Monday, June 16, 2008

She's sew unusual!

Ever since I can remember, I have shared a love of design and craftsmanship with my family. I grew up watching This Old House with my dad each weekend. At first, I looked forward to the last episodes of the season, when I could see the final results. As I got older, I learned to appreciate the design process, starting with the bare frames of an old house, and slowly, with an attention to detail, bringing the house back to its former glory.

With my mom, I would watch Sewing With Nancy. My mom loved to buy quilting books. We visited fabric stores once a week, easily. I was surrounded by mounds of fabric, each pile designated for a different project. I wasn’t quite as enamored with the quilting process as my mom was, but once again, I learned to appreciate the work that went into crafting.

So how many major home improvement projects occurred in my house? None. Though I was allowed to paint some rooms. I even used some “decorative painting” techniques, but that was the extent of my attempts to restore “our old house.”

And how many quilts did my mom complete during my childhood? Not one. But this is where I took over. I didn’t want to make myself a quilt, but I definitely wanted to learn how to sew clothes.

I made my first article of clothing–a pair of pants–when I was 15 years old. I’ve been sewing ever since. I’ve made gifts and handbags, pillows and curtains, christening gowns and my wedding dress, along with countless other outfits and projects. I love to surprise people with items...just because. I enjoy the process of quality workmanship that I learned from all those MPT shows I watched as a kid. I still search out design shows, for inspiration, and I can’t wait to get the MPT Digital Channel so I can watch The Creative Life (see clip below!).

I still sew today, and I have about 10 projects going at once. I can’t imagine my life without this creative outlet!

Jen Reece
Associate Online Producer,
(Check out Jen's sewing blog at!)

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