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

  1. #1
    Junior Member Ethel A's Avatar
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    I took a sewing class in 8th grade and just about failed the class. :lol: Not kidding!! I couldn't sew a straight line to save my life. But, I persevered; and even though I shared this fact with my husband, he still agreed to buy me a sewing machine (a Singer) 12-years ago. My first project was a Star of Bethlehem quilt top. It was HUGE. Unfortunately, I have no clue what I did with it. I don't remember if my points were actually 'pointy.' I just started cutting, sewing, and didn't pay attention to the small details that I now do. It was pretty (from what I remember). I wonder if I threw it away?

    Fast-forward to four years after that, I took my first "formal" piecing class from a lady named Carmen Hague in Minot, North Dakota. We worked on a Thimbleberries sampler quilt. I loved it!! I learned to cut, piece, and even do a little applique. I had no concept of Beginner Quilter / Intermediate / Advance level. All I knew was if the directions were easy to understand, I just went ahead and followed it. After that quilt, I made the Thimbleberries BOM quilt that you see in my avatar. So, that is "officially" the second quilt I've made. After that, I've only pieced two other quilts. Technically, I consider myself still a 'beginner.' I love this message board. I can't believe how much info is shared on here. I love coming back and reading all sorts of threads.

    Please share how you got into sewing and quilting. I think it's fun to read about how someone got hooked on this wonderful hobby!

  2. #2
    Super Member Maride's Avatar
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    My grandmother tought me to sew when I was 18 (1981) and I was making all my clothes for a long time. Life got on the way and I stopped. In 2000 I was cross stitching at work in my lunch break and this Dr. approached me. I knew she quilted, but I didn't know if I wanted to learn or where to go to learn. She asked me if I could finish a cross stitch for her. I told my daughter, and she said: Mom do it and ask her to teach me to quilt (my dauhter was 13 at the time)as payment. I did and she agreed. We spent Memorial day at her house and the next weekend at mine. She didn't have to give us another class. We started getting books, joined a guild, took classes, and now have a home based bussiness quilting. My daughter is in college, but when she is home she helps, and she only gives quilted gifts to her friends. Of course, Mom quilts then after she pieced them.Even learning to quilt was a negotiation for me.

    Maria

  3. #3
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    My grandmother who died when I was 2 was a creative person. She had a milliner's shop for years and did incredibly neat hand work. It appears that I have at least some of her knack for sewing. She did such a number on her daughter (my mom) that the word "sewing" makes her hair stand on end. I taught myself to knit, crotchet, and sew/quilt with the help of mentors and classes.

    Yes, I also failed sewing miserably in school....but who in their right mind wants to wear the crap we had to sew then?????/

  4. #4
    Super Member lfw045's Avatar
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    I was raised around the foot pedal of a Singer Sewing machine that is now mine. My mother was a professional seamstress. She taught my brother and I how to sew by taking the thread out of that machine and the bobbin, drawing straight lines and curves on paper and letting us follow those lines on the machine. My grandmother had me cutting out and sewing together fabrics for quilts when I was big enough to use scissors. I took Home Economics every year in high school just to get two new outfits each year and I made all of my dresses and blouses and skirts and pantsuits for high school. (Got in trouble with the pantsuit at school because we weren't allowed to wear pants and I did anyway.....lol). I also learned from my mom how to embroider, crochet and quilt. I never could get into knitting......I'm a lefty too..... :)

  5. #5
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    sadly no one i know can sew.

    i am 100% self taught i purchased a book called Quilting 101 and i purchased EQ5.

    my first quilt was a log cabin - which i have never quilted, it sits on my pool table to this day.


  6. #6
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    I started sewing around 7-8 yrs old. Mom set me up to the sewing machine and I took to it like a duck takes to water. In Home Ec. in school the teacher got frustrated with me cause I would always say" thats not how my mother taught me". I made all my own clothes and then all my childrens clothes. As they got older I started making other things. My first quilt was with a card board template and sissors. I chose to make attic window cause it only had three pieces. My seams don't match and my points are cut off but I still have that quilt. I hand quilted it. Then I purchased an Eleanor burns book, trip around the world and a true quilter was born. My sister decided to get in on the act and we opened a quilt shop. For ten yrs we had fun, taught classes (even took classes ourselves) We sold the shop and are retired but I continue to make quilts for sale, for gifts, for charity or whoever else needs a quilt. Marge

  7. #7
    Super Member mpspeedy's Avatar
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    I think I first got interested in sewing when the young wife who lived in the apartment in my parents house made doll clothes for me as a child. My mother had actually majored in Home Economics the few years she attended college. By the time I came along she was to busy taking care of 4 children and helping my Dad with their part time business as florists to teach me to sew. As the only girl on our block growing up I played with a little girl up the street who spent the summers with her grandparents as her mother worked. Her grandmother gave us scraps of fabric and the two of us spent countless hours handmaking doll clothes. I learned to machine sew in junior high school Home Economics and the rest is history. I made my first quilt from scraps from the clothing I had made while I was in high school. My parents gave me a new sewing machine as a high school graduation present. I was at least 30 before I met another person who was actually a quilter. I have only taken a half dozen formal lessons in quilting. I have mostly learned from TV and guild speakers etc.

  8. #8
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    I started sewing in high school. Home Ec. class. Didn't do the greatest. As a young mom my dad found me an old white sewing machine that had been converted to an electric machine. I taught myself and made nearly all of my DD outfits. Loved it. Sewed on and off for many years and taught myself to quilt after DD had a battle over who got the one quilt my mom had made for oldest DD. After my two daughters were fighting over who got the threadbare quilt my mom had made for oldest daughter and having my dear grand daughter (5 years old) trying to claim it too I decided I wanted to make something that could inspire that kind of love. I moved on from clothing to quilting and have never looked back.

  9. #9
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    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

  10. #10
    BlueChicken's Avatar
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    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.

  11. #11
    Senior Member motomom's Avatar
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    My grandmother made quilts. My mom did beautiful handwork of all kinds, and made all my clothes when I was growing up, as well as some stunning quilts for our family. She passed away when I was 12, and I went to live with my aunt who was a professional seamstress all her life, as well as quiltmaker.

    My aunt is now 85, and still comes over to "teach" me about quilting. We have had some fun afternoons here lately over the quilting frame she gave me.

    But the best part? My youngest daughter, getting her Masters in Acting and Directing at Texas Tech, was here visiting this weekend. We spent all Sunday afternoon, me teaching her to hand quilt. She loves it, and before she left to go home, was bugging her husband to build her a quilt frame.

    :D :D :D

  12. #12
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    my mother taught me just about every needlecraft there is ... except quilting. i had my own sewing machine by kindergarten, and was matching plaids and making fully lined suits by the time i had to take home ec sewing for the first time. like mic-pa, i was engaged in a running battle with the teacher. we had to use machines my mother wouldn't have had as doorstops, tracing wheels, and all sorts of bizarre methods i wouldn't have dared use while working with mom. :lol: the skirt i made in home ec was good enough to wash a car with, but i don't think i ever wore it. :lol:

    once i was out on my own there was no time to sew. i donated my machine (one i would KILL to have back ... :lol: ) and turned to the stores for my clothes and sweaters. now, of course, i can buy several articles of clothing for the cost of making one from scratch so i doubt i'll ever go back to making clothes.

    i stumbled into an episode of Simply Quilts while channel surfing about 10 years ago or so. before the episode was over i had run to grab some fabric scraps left from a decorating project, hauled out scissors, needle and thread and was following along with Billy Lauder to make 3-dimensional bow tie blocks. until then it hadn't fully sunk in how much i missed all those years working side by side with mom in the sewing room and on other crafts.

    now, every stitch connects me to my mom and to those memories.

  13. #13
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kluedesigns
    my first quilt was a log cabin - which i have never quilted, it sits on my pool table to this day.
    It's not too late :D

    My first quilt is also still unquilted and needs to have the cat hair shaved off if I ever pull it out of the bag. But I have continued to actually finish a few others.

  14. #14
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    My mom sewed when I was little and made beautiful dresses for my older sister and me, but...., she would never teach me. I am a lefty and she said it would be too hard. My grandma had her sewing machine in her dining room and I loved to watch her, but again, she didn't have the time, as she was a dairy and hog farmer. I took a class in high school home ec, and I have to admit, I enjoyed the cooking semester much more than the sewing semester. Fast forward a few years, I married a man whose mother sewed and quilted every chance she got. While she didn't teach me, I got the bug and basically taught myself. I put aside the quilting for quite some time, but about 6 years ago, I started again, and haven't stopped yet. I also cross-stitch and crochet, all self-taught. My SIL says I do everything backwards, I just reply at least I'm in my right mind! :mrgreen:

  15. #15
    Super Member Bill'sBonBon's Avatar
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    My Mom and Grandmother taught me and my 2 sisters. My Mother sewed on her hands until she got a treadle machine. I learned how to sew on that machine. Mom made lot of our clothes by hand. Her talent with the needle was inherited by all 3 of Her daughters. I made my daughters play clothes out of feed sacks. Wish I had them now. That was in the 60's. I made myself work cullots or split skirts. To be able to get and sit on the floor with First Graders ETC. Boat Neck Shirts are the first thing I have ever made to wear when I was a teen. You know Get 2 pieces of material make sure they are squared,exactly the same front and back. Hem all four sides,sew up sides leaving enough room for your arms same on the neck. You have to have enough room to put your head in. The opening looks like a boat. :lol: Made a lot of those in my time.
    I didn't quilt until 2003. Have always loved it had a great interest in it but didn't do anything until then. LOVE IT.
    BillsBonBon

  16. #16
    Super Member lfw045's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by julie
    My mom sewed when I was little and made beautiful dresses for my older sister and me, but...., she would never teach me. I am a lefty and she said it would be too hard. My grandma had her sewing machine in her dining room and I loved to watch her, but again, she didn't have the time, as she was a dairy and hog farmer. I took a class in high school home ec, and I have to admit, I enjoyed the cooking semester much more than the sewing semester. Fast forward a few years, I married a man whose mother sewed and quilted every chance she got. While she didn't teach me, I got the bug and basically taught myself. I put aside the quilting for quite some time, but about 6 years ago, I started again, and haven't stopped yet. I also cross-stitch and crochet, all self-taught. My SIL says I do everything backwards, I just reply at least I'm in my right mind! :mrgreen:
    Here, here!!!! Julie, for us lefties!!! :mrgreen: :D

  17. #17
    Super Member mcdaniel023's Avatar
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    I took a 4H sewing class in 5th grade. We had to make something to wear.
    I decided to make a jumper with pleats. (Now that I know better, I know how crazy that was.) I spent the entire summer vacation working on that red jumper. In August, the teacher entered me in a show. I won the best of show. I didn't sew again until after graduation. My not yet hubby bought me a sewing machine for graduation. I have sewn ever since.
    Quilting began after watching Kaye Woods' show. She made it look fun and easy. I was hooked.

  18. #18
    Senior Member quiltingbee12's Avatar
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    I did a lot of hand sewing, just little things here and then, and then I was given some fabric and a sewing machine a year ago. I started sewing my first quilt(which I still haven't quilted, am sick of the thing
    I now have five sewing machines, two treadles two newer and one 60s workhorse.
    I sew quite a bit, and I have never looked back! Now I can't even imagine doing a lot of stuff by hand :mrgreen:

  19. #19
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    I started when I was little - how old I don't remember! My father's mother could sew us girls a dress and smock it, or embroider it, with no pattern! She always gave us scraps and buttons to sew doll clothes. My mother had a treadle sewing machine, and in 'playing' with that machine, my sisters and I would make real simple summer tops - take two men's bandana hankies, sew side seams and knot the top corners, and there you go! I always got 'crafty' gifts from granma and granpa -paints, pipe cleaner figures, and then when I got older, fabric, thread and zippers. I had sewing in 4-H and school and loved it. I made a lot of my own clothes, and made my own wedding gown - 24 covered buttons down the back! Then our little girl was born and I made a lot of clothes for her. Even for our son for awhile. Then I went to work and didn't have time. Several years ago I started to play around with quilting and find it very soothing! Now I have a granddaughter and when she was 18 months old, I got her sewing cards. She doesn't follow the shape very well but she gets the in-and-out motiion. For Easter I got her big chunky wooden beads and laces and she is starting to get the hang of that. One day down the road, I will make her her first sewing basket, and she will be able to sew on her parent's buttons!!

  20. #20
    thismomquilts's Avatar
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    i grew up watching my mom sew for the five girls in our family. with six kids she was too busy to 'teach' us how to sew. in jr high i took home ec. LOVED the sewing semester. sewed one thing in high school, a few in college, then sewed like crazy for my daughter - alot of her clothes were handmade. she loved having homemade clothes until one day some other girl made fun of her for having homemade - so sad. my dd LOVED having custom made one of a kind clothes. about 8 years ago i began learning to quilt and the rest, as they say, is history! love it and will never stop!

  21. #21
    montanaquilter's Avatar
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    I learned how to sew in Home Ec class. I hated it and swore I'd never sew again! A few years later I decided I wanted to sew and my mother in law bought me a machine and some material-I was terrible at it and quickly got rid of everything that had to do with sewing. This year about 2 months ago my aunt came over to my house and showed me how to quilt. I have been addicted ever since!!! I have finished 10 quilts so far. By no means are my first ones exceptional but I've been learning that practice makes perfect and I am still learning new techniques and my latest quilts haven't been too bad!! Now I am so addicted to quilting, material, magazines and this board that it's ridiculous!!! Happy quilting everyone

    Lee

  22. #22
    Super Member Chele's Avatar
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    What wonderful stories! We are products of our environment! My mom sewed all her maternity clothes because she couldn't afford the ones from the store. I learned to sew on that very same machine. Not clothes so much, be we sewed sailboat sails, Barbie clothes, etc. My best friend's mom was a home ec teacher. She taught us some basics. My girlfriend and I had the coolest bikinis during the late 70's! We made them ourselves!

    I didn't get the quilting bug until two years ago. My husband bought me machine for Christmas several years ago. I tried garment sewing, but that's so hard! Quilting was easier for me. Now I'm hooked! I have a new machine now, but still love my first Singer and would kill to have the green Singer I learned on. I think we sold it at a garage sale for $10! :cry:

  23. #23
    Senior Member genghis khan's Avatar
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    The way i got started quilting is rather interesting even to me. Almost 2 years ago now i started working for a sign shop as a welder building electric signs and such also awnings wich as we know need to be sewn so i tried my hand at sewing and with a few pointers and help along the way i got real good at them, well as things go it wasnt long befor i started sewing small projects at home and haveing fun doing so then one day my co-worker asked if i could sew a quilt for his wife as a mothers day gift and i did its the quilt pictured in my avatar. So after all that work of makeing that quilt came the day i gave it to him and i was done and i realized it was hard to let go of something like that i had put so much time into so almost immediatly i started thinking of what to make for me and i was hooked, i wanted more knowlege of how to do certain things to make them better and all wich is how i found this board and some wonderful,helpful people here wich has helped me alot along this journey i dont see it stopping any time soon i have so many ideas!

  24. #24
    Junior Member Ethel A's Avatar
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    I am thoroughly enjoying reading everyone's story. The love for your art shines through your words! I hope more people will share because quilting is really one of those hobbies that is a labor of love. When you make a quilt, you are putting your heart and soul into your creations. Otherwise, why even bother, right? Loving all of these stories!!!

  25. #25
    Senior Member sewhappy57's Avatar
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    I took a sewing class in 7th grade my teacher was Jean Wells. If that name sounds familiar it's because shes a very famous quilter now. Her daughter is
    Valorie Wells shes a fabric designer. It wasn't until later years I put her knowledge to work and started quilting.

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