About Me: How I Learned to Stitch

I am often asked how and when I learned to stitch and sew . . . and the answer is never simple.

I remember making potholders when I was very young - the kind you weave with loops on a loom. I also remember learning to knit and crochet, and I made several huge granny square blankets. In the 1970's, needlepoint was "cool", and thanks to Rosie Grier even boys could do it, so my brothers and I got needlepoint kits one year for Christmas. I was a Brownie and a Girl Scout and I remember making aprons and sit-upons.

In junior high school, the girls took Home Economics as electives, so we had Cooking one semester and Sewing the next. We learned how to read patterns, buy fabric, thread the sewing machine, wind bobbins and sew a straight seam. We made simple A-line skirts and jumpers.

I learned to do counted cross stitch and other forms of hand embroidery on my own, by buying kits. Later I subscribed to For the Love of Cross Stitch and other magazines and I started my "collection" of supplies. I discovered the Spirit of Cross Stitch Festival one year and later I became a member of The Embroiderers' Guild of America (EGA). By attending classes and workshops I tried my hand at all kinds of counted thread and surface embroidery, pulled and drawn thread techniques, cutwork and many other forms of embroidery on linen (which I love) and canvas (which I do not love) and other fabrics, too.

I've always enjoyed sewing, and I learned to make curtains and slipcovers for my home after I bought a book, Simply the Best Decorating. And a lot of trial and error. I also learned quite a bit by watching Sewing with Nancy on public television. I have several of her books and attempted to adjust skirt patterns using her Fitting Finesse book.

In late 2005 I purchased a new sewing machine that also embroiders, and that has led me down a new creative path. I still want to do all my hand embroidery and home dec projects -- but now I want to make garments and embroidered projects, too. I recently purchased my first serger and am learning how to use it, but it will be a long time before I master it.

I don't consider myself an embroiderer or a seamstress or a quilter or any other term . . . I don't want to be labeled because I like to keep exploring new and different techniques. I am not a professional . . . I am a "Sewing Enthusiast" . . .