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My Beginnings

I began sewing 5 short years ago. My last child was in grade 10 and I was working on year 25 of a career as a Hair Stylist. I knew I wanted a change, something that I truly enjoyed and something that would keep me busy once I became an empty nester. Something to do when my husband was golfing or fishing. We live in an extremely small town in Saskatchewan of about 300 people. We farm so as other farmers wives will also tell you there are months where your husband may leave home at 5 am and not be home until 11 pm. So sewing was going to be my

“thing”.

I ordered a very small machine for $50 off of eBay. I watched a few quilting videos and thought I would just wing it. So the first thing I did was go to the nearest fabric store 30 miles away and buy minky for my daughters two dogs, who I decided I would make blankies for. If I messed up they wouldn’t care! It was the worst stuff to cut into in my kitchen at the table, and then to sew it was a nightmare!! But once I was done.........it was such a sense of accomplishment. They were far from perfect, but I had actually made two blankets. Suddenly I found myself wondering what kind of blanket I could make next. What colours would I like to use, and could I possibly try something a little more complex? About this time the jelly roll quilts were all the rage. So again I watched a couple videos and thought I’m sure I could do that, and away I went. When it came time to actually bind the quilt, and I tried to fit it under the walking foot, I had an incredibly hard time. The machine was just so small. It was one step up from a kids machine and it wasn’t up to the task. Which leads me to what was my next step.................

A grown up machine. I went to the city and decided that I really shouldn’t spend a ton of money on a machine since I was still not sure if this sewing thing is going to stick. So I bought a $300 bottom of the line Janome. It was truly a beautiful little machine, it kind of purred when I pressed the pedal and my head was still spinning with ideas of all I could make if I learned how. I finished up my quilt and almost immediately went to the nearest fabric store and picked out prints of new fabric. Again I decided to do a different design and made a basic patchwork design. Now right around this time my Mom died, and she was a clothing lover. My sister mentioned that she had seen “these memory quilts” and that we should do that with Moms clothes. I really wanted to do it. So I started just taking apart all of her clothes and cutting them up. It felt strange cutting into the pieces I had seen my Mom wear so often, many that were worn lots or well loved. Finding Kleenex’s in the pockets of jackets or change in her jeans. But again when I seen that first quilt come together it was truly the greatest feeling. I felt like my mom would have been proud and I felt better about using her clothes for something we could keep. I just think that giving away her things felt like I was in away giving away a piece of her, so keeping her clothing in quilts was a way to hold her close whenever we wanted.

After that I felt comfortable behind the machine. I had made numerous mistakes, tried to fix them and learned a lot along the way. My next thought was that I wanted to try something Apparel related. So I started small, really small. I made a baby bootie. Now this was the first time I had followed a pattern, so there was a steep learning curve to that alone. It took me most of the day to make a pair of booties. Click here for Part 2 https://www.bibsandbootsapparelandfabric.com/blog/beginnings-part-2/