Okay, so I've never sewn a stitch before in my life. Well, that's not entirely true. I took home-ec in 7th grade, and I still have the stuffed dog I made in class. And my mom has kept some pathetic little treasures that I stitched together as a child. But beyond that, sewing has been "out of my comfort zone."
Two things this past fall merged to set me on a Christmas sewing frenzy. First, while at Joe and Marge's, I was admiring (yes, covetously) Marge's table runner that her daughter Amy had made for her. The second was that when Ben and Rosella brought the boys their firefighter outfits, the pants needed to be hemmed, and I mentioned that I had found a sewing machine in the shed when we bought our house, but had no idea if it worked or not. Within an hour Ben had it cleaned up and humming along, and I mentioned that I had always wanted to make table runners, and now that I had a machine maybe I would someday. Ben and Rosella were leaving on vacation two days later, but before they left, Ben dropped off a huge bag of all kinds of fabric and matching threads for me, including some beautiful material for both autumn and Christmas-the two runners I most wanted to make for our home.
Well, I experimented and fudged along and came up with this "guinea pig" before they returned from vacation, and I sent this fledgling try to Mom Milligan as a non-Christmas gift. :)
And in the process, I discovered that I loved to sew! So I tried this one for Dianne for Christmas:
After that, Rosella graciously arranged for her and I to attend sewing classes at the shop in town (not that she needed the classes...she's a quilter extraordinaire)! One of our projects was this quilted table runner, and I decided that I would love to make some table runners for my mom (I had picked her name for our family gift exchange). Her dining room/kitchen is decorated with a grapevine theme, and I made the backing an autumn runner.
These two aren't back-to-back like the others...they just have boring backings! The finished results fell disappointingly short of what I had planned for my mom...I wanted a table runner for every holiday/season of the year, and it came to just the three runners all together. I did learn that it is best to try to learn a new skill and complete elaborate projects well before the season, particularly if one is in the process of selling their home and moving within 4 weeks of starting the sewing projects. Live and learn, right? :)