Hi, I'm Karen.

I haven't always enjoyed sewing. My mother was a Home Ec teacher and cooking and sewing were definite life skills she taught me and my sister. I still remember the first outfit I made when I was 12. My Aunt Norma helped me sew a cute striped, knit top and elephant ear (very large flared) pants. I hope I didn't date my wardrobe style too much.

During my teen-age years, if there was cooking or house-work that needed to be done,  I would choose those tasks over sewing. There was no way I was going to sit around and sew clothes that I knew would look homemade. Mom made most of my clothes and prom dresses, and when she was done, they looked store bought. I was much happier to let her sew while I did the cleaning. Fair trade! (The downside, was I had more time to practice the piano, sigh)

Because I majored in a family skills course in college, there were a couple more sewing classes that I was required to take. Of course, I put them off until the very last because I really didn't like sewing. If I remember, one was a basic clothing construction class and the other was a children's sewing class. I made a dress and the skirt darts didn't match up with the bodice darts, no kidding. Again, let me remind you that I really didn't like doing garment construction. I never wore that dress. Occasionally though, a dress would turn out, especially if I was sewing at home with mom's help, and I had a couple of dresses that I really enjoyed wearing.

Once I started having children of my own, I did venture a little more into the world of sewing. Still not a favorite pastime. It didn't last long and by the time my fourth child came along, I was pretty much done sewing clothes. However, I began to realize I could do home-dec sewing. I made curtains for our family room and for our kitchen. That was an adventure! I have learned so much more since then.

As my sewing confidence grew I would attempt other sewing items. When we moved to Southern California, I made curtains for our over-sized sliding glass door with matching cafe curtains for the kitchen dining area. This was with no window dressing information other than I knew I wanted at least 2½ times the width of the window. Figuring casings and hems were the new challenge here. Plus, I knew I should probably line the curtains. EEK!  I was successful (at least in my mind) and for the most part, they hung straight and made me very happy.

Things really changed for me when I walked into my first "quilting" store. The colors and fabrics were arranged so beautifully. I had an actual tingling in my fingers. I wanted to know how to use those fabrics and what quilting was all about. And so, I bravely went in and asked for a job. Amazingly, they hired me, I took a few classes, and I was hooked. I remember talking to my mother about my new love of sewing (piecing quilts) and trying to figure out how to make this something really wonderful for me. She was one of my best champions in this new-found love and encouraged me in many ways. Sadly, I let outside influences rob me of my creative process and put my sewing and quilting aside for several years. Please don't do that! It makes me angry that I let someone else dictate to me what was important or not important according to their value systems. It took me years of counseling to get that person out of my head and to allow myself to not hear his words when I sit down to sew.

Then life happened, just like it does to everyone. I found myself single and needing a new job and once again, went into a sew and vac store and was hired. The technology changes in sewing machines when compared to my mother's 1959 Singer were amazing. I haven't looked back on that either. I love sewing machines and seeing what they can add to the creative process. Here we are several years later and I am happier than I have been in a long time. The ability to teach and share my love of quilting brings such happiness to me. I want you, my friend, to experience some of the same joy that I continue to experience. It is a journey and can't be completed in one sitting, one class, or one project. This "hobby" continues to bring me joy. I still get excited about fabrics and find it difficult to not say "Squirrel" and go on to another project without completing the 10 others ahead of it. That being said, fabric collecting is an entirely different hobby. I do the same thing with new patterns. It doesn't help that one of my daughters will tag me on an instagram photo and tell me she likes this one. According to her influence, I have about 20 to make for her alone.... I better get teaching her how to sew too!

I hope you will join me. I love teaching. I love quilting. I love life.