My name is Averil Richards, I am in my mid 70’s, have two married sons and seven grandchildren . As far as I can remember back I have always sewn in one medium or another. I was fortunate that basic sewing was taught in both my primary and grammar school. By the time I left the Junior school I had made myself a skirt and blouse, though I am not saying they fitted very well! I continued to make many of my clothes because I am rather small and found it easier to make from scratch rather than try and alter “ ready mades”.
I have always enjoyed hand sewing and at the Grammar school I was able to do O Level Embroidery which involved the history of embroidery and learning many stitches and their uses. When I was at college I embroidered items for “my bottom drawer” since I could not use my sewing machine.
After my marriage and while my children were young I continued sewing but mainly items for the home, like curtains and household items because we moved house several times. Eventually I was able to take up embroidery again and joined a weekly group at Coleridge school. There I sewed and chatted for many years until the teacher retired and the group closed. What was I to do next? This was when I joined a Patchwork group and have not looked back since.
I find patchwork more challenging than embroidery because so many more choices have to be made. What to make? What pattern to use? What material to use? What colours? What size? How much fabric do I need? The maths can be quite challenging and open to many mistakes, so often ingenuity is necessary. It is fun and often a project can change part way through, or expand.
Over the years I have made many quilts for my grandchildren and myself, but now I have painful shoulders and arthritic hands so I limit myself to smaller items like cushions, lap quilts and table mats, the choices are still considerable. I enjoy the friendship of belonging to sewing group and the exchange of ideas. I have to admit that often there is more chat than sewing, but most enjoyable.
Without my sewing my life would be a lot less fun and colourful and I recommend patchwork to everyone. It does not have to be complicated or too challenging