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Monthly Craft Question: Are You a Self-Taught Crafter?

The monthly craft question for May was “Are you a self-taught crafter or did you learn from someone?” We asked some of our favorite crafters to respond. You can also see reader answers on the AllFreeCrochet facebook fan page.

Margot Potter of The Impatient Crafter

I am a self-taught crafter. My mother is a fine artist and she always encouraged us to be creative. There were lots of art supplies around for us to explore while we were growing up. My grandmother was a master seamstress and I spent hours digging through her sewing supplies as a young child, but alas I never asked her to teach me how to sew, it was her alone time. I felt it was important to respect that. I studied theatre in college and learned how to build and design sets and worked in the costume shop. Mostly though, I make it up as I go along! If I want to learn something new I just dive in and see what happens.

Maize Hutton

Except for sewing (which I learned from my mother), I’m self taught in everything crafty! That’s part of the fun of learning something new!

Bethany Mann of Bitter Betty

My mom taught me “the crafty lifestyle”. Keeping the handmade front and center.Growing up handmade was part of her living lightly on the Earth, and developing your own growth. Part of the crafty life style is teaching yourself (my mom showed me how to embroider, encaustic painting I learned on my own using books and the internet), but another part is taking classes (that is how I learned to solder) which is also a great way to connect with other crafty individuals.

Jen Goode

I am a self taught crafter, although I do have a few creative geniuses in my family. It was inspiring growing up surrounded by crafty people always excited to encourage new creations. I experiment with supplies more than I read or watch videos to learn. I like to see what kinds of results I can come up with using various supplies and techniques.

Shannon Bielke

Absolutely I am a self-taught crafter! Everything I see inspires me to try something else. Of course I enjoy some things more than other, but I’m willing to try anything!

Renske of Fun and Fang

My mother taught me how to crochet and knit, she got it from her mother. When i think about my grandmother I always remember the sound the knitting pens make! She was knitting all day! My mother only taught me the basics of crocheting, so when I wanted to make my own amigurumi I had to learn this by searching the internet and reading books. So I guess you could say I am a mix of self-taught and learning from my mom!

Janet Perry of Nuts about Needlepoint

The simple answer to this is yes and no. My mom is an artist and my grandmother was a phenominal sewer, knitter & crocheter. Between the two of them, there wasn’t much they hadn’t tried. And they shared this knowledge with me.

My preferred craft is needlepoint and while my grandmother had tried this once, all she knew was a basic needlepoint stitch and that not well. When I got my first needlepoint kit (at 14), she could show me how to do that, but that’s all. I took to it like a house on fire, but after that initial lesson, I was almost completely self-taught, learning from books, my own curiosity, and, occasionally from a helpful shop owner.

I didn’t take a formal needlepoint class until I had been stitching over a decade and still prefer to puzzle things out on my own.

Julie Carson of Joy’s Hope

I grew up with a mother who is an amazing seamstress. I always wanted to sew. But she is blessed with attention to detail and a love for traditional patterns. I love randomness and struggled with patterns. She tried to teach me, but my learning style clashed with her teaching style. So I sat down with her old sewing machine and started sewing. Not in a traditional way, but in a way that made me happy. That was me. I still go to her when I need something made that is precise. I am so thankful for that.

Trish of SimpleUp

Yes! I am HUGE into Learn-It-Yourself. Handy tutorials posted on various craft blogs make it easy for me to pick up new skills all the time, but I also rely heavily on books borrowed from the library. At a friend’s request, I once taught myself to knit from books, and then I taught her how to knit. I think she has kept up with it better than I have, though, as I have too many other crafts distracting me from my knitting all the time.

Patrick Lose

I taught myself how to sew out of necessity. I was rehearsing to perform in a low-budget community theater production and couldn’t stand the thought of having to wear the costume they had for me so I made my own. It was primitive, for sure, but still better than the alternative. I worked on my skills in college costume design classes and worked as a costume designer for theater and movies for a lot of years. I never thought I’d be using those skills as a quilter but I’m definitely glad I became a part of this industry!

Helen of Bustle and Sew

Guess the answer is – a bit of both!! Both my mum and grandma were very talented needlewomen and knitters, and I learned the basics and more when very young. But … that was a long time ago! I’ve learned a lot along the way, both from the many talented crafters whose work I’ve seen and admired, and also by myself through trial and error. (quite a lot of error!)

Jaime Mitchell of Little Bird Creations

I am both. I learned to sew from my Gramms, as well and knit and crochet a little. The rest? I am pretty much self taught, including drawing and designing appliques, patterns and the like. It can be a challenge at times, but well worth the effort when you get the idea out of your head and created and an actual product from it!

June Scroggin of Junie Moon

I am indeed a self-taught crafter. While I do take an occasional class (mostly ‘cause a friend begged me to accompany her), I’m pretty much self-actualized (stubborn) in wanting to zoom on and get things done so my patience factor is at a minimum in following tedious craft classes for long. It’s probably not one of my more attractive features, but there you are. If I want to learn a new craft, I read everything I can about it (books, library, online) and figure out how to do what I want. Then I just dive in and give it a try—9 times out of 10, all goes well. The mistakes I look at as learning opportunities.

Tim Holtz

i gues the best way to answer this is i am a self-taught crafter, however truth be told, my very first stamp class, and the reason my creative journey took this paths goes to an amazing instructor, judy ross. she taught me forget thinking outside the box, there’s no need for a box. inspiration is everyone and shared by everyone…

Melissa Lawrence

I am a self taught crafter. My mother was a wonderful mother who had three hot meals on the table and homemade cookies after school, but she was not crafty. I think the number one reason was because she was scared to try.

I remember making huge messes with scissors and paper and tape. For Christmas I would get a box of crafty stuff like a whole ream of paper, markers, crayons, construction paper, stamps, tape, stapler with staples and the like.

My mom is my biggest fan and thinks it’s amazing that I’m so creative. I tell her that while I’m not the best, I do ENJOY what I do and THAT is reason enough to TRY!

Lady Willow

Yes I am. As a FiberARTist, Upcycler & Photographer.

Phyllis Dobbs

I guess I can say both. I’ve always loved to craft and started crafting many years ago. My aunt and mother taught me sewing and needlework at a very young age. After that, I would get a good book and delve right in to the craft techniques that caught my attention. I love books so I have books on just about every technique available. But I’ve also taken classes that looked like fun and offered interesting techniques. I’ve taken classes on ceramics, batiking, and stained glass cutting (ouch), along with numerous specialized needlework technique/project classes.

Eileen Hull

I think I followed my mom’s lead. She never had a class but was always trying to figure out how to do things. Once we bought a house at auction and found a box of fabric strips in the attic that were cut into shapes for quilt blocks. She decided to make a quilt without anything beyond basic sewing skills and it came out great. I think a lot of the crafting we do is trial and error anyway. I always learn more from the mistakes I make than the projects that seem to go smoothly! So I guess I would say I am self-taught, having made a LOT of mistakes!

Amy Anderson of Mod Podge Rocks!

My mom is awesome – she gave me the crafting genes! Mod Podge Mom always taught me the beginning of crafts (sewing, knitting, painting) and then I would take it from there. She was always available for questions. I have her to thank!

Christina, The Sometimes Crafter

While I’ve taught myself some crafts along the way, I grew up crafting with my mom. She taught me to sew when I was a very little girl, and i’d say I’ve been sewing for around 20 or so years now. My aunt sparked my interest in quilting. I would do painting, wood crafts and needle work when I was young, having seen my mom do it and asking her to teach me. My grandmother showed me how to crochet around 10 years old, though I really only picked up chaining and moved on to crocheting actual blankets when I was 19 and a friend taught me. I taught myself how to knit a few years ago. I feel very fortunate to have had those opportunities to learn from others and teach myself over the years.

Jodie Carleton of Ric-Rac

My Mum used to craft when I was a little girl but I didn’t pay much attention – I was far too busy off riding my horse. It was when I was a starving uni student that I really turned to “making”. I used to buy clothes from the op-shop and chop them up and turn them into new clothes. I am self-taught , and any photos of the way I dressed at that time would be sure to prove it !

Ashley, Domestic Fashionista

I cannot take all the credit (I grew up with a very creative mom), but I do believe I am a self taught crafter. I often do not have the patience to learn how to do something the right way so I tinker with it to try to figure it out on my own. Sometimes this ends up in a big mess but most of the time I end up figuring out a new craft with lots of short cuts and creative elements I can bring in with my own ideas. I like to think I am an impatient and free spirited crafter. It works for me and keeps me from being bound to the stress of getting it done the “right” way. It keeps things fun and creative!

Laura Bray

I’m primarily self-taught, relying on all the wonderful books out there to help me as I want to advance my skill set.

Mylene Hillam

My introduction to crafting came from my grandmother. She had a sunroom attached to the back of her house which was crafting central! During school holidays my sisters and I would come to stay with her and we would join her in her craft room and help her cut beads from plastic tubing using a specially adapted miniature guillotine. She would weave those tube beads into the prettiest mosaic patterns and then turn her designs into handbags. She used to take us into the city department store to buy craft materials and she loved to give us little kits to work on. She instilled her great love of crafts in me and offered me words of encouragement whenever I presented her with a small handmade article.

My mum taught me the basics of sewing when I was about 10. She made all the family’s clothes and she started me off stitching straight seams in flanelette PJs. I clearly remember her showing me how to sew a flat seam so that the seam would lie comfortably against your skin, enclosing the edges so that there would be no fraying. After that she was happy to let me experiment on my own which was one of the best lessons she gave me. It wasn’t long before I was sewing all my own clothes.

Along my craft journey I have cake decorated, cross stitched, paper crafted, knitted, sewed, learned some basic macramé and done lots of general crafting. I think I would say that I have been exposed to craft rather than really been taught to craft. It’s only recently that I’ve had the opportunity to take an occasional class so I’d classify myself as self-taught.

Chris Pickup

A little bit of both. My mom through my growing up years introduced me to sewing, drawing, and quilting. After becoming a mom, I had new reasons to try my hand at things, and have learned a lot just by trying something new.

Lisa Cox of A Spoonful of Sugar

My Mum taught me the basics of sewing and embroidery when I was a child, and my Nan taught me how to knit and crochet. They always encouraged me to engage in craft activities and have a go. As an adult I have taught myself how to quilt, applique, bead, cross stitch, and papercraft by using books that I have checked out from the library. When my children were young it was difficult to get out to classes so I simply taught myself. More recently I have been inspired and learnt a few new techniques from reading blogs, especially some of the great tutorials that are available.

Salihan Crafts

I taught myself various crafts, including knitting and crocheting, mostly through books, tutorials on the net and YouTube videos. I find it’s a lot more convenient to get information that way. But I would love to attend crafting classes and learn things from an expert. I think it would be nice to have an experienced crafter around to ask questions face-to-face. It would be a lot easier than Googling.

Lisa Pace

How fun. I am a self-taught crafter. I discovered my true love for scissors, paper, glue and glitter in the 1st grade while creating a Christmas ornament (which I still have by the way) and have never looked back. I have always lived a creative life.

Cherish Flieder

Most of what I learned about crafting I learned from experimenting on my own. However, as a young child I had a lot of crafting influence from my mother, grandmother and teachers at school. I am very grateful that they put me on the path to crafting as it has been a wonderful asset in everything creative that I accomplish in life.

Jessica Fediw of Oh So Happy Together

I am pretty much a self taught crafter. When I was little my grandmother and mom showed me a few things, but by the time I was older and really wanted to do things like sew or crochet I had forgotten everything that I had ever learned (which really wasn’t that much anyways). So, I found books, scoured the internet, and went through many a project to get my skills to where they are today. It was a bit frustrating at first, but I’m so glad I persevered!

Tania Ennor of Myrtle and Eunice

I can still remember the look of sheer horror on my mother’s face, when at fifteen I attempted my first piece of garment sewing. How hard could a skirt be? Spreading the fabric on the floor, I lay myself down at one end, then rolled 360 degrees to determine the required width.

The length was an unmeasured, inaccurate, stab in the dark, so an additional strip of fabric was sewn on to the bottom in the interests of decency.

I loved that skirt. I wore it for years. The approach to crafting hasn’t changed a heck of a lot. How hard can it be?!?

Sharla P of My Little Gems

I am mostly a self-taught crafter but I did learn from many around me- my own mother and grandma were some of my first introductions to the crafting world. My mom was always sewing,and made many of my clothes growing up. I learned to sew from her, and in Junior High and High School classes. I stenciled my bedroom when I was in Jr. High and took a tole-painting class- that was big in the 80’s.That is when I started crafting- when I was very young. But for the most part, I ask questions from those who know how, take classes, read things, and teach myself. I think that is part of why I love it- always something to learn, always a way to stretch your mind and your creativity.

Linda Peterson

I think the passing of crafts down generations is a lost art. My Grandma Campbell taught my Mom to sew. She in turned passed that down to me. I like sewing, but I dont love it. I do love to CRAFT. And I have dabbled in all sorts of crafts down thru the years. The thought of sewing takes me back to fond memories of the past. Crafting takes me to fond memories of Scrapbooking and spending time with MY kids. We are a crafty family.

I am a “dive right in” and hands on learner. Sometimes I get a book, sometimes I look at a picture, unfortunately though I never took many classes. I am sad to say I wish I would have, I would have saved myself lots of dollars over the years when all I created was flops.

So for anyone wanting to embark on a new craft – I HIGHLY recommend taking a class. If there are classes locally – great! If not, there are sites such as CrafTECH University popping up online that offer real time live video classes with expert teachers.

I am proud to have been mentored by some of the industries best – such as Donna Kato. Im also proud that Im in a position that i can give back the same way it was given to me.

I would say to anyone who says they dont have a creative bone, “you just haven’t found it yet!”. Keep on crafting and don’t be afraid to make mistakes, because the best flop-ortunities come from them, not to mention the satisfaction of having someone ask “Did you make that?” and you can proudly say “YES I DID!”

Madeline Faiella

Actually, I come from a parents who were tremendously artistic in on many levels. My Father could build and/or fix just about anything from one end of the house to the automobile the garage. He always told me that you could apply any technique to other projects. I took that to heart and it worked really well.

My Mother taught me how to sew and to make patterns. She wanted to be a professional designer and lost the opportunity to help her family. She taught me how to make patterns out of newspaper. She showed me how to take any basic pattern and add or detract from it change size and/or style. She was an unbelievable seamstress who began sewing doll’s clothes at the tender age of 13.

I learned so much from both of them it’s more than a blessing, it’s over blessing.

I had an uncle who was an artist. He created one of the first billboards for orange juice in Florida. He gave me many of his sketch and draw books, paints and brushes.

When most kids were playing outside, I was drawing and creating and making lots of things. Crafting came easy and it was second nature. Yes, I was taught but I was born with gifts.

Later I studied fine art in Manhattan and eventually I took all of this education and crafted! I was scrapbooking before it was a trend. Many years before. Too many to want to admit to.

Yes, I was taught, by life, by people, by family and teachers. My life is my craft. You probably wanted something very simple, but I am always true to myself.

Thank you for asking me.

Julianna Hudgins

I learned the “Art of being Creative” from my Portuguese Grandma & Mom. Both of them were always crafting, sewing, knitting, gardening & cooking. In addition to my Mom and Grandma, I have been super blessed to be inspired by some amazing woman including Tiffany Windsor. She taught me how to bead on an Indian Bead Loom. I actually started my first business based on bead kits for my loom patterns. Without these creative woman in my life I am not sure what I would be doing!

Nancy Jacobs

For the most part I am a self-taught crafter. I was inspired by my mother as a young child and began by learning embroidery, making plaster of paris pictures, and wheat weaving. Once I learn the basics in something then just run with it on my own and I’m inspired to create and grow as to where my imagination takes me. This is the way I was with basket weaving. I only had a small handfull of classes where I learned the basics. I wanted to do more with weaving so I read all I could on the subject and just played around with the materials to develop my own techniques and styles.

Lynn Colwell of Celebrate Green

I’m definitely self-taught. I grew up crafting in a family that bought everything. I loved making “cards” for my family out of card board boxes and other larger-than-your-average-card materials. I have a short attention span and enjoy flitting from one craft to another, incorporating unexpected elements from one in another.

I did go to one week-long event, but once I was home, found I used very little of what I’d been taught. I enjoyed it, but for me, crafting is sort of a personal, individual experience.

Beckie Farrant

Totally self taught. My mother has never used a hot glue gun in her life. My mom always joked that I was actually my aunt’s child since she was the creative one in the family. I hope to pass on creativity to my kids though. I hope the crafty gene doesn’t skip a generation 😉

Stephanie Scheetz

When I started crafting as a kid, I taught myself. After 17 years in the crafting industry, however, I find inspiration and new ideas almost everywhere I go.

Einat Kessler

I discovered art in a late stage of my life. I’m only 38 years old, and most of life I didn’t do anything crafty. I was far away from it working as a public servant.

All that changed when my first son was born. As a child I remember sitting on the carpet looking in my grandfather scrapbooks. He made them from scratch, the cover, the pages and all the wonderful design inside. When my son was born he said: “why don’t you make a scrapbook for your son?” that was the first thing I did. It was horrible, but it opened a new exciting world for me.

I started surfing the net and saw amazing designs, I wanted to be like them so I started scraping and creating. In the beginning I used to scraplift designs from the internet, slowly I gained confidence and did my own designs. I got better and better, I sat for hours watching tutorials, online workshops and demonstrations. I tried new techniques, different materials and styles. There were no scrapbook materials in Israel at the time so I had to improvise, and that helped my skills, imagination and creativity. Later I bought materials on line.

Eventually scrapbooking took over my life, the hobby became a profession, I quit my job and started a business. Today I’m a designer, teacher and demonstrator.

Looking back it wasn’t a coincidence I discovered my artistic side. After all I come from a family of artists: my mom is an art therapist, my sister is an interior designer, my grandmother and cousin are actors, my other grandfather was also an actor. So I guess the genes won in my case…

Candance Liccione

Of course, I learned from someone – Aleene. (Candace is the daughter of Aleene Jackson, inventor of Aleene’s Tacky Glue and one of the founders of the craft industry. You can read more here.)

Michael Sellick

My mother was creating double crochet scarves for the homeless when I was a child. When I was 14, I finally worked up enough nerve to ask her to show me the crochet concept and I created a Double Size Blanket as my first ambitious project. My mother didn’t know any other stitches but always changed colours to make her work look different. I became bored of the double crochet knowing there is much more such as granny squares. I purchased a pattern guide book with colour pictures, sketches and cartoon art to show me where to place my hook. I began doing samples of the stitching in the book and the book gave me keys on how to read basic patterns. Some stitches I loved and others I wouldn’t be successful not understanding some terms or concepts from the book. I get bored of crochet fast, so I continuously change colours to give my work an eye catching effect… just like Mom would do.

Ellen K. Gormley of Go Crochet

Both! My Mom was always starting various crafts including crochet. My Great-Aunt lived next door and was an avid crocheter. I learned by watching them. I also feel that I got a crafty foundation in the Girl Scouts. It wasn’t until I was in college that I expanded my basic crochet skills by reading books. I learned to knit by watching a YouTube video…over and over and over…

Kimberly Crawford

To start with, my mother-in-law taught me the basics of stamping. I quickly realized that I loved paper crafting and started devouring any books or magazines that I could read about new techniques. Now, I enjoy experiementing with my own ideas. But I will always be grateful to my mother-in-law for all that she taught me!!

Korinne Zimmerman of Crafterella

I would have to say the I’m a combination of self taught and taught by someone else. I grew up in a crafty family (my Mother and my Aunts) and so I learned from them. We were always doing something crafty, they even have their own annual craft show. I have also taught myself a few crafts too. I taught myself to knit and when I discover a new craft of technique that I would like to try I do a little online research and give it a shot. This is how I’ve learned to use polymer clay and resin. I also do a lot of crafts with my kids, they think I can make anything.

Heather Parsons of Small Fry & Co

I am a self taught crafter-though my mom was very crafty when I was growing up. What I do now is stuff that comes from my head or is sparked by what I see someone else do.

Anna Smith

I am a mostly self-taught crafter. I have learned things here and there from others (and love to when I have the opportunity) and am always looking for inspiration, but mostly I make something that’s interesting to me, and part of the fun for me is figuring it out myself. A few of my family members are engineers and I’m mechanically inclined myself, so I guess I put that to good use too. I’ve never taken a jewelry making class – that was all completely self-taught as well.

Alyice Edrich

I am a self-taught crafter. However, I have learned little things here and there from other crafters and artists via blogs, books, and videos. It is amazing how many techniques transfer over from one genre to another. I believe in taking a new technique and seeing “what else” I can do with it.

Jane Skoch of Maiden Jane

That’s an interesting question! I am primarily a self-taught crafter. I certainly did not learn from my mom. She rarely even sewed on a button when I was younger. However, she did foster my love of creating by purchasing various craft kits for me. I used to sew bears and doll clothes and make hook rugs. A lovely woman, my girlfriend’s grandma who lived behind my house, taught the neighborhood girls how to knit and crochet. We rarely finished a project, but I used to love sitting in her kitchen while she fixed our dropped stitches. I picked up knitting and crocheting after my son was born and taught myself using books. I did take a few classes to learn new techniques. Similarly, I learned how to sew by jumping into projects. Although I’d consider myself primarily self-taught, I have learned from the many wonderful crafters and bloggers that inspire me daily!

Tiffany Windsor

Having grown up as the daughter of the original Tacky Lady herself, I think I first learned crafting by observing. My mother’s wholesale and retail businesses were in full-swing when I was a child so there were craft classing being taught every day at her store. I don’t remember actually sitting down to take classes but I do remember watching everyone else craft. Then when I was old enough, I was expected to start teaching classes myself. My first memories of teaching would have been around the age of 10. When I was the host of Aleene’s Creative Living TV show, I had the glorious opportunity to interview and host over 15,000 segments (yes that’s not a typo!) so I’ve had the ultimate experience of learning from others. Now as a professional designer, radio and craft tv host, there are many techniques I just jump in and try but I always love learning in a class environment.

Emilda Harrington

I have always been a person who is interested in creating things, even as young as 4, when my siblings and I made mud pies, I always liked to decorate mine with pebbles on top, or branches, or leaves, or fingerprints, even toe prints!

I can see a cupcake and think of a hat! I think it’s a glitch in the thinking process… all I know is, I can’t seem to make it stop!

So mostly, I would say I am self-taught. I just can’t seem to follow a pattern, or a recipe, or any structured set of rules or information. I can always see an easier way,… or a faster way! I can become mesmerized by some common-place item, and be totally lost in a focused

scrutiny of it’s make-up! Who knows when the information I absorb will come in handy! I think that’s how things just suddenly fit into place, it’s not that I just suddenly understand something, it’s a combination of bits of information that all come together, and become something that just didn’t exist before!

Sometimes I call it a curse… like in the middle of the night.. when I wake up with a totally new idea for a craft… and I just have to get up and do it. If not, by morning, I will remember that I had a brilliant idea… I just cannot remember what it was!

So yes, I am self-taught…. but it comes from being ever vigilant of tidbits of seemingly unimportant trivia of information.

Vicki O Dell

The answer is YES. I am both. My mom did quite a bit of sewing when I was young and I watched and learned from her. She taught me some things by showing me but mostly I figured it out when she was at work. One of my grade school teachers taught me basic crochet and I’ve taken classes here and there for various things. I have a Floral Design Certification which, of course, I was taught. For the most part though I just DO IT. Even sometimes when I think something might not work I’ll do it anyway just on the off chance that it MIGHT.

Phyllis Serbes of Many Creative Gifts

When I was in 6th grade, I was taught how to crochet by one of my favorite teachers. At my school, we had a 2-week period in the spring during which, in the mornings, we could take any type of “fun” class we wanted to (then back to real school in the afternoons). My friend Anne and I wanted to take crochet, partly because it looked like fun and partly because Mrs. Traver was teaching it. Turned out that we were the only two students who signed up, so we got her all to ourselves for 2 weeks. It was so much fun learning and spending the time together.

Pat Sloan

I am ‘mostly’ a self taught crafter. My mom didn’t craft and none of my friends did. So as a kid I beaded, crocheted, made shoe box dioramas, did crewel work and gardened! All just from a basic direction or making it up as I went.

Then in 10th grade I took home ec with SEWING… wow! THAT opened lots of creative doors! In my early 30’s I then took ‘official’ quilt lessons (I’d already made a quilt but didn’t get the quilt bug from that experience (NOTE – i have a REALLY funny write up on this quilt on my blog at this link. )

I have also taken some workshops on stain glass, altered art and beading. I do feel I can learn most things by looking at the project and reading up on it. But I DO feel that classes are amazing experiences to bring you up to speed quickly on a craft and to also have fun with others, get tips.. they are great!

Berta Gilholm

Good Question! I’ve always been creative and I learned how to focus that creativity 4 ways.

1. Family: I had an Aunt that did the most beautiful crochet you ever saw. Her daughter wouldn’t pick it up, so when I was 5 she taught me to crochet, when I was 7 a friends Mother did the same with knitting.

2. Books: taught me weaving, macrame, sewing, needle work and colors.

3. Self: taught from about 3 years old I started drawing, coloring and anything I could use on paper including glitter and paint.

4. Teachers: I also had several teachers that took me under their wing in school and the recreation department.

Tiffany Bird of Simply Modern Mom

I never had any formal training when it comes to crafting, with the exception of framing as I worked in a frame shop during college. It’s usually I am intrigued by something I see then I try to do what I can to learn how to do it (internet, books, talking to people). Not to say my craftiness didn’t come from major influences. My mother, my grandmother and some of my friends are crafters. And they are my references and support when I need help. I am a hands-on and visual learner. So I do best watching someone make something. I also enjoy the challenge of trying to figure out how things are made and put together.

Sandy Sandler

I am both. My mom wasn’t a crafter, but she did make sure that I got sewing lessons as a child. Unfortunately, once I left home, I stopped all crafting and it wasn’t until years later when I invented the bowdabra and started working with creative people that I realized that I too could be creative and “craft.” A very cool revelation!!

Ann Butler

I come from a creative family, my dad was a brilliant ARTIST in his own right and ahead of his time…he did Mixed Media before there was a name for it…my mom taught me how to crochet at a very young age and taught me how to use the sewing machine before the age of 10 so while my parents gave me the appreciation for creating things I feel I am a self taught crafter as I was always so eager to create and learn new things… I made my own clothes without patterns before I was in junior high. I love to try anything and everything to do with crafting…which is why I LOVE Mixed Media; I can incorporate everything I learn into my ART, just like my dad!

Benita Skinner of Victoriana Quilt Designs

For the most part I am self-taught. I did have a few wonderful ladies show me how to hand-stitch doll clothing when I was quite young (I showed great interest and was thrilled with my first needle & spool of thread when I was 6).

This is where my love of combining fabrics together began, which truly made for some ‘interesting’ doll outfits 🙂

Though I have knitted, crocheted & played with other craft methods, when I made my first quilt (without any lessons or books) and I got to play with combining fabrics again, I was hooked!

After finishing my first quilt, I did scour the library for every quilting book they had, and the biggest surprise for me was finding out that current day quilting now used tools like the rotary cutter, rulers & mats. If I had know that they would have saved me dozens & dozens of hours cutting the fabric.

Because of this independent learning route, though, I was able to create a series of unique pictorial quilts, which then began the requests to teach workshops and that lead to designing quilt patterns….which is how I now make my living!

Thanks for letting me share my passion for playing with fabrics with you…

Little Birdie Secrets

I have self taught myself some crafts such as sewing and things. But other crafts like card making I have learned from other friends. It is a great mix because sometimes you want a friend to craft with anyway!

Sharyn Sowell

I am self taught all the way! I began snipping paper to amuse my children when we were in a rowboat with my husband and his father, both die hard fishermen. And I have been scissor-happy ever since.

I remember wishing fervently for someone to teach me the art of cut paper but what a blessing that I didn’t, because I turned out to find a style that was all my own since I had nobody to imitate. Now I treasure the “be yourself” attitude some crafters like me enjoy.

I’ve been privileged to take calligraphy classes from some wonderful teachers, each of whom has been very tolerant of my need for experimentation and none has tried to force me to stick to the exemplar.

The thing I love best about art and crafting is that there is no wrong way, no rules. That works for a color-outside-the-lines kind of woman like me!

Kristin Omdahl

Yes, I am self-taught in knitting, crochet, needlepoint, drawing and sewing. I love to dive right into any craft!

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