My mom taught me to sew when I was a girl, on a plastic sewing machine with a snap in case. When I was about 11, my folks upgraded me to a "real" machine. I do not remember what brand it was, but it brought me to tears on a regular basis. It did not feed properly, the thread broke constantly, and the zigzag stitch was just a mess. Looking back on it, I can remember using dime store thread, 20 spools for a dollar. And in all of those years, I never changed the needle or cleaned and oiled the poor thing. I had no idea you were supposed to do those things. But I was determined to sew, so I learned how to baby that machine.
After my first daughter was born, I really wanted to make some sweet little things for her, but by then that old machine had become a real albatross! It NEEDED to be replaced, so that Christmas my sweet husband bought me a new machine. We ordered it from the JC Penny catalogue. It was a great little machine that served me well for many, many years. And it was with that little machine that I really learned the love of sewing. Projects of all sizes and skill levels began to fill our home. And, as my girls grew they learned to sew on that very same machine.
In 1995, some ladies from my church invited me to join a quilting group that they were starting. It was then that I made my very first quilt. It was a true masterpiece: an appliqued tulip with green polyester leaves! Can you imagine needle turning green polyester?! Thankfully, they did not kick me out of the group, but that quilt is quite notorious! (Gee's Bend, anyone?)
Quilting quickly became my favorite past time. Fabric and thread and color...oh it was just impossible to get enough! Quilts began to fill our home, first on beds and then onto the walls. Family and friends were given quilts as birthday gifts and Christmas presents and even just as thank yous.
The step from following a pattern to creating an original design can be a big one, but for me it evolved over time. A little change to a pattern here and another one there. Pretty soon my confidence grew, and then whole quilts were being designed. And oh how I loved the process!
So, with a lifetime of sewing and 14 years of quilting as a foundation I started a little pattern company with the help and encouragement of my family and a very dear friend. It has been a fabulous journey full of hard work, creativity and fun!
Want to read more about the "Pieces" of Rana's life?