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PREVIEW: How to Sew by Hand – s02e08
Stitching by hand can by decorative or for mending, quilting, hemming, and more. The hand stitches that you will learn in this class can be used as utility or decorative stitches. You can use them on fabric, as they were intended, or get creative and use them to embellish journal pages, ATCs, bookmarks or whatever your imagination can dream up.
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My first sewing teacher was my mother and she insisted that my stitches be formed properly and that my finger be protected with a thimble. I still managed to poke myself now and then!
When I was a kid, the first stitch I learned was a cross stitch which I stitched on checked gingham fabric. I was fascinated as I watched the pattern emerge. It was easy, too, because of the even squares, woven pattern in the fabric. It was my earliest attempt at counted cross stitch!
My mother was following the tradition established in her family. She was taught to sew by her mother and aunts. Every girl had to learn to stitch by a certain age, although I’m not sure of the accepted age requirement. Mom learned a variety of embroidery stitches as well as how to mend and darn and later how to quilt. Interestingly, before she could marry my dad, she had to complete an entire quilt! I recall her telling me that one of her aunts helped her so that she could have the quilt finished in time.
Boys were sometimes taught about stitching, as well. My dad learned to stitch by hand as well as how to crochet. He was also required to stitch a quilt before marrying. I have no idea if that was a common practice or just a skill that his mother thought he should acquire.
I watched my mother embroider pillow cases and dresser scarves as I was growing up. Seeing the designs made of simple stitches and a few colors of thread was always fun. Occasionally Mom would let me “help” her stitch. I’m sure she had to remove all my “help” when I wasn’t looking.
Stitch has always been a part of my life and I couldn’t wait to buy my first embroidery kit with my own money! It was a large picture of flowers stitched with yarn in crewel embroidery and I thought it was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen! I proudly framed it and gave it to my mother who hung it on her wall in a prominent place in our home.
Years later, my mother decided to make a quilt for each girl in the family. There were 7 quilts ahead of her! She hand stitched each block, assembled the quilt top and then she and my dad placed the backing, batting and top in the quilt frame. They spent their evenings quilting together for several years. What a fun memory!
The stitches that I’ll show you in this class can be used as utility or decorative stitches. You can use them on fabric, as they were intended, or get creative and use them to embellish journal pages, ATCs, bookmarks or whatever your imagination can dream up.
Watch the video class, download your class notes and let’s get stitching!