Saturday night hockey

Saturday night hockey
Saturday night hockey

Friday, January 20, 2012

Nosy Parker in the Neighbourhood–Sewing

I missed linking up for part 2 which was about Christmas…. but too late now, we’re on to new things…Like Sewing – Yeah!

 Edited to add what I forgot- the link back to Kat's Nosey Parker link up site.

1)  How long have you been sewing? Are you a first generation sewer or was the knowledge handed down to you? Basically tell us about your journey...
I remember sewing when I was quite young, four or five years old.  I actually have evidence that I sewed when I was that young, in the form of a pot holder that I made for my mother.  My mother never used it.  It lived in the linen cupboard for years and years.  I thought I was very clever because I embroidered her initials “BREW” on it and they spelled a word.  Only those were the initials of her maiden name.  Her married initials were “BRC”.  I always thought she kept it hidden in the cupboard because it wasn’t acceptable to have a potholder with her maiden name initials on it.  It was only in more recent years that I started to think maybe she kept it safely put away because she was so proud of me.  I wish I had a picture to show you but DD # 1 had the pot holder - I need to get her to take a picture for me.
My mother sewed.  She did lots of mending and when she didn’t have children at home anymore she sewed clothes for herself.  She had this little Singer featherweight and that’s what I first learned to sew on.  I am thrilled to have this machine now although I don’t use it too often.
IMG_4476 I suppose my mother must have taught me something about sewing, although I don’t remember that particularly.  I do remember taking home ec in grade 8 and sewing a couple of items: a lined pantsuit and a pair of bell bottom pants.  I learned embroidery and cross stitch as well when I was young, and how to knit.  I never have learned crochet. 
I always loved stitching and textiles and thread.  I took weaving courses when I was a young adult and imagined a career in that area, but it wasn’t to be.  I sewed lots of items by hand and machine: toys and clothes for my kids, useful household items (since DH and I lived in tents for about ten years, cloth had a big place in terms of storage for items and things like tent flys, doors etc.), and decorative things like Christmas decorations and wall hangings.  I knitted socks, sweaters, scarves, mitts and a few shawls.  I started my first quilt the year I was married.  It was an applique quilt but I don’t remember the pattern; it was made out of green solids in a variety of hues and whites.  I had most of the applique blocks done when our tent burned down with everything we owned, including my quilt.  I didn’t start another quilt until about eight years ago when I made a few baby quilts.  Then I discovered some quilting friends, both in person and on the computer and my love of sewing has been revived in a big way.

2)  Where do you sew?
I have a sewing room, an addition to our house that DH built for me.  It is small – about 9’ x 10’ - and often messy but it is my space.  DD # 3’s boyfriend was in it recently, when she was sewing her apron, and he said “I like this room”.  I like it too. 

3) What does your sewing room/area look like today in it's real state. Take a picture of it if possible and show it to us real :)
Okay, I’m going to show you, but please look past the clutter.  It is actually quite organized – although somewhere in this room is a pair of quilting gloves and a colour wheel that I can’t find.
The sewing corner.  My Bernina, which I love.  A basket of selvages in the corner.  The pile of BIG mending – sleeping bags that need some recovering.  My little scissors with the scissor keep from Melody. My chicken pincushion, made by my friend Dahn. The big ironing board that I seldom use, except to pile things on.
The ironing board I do use, under the big picture window, my cutting mat and my rulers.  I love the ruler stands, one of the best organizers I have.  A pile of home dye scraps in the corner I need to put away.  Other fabric scraps from which I am cutting 2 inch blocks for Mary's Postage Stamp Quilt Swap and Challenge.  Felt and buttons that I bought to play with next time my DGD and DGS come over.  My vase of bits and pieces of thread and tiny fabric bits which will eventually go in the garbage.  Do you like the two tone walls?  DH did some window retrofits a couple of years ago and didn’t have blue paint for the walls, so we’re trying out yellow.
The third corner – a storage area.  Piles of fabric and odd bits.  I know where almost everything is in those piles.  And lots of lovely things that I like to look at, some that I made, some gifts from others: a pin cushion from Nova, a scrappy basket from Cindy, the little bag in front from Katy, which I use to carry my hand stitching projects.  A foot pattern on the wall for the mukluks I said I’d make for my psedo-daughter.  The green bag which is the REAL garbage pail.  And my board full of interesting bits and pieces.
And the other storage corner.  More fabric piled up.  I get lots of sun in this room, so try to keep the fabric covered.  The Mona Lisa.  Bags and boxes full of thread.  Pin cushions, pins and needles.  My Ooh La La wall hanging from Em, which I need to pin back up.  A fishy batik DD # 3 brought me from Mexico. The yellow danger tape is going into a garbage mini-quilt one of these days.   

4)  What is the first thing that you made which you were really proud of. Show us pics of your favourite project.I like most things that I make but I’ll show you something that I made a couple of years ago.  I took a series of “art quilting technique” classes at my LQS.  We all took our pieces from the classes and made items for a show.  It was great fun. 
I painted the purple, red and silver fabric with acrylic paints.  I didn’t like it at all, but when I cut it up and paired it with the solid red and purple, I loved it. The fabric piece is unbacked and unbound - just mounted on a white canvas.  I have this piece in my bedroom where I can look at it every day.
5)  Do you always stick to the "rules" when you sew, or are you more improvisationally minded?
I don’t follow many rules.  Sometimes I use patterns, but more often I just put pieces of fabric beside each other and more them around until I find what pleases me.  I have had to teach myself most often – which means that I have had free rein to do things my own way.


  1. Great post. It looks like you have a great sewing area where you can express your creativity freely!

  2. Hi! What a great room and great stories of interest!
    Enjoy YOUR space!
    Take care, Leslie

  3. Coming over from Kat's nosey parker post. Great room! Thanks for sharing. :o)

  4. I think you have a great space for being creative and unlike me you know where things are. Loved reading this post . I also learned on my mothers feathereweight and would sure love to have it.

  5. am jealous of your sewing room but not about the living in a tent for ten years. lol
    Lovely to find out some more things about you.

  6. Looks like your sewing room gets alot of good use! :-)

  7. Hi Janet, I loved reading your story and seeing your sewing room, its made me smile to see a quilt block I had made and sent you sitting on your ironing board. Its nice to have our own creative space isnt it.

  8. Great post. I enjoy getting to know more about you. :)

  9. Hi Janet! Sorry it's taken me so long to stop by! Wow - a whole sewing room built for you. How fabulous!!
    And I adore that featherweight. Thanks so much for linking up to share your space & story with us :)
    Kat xx