I am a lifelong lover of fabrics and anything that involves the use of a needle. I can't remember a time in my life when I haven't had multiple handwork projects under way. Indeed, I can't imagine going anywhere without taking along some project to keep my hands busy.
My sewing room is filled (almost to overflowing) with boxes of fabric, patterns, yarn, needles and all the other paraphernalia that is “required” for my various and sundry projects. My husband maintains that I must be on a first-name basis with every clerk in every fabric or yarn store within a hundred mile radius of our house. But I know he is just joking. He really is an excellent knitter and loves to walk into yarn shops and surprise the clerks when they automatically assume that I am the customer.
Professionally, I have worked in both yarn and fabric stores. I have taught classes on everything from beginning sewing to single-day classes in how to make a Tibetan panel coat. I coordinated an extensive array of sewing and handcraft classes for a specialty fabric store and I even designed and produced the store's direct mail flyer. Like you, perhaps, I make most of my own clothes. And, of course, I have pieced and quilted many quilts.
But, beyond my professional experience, a defining point in my lifelong love of the fabric arts was the opportunity I had to learn many of my early sewing skills under the tutelage of a Japanese seamstress. During my pre-teen years, my father was stationed in Japan where I met Kazuko-san. She was a lovely person who willingly (and patiently!) taught me so much. Thanks to this wonderful person, I know how to do everything from making French seams to taking apart a piece of clothing to use as a pattern.
Kazuko-san also taught me the importance of doing the little things (even the little things that nobody else will probably even notice) that speak to pride and quality. It is Kazuko-san's quiet insistence on quality and pride in one's work that guides me today as I complete each and every customer's quilt. Please know that I will treat your quilt with the same care and respect that I would if the quilt were my own. Kazuko-san taught me well.
© Susan Bowles 2004-16
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