Monday, September 10, 2012

Home Ec

Many years ago, I took a required class my first year in High School. On one of the first days of our Home Economics class, our teacher, Mrs. Trainor, told us that we would be constructing a garment, learn to bake, and learn how to design a home.

I had never sewn before, as my own Mom did not sew. So we learned about fabric and thread, and sewing machines, tracing wheels and zippers. And each one of us made a garment!

After graduating from High School, I found that making garments was fun and challenging. I ended up taking another garment class through Adult Education offered in our public schools.

After I married and started a family, I found the local craft stores offered different classes. Cake decorating was a great asset to make birthday cakes for my little children. But the class that changed how I looked at a sewing machine was the quilting class.
At that time, we used scissors, templates and we hand stitched everything. When our class was almost over, our teacher brought out an instrument that she said would make cutting our fabric easier. Can you guess what it was?

Yep, it was the first time I ever saw a Rotary cutter. None of the students were impressed, saying "How could this pizza cutter take the place of scissors?" Not only were we wrong, but my sister in love took a class at a new quilt shop and learned Eleanor Burns Quilt in a Day method. Sewing has never been the same for us since ;-)

How about you?? Who taught you to quilt??

15 comments:

Clara {Clover and Violet} said...

I learned how to quilt from the tv programs that aired on our PBS stations. They included Eleanor Burns, Fons & Porter, Sue Hausmann, Martha Pullen and a few others. That is what I watched on Saturday mornings between cartoons!!

Hilachas said...

My sewing history is almost identical to yours. I remember the fabric I bought for my Home Ec dress cost 49 cents a yard. The fabric was 36 inches wide in those days. Thanks for bring back some memories.

Susan said...

The only difference is that mother and grandmother both sewed and I learned at an early age. Once in high school, I was making my own garments because we had a dress code to maintain. She taught me to quilt, but I did everything by hand (cutting with scissors, piecing and quilting). A Bear Claw 9-patch took me a year to do! I fell in love with the rotary when we moved to California and never looked back! We've come a long way Baby and that's a good thing!

Denise :) said...

I worked my first quilt with a book, a lot of prayer, and downright determination. LOL! ;)

Linda said...

The only garment I've EVER sewn was a wraparound skirt in a peach tie-dye fabric in home ec. class in 19. . . well, never mind. I took a basic machine quilting class on a whim in 1994 and I've been quilting ever since.

Loris said...

I tried some 'free lance' sewing of blocks together but didn't learn till I got a new Bernina and the salesman paid for my first quilting class. My life hasn't been the same since either!

Phyllis in Minnesota said...

My first sewing experience was hemming Mom's aprons or dish towels which were made from feed sacks. Mom and 4-H taught me garment sewing and when I married and had children, I taught sewing in the local 4-H club. Does my daughter sew? NO - she has difficulty sewing on a button!
Keep on quilting!!

Betty Lou said...

Actually Eleanor Burns t aught me to quilt. I was managing a company owned Stretch and Sew store in S Calif. Knits were phasing out and we were going to carry calico and WE were going to teach the Quilt in A Day method. On a Saturday the five other managers in the area went down to an Eleanor Burns workshop. Two weeks later we were teaching Quilt in a Day. That was 1982, no rotary cutters then, Eleanor ripped fabric and used scissors.

Cath said...

What a terrific post. The first thing I ever made on the sewing machine was a dress for my doll when I was about 7 years old. Under the guidance of my mum of course but she was impatient and I was always too slow for her so I didn't really give it a serious go until my dear MIL bought me a sewing machine some years ago.
Cath @ Bits 'n Bobs

Rebecca Tellez said...

My Gram taught e to make my own doll clothes way back when by hand, learned to construct garments in Home Ec (sounds like we had to take the same class in high school), made all my children's clothes, husband's shirts, etc. Walked into a quilt shop 12 years ago, husband paid for my lessons and now I am a long arm quilter. My three daughters do no sew, have tried to teach them and my DIL, No Go. I am sorry they took Home Ec out of schools.

quiltfool said...

When I was young, boys were only taught to sew on a button. I learned to use a machine and tried clothes, but when I found quilting, that's when my sewing really took off. I originally learned from Eleanor Burns and Alex Anderson and now I'm teaching quilting. Things really change. Be well. Lane

Michelle said...

I learned from television shows and magazines. My mom started to quilt after I did.

It probably helped that I took every sewing class I could back in high school, so I had some sewing background.

Carrie P. said...

I enjoyed reading that story. I did not see a rotary cutter until my mom got me started which was 1999. I tired to make a quilt when I first got married in 1976 cutting pieces with scissors, didn't like that so I quit. I gave the pieces to my grandma and she made the quilt and gave it to me finished the next Christmas. It was a simple log cabin.

SewCalGal said...

I bet Mrs. Trainor would be VERY proud of you today!

SewCalGal
www.sewcalgal.blogspot.com

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

Somehow the top I made in Home Ec turned out almost twice the size it was supposed to be. The teacher couldn't figure how that happened, since she checked each step. Oh well. I still don't sew clothes.