My First Make
Blog post 01
How I began, why I am here.
Sitting in my parents’ kitchen on a chill, fall night, I felt the desire and need to create. Recently graduating college, working my first job, back in my hometown, I had many reasons to want a mental break and escape.
My mom has always sewn. A quilt here, a mend there, never too much, but never too much time. Her machine and bin of scraps resting on the kitchen table were inviting.
As I started picking up scraps to cut into rectangles, I remembered some basics from 8th grade Home Ec. I also recalled the C+ I was awarded on my very poorly sewn stuffed animal. Nevertheless, I continued to piece fabric together little by little.
Over the next 2 months, I continued to put the pieces together, and after many demonstrations, I eventually figured out how to wind a bobbin. At some point in this process, I knew the quilt no longer belonged to me. I would gift this first make to a friend of mine. I added details for him-an airplane for the traveler, a sunflower for the gardener, a boat for the dreamer, a bee for the learner. I was beyond proud of my finished product, but I was not enthralled with sewing, yet.
My first make is nothing to be proud of, if only considering skill, color palettes, or quality. It’s messy, with stitches all over the place; I didn’t yet know you were supposed to quilt a quilt after piecing. But creating isn’t just about quality
Nearly a decade later, my first quilt lies on the bed I share with my now husband. Above our heads, hangs a mini quilt-a gift from my dear aunt who showed me the passion behind sewing before I even knew my own. Our children sleep in the room next to us, snuggled under handmade quilts. Yes, this first quilt may not be perfect, but it showed me the power of a handmade gift. It’s what brings me back to sewing again and again.
I didn’t jump right into sewing after my first experience. It took time, patience. The idea of giving unique gifts drove me to learn more. A dinosaur sweatshirt for my nephew, a holiday table runner for my mother, or a pot holder for my husband would fill hours at my sewing machine. In my memory, the breakthrough was a dress I made for my daughter’s first birthday. I had a pattern, but it still took four attempts- her head won’t squeeze through, her arms cannot be pushed into the holes, I can’t find her in all this fabric, and finally something that is wearable.
So, what brings me here, to a space to sell handcrafted goods and display my process? This space is to highlight and share the products which I pour over to ensure quality.
Fabric dyed with rabbitbrush foraged from Colorado natural areas.
I want to offer the uniqueness and quality of my makes to others. But, I also want to show the process. It may be sewing directions, a pattern, inspiration, or my new favorite, natural dyeing. I believe in transparency for the customer, seeing how a product is created. But, I also want to inspire others to follow in their own ways with new aspirations and hobbies.
Much of this, is really for me, to push myself to my limitations. To have a space I document my attempts, failures, and discoveries, to be a constant learner.
I’ll begin with where my mind is now: naturally dyed fabrics. Blog post coming soon.