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My earliest memories involve sitting in my grandmother’s sewing room in the summers. She let me cut and play with scraps. She patiently explained to me what she was doing. If I close my eyes and scroll my mental Rolodex back, I can see her, with her 1980s glasses on, hunched over her sewing table with the afternoon golden hour sun streaming over her from her front porch windows.
Most photos from my childhood for Christmas or Easter Sunday involve matching dresses for my sister and me that she made. Unfortunately, my grandmother died before I finished elementary school. Still, when I was allowed to pick an afterschool activity, I wanted to take lessons at the local sewing center. Learning to sew like my grandmother did, with her attention to intricate details like matching buttons, eyelet trim and smocking, seemed like something I knew I could do.
I’ll probably forever regret putting this in the world, but I made those shorts (culottes)! A middle school gem.
I will never forget my sewing classes with Ms. Jennifer at the Rogers Sewing Center. I made bears, a pillow, placemats, a bag, culottes with a matching T-shirt and my Easter Sunday dress. Maybe the sunflower dress with my Elizabeth Arden Sunflowers perfume for eighth-grade graduation was a little much, but the sewing instruction gave me the critical self-confidence that I lacked.
There is no time like the present to sit and make something with your hands!
Fabric Stores and Sewing Classes in Arkansas
Make. Do. | Searcy – built around the mission of creativity and connection, weekly classes with staff, monthly quilting workshops, and unique creative time for littles, this is the destination for all creativity.
The French Seam | Stuttgart – a treasure for avid quilters and fashion enthusiasts, monthly classes for all ages
Arkansas Craft Center | Mountain View – community enrichment workshops in courses like blade smithing, stained glass, woodworking, glass button making and silversmithing
Artasia | Hardy – unique artisan classes like wire wrapping, button making, crocheted scrubbies, reusable water balloons and decorative plant stakes
Arkansas Innovation Hub | Little Rock – upcoming classes in hand building with clay, glass fusion, vector designs, women’s woodworking and photography
Windgate Art Classes at the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts in Little Rock – daytime and evening workshops for adults and children in areas of drawing, ceramics, metals, glass, fabrics, painting and printmaking
The Painted Pig | Little Rock – pottery, wood art, glass and mosaics. Check out summer camps for children.
Keisha (Pittman) McKinney lives in South Arkansas with her husband and sweet Boxer, Bailey and one-year-old son! Keisha is passionate about connecting people and building community, seeking solutions to the everyday big and small things, and encouraging others through the mundane, hard, and typical that life often brings. She put her communications background to work as a former Non-profit Executive Director, college recruiter and fundraiser, and Digital Media Director at a large church in Northwest Arkansas. Now she is using all of those experiences through McKinney Media Solutions and her blog @bigpittstop which includes daily adventures, cooking escapades, #bigsisterchats, the social justice cases on her heart, and all that she is learning as a #boymom!
Thanks for the shout out for me at Lonesome Pine Quilts!