Daughter, sister, mother, aunt, wife and loving grandmother! My sewing journey began long ago but my charity crib quilt work and pattern sewing really took off not long ago.
Hi. I’m Tracy Stuart, aka The Selfless Seamstress. I am the youngest child of a crafty woman who handmade 95% of my wardrobe from the time that I entered kindergarten until I was almost 25 years old. My mother introduced me to the basics of machine sewing during my freshman year in junior high school. At that time, I began cutting and assembling items based on her instruction but was never able to comprehend a sewing pattern. They only frustrated me and appeared to have been written in a secret code. By the 9th grade, I was able to create items by eye. In the mid 80’s, I completely stopped sewing. You know how that is……I was a new mom, had a Wall Street career and was super busy, so my hobby became dormant. I would only remove the my sewing machine cover perhaps five a year to mend items.
Fast forward to the winter of 2012, I invested in a Brother Innov-is 1250D. It sat packed in styrofoam in the original box for 2 years. It was intimidating because it looked nothing like my Kenmore that my mom purchased for me in 1980 (that I still own and functions well). After losing my brother to cancer, I needed an outlet; something, anything to calm my spirit. This was when I finally got the courage to retire my Kenmore. I decided t take a quilting course at a local Sew & Vac. After practicing at home for two weeks, I began making crib size quilts for various charities. Here is where “The Selfless Seamstress” was born. I would lock myself in a room, lay fabric out, cut, visually assemble on a table, stare, stand back, reassemble and finally sew. I’d wash it, wrap and ship it as a surprise to friends who were new moms as well as charitable organizations when they least expected it! I find this fulfilling. To hear the surprise in someone’s voice when they ask, “You made this?” Quilting is so very addictive. It can be an artistic form of seeing. Eventually, I began making one quilt per month and didn’t realize that football season came and went and I was not husbandless. (My Innovis became my new man!)
To hone my skill, I purchased textile textbooks, watched YouTube videos and magazine articles. I learned about the benefit of sergers, various sleeve setting techniques, and online lessons. I read everything that I could get my hands on until the wee hours of the morning. I then wanted more….If I could only have a body double to try garments on. The light bulb came on and I invested in a PGM body form then eventually purchased a Babylock Eclipse DX serger and a Husqvarna Diamond Deluxe 6 months later. What you see here, derives from my work beginning Super Bowl Weekend 2015.
Sit back, enjoy my posts on the Patterns Review page and feel free to comment. I’m a work in progress. My goal is to inspire young girls to want to sew, women 21+ to put down their cellphones and learn a craft as they enjoy the idea that what they can made is unique.
I will continue to squeeze a little time to continue making charitable crib quilts along my journey. I hope to encourage my followers to do the same.
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