Get to Know Me
Hey, I’m Brenda!
(aka Songbird’s Designs)
I have been fascinated with quilting and sewing as long as I can remember! My grandmother was an avid quilter. The ladies living nearby would bring a covered dish and come to my grandmother’s and spend the day quilting and fellowshipping! When I was around 6, with a living room full of quilt frame and ladies, my grandmother gave me a needle and thread and I was allowed to quilt on the “bottom” of the quilt! I’m sure she picked it out when I went home for the day, but I was in awe watching them create a quilt. Later, my grandmother began quilting on her domestic machine, mostly straight line, in-the-ditch type quilting. I remember her seeing a pattern she liked and drafting it on empty cardboard candy boxes from their little country store. She carefully cut each piece by hand and stitched them together with love.
Growing up on a farm in the rural south, we had lots of “real” feed sacks and I had many dresses made of them. My first attempt at garment making was during the summer when I was twelve. Granny and I took a dress that I loved and cut out a pattern from the feed sack material. She taught me to stitch it up and we then enclosed the neck and arm holes with bias tape! In my mind that dress was just as good as any store-bought dress!! Of course, all the scraps went into the box for quilts! Granny let me sew to my heart’s content on her machine, and I loved every minute of it. For Christmas that year, my parents bought me my first portable sewing machine. I stitched on that machine until I married and eventually bought my first machine with “fancy stitches!”
In 2001, I was introduced to the wonderful world of machine embroidery by one of my nursing co-workers. I was amazed! So, I dragged the hubs off to the sewing store and purchased my first embroidery machine and digitizing software! I was on “Cloud 9!” Many machines and software upgrades later, this love has continued to evolve. I set up my first website in 2009 – Songbird’s Designs. There has been no looking back!
My favorite things to digitize are free standing lace, mylar designs, quilt blocks, and designs of faith. I love to stitch my designs into quilts. Last summer I purchased a long arm and am loving it. My best tip for developing quilting skills – both creating quilts and quilting them is to practice, practice, practice!! Take as many classes as you can afford and have time for, and join a quilt guild! Guild members have a wealth of knowledge and are so willing to share!
Since purchasing my first software and machines, I have taught some fun project classes and software classes for my local Bernina dealer. I also taught at the American Embroidery Conference in 2016, but unfortunately couldn’t make it back in 2017.
My love of sewing, quilting, and machine embroidery has continued, except for a few lapses of time when work or family matters didn’t allow time for my beloved machines. Now that I have retired, I am teaching my granddaughter to sew and quilt. She is eleven and is loving using her little Janome we got her for Christmas last year. We are still working on our quarter inch seam, but she will get there – I have no doubt! Unfortunately, my daughter had no interest in sewing or quilting. It’s much easier to say, “Mom, can you mend or make this?!!” Soon that little one will be doing the mending for them! My granddaughter loves using the embroidery machine as well!
I sing and play bass guitar in my church praise band. I also play keys, but the bass is so much more fun!! LOL I’ve been married to my best friend since 1977, and we have been blessed with one beautiful daughter, a wonderful son-in-law, and three beautiful grandchildren – Madelyn, who is soon to be 11, and Braden and Dalton who are 8 at time of this writing. They are so much fun!
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Thanks for dropping by the site…I hope you’ll come back again real soon!
I hope your day is blessed with PERFECT stitches!
Let Me Know if Can I Help You
Email me if you have any questions!