I am one of 5 girls in my family, I'm # 4. Along with my Dad & Mom, that makes 7. Even all of our animals were girls, so my poor Dad did not have a chance till some of us girls started getting married. My grandmother, Dads Mom, sat me and my twin sister down when we were 12 one summer and taught us how to cut and piece quilts. Yes this was about 50+ years ago so the tools of the trade were not what we are using today. Cardboard cut out for the patterns. We used scissors to cut all of the fabric. And the thread and the needle choices were not what I would choose today. Not sure how they got them to lay flat as they did. Yes I finished mine and pull it out when I have someone to share all of the mistakes that I made. My grandmother had passed before I could quilt and bind it. So part of the quilting knowledge that I have is self taught for sure. Grandma always had persimmons cookies for us in the winter time. This is a tradition that I have carried on in our family. All of my
sisters quilt, so that gives me joy that we can all get together for a sew date. My Granner, my Moms mom, taught me how to have that competitive edge. The love of a
good card game, Canasta and Poker were the games that we played. Still love to win at cards. Granner taught us girls how to make jam and jellies. Along with her version of beef enchiladas that I have shared with all of my cousins. My girl cousins keep asking for a date to share with them how to make jams and jellies. Some day soon this will be happening. My Granner loved to travel, camp and do word puzzles, something that I also love to do. I went to work right out of high school to pay for my wedding the following spring. I married my high school sweetheart, Steve, and we have been together for 47 years. We enjoy camping, traveling when we can to the beach. We have had 4 boxer dogs and we are now raising our 5th and what a handful she is. The company that I went to work for out of high school, I stayed there for 46 years until I retired. During the time of employment, I did a lot of traveling for them, seeing many customers, figuring out issues that the General Mgr would task me with. Managers in other states would ask for me to come and help them fix issues that they had. I was always there to help. I had fun there and grew as a person. During this time of traveling, I got to go to many quilt shops that was in towns that I was working in. You get a lunch break, right. Off I went to check out the stores. Not always able to buy the pattern, I would draw a picture of if for future reference and then try to figure out how it went together. I do that alot when I see tiles on the floors of buildings. Sometimes it worked; sometimes it was a bust. Now I always buy the patterns or the books.
I am enjoying my garden that I have planted this spring. Looking forward to the strawberries and the tomatoes. Hubby keeps me company in the garden while the dog just watches waiting for me to come in the house. She know that I will be going upstairs to my quilting room and she will have me all to herself. She will lay on her pillow and keep an eye on me, for she knows that I may drop some of my snack. Mostly she gets threads on her as she lays under the cutting table most of the time.
I enjoy my time at D & J Sewing, doing my classes and quilting there with my friendship group. So if you get a pattern that you need help with, come check out my class and I will do all that I can to help you along.
Keep on Quilting
Karen has been sewing for over 55 years, starting as a pre-teen, she began teaching herself, using the skills and tools she learned from her mother and grandmother. She started out by
making clothes for herself, her little sister, and eventually her children. As the years went by, her career developed from teaching preschool children, to being a kindergarten teacher at the
same time as teaching home economics to high school students. She was able to pass on her knowledge and love of sewing to many students. After raising her 3 children, Karen developed
an interest in quilting and was able to utilize her skills and friendships she had developed to learn about quilting. She has made dozens and dozens of beautiful quilts, employing techniques such as appliqué, embroidery, and piecing. She has visited quilt shops across the country and is always looking to refine her craft. Karen has been married for 46 years and has 5 grandchildren who know her as “Grammy”. She enjoys sharing her knowledge and values her time meeting new people, take one of her classes and you will have a great time!
My mom, Jeannie, was the previous owner of D&J Sewing. When I was little the first thing she taught how to do was to crochet. The funny thing is I am left- handed and I learned how to crochet right- handed. I have always loved to crochet and have done many projects that included afghans, baby blankets, scarves, shawls, and baby layettes. When I got a little older, she taught me how to sew and I loved it. I took a few sewing classes in high school and made a few things to wear, however I found that I liked to do more of the crafty things like quilts, bags, and machine embroidery.
When my mom and don opened the store over thirty years ago, I was married, raising a family, and pursuing my career in banking. I also lived in the Sacramento area. Every so often I would come and stay with my mom for a week or so and help her out in the store after don passed away. She always used to tell me that wish I could take over the store if something were to happen to her. I would always tell her that I would love to but it would be very difficult because i lived so far away and my husband did not want to move away from his aging parents.
When my mom passed away in 2019, I had to decide on what to do with the store. At the time I wasn’t working. I came to the realization that I did not want to let the store go. Becky and I decided to become partners. It turned out to be the best decision I made.
Since being in the store I have become involved in doing a lot of embroidery, which I absolutely love. I have gotten a lot of Starbucks aprons from various Starbucks stores in Clovis that I embroider the employees’ names on. I have also gotten into edge to edge quilting, and now offer that as a service to our customers. I have also become certified by Kimberbell and hope to be able to teach those classes in the near future.