My Grandma Young was “the” sewer in my family, closely followed by her daughter, my Aunt Robbie. My mother never sewed to my knowledge, nor did her other sister, my Aunt Ginny. Grandma Young was self-taught, I’m sure. I don’t remember what-all kinds of things she made but I always got a flannel nightgown every Christmas and she didn’t backstitch her seams. In her defense, the machine she used, which was handed down to me as my first machine, was an industrial Morse, straight-stitch only, no reverse. I never thought to ask her where she got it.
As with most girls of my vintage, I learned to sew in 8th grade home ec. I took to it like a duck to water and made a lot of my own clothes throughout high school. I dug out this picture of Christmas morning of my senior year. Santa brought me a brand-new Kenmore with zig zag and reverse. In a cabinet, no less. Woohoo!
After I was married and the kids came along there wasn’t much time for sewing except for the occasional Halloween costume:
I discovered Sewing with Nancy and Nancy Zieman became my hero. She was sponsored by Pfaff in those days and oh how I wanted a machine that had fancy stitches. Aunt Robbie had a Viking with the drop-in cams, it was wonderful. I found a used Viking 6690 that had stitches on cassettes and bought it. I gave the Kenmore to the sewing circle at church. I sewed on that Viking for many years, it was a good machine.
Fast forward several years. I saw Simply Quilts on HGTV but was just put off by the geometrical patterns shown on most of the quilts and so I passed right on by and kept channel surfing. I don’t know why those quilts had that affect on me, but I really wasn’t interested. (sorry Alex) But then I discovered Eleanor Burns on PBS. It was her “Grandmother’s Flower Garden” series and I was hooked. The applique and her unique methods of construction really grabbed me. I bought the book and in typical Robin fashion, have yet to make even one design out of it (in 9 years LOL).
But that was the beginning of my quilting journey and what cracks me up when I think about it is that while I don’t love ALL quilt patterns, I have made several non-applique, pieced, geometric quilts. And I have probably watched every episode of Simply Quilts (some of them more than once, I’m sure).
But the Viking didn’t have features that make quilting so much more enjoyable: needle-down and movable needle position. So I traded it in for a new Husqvarna Viking Lily 545. It’s a wonderful machine, I would recommend one to anyone (you’d have to find one used now of course, this one is probably 8-9 years old). Sometimes while watching The Quilt Show with Alex and Ricky, I experience some Bernina lust, but another machine in that price range is not on my wish list right now and I just close my eyes until the feeling passes. If the day ever comes that I can get one, I won’t let go of the Viking, I’ll just have to be a 2-machine woman. (But wait, I have considered getting a Janome Jem too, so maybe I’ll have to be a 3-machine woman some day.)
Until next time,