I learnt to sew at my maternal grandmothers knee. Nana had been employed by the local tailor as an outworker when her husband died in 1920 leaving her with 2 small boys to provide for. Firstly Nana taught me hand sewing and I remember the first doll’s dress I made out of Nana’s scraps. When I could reach the treadle I was allowed to use the Singer in Nana’s room. When I took sewing in high school the teachers would not believe the work was my own. By 1962 I saved enough from my pay to buy my own sewing machine on which I made all my clothes basketball uniforms and ball gowns. When I married in 1968 the sewing machine got a lot of use making curtains, cushions and chair covers for our army house in Seymour Vic. As the children came along I made the majority of their clothes and bedding. I have always sewn for myself and others over the years I made extra to help with the family budget undertaking various courses and workshops to learn new techniques
After the breakdown of my marriage in 1982 I studied Fashion and Design at TAFE learning all the basics of design, pattern making, use of colour, fashion accessories. After completion of the two year course I worked for a local designer making up her design for clients. One of the clients was a news reader on the local TV station and it can me a buzz to see her wearing garments I had made while she read the news. Then I branched out and went to work for a fancy dress costume hire firm, here I could let my imagination run wild making all types of clothing, Scarlet O’Hara type dresses, Edwardian Styles and fantasy outfits. This job ended when David bought the stock from a rival.
Then I started a baby Manchester business of my own, making quilts, sheets etc all from 100% cotton, this was not a roaring success as I did not have the capital to rent premises etc.
Eventually in 1998 I discovered patchwork and quilting and became a devotee. My first patchwork quilt was a cot quilt made from poly cotton with poly wadding, a simple design of plain and printed squares in pastel colours with Teddy Bears Rocking Horses and Hearts had quilted with embroidery floss. Unfortunately I can’t find a photo of it, the quilt is packed away in our boxes we left in Launceston. I joined the local quilt group did as many workshops I could read every quilt book in the local library and absorbed all the information I could on quilting.