"A world of sharing experience and knowledge of
sewing, crafting, creating, family and, of course, Aprons."
Somewhere around the age of 6 or 7, the matriarchs in my family started to teach me how to sew. I was blessed to have a number of experienced seamstresses in my family. Three to be exact; my Mom, my Grandma and my Great-Aunt Tillie. Little did I know at the time, that they were teaching me things that had been passed to them by the generations before them, in the unspoken hope that I would then continue to pass on the knowledge that they so lovingly taught me.
And sew begins. . .Apron Strings. The tie that binds the generations.
The matriarchs of my family all crafted. Creating everything from quilts and clothes to crocheted doilies, afghans and embroidery. They could patch a patch. Many of their crafting skills were passed down, from generation to generation, through the women in their families, but many were acquired along the way out of necessity. They were farmers. They were self-sufficient. Which in the early 1900's meant poor, but surviving. They had to figure out how to make things from what they had.
One of my first memories of learning to sew on a machine was when we would visit my great-aunt Tillie (born in 1893). Which was fairly frequently, since Tillie never married and lived with her two sisters, Toots and Lena. I have vivid memories of the sewing machine in their house. It was a treadle machine. I was fascinated by the ornate design of the iron works on the legs and treadle of the cabinet. It amazed me how you could rock the treadle back and forth with your feet and sew something together with the machine.
Being of German decent, Tillie and her sisters, always saved their scraps of material. You never know when you might need them. They collected them in a box and kept it close to their machine. I would sit and look through that box of scraps, mostly squares, and admire all the colors and prints. Tillie gave me free use of the material scraps in that box. As far as I was concerned, I had won the lottery. She would let me sew the pieces together using her treadle machine. Which was quite entertaining since I couldn't reach the treadle. Thank goodness my sister, who is four years younger than me, was thoroughly fascinated with the treadle. She enjoyed making it go up and down while I sewed my pieces together. Yes, it truly was a joint effort.
Then there was my Grandma (born in 1917) on my fathers side, another accomplished seamstress of German decent. Grandma was known for her hand sewing skills and I was lucky enough to have had her teach me many of them. When she made a quilt, the pieces were hand-stitched together and the quilting was done by hand. She was very proficient at embroidering and she could crochet everything from the daintiest doilies to the most sturdy and useful rugs.
Grandma was also the queen of "making something out of nothing". I like to think I was lucky enough to have inherited that trait. We call it German Ingenuity. As this blog site grows I will be sharing some of her wonderful, and handy, tricks and ways of doing things.
The third and probably most influential person in my learning to sew and craft, would be my mom. Through the years she has helped me develop my sewing and crafting skills. She has guided me through weaving potholders, counted cross-stitch and crocheting to constructing many outfits throughout my 4-H career. Sewing, crafting and creating is something that I have continually done since I was little. Thanks to the greatest teacher in the world, my mom. Along the way she has taught me many things like how to hand-stitch a blind hem better than any machine, to create & alter patterns, that there is always a way to make it work, but most important of all - always, no matter what, have a seam ripper handy, because "if you sew, so shall you rip".
With the patience and love of these three ladies, I have been lucky enough to have reaped the experience and knowledge of the generations before them. It is because of them, that I love to sew, craft, create and, of course, love Aprons. I have been blessed with the opportunity to share something I so thoroughly enjoy. It is with great pride that I pass it on.
So with that I submit my first article to the blogging world. I hope you find some enjoyment within these words and learn a little about me along the way.