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Pam & Michelle – the Backstory

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Today’s stories are from Pam & Michelle – (they are members of the online quilt group)

Pam’s Backstory-

It seems like I started everything late in life, except children. I went to college at the age of 50 when my youngest was getting ready to graduate college. I got my RN degree and haven’t regretted my decision ever.

A few years later at the age of 59 we went to dinner with friends. My friend had a quilted handbag that I just fell in love with. When asked where she purchased it she told me she made it and had a pattern home she would copy for me.

That started it all.

You are never too old to start and learn something new. I get so much joy and relaxation from working with fabrics. I don’t know if I would be sane today without it. Of course my husband thinks I’m nuts when he sees my sewing room and I tell him I need to shop for fabric..

A little bit about Pam-

I am currently 62 years young. Married with 3 children and 3 grandchildren. Still working full time as a RN supervisor. I find time every day to sew, quilt or work with needle felting.

My grandson tells me every time I see him what he wants me to make for him, he is 3. I can’t imagine what he will want as he gets older.

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Michelle’s Backstory-

I’m a fairly new quilter. My mom taught my sisters and I to sew, spin, weave, make stained glass, basket weave, make bobbin lace, etc. from the time we were very young, and some of my earliest memories involve the sewing machine and making very ugly shorts for myself that I was so incredibly proud of. My mom and I worked together on my prom dress, and I always enjoyed sewing, but once I left home for college, I didn’t have a sewing machine anymore, so my sewing days essentially stopped.

Several years ago, I finally got my own sewing machine and slowly started getting back into sewing, primarily making things for my kids–clothes, dolls, doll clothes, and the like. I started my first full-size quilt over a year ago, and in my mind it is intimately linked to an episode where we nearly lost my son, because laying out the quilt blocks and basting the quilt was the way I coped during the evenings when I was home with our daughter and my husband was with our son in the ICU. And it was then that I discovered that quilting/sewing can be a form of therapy.

I needed an outlet–I have two young children, and my oldest (five years old) has a trach and a feeding tube and sleeps on a ventilator at night. Babysitters aren’t an option in our house, going out with friends doesn’t happen, and I needed something I could do for me that didn’t require ever having to step outside my door. While I’d love to take an in-person class or join a real live quilt guild someday, that just isn’t an option right now due to our family’s situation. And so I’m slowly learning from reading books and quilting blogs and watching online classes.

And I’m discovering that I’m a much saner person and can much better handle the craziness that is life when I’ve had a chance to spend a few minutes creating something. I have so much to learn, and I’m finding that I have the terrible problem of starting way more projects than I finish, but I love it.

My quilting time is fairly limited to the odd hour or two that I can snatch after the kids are in bed (and in between alarms from my son’s ventilator), but I’m having so much fun. I’ve even pulled my husband into the act, and he and I are working on a “date night” crazy quilt for my son. (Again, with no baby-sitter options, we can’t take dates outside the house, but it’s a lot of fun to quilt together!)

I still haven’t finished that first quilt–for some crazy reason I decided hand quilting it would be “easier” because I was too intimidated to learn how to machine quilt–and it’s become an on-again, off-again project, but I love the hand quilting, and I’m sure eventually I’ll finish it.

There are lots of reasons why people sew, and since I’m a fairly new quilter, sharing the reason why I’m quilting seemed like a good place to start!

A little bit about Michelle-

I work full-time as a linguist, and my husband stays with the kids. He’s taking night classes in the evenings, while I’m home with the kids, and I snatch my sewing time after they are in bed.

My kids both love to sew, and I’m sort of amazed at how well my two-year-old can operate my sewing machine, almost without any help at all. I have so much to learn, and I love seeing all the amazing things that people make!


These stories are brought to you by the members of the online quilt group.  Become a member to get to know April and all the other talented quilters.  We are a community of members from around the world sharing projects, inspiration and ourselves with others. We would love to get to know you too.  More info here.

Until next time.

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