Wednesday, September 20, 2017

National Sewing Month Featuring Amy Reber



Amy Reber shares her sewing story for National Sewing Month!




I'm going back in time about seven years....as the wife of a United States Marine and mother to three young children, I found myself craving a creative - almost therapeutic - outlet to help get me through deployments, moves and just the day-to-day roller coaster of being a stay-at-home mom. Despite what might be going on during a particular day, I challenged myself to pick up a sketch pad daily and so my rhythm as an artist was born; I still strive to sketch at least ten minutes each day.....I tell people it's free therapy!

As my collection of sketches grew, I started to wonder what my work would look like on “product” and realized that I needed to teach myself some graphic design skills on the computer. I opened up Adobe Illustrator one day during summer vacation. I made my first "repeat” that day using one of my sketches and immediately I knew I had found what my gift of art was meant to be used for. Though fabric was not on my radar at that moment, my art organically involved into designs that work beautifully on fabric and that sewers and quilters are drawn to.

Every time I see a creation made with my FreeSpirit fabrics, I get a similar adrenaline rush from when I made my first repeat! To look at a particular fabric and reflect upon when I drew the flower or shape is truly satisfying, and then to share this with others is the cherry on top! When I saw the quilt that I commissioned to be made using my first FreeSpirit Fabrics line POSY for my daughter, it was such a beautiful moment because not only did I get to give the quilt to her, but I got to show her what her mom could do outside of “mom/wife duties.” It was a powerful moment I will never forget! And now, I get to see how sewers and quilters use my designs to create their own beautiful works of art using thread and needle. I am honored and humbled to play a role in their passion and and I love seeing how others interpret my designs, and that with their creations they breathe new life into the art I originally brought to life with my sketchpad!







Make sure to sign up for a chance to win fabric from Amy Reber along with our Coats Quilt+ thread! You will also be entered for a chance to win our Grand Prize giveaway featuring SEW many goodies including a Janome AMH-100 Machine!





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Monday, September 18, 2017

National Sewing Month Featuring Anna Maria Horner


Anna Maria Horner shares her earliest sewing memory for National Sewing Month!


I was so lucky that my mother let me at the sewing machine at the very young age of 7.  This was after standing next to her and watching her sew my clothes for as far back as I can remember.  I found the sewing machine to be a miracle and a bit dangerous, so I pleaded until she finally gave in.  Prior to that I was hand sewing dresses for my Barbie Doll, and I've since heard from so many others that they began the same way.  Perhaps Barbie's biggest contribution to future quilters is it got us thinking in scraps from day one!  So a big thanks to my mom for believing I was capable.  I haven't stopped trying to prove I can do it!





Make sure to sign up for a chance to win fabric from Anna Maria Horner along with our Coats Quilt+ thread! You will also be entered for a chance to win our Grand Prize giveaway featuring SEW many goodies including a Janome AMH-100 Machine!

ENTER TO WIN HERE!

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National Sewing Month Featuring Kathy Doughty


Kathy Doughty shares her earliest sewing memory for National Sewing Month!


I was a Girl Scout sewing badge flunky!  I hated the sewing machine as a young girl and never dreamed I’d ever sew anything.  My life shifted dramatically when I moved to Australia and left behind all of the defining people, places and things in my life.  I met a few friends at my first son’s playgroup.  One of them, Bronwyn and her daughter Lucy, made me a quilt for my second baby Noah.  I remember quite clearly on that day, standing in the sun in my front yard as she handed me a quilt made with scraps in a quarter square pattern and tied with a ribbon. 
I looked at it and gasped at the full realization of the sharing that had gone into making it.  I could see the decisions made as they considered together what fabrics went where.  Visions of possibilities swarmed through my mind, I looked up at Bronwyn and said, “Teach me how to do this right now!”

I did not know a thing about sewing but I have spent the last 24 years learning by doing.  Don’t let anyone fool you, patience has nothing to do with making a quilt!  It’s all about learning in the moment, experimenting with color, design and pattern.  The best part is the community of willing quilters that will happily share what they know.  My quilting friends quickly became family.  Opening Material Obsession was an exciting opportunity that simply allowed me to learn faster from my customers and teachers as well as the groups and guilds I have encountered along the way.  It has become my voice and the place where I am most me.


Make sure to sign up for a chance to win fabric from the Kathy Doughty along with our Coats Quilt+ thread! You will also be entered for a chance to win our Grand Prize giveaway featuring SEW many goodies including a Janome AMH-100 Machine!


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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

National Sewing Month Featuring Kaffe Fassett, Brandon Mably, & Liza Lucy


Kaffe Fassett, Brandon Mably, and Liza Lucy share their sewing story for National Sewing Month!


‘When I first started stitching needlepoint, I had the cheek to send an early tapestry to the Embroiderers Guild for a show they were mounting. It was sent back to me the next day as they were horrified that it had stitches running in two different directions and I thought a good colour arrangement was what was important – a good lesson – I’ve not done it again!’ Kaffe Fassett


‘If in a rush, use your sewing machine but stitching by hand is so much more of a meditative motion. The thrill of cutting up a piece of patterned fabric, mixing it with other colours and standing back to observe your progress is like the opening of a theatrical production and it’s your own creation.’  Brandon Mably



The year is 1972. I am in college. My boyfriend has a king size waterbed. And that bed needed a cover.

 Although I was in college to study and learn, I admit that I spent quite a lot of time embroidering peace signs on my friends' denim jackets.  It was the first clue that I would not be making my living as a clinical psychologist but as a needlewoman.

I had no idea how to make a quilt but it didn't look hard so, I purchased 25 blue and white bandanas.  I hand sewed them together, 5 across and 5 down to make a large square top.  I knew I needed to get batting and backing and thought the best batting would have to be the fluffiest so I got that and a several of yards of red pinwale corduroy for the backing.   I pinned these layers together (I wouldn't have called it pin basting because I didn't know that term yet) and using  a large circular needle and a skein of Red Heart ecru knitting yarn, tied the layers together.

To finish the edge (I didn't know the term binding), I bought satin edging yardage that is normally used to edge wool blankets and hand sewed it on. 

It was the Age of Aquarius and bell bottoms, and beads and I had made my first quilt.  I thought it was a beautiful quilt and it kept us very warm! Liza Lucy


Make sure to sign up for a chance to win fabric from the Kaffe Fassett Collective along with our Coats Quilt+ thread! You will also be entered for a chance to win our Grand Prize giveaway featuring SEW many goodies including a Janome AMH-100 Machine!
ENTER TO WIN HERE!

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Monday, September 11, 2017

National Sewing Month Featuring Tanya Whelan


Tanya shares her earliest sewing memory for National Sewing Month!


I started sewing as a kid, just little craft projects, learning the basics. When I was about 19 and had my first apartment, and very little money, I turned my mattress into a daybed with a proper box pleat slipcover and giant back pillows made from inexpensive muslin. I found this so empowering to be able to shape my world and make it a little bit nicer through sewing. I could not have imagined then that these experiences would eventually lead me to write two sewing books. Paying attention to the small things that bring you, joy, like sewing, can pay off in small and big ways.



Make sure to sign up for a chance to win fabric from Tanya along with our Coats Quilt+ thread! You will also be entered for a chance to win our Grand Prize giveaway featuring SEW many goodies including a Janome AMH-100 Machine! ENTER TO WIN HERE

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Friday, September 08, 2017

National Sewing Month Featuring Margot Elena

Margot shares her earliest sewing memory for National Sewing Month!


My earliest sewing memory was making clothes for my stuffed animals and discovering that flat paper doll patterns are not at all the same as sewing for three-dimensional critters. Discovering that flat sewing patterns need to accommodate three-dimensional shapes planted the seeds for my love of detail oriented and creative packaging, which inspired me to be the designer I am today.


Make sure to sign up for a chance to win fabric from Margot along with our Coats Quilt+ thread! You will also be entered for a chance to win our Grand Prize giveaway featuring SEW many goodies including a Janome AMH-100 Machine! 

Enter to Win a precut HERE and A Chance at the Grand Prize!
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Thursday, September 07, 2017

National Sewing Month Featuring Jennifer Paganelli


Jennifer shares her earliest sewing memory in honor of National Sewing Month!


In 1970, at the age of 12, I anxiously awaiting the arrival of my two sisters Shana and Meghan.  I was in 5th grade at St. Croix Country Day School.  I knew my life as I knew it was going to change dramatically. It was such an exciting and thrilling time in our family.

Mom was committed to bed rest and I remember visiting her in her bedroom. We played games, thought of baby names and guessed the sexes. My twin brother Jimmy (yes, you heard that right, my mom had two sets of twins) threatened to run away if they were both girls. 

My mom had six kids all together with 10 years between the youngest and the oldest, Bridget who was 15, and had a boyfriend.  These babies were going to definitely going to cramp here style. 

I got busy sewing. I made my siblings pajamas and I overheard my brothers and sisters grouching that they didn’t fit and the crouch was down to their knees yada yada. My mother bribed them with candy and Cracker Jacks to wear them just one night without complaining.  I was blissfully unaware and just kept sewing.

My mom saw promise and sent me to the College of the Virgin Islands for extended education classes. We would stop at Woolworths to get the fabrics, thread, etc. – everything I needed. It was the icing on the cake! After the babies were born, I made matching baby outfits in class. My mom, being the wonderful mother she was, put them in the front row of church when they were old enough to wear the dresses and bonnets. I was beaming with pride…soaking up the love that welcomed the babies in their cherished outfits.  



Make sure to sign up for a chance to win fabric from Jennifer along with our Coats Quilt+ thread! You will also be entered for a chance to win our Grand Prize giveaway featuring SEW many goodies including a Janome AMH-100 Machine! ENTER TO WIN HERE!
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Tuesday, September 05, 2017

National Sewing Month Featuring Corinne Haig



Corinne shares her earliest sewing memory in honor of National Sewing Month!


I grew up with talented seamstresses in my family. My grandmother, mother and sister all sewed. My grandmother made all of my mother's school clothes and dance recital costumes. Likewise, my mother sewed most of me and my sister’s school clothes and doll clothes.

While growing up, my sister loved to sew clothes for her Barbie. I was the artist of the family, so instead of sewing fabrics outfits for my Barbie, I designed paper clothes.  I would paint and color designs onto paper, carefully cutting them to fit, and using clear tape to hold together. I made my Barbie a beautiful paper wardrobe of dresses, skirts, tops and swimsuits featuring my bright patterns and floral designs. I guess this was the beginning of what I do now, creating art on fabric for others to sew. I love what I do and it is a thrill to see how others bring my fabric to life!




Make sure to sign up for a chance to win fabric from Corinne along with our Coats Quilt+ thread! You will also be entered for a chance to win our Grand Prize giveaway featuring SEW many goodies including a Janome AMH-100 Machine! ENTER TO WIN HERE!


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Monday, September 04, 2017

National Sewing Month Featuring Denyse Schmidt


Denyse shares her earliest sewing memory in honor of National Sewing Month!

My first sewing project was a dress for my Barbie.  I knew then that this was my calling and I had to continue to put needle and thread to fabric.

I learned to sew from my mother. She was 'doing it all' before it was a thing – she raised four kids, earned two masters degrees, worked full time and somehow found time to entertain, reupholster furniture, and make clothes for herself and her kids. My mother learned to sew from her grandmother, and I remember my mother telling me she made everything, including underwear! I found out after I started my business that my great grandmother also made utilitarian quilts – the kind of quilts that I love -- made in a hurry from old clothing and out of necessity.

When I was a kid, I had a toy sewing machine that always jammed which was super frustrating. I remember wanting to sew on a 'real' machine early on – I think my mother knew I would be a serious stitcher at that point! I sewed softies, doll clothes and home accessories for my dollhouse.      
                

In my high school Home Economics class, one of my projects was a linen, double-breasted skirt suit with bound buttonholes and pockets. I was always pretty ambitious and impatient!  My first 'professional' sewing job was working in the costume shop at the Boston Ballet. Early in the season, I made a terrible mess of a tutu – sewing yards and yards of delicate silk tulle to essentially a pair of underpants – but managed to keep my job! The rest is history!

Make sure to sign up for a chance to win fabric from Denyse along with our Coats Quilt+ thread! You will also be entered for a chance to win our Grand Prize giveaway featuring SEW many goodies including a Janome AMH-100 Machine! SIGN UP HERE





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