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Teacher Feature: Cande Gordon

Cande Gordon - Corona

Cande joined our teaching staff in Corona not so long ago with a long history of creative stitching experience, and - lucky for us! - a long list of ideas for new and interesting class offerings. If you haven't taken a class yet - you're going to want to!

Cande's favorite sewing is things for her family and pets. Toys, like fabric balls, taggie blankets (she has a Maltese that loves to "kill" the taggie blanket! Who else has a pet that most enjoys what we make for them - by destroying it??!). Any gift is her favorite thing to sew... "I think homemade gifts mean the most. And you feel good about yourself after you sew because YOU made something". If the saying that the most precious gift you can give is the gift of time, this is certainly true for sewing enthusiasts - we love to invest our time making gifts we hope others will love (or in the case of furry recipients - possibly ...eat). Wouldn't some of these lovelies make wonderful gifts?

 

Gifts are not only her favorite thing to make, but when asked what she's made that she's most proud of, not surprisingly the answer was gifts - quilts made for her grandchildren, who still love them today. We've heard it said that the most loved quilts are those that are either in the same pristine condition as when they were given, or well worn - because both conditions reflect the recipient's love of that special gift!

No matter how much we love to sew, we each have our "thing" we do NOT want to do! For Cande it's making repairs on things... like fixing a collar, pocket or hem. "It's not as fun as creating something new LOL!" (We completely agree!)

When/how did you find out you could do machine embroidery at home? Cande says "I walked into the Moore's store in Riverside looking for a sewing machine and left with my first combination sewing & embroidery machine. I didn't know that home embroidery machines existed!" How has that discovery affected your lives? We know many get addicted to machine embroidery - notice Cande says her "first"? (She didn't tell us how many have come to live with her since. Who can relate to this?!!) We can see she's put them to good use!

 

And who wouldn't want to be a bag lady with a gorgeous embroidered handbag like this -

 

Though no one likes to show off their mistakes, it's so encouraging knowing that our instructors and sewing artisans have a collection of errors to share - it's a relief to know you're not alone (and that there may be mistakes you haven't even gotten around to trying yet!). Asked about biggest mistakes Cande says -

" Well, I have made many as we all have. My biggest mistake is in an effort to save money I haven’t always purchased the proper tools for the job. For example, if you have to rip a seam out, you can use scissors instead of a seam ripper. Scissors will get the job done, but a seam ripper will not only do it quicker and better, it’ll also prevent the ripping of your fabric while ripping the seam. Scissors won’t do that. In fact, you might accidentally cut a hole in your fabric. Not good! Yes, I’ve done that too. So, instead of saving money, I wasted money."

This is such an important lesson - buy (and use) the right tools for the job. Sometimes there's a high cost to "saving" money. And check out our blog post about how to use a seam ripper properly! You may be surprised...

 

We haven't met a teacher yet who hasn't shared this or a similar sentiment when asked what they like best about teaching - "I believe experience is the best teacher, but it doesn’t have to be your experience. You can learn from the experience of others. I still learn from my students. Perhaps they have attended a class and learned a new skill that I haven’t seen yet. I love to see the light and delight in their face when the “light bulb goes on and they “get it”. Everyone's a teacher in a sewing class, we all stitch different things and have a wide array of experiences!

 

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but if you like to have a little assistance this is a fun bag for holding your cosmetics!

 

Our teachers and staff are the best people to ask for advice on getting started (yes, we are a little biased...but we want you to be successful and love sewing and making as much as we do!). Here's our "Wise Words From Cande" guide to making that happen -

1) On taking your first steps into sewing: "As a sewing beginner, you might be very excited to get started. You may want to sew, sew and sew some more. But I encourage you to make and finish your first project before starting the next. Why? Because there will be some things you learn to do and learn not to do on your first project that will benefit you on future projects. This will probably happen on a few of your projects. The funny thing is, in sewing, you sometimes learn more from your mistakes than anything else!"

 

2) On improving your skills, abilities and taking on more challenging projects: "I promise you, if you commit to learning the skill of sewing you will find people who are more than willing to share their knowledge."

 

3) On children interested in sewing: "I was interested in sewing from a very young age. My mom sewed mostly clothes for myself and my sister but I caught the “sewing bug”. When my sister was born I was 8 years old and loved to make dresses and diaper pants for her. (mom bought me my supplies because the baby could always use clothes). Next my daughter came along and I encouraged her to learn. She is now the proud owner of a Brother Innovis 4500 and is in the process of making her first king size Hawaiian quilt. My daughter and I are teaching my granddaughter to sew. She has her own sewing machine and made all of her Christmas gifts last year. She wants to grow up and be a fashion designer. So, she is busy designing and making Barbie fashions. Future FAMOUS designer? Who knows but we are creating wonderful family memories!" So if you know a young person who's interested - encourage them, help them, and let them create!

 

Do you know someone "hoo" may want to learn to sew? We hope you'll help them get started!

 

Who remembers when we sewed purely to save money? Now we sew... embroider...craft... for so many reasons. Like many, Cande simply finds it relaxing and "I love to 'create'. I was bought up around crafters and learned to sew on a machine at a young age so it's just always been a part of who I am. I've had the occasional long break from sewing, especially during my late teens and early 20's but I always find myself coming back to it." What makes it enjoyable? "I think it’s the satisfaction I get seeing a finished project. And the fact that there is an abundance of gorgeous fabrics out there just makes it even more enjoyable. It's also my 'me' time. So I like it for the freedom, creativity and uniqueness!" Not just an abundance of gorgeous fabrics out there - but threads too! Look what Cande's created with those gorgeous embroidery threads - this would brighten up the gloomiest day!

 

Like so many of our sewing friends, a Brother ScanNCut is part of Cande's crafting life now - check out this great quilt she created for the ScanNCut! Ok, yes, it's really a ScanNCut cover... but it looks like a quilt doesn't it? Wouldn't you like to wrap up in this?

 

Now how about some creativity for the upcoming holiday season - something to "Boo!-tify" the house and decorate for Halloween -

 

When Cande's not sewing or doing something creative she and her husband enjoy county fairs, harvest festivals and such. And of course enjoying their two grandchildren! She used to breed and raise Pomeranians - wonder if they were the lucky recipients of some of those toys she makes? Favorite travel mode - cruising! Clearly no couch potatoes, a cruise sounds like a fantastic way to combine seeing and doing with - relaxing!

Some final words of wisdom - "If you can cut fabric and sew a straight line then you can make throw pillows and curtains for every room in your house. The best reason for learning to sew is the sense of accomplishment that comes from creating something handmade." And we love love love Cande's reason to sew and embroider - you can "Bee Yourself"!

 

We hope you'll be in our Corona store to enjoy a class (or more!) from this wonderfully creative educator!

 

Thanks for sharing Cande!

 

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