Laziest Daisy, and a Question

comments: 1257


While I was taking pictures of the puppers, I went into the guest room and found my laziest daisy, Violet Paulson, lying on a pillowcase-covered bread board I had brought upstairs last week — a makeshift ironing board I was using to iron in bed while watching TV. (Okay, maybe I am the laziest.) I am trying to iron all of my fabric scraps so I can cut them up into little patches for my patchwork pillows. IT. TAKES. FOREVER!!! I've lost count of the number of hours I've spent doing this. Good thing the Tori and Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood marathon was on!!!


"Oh, I'm sooooo tired! Because I have to sleep on a bread board !!!"


"I. Am. Soooooo. Pretty. Though."


"Ya know?"

* * *

In answer to several questions yesterday, that is a little vintage reading light that hangs on the headboard of the bed and yep, my pillowcases are thrifted — I have a large and well-used (and well-loved) collection of flowery cases from the '60s and '70s. We have so many pillows in our house it's nuts. I believe I am going through a pillow phase. Has that ever happened to you? No??? Try it. It's good.

Secondly, here's my question for you: Do you sew?

Lately I have been getting a lot of emails from people who don't sew, or are just learning to sew. They always interest me, because I come from one of those families/circles of friends where everyone sews, or knows how to sew, and doesn't really think too much about it. It's just what you do. For most of my life, I really did just assume that everyone grew up with big piles of fabric in the dining room, or pieces of thread all over their shirt. But now I know that's not right. So my question is: Do you sew (with a sewing machine)? If you do, what age did you start? Who taught you? What do you make now?

If you don't, why not? What would you need to start? Do you even want to?

I'm just curious, so if you have a minute this weekend, please comment here, and feel free to expound — I want to know. I am going to report back on the results, so even if you don't usually comment, see if you can this time. I really wonder how those numbers will break down, don't you?


My Grandmother was a seamstress in the 40's/50's at a fancy-schmancy clothing store in Massachusetts. My Mom sews - the same items repeatedly: pajamas for her Grandchildren (and when I was young, pajamas for me and my sisters - always flannel, always at Christmas - and we matched). I took home ec in high school and actually made some pretty impressive stuff (my first item was a wool blazer!). Then I sort of stopped sewing. I started again about a year or so ago. My knowledge level and confidence is low, but I'm getting there little by little. Zippers scare the poop out of me. TMI?

I semi-sew. When my son was little, I would sew our Halloween costumes. But that was about it.
Now when I sew, it's usually for an art project. However, on my Summer To Do list, is to sew a skirt and a quilt... we'll see.

Hmmm... I "kind of" sew. My dad, who has a precise, engineer-type brain, taught me how -- my mom finds sewing machines very confusing. I learned a bit more in jr. high home ec class. Now I sometimes borrow a friend's machine to make curtains and easy quilt tops. I'd like to learn more and sew more, but I'm perplexed about how to pick out a sewing machine. No one ever seems to give helpful, specific advice (with info like model #) -- they just tell you to try them out. I don't really know how to sew well, so how the heck would I know what will be a good investment? Also I don't want to spend a ton of money.

Nope, don't know how to sew. Not one stitch. But, oh how I wish I did. My grandmother sews, but not my Mom. So, I wasn't surrounded by the sights and sounds of it. Only benefitting from my grandma's handiwork from time to time. I remember the year she made me a Little House on the Prairie dress and bonnet just like Laura's!
Yes, I would love to learn how. But, I think I need to take class as I am not a good self teacher.
I love to read your blog and others with beautiful handiwork and long to be able to create the lovelies I see!

Growing up my Mother only sewed when needed - a hole in something, reattaching a button, etc. I had my first Home Ec. class in high school and we did a sewing project, ever since I've been hooked. Granted I am not a experienced avid sewer, but I sew almost daily and am teaching myself and getting better as I go along. I have made dolls, headbands, pillow covers(patchwork mind you! + regular), skirts, bags, and a few more misc. items. Sewing is very satisfying and therapeutic I should suggest everyone try it at least a few times in their lifetime, who knows you could get hooked! Yay!

I have been sewing since I was 5 or 6 when my mother gave me needle and thread and an old sock and I made a very primitive doll with yarn hair and drawn on face. I was so proud of that doll and I still have it 55 years later! I took home economics for 6 years in school where I honed my skills. Later on my husband and I ran a fabric store for about ten years and I sewed countless quilts. Now I sew almost every day from clothes to potholders to pillows to quilts. I have over 100 quilts that I have made that are around the country and one in the Ukraine. I still look forward every day to sitting down at my sewing machine and making something. I feel lost if I cannot sew a little bit each day.

I do sew, love it. I learned a little sewing from my mom, who did sew my clothes when I was young, she was great, but never really had time to teach. HS home ec, I learned basic technique. I really got back into sewing about 6 years ago when I finally had a room to leave my machine out, fabrics where I can see them, not having to pack away things at the end of the day.

I sew. My mother taught me when I was about eight. (I'm 35 now.)

At the moment, I'm at a standstill in my sewing, but I typically make all kinds of things: bags, roman shades, quilts, clothing.

I'm all over the place!

I've been sewing by machine since I was at school (25+ years now) and used to make a lot of clothes, including my final year ballgown when I was in college.

These days, it's more things like pillows, bags, zippered pouches and so on, as I do more hand-stitching (cross stitch) than sewing. Not sure how I learned, but I learned on my mom's old Singer, so she probably taught me the basics.

{long time lurker, first time commentator}

I learnt to sew when I was little, maybe 6? - my mom used sew a lot of stuff, clothes mostly but not all the time. She used to go through long periods of time when she didn't sew at all. Once she made me an outfit for a fancy dress costume (which won, go mom!) and shocked all her friends who hadn't realised she could sew.

I used to make the odd thing or two - skirts, a tea cosy, barbie clothes and I did sewing during home ec but then space became an issue and it's only since I moved/finished my Masters that I've had the space/time to get a sewing machine. Which I am now slooooowly remembering how to use! Ultimately, I'd like to make my own clothes but I'll be starting off with the tried and tested bags and pillows first!

I've been sewing in one way or another, on and off, for as long as I can remember. However, my technique is a bit lazy, and I don't follow directions very well. I've recently started to play with sewing again, mostly motivated by being a momma and wanting more creative energy in my life (and practically wanting to make things for my household). I've just started to hand sew to have something to do while I help my little girls fall asleep. However, I've mostly used a machine (a newish Bernina now, but an antique, black, iron Singer for most of my adulthood).

I come from a family of sewers and grew up seeing my grandmother and mother both sew (actually, the Singer was my great-grandFATHER's). My mother did some really fabulous 4H competitive sewing when she was a youngster and still sews, although now she is into fiber stuff, knitting and spinning like a madwoman!

Thanks for asking the question!

I sew, mostly easier projects and quilts. Clothes not as much as it just seems like too much work for something that only gets used for a short time. My Mom and both Grandmas sew, so it was always around growing up. I got my first machine for my 16th birthday, and before that I would just use my Mom's. I am kind of the same way--I am always surprised when someone tells me they don't know how to sew!

I do sew, I have done clothing, but more often its craft or quilting. Right now I am making a harness for the dog that requires minimal sewing. Lately though I have been knitting in my spare time, but i ma certain I will cycle back to the quilting before too long.

I sew, mostly clothing (I make most of my daughter's clothes and some of mine). I don't even remember learning I was so little! I did take home ec in 7th grade to polish up my skills, but 8 weeks of that is it for formal instruction. My mom didn't really sew - she can but she hates it. My grandmother sewed like crazy though.
And for passing it on: My daughter sews by hand, already, and she's hoping for access to the machine by Xmas (actually, she's getting her own machine - she'll be 5).

My grandma taught me to hand-sew when I was about 5, so I would stop bugging her to sew my craft projects for me. I learned how to use a sewing machine at age 11, and have used one regularly since then. I'm like you, where everyone in my family sews at least a little, and it just seems normal.

Yes, I've always sewed, well certainly since I was a teenager anyway. I don't really remember learning how to sew, or how to thread a sewing machine come to that. I probably learnt it from my Mum somewhere along the line but my poor Mum really, really hated that sewing machine - the air usually turned blue when she was using it. Oddly enough, my sister is totally unable to thread a needle and has no interest in sewing whatsoever.

Fab-u-lous pictures of the beautiful Miss Violet.

I actually took informal lessons along with one friend from a woman in my neighborhood when I was in elementary school, but I didn't continue doing it long. When I graduated college, however, I asked for a sewing machine as a present. Again, it sat for a while. Now I'm a relatively avid sewer -- I bring it out once or twice a month -- and I sewed all the curtains for my house, some other linens, grocery bags, purses and other little projects. I mean to start with clothing, but it seems a little intimidating.

I love sewing. I do it every spare minute I have and I think about it when I am not sewing. My mom sewed EVERYTHING for us including bathing suits and I actually hated that she didn't just buy us something from the store. Now I am just like her (except for the bathing suit part) and my 8 year old is groaning "Can't we just go to Old Navy?"

Sadly, I have few friends that sew and if it weren't for the internet, I would probably feel pretty alone in my obsession.

Well I have a sewing machine, thread, bobbins, scissors and the rotary and huge mat but darn it if I don't need just a few lessons for this machine!! I know how to thread it but getting the tension right had proven my downfall!!!

Any advice?

Have I sewn? Yes. Do I sew? No.

Recently my mother showed my how to use her sewing machine to make very simple curtains. I did well and enjoyed it. My mother sews and quilts and embroiders.

If I started sewing regularly, I think I would stick to pillows.... and start with your patchwork pattern. Just your kitty.

I sew! :) My mother actually had her own tailoring business when I was little and I used to sit on her lap while she worked. However, I did not pick up the interest until I was about 15 when I decided I wanted to make my own purse. Ever since then I've been hooked. Although I do make other things from time to time, I still mainly enjoy putting purses together.

My mom taught me how to sew like her (I've since learned better ways, don't tell her) when I was big enough to not sew my fingers, so six maybe. I sew now on occasion and don't really think much about it until someone else mentions it. Like the lady behind me in line at the grocery store complimented my skirt and was surprised that I made it.

I sew occasionally. Usually with a machine, but I'm proficient with a needle too. It's a rare hobby/skill among my friends, most of whom went to the same engineering school I did and are in their late 20s and early 30s. Sewing tends to take a backseat to my other creative hobbies because it requires so much space.

My mother taught me when I was just a kid -- her sewing machine lived in our dining room along with an old cabinet full of notions and a vintage buffet/roll-out table packed with fabric. (She also had a large knitting stash, leather-working supplies, and a wood workshop bigger than most people's garages.)

I love sewing my own Halloween costumes, which can get quite elaborate, but have had limited success with my many attempts at everyday wear. I also do curtains, pillows, upholstery, and other little decorative things as needed. And now that I have a baby, burpcloths and blankets.

Yep, I sew. I was taught by my mom and myself. I began in earnest in junior high. I stopped for a while (college and grad school) because I couldn't afford any fabric. I now sew mostly home projects b/c I never like how clothes look on me.

I also needlepoint and do some embroidery. I rarely do something twice because I like new tasks.

I sew using a machine. I taught myself and I have a lot to learn! I'm making a quilt and I've tried dressmaking without much success. I also do small home furnishings like cushions.

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at




Since August of 2011 I've been using a Canon EOS 60D with an EF 18-200mm kit lens and an EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens.