Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Wednesday Wit and Wisdom

Happy almost Thanksgiving Day to you!  
Before I begin my day of prep.  I was inspired by this photo to write a post for Wit and Wisdom to share with you and Linda Kay!
                                         With or Without, 57 x 67", quilt pattern by Cheryl Wittmayer. Shown in Marcia Derse fabrics:
I saw this on Pinterest this morning and fell in love!  I love the colors.  I love the designs.
I can imagine texture.  I love the way the border becomes a part of the quilt in the rows!

I actually had another post planned but I thought today I would share this fabulous photo
and a little about me and my passion for quilting. 

I began sewing as a small girl.  In high school I took the required Home Ec. class was bored
in both the sewing and cooking by the second day.  I began cooking the entire evening meal by the time I was in 5th grade. (My mother worked nights)  

I've sewn garments for myself (without a tremendous amount of success) off and on until 1982 when our daughter was born.  For a few years I found my niche.  I sewed everything 
we put on her body.  She had dresses for every occasion and shoes to.  Because I saved so much money on clothes we could afford to buy shoes.  (I spoiled her she has a shoe fetish)

I learned tailoring techniques.  I made jodphurs for her with a jean type fly front zipper 
out of pale lavender corduroy.   (I wish had the forethought to keep them!)  

All my sewing was done on an old Elna machine that had been my mothers.  I had no book but a bagillion feet and gears that I knew nothing about.  I didn't know anything about tension or how a machine works.  I just plugged along and sewed and ripped out and tinkered and probably cussed a little till I managed a decent stitch.  

I was self taught.  Well not exactly I was taught by Singer and Butterick.  Everything I knew how or learned to do was through patterns.  The patterns explained in detail how to make the garment. 

I developed a fairly good skill for a person that doesn't read instructions well.  I am more of a hands on kind of learner.  Show me how to do something and I can do it.  

Give me an instruction manual and I'll read a few steps and skip to the end.  

And then The Cowboy got a really, really good job.  And he bought me a Bernina in August of the year our daughter was in 2nd grade.     Only a few months later in January  we moved our kids to private school.  And I was crushed.  She began wearing uniforms.  I had no idea what I was going to do with this expensive machine!  

And then one day I stumbled onto a quilt shop.   Scratch that . . . Into a quilt shop.  

I haven't been the same since.   I loved that little shop.  I learned a lot.   I met ladies that over 20 years later I still keep in touch with.  

I meant to mention when I was talking about my first machine that this was waaaay before
the internet.  But you probably figured that out.  

I took classes on all kinds of disciplines of quilting.  I listened.  I learned.  We students absorbed the information garnered by these fine ladies as Gospel.    

But there was a problem.  I pieced the tops and then I was stuck.   I was spending so much money on fabric and classes that I really didn't have what was needed to actually have the quilts quilted.  At least I thought I didn't.  

The trend at the time was to take your quilt tops to professional quilters.  Long arm quilting was beginning to be a big business and industrious and creative quilters that had a little extra money began purchasing machines and starting their own businesses.    

When I shopped for a quilter within my budget that's when I found out some were better than others.    

Luckily the quilt that I took to be quilted wasn't a great piece but the poor workmanship 
put an abrupt halt to my sending my quilts out to be quilted. 

And so for many years my tops have laid waiting to be finished.  

Because of the inter net and Leah Day I've have taken the plunge and begun quilting my own quilts.  Since finding Pinterest I've absorbed pins and videos much like I did back in the day when I was taking classes.   

I can do this because I don't have to 'read' instructions.  I can watch a video and figure it out. 

I've come along way.  I have a long way to go.  I've accomplished my desire to quilt a king size quilt on my domestic machine.   The work isn't perfect.  My poor little machine tries it's hardest.  It doesn't make beautiful stitches like my Bernina (it's sick needs to go to the shop)
but I don't make quilts meant to 'show'  I don't need a blue ribbon.  

                                                                  I just love the process.  
                                                    That's why I make quilts.

linking with Linda Kay for Wit and Wisdom


Marie C said...

I LOVED reading about your journey! (The cartoon was so cute too! :-) ) I also had an Elna when my daughter was small and made most of her clothes, and especially enjoyed the Easter dresses and Halloween costumes. I am not a great seamstress, and cannot do tailoring like my grandmother could...somehow I didn't get that gene...and I remember doing a lot of ripping out in the early tears. I too am a visual learner, and was largely self-taught with pattern directions that often made little sense to me! I do come from a family of quilters however, and it's so funny that you posted this because had Thanksgiving not intervened, I had planned to post a picture of myself at a quilting frame and tell about my quilting heritage! I will do that next week! I have a quilt blog, piece-fullness, if you want to stop by!

Mitch and Molly said...

What a great post! My mom used to sew all of my clothes too. She still has her 65 year old Singer.

Denise said...

good post