A while back, Quiltmaker announced that we were looking for QM readers to work on a one-time project. We selected eight women as the Back to School Sewing Team. I’m happy to introduce them this week.
Kathleen sewed with prints from Moda Fabrics for her version of Hip-Hopscotch. (Love this look? Try our Moda Medley of the Month.)
This one has a bit of shabby chic going on, don’t you think? The first thing I noticed is how the “bricks” that move diagonally across the quilts practically disappear on this one. It’s a nice change-up!
I had a nice conversation with Kathy via email, and she shared some photos of her early sewing. I got such a kick out of them and I think you will too.
* * * * *
I started sewing by hand as a little girl, making sock dolls and doll clothing. One Christmas I was given a toy sewing machine, a pink KAYanEE Sew Master that sewed a chain stitch. I still have it and it is displayed in my sewing room.
I learned apparel sewing in Home Economics in junior high school. I got an A+ on my first dress and I was hooked on sewing! I made most of my clothing for many years after that, and I made shirts for my brother Terry who was 6′ 4″. I lengthened the tails and sleeves so he would finally have shirts that fit.
I began quilting when I saw a cute small cat quilt pattern in a store. I learned a lot on that first little quilt! I learned not to use stretchy fabrics and to cut on the straight of grain. It’s rather a lopsided little quilt, but it makes me smile as that is where it all began! I’ve been quilting for about 20 years.
Eleanor Burns was my beginning inspiration and my mentor, albeit by television. That is where I learned about fabrics, cutting, and throwing the scraps over my shoulder!!!
My saddest moment in quilting was presenting a Quilt of Valor to a young serviceman I’d come to know through my health care career. He had terminal cancer. I presented him with the quilt one day and he passed away the next. I was so proud of him.
His parents now have a beautiful keepsake which honors their son and his service to our country. The quilt is Starstruck from Quiltmaker July/August ’10. (Editor’s note: This digital issue is on clearance for $3.)
I quilt to create something beautiful. Many times I start out thinking a quilt is for me, but along the way I think of somebody else that the quilt is perfect for and so I give it away.
In recent months, I have started refurbishing older sewing machines and donating them to a local homeless shelter. The Open Door Mission will soon be starting their own home economics course to teach sewing skills to others. For me, it’s a way to pass along a gift that started with my home ec teacher, Ella Cram.
Ella is no longer with us, but I always remember her encouragement to learn to sew! She would be so surprised to see me sewing away on a treadle, my new preferred way to piece!
* * * * *
Subscribe to Quiltmaker so you never miss a beat!