When I was about 10 years old, my mother gave me the best gift of my lifetime. She taught me how to sew! My mother was a seamstress as was her sister and their mother before them and many other relatives as well. My first project was a blue cape for my doll edged with red binding and a red cross embroidered on it. I can still see myself holding that little cape and sewing a basting stitch to affix the binding. From that little cape I blossomed into an accomplished seamstress, dressing all my dolls with homemade fashions. By the time I was in junior high, I was making clothes for myself. In high school I had my own sewing machine set up in my bedroom and I could whip out a dress in a day for any occasion.
Time passed and in 1984, I purchased my decorating business and I soon found that my knowledge of sewing, how a garment is put together, helped me immensely in designing window treatments for my clients. I could visualize how the fabrics would be sewn together to make the finished product. When I designed a valance or top treatment that was not the norm, I would go to the workroom and together we would devise a plan on creating the new vision. I had developed a love of beautiful fabrics over the years and I was thrilled when the new fabric books would come in. I would sit down and put different designs together to envision new looks for my clients. And when a fabric book became discontinued, I would find it hard to part with it.
I eventually solved the discontinued fabric problem by donating them to local quilting groups at the Lutheran churches or taking them to schools for the teachers to use. I continue that practice today. This past summer, I decided to take a quilting class to refresh my skills in making quilts. I had only dabbled in quilt making over the years and I wanted to see if I would like to get back into it. That class got me hooked again! And I’ve discovered 2 lovely stores in town that offer quilting fabrics and classes. Instead of mindless TV watching, I now retreat to my spare bedroom where I’ve set up a space for quilt making!
But what to do with the finished quilts? A perfect solution is to use them for decorating purposes around the home. They can be thrown over a table for a tablecloth or hung in the bath as a shower curtain! Quilts that are worn can be cut up and made into pillows or used to cover a chair seat. They can be used as spreads for a bed or neatly folded at the foot of a bed. Or how about a stack of finished quilts displayed in a cupboard with the doors open!
As I’ve visited the quilt shops the last couple of months, there have been lots of patterns and fabrics available for the fall, Halloween and Thanksgiving. Drape one of those completed holiday projects over the dining room table; add a couple of candles and some gourds and you have an instant centerpiece!
And here’s a lasting project for the whole year! I just finished the perfect quilt sized for hanging, 34” square. Install an adjustable black metal rod over a console or desk in your foyer. Sew a rod pocket onto the back of your quilt and hang it on the rod. Then devise a plan to make 11 more 34” square quilts, one for each month or occasion of the year! Every month you will be redecorating and visitors to your home will instantly know you are an avid quilter! Until next time, have a happy decorating day!