This one is all about sewing!
1) How long have you been sewing? Are you a first generation sewer or was the knowledge handed down to you? Basically tell us about your journey...
I've lost count of the number of times I've answered this with a different answer because I'll forget about something. Having thought about it really hard I suspect my first attempt at sewing was at play school (kindergarten) when we were given little rectangles of Binca canvas and embroidery thread and made little mats to take home for our mothers (so probably near to Mother's day). I suspect my mum still has it somewhere!
I also recall being about 5 or 6 and being given a toy sewing machine. It was a nightmare to use, but with the help of a neighbour that was into sewing we managed to make a pillow for my dolls pram. The fabric was some pinky red and white cotton micro checks with Disney characters - possibly the seven dwarfs sprinkled on it. Then when I was about 7 my class started an English Paper Piecing Project to make a hexie quilt for a local childrens hospice. We also each got to make our own patchwork cushion. Mine was made from Oblongs sewn together into a Fence and Rail style block. I remember picking fabrics I liked - but didn't necessarily go together. We had to provide a remnant fabric to make the rest of the cushion. I can't show you any pictures because we had it on our sofa until it fell apart.
That experience got me hooked to patchwork which I've dabbled in over the years. My mum is not into sewing so it's not a hobby we could do together. Unlike embroidery which she was really into and she showed me how to do that. I've probably most seriously got back into sewing and patchwork in the last 18 months.
2) Where do you sew?
I had these great plans for a little sewing craft nook in my dining room. I am too ashamed to take a picture of it right now because it's just a giant s***t hole. No really it's that bad. I've got boxes of craft stuff tucked under the desk area so it's impossible to sit at the counter and work. So the desk top just gets covered in stuff. I did clear it once a while back see:
In truth it's too dark to work in this corner and even cleared it still wasn't inspiring enough to sew here. So I use the dining room table behind when I want to use my machine. I do most of my cutting on the living room floor in front of the TV. I've also cleared out a chest in the dining room which is where my fabrics now live. This along with the crap collecting space under the desk area in the above picture is where all my craft stuff hides. Even though I am rubbish at keeping the surfaces tidy like the desk I am actually super organised in the drawers! See:3) What does your sewing room/area look like today in it's real state. Take a picture of it if possible and show it to us real :)
As I mentioned above I don't really have one sewing space and certainly not a sewing room. On my living room floor right now is my cutting mat and this:
The ruler handle arrived today. It cost me about £2.50 plus postage from ebay and is not a quilt ruler handle but a dent puller for use on cars! I am loving my new cutting mat as my cutting is more accurate than ever. But I am a bit scared of slips with the rotary cutter. I always thought the handles were a bit pricey; then Clare suggested a dent puller in a post the other day and even though I've not cut any fabric yet I've clamped it to my ruler and I reckon it'll do the job a treat! The piles of fabric are ready for me to cut some to send to Susan for her Birdie Quilt. (In fact this picture was taken yesterday when I started putting this post together and they are in the post now Susan!)
The first thing I made I was really proud of is probably the patchwork cushion that fell apart through extreme use. Sadly I don't have a photo. So the most recent project I've been most proud of has to be this hexie charm quilt. (Regular readers probably think I use any excuse to wheel this old chestnut out and should really get some new material!)
I've not done enough Improv work in the conventional sense. If you count my inability to read and follow instructions and the tendancy to do my own thing - then I quite regularly improvise! I am getting better. For example more recently I've bought and made bags rather than thinking oooh I'll just work out how to do it myself. If someone's written a pattern already I'm more likely to try theirs first - and then maybe do my own thing with it...