Online Quilting Guild

Hosted by Janet Wickell (janma)|

Welcome to our free quilting forum, the Online Quilting Guild, where you can share ideas about quilting, swap fabrics and other projects, and chat with quilters worldwide.

  • 6117
  • 149330
  • 15


Momma's got a new bag   Show and Tell

Started Apr-17 by Dee in TX (DBRADFOR3); 825 views.

From: judyinohio


That is a terrific bag, Dee!

Let's talk about when you learned to sew. 

I know I put up a big fight when my mother insisted that I had to learn to sew and I gave her a lot of hassles. Of course, now I am very glad that she put up with ornery eight year old Judy when she first sat me down and had me sew a pillowcase (my first project, as I recall).  And she and I nearly came to "divorce wars" over a 22" zipper in the back of a sack dress in 1954 or thereabouts.

So, when did you learn the skills that took you down the road to making this lovely new bag? Were you an eager student or a reluctant one?

Very nice. Yup sewing is our superpower!!!

I am not Dee but that is an interesting question. Before I was old enough for school I remember my mother sewing on an old black machine. She made quite the mess and thinking back I never saw her sew again. I picked up some scraps that were on the floor and made clothes for my doll. We had a student living with us and she gave me some guidance. When I was in 4th grade all 4 of us siblings joined 4H. We had two leaders who were both in their 80's. My sisters and I learned to sew. I remember being very excited to learn. There was a high school girl named Melony who took me under her wing and helped me a lot. I started sewing my own clothes from the get go because it was my handmade or hand me downs.  I did not take up quilting till I was 29. Sewing is my superpower!

Pirate (PIRATE_SR)

From: Pirate (PIRATE_SR)


That's awesome!  Being able to fabricate what you need is a talent that a lot of people don't have.

One time, I sent a long, narrow tube or rectangular box to our middle daughter in NYC.  She took the subway to/from work and I knew that wrangling that box, along with her other stuff, was going to be a problem.  So, I made a specifically sized tote for that box .. with long enough handles, just like you did!, to go over her shoulder.  That way, she had her hands free for her other items.  She really appreciated the custom tote and has mentioned that the odd size/shape has come in handy on other occasions!  Score!  :-)

Pirate (PIRATE_SR)

From: Pirate (PIRATE_SR)


Interesting question!

I remember hand-sewing doll clothing when I was in grade school.  The doll was Betsy McCall, which I still have, along with the (very badly) sewn clothing. I must have made some clothing for myself in grade school because when I advanced to Jr High and had to take Home Ec, one section was sewing.  I remember being quite aggravated that the teacher wouldn't let me move forward in the pattern beyond where the class was.  That project was a simple A-line skirt with side zipper and buttoned waistband.  No, I no longer have the skirt but I DO have the pattern!  LOL!


From: judyinohio


You are going to think I was a brat in Home Ec but here goes; we had eight weeks of Home Ec for the kids that were in the honors program. For the sewing part I was allowed to use the time for Study Hall because I took in two items that I had already made at home under my mom's tender loving instruction  (that font is meant to indicate sarcasm) so I was excused from sewing.

I had made a beeline for the old treadle machine on the first day of sewing class because I was eager to try out that machine and I had fun with it for the first day but I got bored hemming dish towels. The other girls thought I was nuts for wanting to use the treadle but I had used my grandma's during visits to the farm in Indiana. Then when the teacher said I could bring in items I had sewn at home to get excused from the class  I thought that that was a great idea; I could always have fun with friends in Study Hall.

thanks Judy.  I'm excited to use it.  I always love a good bag.

regarding sewing, my mother & grandmother both sewed clothing.  I remember playing with the scraps while my mother was sewing, asking her to make me clothes for my barbie dolls.  She said I could do it myself, and gave me some scissors, needle & thread.  I mostly made mumus.  I had already been embroidering dishtowels, so I knew how to use a needle.  I think this was around 6 or 7.  When I was 7, my mother had a stroke and was moved to a full time nursing home.  So, I was left to inherit my mothers sewing supplies and machine.  I started using it on my own.  I think about that now, an unsupervised 9 or 10 year old using a sewing machine, shudder.  My grandmother taught me a little but I don't think she was very patient.  My dad also signed me up for sewing lessons from a lady in town who owned a small craft shop - not sure if my grandmother suggested it or if he just decided I needed something to keep me busy besides books.  Mostly I think I was self taught.  By the time I got to home ec. in Jr. high I was pretty proficient.  I had a very good teacher who let me sew what ever I wanted.  I ended up being more like her teachers aid, helping my classmates.  In high school I found my way into the drama club and made costumes for several productions.

funny story, I still remember reading a pattern for pajamas and not being able to figure out the difference between interfacing and facing.  No idea why they memory has stuck with me.  

I've never been particularly good at garment sewing for myself.  I made a lot of things for my kids when they were little but clothes for myself never seem to fit right, always were obviously "home made".  I'm much better at home dec.  I am in awe of Ami's garment skills.

I started off making clothes for my Barbie out of scraps and bits of lace, and those "anklet" type socks that we always wore with our Mary Janes.  I don't remember my Mom sewing much when I was little, but when I reached junior high and wanted party dresses, she sewed a lot, and always made me beautiful dresses.  She used a Singer 401A.  She was very proud of that machine, having bought it very slightly used for a good price.  I sewed on that machine a lot until I got my own.  My Mom always said that little girls (well, it WAS in the 50s and 60s) should learn to sew on REAL sewing machines.  I loved going to visit my Grandma, because she would let me sew on her machine.  She sewed a LOT, doing alterations for the local dry cleaner and also making some simple garments and doing a bit of machine piecing.  She mostly did hand piecing, though, and almost always hand quilting, or she would tie some of them.  She made me the nicest baby quilt when Matt was born.  It was pink and blue squares of nylon tricot (!) on the top, and soft flannel on the back, yarn-tied.  It was a very sturdy, but lovely and soft, baby quilt.  I would love to have a throw size like it.  (She had the nylon tricot pieces because somehow she got a bunch of scraps and lacey from a ladies' lingerie factory, and for a while she was making a lot of ladies' panties, of all things.)

I was never in 4H and never took Home Ec, but my Mom did sign me up for sewing lessons at the local Singer dealership.  It was one lesson a week for several weeks, and the goal was to learn clothing construction techniques while making an actual garment that we would submit for a competition.  The pattern had to be approved by the teacher - couldn't be too simple or too complex.  My pattern was for a two-piece suit - a-line skirt and very simple jacket, and a white blouse with a Peter Pan collar.  I can still remember the small flower print fabric I chose.  I did learn a lot of garment sewing skills, which in retrospect seems kind of strange that they focused so much on things like actual thread tailor tacks to mark darts, instead of more practical construction and finishing steps.  Oh, well.  Many years later, I learned many more garment construction tips and methods like they use in factories.  I almost never got used to using a 1/4 inch seam allowance instead of those big fat 5/8 inch seams.  LOL  

In high school and college, I made a lot of clothing for myself, such as shorts and tops - even halter tops!  Oh, to have a halter top body again.  Hah!  

I did not get interested in quilting until I started watching Simply Quilts in the late 1990s.  My first effort was an I SPY quilt that I started making for my Mom after she had a stroke.  That is also what started me collecting novelty prints.  I never did finish that I SPY quilt for my Mom, but I *did* finish it up for my Dad and he used it some before he died.  My sister kept it for a while, and a couple of years ago, she gave it back to me.  It also won a prize in the employee art show at work, and was displayed at a local mall for a while.  Now it's home with me for good.  :o)  

Dee the reason I got good at garment sewing was because homemade clothes were made fun of by other kids so I learned to make my clothes look like store bought. I guess I learned out of necessity. 

Simply quilts is what really got me hooked on quilting too. That and a basic rotary cutting book by Fons and porter.