked up crewel and cross-stitch. When my children were grown, an older friend tried to talk me into letting her teach me to quilt but I was distracted and it wasn't until the impending birth of my 4th grandchild that a friend convinced me a quilt would be the perfect gift. She helped me with a simple pattern, then moved and left me with the desire to learn more. Since then it has been this website that has provided me with the most useful information about quilting. THANK YOU ALL

    A couple "side" stories.....
    I did all my childhood sewing on a Singer treadle and one night my 4-yr old brother left the table early, went in the other room and put the needle down just below the nail of his index finger. My mom was gagging as she rolled the needle up, then had to cut the thread and pull it out of his finger.
    .....and....
    I knew that my grandmother quilted, but I recently learned that she made some very complicated quilts - quite a few. Her love for quilting skipped my mother, who gave everything away (including a quilting frame) when she dealt with the estate. :cry:
    I am teaching my grandchildren to quilt now.

  2. #27
    PrettyKitty's Avatar
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    My Mom taught me how to sew when I was little, on a non-electric Singer.

    YOU GUYS all taught me how to quilt! Love ya for it! :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:

  3. #28
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    My dad taught me to sew on the sewing machine he bought over seas when he was in the Navy. I was maybe 5. I taught myself to quilt by watching shows and joining here to get help

  4. #29
    reneebobby's Avatar
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    Wow you guys are all lucky to have had someone teach you how to sew and quilt.

    Well, here's mine,

    Sewing me and the owners manual

    Quilting me and the owners manual again, then reading what and how you guys all do stuff. Oh and I watch, Fons and Porter, Sewing with Nancy, and America Quilts.


  5. #30
    Super Member tslowery's Avatar
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    My grandmother was a sewing guru she did any and everything. You could take her shopping and show her a designer dress you liked and she would go home and make a pattern out of newspaper and make you the dress are whatever you showed her and you could hardly tell that it was not what you saw at the store. :thumbup: :thumbup: She was wonderful and she probably made a hundred quilts. She made one out of Crown Royal Bags and I helped cut it out(I gave it to my daughter when she went throught Chemo treatments and she would not give it up she has been in remission for 10yrs now :D :D :D I was told she would not live but maybe 5 yrs at most.) She just gave it back to me and it is in shreds most places :lol: :lol: gives it back when it needs to be thrown away. I cant do that it has memories. My mom also did lots of sewing. I have always made lots of cross stitch and hand work. I want to quilt have made many different blocks of different patterns but I have lots to learn about picking cloth and making a whole quilt. Hoping to learn lots from all of you!!!!! :wink: :wink: :wink: All of you are so talented and I do not even know where to begin.

  6. #31
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    I learned to sew in High school and hated it. They make you do so much extra stuff that it was no fun just work.
    Then a neighbor taught me on a treadle machine and I still didnt care much for it and when fabric became so expensive that store bought clothes were cheaper I stopped sewing.
    Then several years ago I was introduced to a small group of quilters that met once a month. I am hooked and broke from setting up my sewing room and stash. But love it and since I am retired it is a life saver. No time to be bored, lots of quilts to make.

  7. #32
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I learned to sew in High School Home Ec. class. I started making quilts using the instructions from quilt books and magazines.

  8. #33
    cjc
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    Junior Member cjc's Avatar
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    I have been sewing since 6th or 7th grade. Too many years to remember. My grandmother always have something in her hands, knitting, sewing, crocheting. My mother taught me some but she sent me across the street to the neighbors house, she knew that some things are better taught by someone not so close. When everyone is junior high home-ec class was sewing ponchos, I was making a jumpsuit, and got an A if I remember correctly!!

  9. #34
    Senior Member LoriJ's Avatar
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    My mother makes the most amazing clothes! She even made my sister's wedding dress from a picture. I didn't wear any "store bought" clothes until the last few years in high school. I wanted to learn, but she wouldn't let me touch her Pfaff until I took home ec in junior high. So, I made stuffed animals and such on my grandmother's old treadle machine. When I got married, my husband bought me a Kenmore machine that I still have and used until I bought my Janome last fall. I have sewn clothes on and off since home ec, but it really isn't fun for me.

    Several years ago the church I attended put a call out for people to put together lap quilts for the foster children they were sponsoring. We had to do 40 lap quilts in two months. One of the ladies in the church offered to teach anyone who wanted to learn how to make these quilts (basic 6 inch squares sewn together) so I signed up. Over two Saturdays, she taught the basics of matching seams, pinning and quilting. I enjoyed it so much, I ended up putting together 4 of the quilts. The rest is history. I've read alot of books, learned a bunch from online and tv quilting shows and everything that gets posted here. I love to try new things and stretch my knowledge with each new project.

    Funny thing is I asked my mother why she never did any quilts and she said that it isn't fun, she'd rather sew clothes. :shock:

  10. #35
    Senior Member dojo36's Avatar
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    i took sewing in high school and hated it, didn't sew again till i had my daughter in 1963 at the age of 27. made most all her clothes while she was growing up and by then hated it, so didn't sew again until little over 2 years ago when i took a quilting class and bought an embroidery machine and new sewing machine. am so hooked it's pitiful. i still don't like sewing clothes - just lots of other stuff including quilts of course. tis interesting to read everybody's stories.

  11. #36
    Super Member omak's Avatar
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    I knit, crochet, piece quilts, even manage to quilt a few ... in high school, the only reason I sewed anything was because they told me if I didn't, I wouldn't graduate - - for some reason that mattered!
    Sewing for me, became manageable when someone told me that I could always do it by hand ... I didn't need a machine. At that point, I was expecting my first child, and the concept slowed the whole process down to a crawl, which allowed me to enjoy it (I love lava lamps, too!) ... personal problem! LOL Some friends helped me sew maternity tops with machine, but machine and I had personality conflicts, so I rarely got along with them.
    Didn't sew for a long time after that, and then, when I realized I was in a rut doing the home nursing/hospice work I was doing as a nurses' aide (I was good at my job, but being around people takes a LOT of energy), I went looking in the paper for a different kind of job.
    A clothing factory (sweat shop) was offering job training, and you have to admit - - that was a CHANGE! I was able to listen to headsets and listened to KMBI, RUsh Limbaugh, talk shows and even country music, as I struggled to figure out how to inset a slash pocket WITHOUT pins! Thank God my supervisor, LuAnna, kept faith in me, because I was really struggling. I told myself things like: I have superiority over all inanimate objects - - therefore, the fabric and machine have GOT to obey me! "Remember! You asked for this job, so you had better do it!" There are a hundred other people here who have figured it out - - keep trying!
    And, it finally started sinking in. As I figured out the beauty of the production line, as I learned how to enjoy the same color, the same operation, but each piece being a chance to do the job better ... I don't know where I thought Levis came from, but imagine how IMPRESSED it is to see a hunk of fabric turn from flat nothing, to pieces, and pieces being added until ... VIOLA! Hundreds of pairs of Levis going out the door every day, and I could name EVERY operator!
    During this time, I discovered Elenor Burns on KSPS television ... the chain piecing! It was a factory approach, but it wasn't until I saw her use a rotary cutter that I FINALLY took the plunge and began quilting ... practical, producable, and colorful.
    I am hardly as productive as most on this list, but I enjoy what I do, and I have big dreams of doing some big projects never hurts to aim high, eh?
    And, I am a lefty ... for any who don't know ... lefties aren't all the scary ... just show them what to do, and they can duplicate it ... right handed people are just strange to watch sometimes ... I have found that when the teacher doesn't care which hand you are using, you can accomplish a lot of amazing things. Left-handed people are the only ones in their right minds, and if you look at a sewing machine ... it is specifically designed for a left-handed person - - I say that because most of the manipulation of stitching and quilting is done on which side of the head?
    Good stories to read about how people got to quilting ... it is a good thing to remember where we came from

  12. #37
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    My mom isn't terribly crafty, but she taught me some of the very basic sewing stuff (like sewing on a button). My grandma tried to teach me to sew (and crochet, and quilt) when I was a kid, but I had the attention span of a gnat, and I wasn't very good at any of them, so nothing stuck with me!

    I actually started sewing when I got the Janome Mini for my scrapbooking stuff. I quickly got a nice secondhand Janome and started making sock monkeys and other little doodads. I then took a class on basic sewing at the local quilting store. I didn't make a lot more stuff -- just some nursing covers, an apron and some other small things. I did make a baby quilt from a kit I got at Joann's, and was so pleased with how it turned out! (Now I look at it and thing, "Yikes!" -- but my little guy didn't mind it!)

    When baby number two (see avatar photo!) entered the picture, I decided to learn how to REALLY make quilts. I'm taking a beginning quiltmaking class right now and also doing a lot of reading.

  13. #38
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    I learned to sew from my mother and grandmother at a very young age, starting with doll and Barbie clothes. I was making some of my own clothes before high school, and was the sewing teacher's pet, she sent other students to me for help when she was too busy.

    I made many of my own clothes for years because I'm six feet tall with a 37 inch inseam. It was almost impossible to find clothes off the rack back then, not easy now, but easier. I made my own wedding dress and all my maternity clothes. Then I made many of my children's clothes and costumes until they became teens and didn't want "homemade" clothes.

    11 years ago I moved back to a city and reconnected with an old friend who was hooked on quilting and wanted someone to share her passion. She taught me, had me join her guild and we would have stitch and [email protected] sessions while our young children played together.

    I do not have as much time as I'd like to quilt now that I'm working full time, but I squeeze it in when I can.


  14. #39
    Super Member blahel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueChicken
    Quote Originally Posted by appliquequiltdesigns
    I am only a quilter, I don't sew except for basic skills. I taught myself to quilt through books and a TV show called "Simply Quilts."

    Janie
    Me Too! :-)

    My mum is an amazing sewer, she does clothes and all sorts. But she never had the patience to teach me, and I never really had an interest.

    Until I discovered quilting not quite two years ago. It's the patterns that attract me, especially the clever geometric ones. I made my first and was hooked. I've done a couple of classes, but the majority I've learned from searching online, and I've picked up a lot of hints to polish my work by watching re-runs of Simply Quilts.

    I have one friend who quilts, she's much older than me and isn't as obsessed as I am.
    exactly like me except for the friend who quilts!

  15. #40
    Power Poster sewnsewer2's Avatar
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    I learned how to sew in 9th grade but then didn't sew again for years and years, then had to teach myself all over again. :(

    I learned how to quilt from one of those quilting for dummy books, the rest is history. :lol: :lol:

  16. #41
    Super Member canmitch1971's Avatar
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    I remember that my Mother made my dress for graduation from grade 8 so she knew how to sew. I took 2 years of Home Economics in high school which gave me a good start. I made quite a few of the kid's clothes when they were little. My daughter had no idea how to sew. About 5 or 6 years ago she decided to take a sewing class and at the same time I took my first quilting class. She made a dress that she has never worn and I made an apron and pot holders. I've been hooked ever since. She has not done much sewing since having a full time job and 2 little kids.

  17. #42
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    I was making my own clothes by the time I started taking home economics. Our first class I was wearing an outfit I had made and was told I had to earn the priviledge of using the sewing machine in class! I wasn't impressed making a stuffed ducky as our first 'big' project. LOL

    I made all my own clothes for years, when I was getting married it seemed natural that I would make my wedding gown and my maid of honor and bridesmaid dresses. I used to make wedding gowns and prom dresses until it was cheaper to buy a dress than have one made.

    I made all my daughter's clothes until it just wasn't cool to wear clothes your mother made. LOL That's when I turned to making quilts, 14 years later I'm still making quilts. :)

  18. #43
    Junior Member okie3's Avatar
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    Love all the stories! I'm amazed at how many of us started out on a treadle
    sewing machine. My Grandmother always made my clothes up through High school. Like some of the rest of you I didn't do well in Home Eco. because, I wanted to do it the way Grandma did it. Save as much material as you can, when you lay out a pattern if you use one :D I spent summers and holidays with her on the farm so I sat and either watched or she put me to work cutting out quilt pieces with cardboard stencils. When she would have a quilt in the quilting rack, all the neighbor ladies would come of an afternoon and we'd quilt--including me. So that's were I learned how to quilt. She also taught me how to crochet and I have made a lot more afghans than quilts, so far. I really didn't get into the quilting, seriously till my first grand baby was on the way. Since that time I've really gotten really interested + finding Simply quilts on TV really made me want to quilt and keep something alive that my Grandmother did. She left all 4 of her Grandkids with plenty of quilts to have and love for years to come.
    I found out a few years ago that my cousin (shes only 3 months older than I am) has also taken up quilting. So we now keep in touch about what the other one is doing in the world of quilting.

  19. #44
    Senior Member quiltswithdogs's Avatar
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    I learned to sew at 16 in high school from home ec class and my best friend who was so brave, she made her own prom dress!
    I grew up, sewed for hubby and me then later when our daughters were young I had fun making little girl clothes. One liked to dress alike but the other didn't for fear everyone would think they were twins. Not likely as they are adopted, 17mo apart, one blue-eyed and so fair all her veins showed and the other full Korean, lots of soft dark hair and almond brown-eyes. No genes from me... they are gorgeous young women.
    Then I took a very long break in which I sewed only easy, requested skirts or pajamas or costumes or mending.
    To treat myself for my 50th birthday, I took a beginner's quilting class. I gave the wallhanging to my mom and dad for Christmas without ever realizing they had always wanted one for over their bed and were disappointed they couldn't afford one on their vacation to amish country. They were so thrilled and the rest of the family begged me for quilts. I was hooked!
    Cathy

  20. #45
    Super Member pittsburgpam's Avatar
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    There was always a sewing machine in the house but my mother didn't do a whole lot. It was my sister, who is 10 years older than me, who taught me. She made a lot of her own clothes and I picked it up over the years. One of my grandmothers taught me crochet and the other taught me knitting and embroidery. The one that did crochet also made quilts. I got my Kenmore about 20 years ago and made clothes for my daughers for awhile before I started doing quilts. My grandmother gave me her scraps because she couldn't see well enough to sew and I made my first quilt with them. I remember sitting in my living room while my mother and grandmother were visiting me and hand piecing the house blocks while we talked. I had forgotten that. The next one I did was an Amish Diamond in Square that I gave to my sister. I hand quilted it with vines and leaves and roses in the corners.

    I discovered BOMs and did several of them and I was hooked.

  21. #46
    Senior Member Kara's Avatar
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    My mom taught me to sew in 4-H, and then Home-Ec classes in high school. Didn't like any of it very much, and my mother and I butted heads A LOT... Sewing clothes wasn't that much fun...

    Fast forward several years... My sister made a baby quilt for my baby shower when I was pregnant with the first baby. When I was pregnant the second time, I decided that this baby needed a baby quilt, too (it was knotted, so it doesn't really "count" as a quilt by some standards, but that's a different discussion).

    I got some books after that and it has "snow balled" since then. I get books and teach myself everything I want to know. With 4 kids now, I can't go to classes. But I've made quite a few projects now. I've quite honestly lost count. I used to keep track, but that's one thing that has fallen by the wayside... I should start keeping track again, as a sort of "portfolio"...



  22. #47
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    I taught myself to sew when I was pregnant with my first (34 years ago). I wanted to make a quilt for him and I have been sewing ever since. I have taught my 11 year old daughter to sew. She started when she was 6 and has since made 8 quilts. I did take 1 year of home ec in high school but didn't learn how to sew! I guess I just had to want it bad enough! I even made my daughters clothes when she was little--including all the frilly, puffy little dresses! Now, I mostly just quilt, quilt, and quilt some more. I am purchasing an embroidery machine next month (when I will finally have enough saved for the model I want!) Then I will probably do some t shits and sweatshirts.

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