How did you start quilting/sewing?
I first began sewing when I was about five years old and my grandmother taught me to use her sewing machine to make clothes for my Barbies and dolls. I've always been super crafty, and used to spend a lot of time sewing teeny items for my miniature dollhouse. I made my first "quilts" for that dollhouse too, using fabric pieces from sample books and using de-wadded cotton balls for stuffing.
When was the first time you knew that you were a quilter/sewer?
Hmmm, now that's a hard one! As I said, I've always been crafty and I've been sewing for most of my life. I guess, quilting would be the best topic for this answer. I made my first "real" quilt when a friend from high school was getting married. I randomly decided that a quilt seemed like a good idea. At the time I didn't really realize that there was such a thing as a quilt pattern, so I just made up my own (it was almost entirely hand sewn too since my machine gave out partway through). After that, I just kept making more and more quilts. Through the magic of the Internet I realized that there were other people just like me, and they were calling themselves quilters, so I decided that that's what I was too.
Do you have any sewing/quilting horror stories or faux pas?
I think I've actually been pretty lucky in this regard! I occasionally stab myself with needles while hand sewing and I have sewn through my finger once with the sewing machine (ohh, and there was that time my sewing machine needle broke, flew up in the air, and cut my lip open), but really nothing too serious at all! I make mistakes just like everyone and my seam ripper and I are pretty good friends, but I also have a pretty healthy respect for sharp objects (did I ever tell you about the time my mum cut her finger off when I was a kid...yep).
What advice would you give to someone who’s just starting out in sewing/quilting?
Try everything without fear! If you want to make a quilt - give it a try! If you want to make a purse - give it a try! Sure, you might end up wasting a bit of fabric in the beginning, but the hours you spent trying out new techniques are not wasted. They show you what you like, what you don't like, and where your strengths lie. There are tons of classes available, and if you can't afford them (or if you're like me and just like to teach yourself), there are tons of tutorials online that will show you everything you need to know. I still get discouraged if something doesn't work out quite the way I want, but it's all good, I just keep going.
I have only one other piece of advice - treat others as you'd like to be treated. Most designers, bloggers, and sewy-type people are very receptive to questions. We like to lend a hand whenever possible (if you don't understand something in a tutorial or pattern, a lot of designers are willing to give a little email advice), but don't be that person. You know the one I'm talking about - the accuser, the nagger, the egotist, the gimme-gimmer, etc. If you are trying a new technique, it's really okay to reach out for help and advice, but don't demand that someone help you or demand that they sent you a free pattern just because, etc, etc. It's all about kindness people. In the immortal words of our favourite little sketchy man, don't be a dick.
Now, the second part of all of this was to try something new, but unfortunately I have no pictures to share. I did do some new stuff, but since it's for publication, I can't talk about it *sigh*. I sewed with leather for the first time (good thing I got that new sewing machine that will sew through anything), and this weekend I'll be teaching an EPP class where the majority of students will have never sewn before (eeeekkkk!), scary.
And just because it's funny (and I'm totally wearing this to teach my class), do you want to know the real reason I quilt?
|Tee Shirt can be found at Patchwork Threads|