How old were you when you learned how to sew?
I asked this question to our Facebook fans and I was blown away by the responses! Some of us learned how to sew before we were in school and others began quilting once retired. We’ve learned from mothers, grandmothers, teachers, or have persisted in teaching ourselves.
Here’s a look at some of the responses from our Facebook post:
“Mom says she put a needle in my hands when I was 18 month’s old because I would sit at her feet while she sewed and cry until she would give me needle, thread and cloth to play with. I did start piecing on a treadle machine before I was school age. My sister and I would take turns turning the top wheel because we were too short to operate the treadle.” – Elsie
“5? 6? I know I was using the treadle singer with a needle but no thread by age 3 to make pretty patterns and started making really simple doll clothes very young. My mom sewed and taught me how. I was 6 or younger the first time I sewed my finger (oops) but I learned from it to keep my fingers away from the needle.” – Laurel
“Like many I started ‘sewing’ when I was 6 or so. I made lovely dresses for my Barbies and troll dolls. Started quilting at 26 and haven’t stopped. My grandmother was my role model and showed me you can always reach someone’s heart with a quilt.” – Chery
“About 10, made my wedding dress and all other clothes for several years. Then I just stopped. A friend showed me that quilting is like putting a puzzle together. I was about 60 then. I am 71 now and love it.” – Charolette
“Age 12 in home economics. After one class I taught myself everything else. I graduated to making period cloth for an outdoor museum and for historical clothing for documentaries made for the history channel and the discovery channel. I also went on film shoots for the national park service. It’s been fun. Now I’d like to make stuff for myself and family.” – Susan
“Learned to quilt in my 20s. Other than Home Ec class (which I almost failed), I had not touched a sewing machine. I am now 60 and completely addicted to quilting.” – Debbie
“29! It has been a great 2 years so far! I hope I can teach my daughter when she’s a little older. “ – Danielle
“60! I’ve struggled with anxiety & perfectionism within myself coz I’ve been in one class where women who have sewn (as per comments) for years and take their knowledge for granted so now I fly solo use YouTube fluff & flounder but I’ve made 5 quilts that I’m happy with so at any age we can give anything a go.” – Rebecca
“I started threadpainting at 65 then started quilting at 67. Never sewed before that and I don’t garment sew at all.” -Linda
“I retired at 68 and learned to sew and quilt, now embroidering (none by hand, lol). It’s my hobby and I really love it. I donate all my quilts.” – Barbara
It gives me so many warm and fuzzies to read so many diverse paths to sewing. I am one of the lucky ones who learned to sew when I was very young, but I’ve never stopped trying to learn more. The love I feel for sewing is something I enjoy sharing with friends in the hopes they will become smitten with this timeless tradition.
As hard as I try, I’ve never gotten a friend to commit to learning how to sew by piecing a quilt. Small quilting projects are now at the top of my list when teaching a friend how to sew. Pincushions, in particular, are a great pattern for a first-time sewist because they are usually easy to sew, relatively fast to make, and they have a completed project at the end of the tutorial. Quilting Arts Presents: Pretty Patchwork Pincushions has 8 different patterns to teach or to make yourself. Download your copy today to spread your love of sewing or to become charmed with it all over again.
P.S. Leave a comment below to share the story of when you learned how to sew or visit our Facebook page to check out more of the responses to our question.