Thursday, November 3, 2011

Where Did You Learn the Needle Arts?

My mom and I decorated this light table 15 years ago to trace patterns!
I am asked where I learned to sew, embroider, felt, quilt, and knit. Perhaps you are, too? Because I'm in my 50s, I was lucky enough to have Home Economics as part of my junior high school curriculum. Most of the women who ask me where I learned to sew are young enough, that they had no Home Economics teacher in school. They may not know a single person who sews. But oh yes, they want to learn!

Sewing and all the needle arts are certainly in another rejuvenation. In the 1970s, I remember my 20-something year old friends talking about how quilting was being reinvigorated as an important needle art. Quilting, as well as many other needle arts, keep cycling around in popularity. For those who make a living in creative fields that cater to women, the needle arts as an industry is not only popular, but a legitimate form of economic empowerment. Home Economics may not be taught in public schools any longer, but we all can certainly learn to sew throughout our communities!

I am fortunate to be from a family that honored and taught the needle arts for over 30 years. My parents, George and Bonnie Leman, as well as my six siblings, owned and operated a Colorado-based company called Leman Publications. We began publishing Quilter's Newsletter Magazine in 1969 and enjoyed many happy years being the family that worked as a team to teach the world to quilt. How fortunate for me to have Bonnie Leman as my mom and my inspiration in the fiber arts! She instilled in me the love of all needle arts as well as the love of joining forces with other women as they work to build a successfully creative life.

In addition to this entrepreneurial jump start, I will admit that I began sewing my own clothes at age 12. I have always loved working with fabric, textiles, and colors. Like so many women who are long-time subscribers to Quilter's Newsletter Magazine, I have been fortunate to combine my love of raising a family with operating a successful fiber folk art studio from home!

Where did you learn to sew, embroider, felt, quilt, or knit? I'd love to hear your story!
Thanks for stopping by,

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