I have always enjoyed cutting things apart and the putting them back together into something I can love. It started long ago when my mom would make dresses for me and my sister, Vicki. She would find just the right pattern, fabrics, buttons and bows, then cut everything apart, followed carefully by putting the pieces back together into something we could wear.

We had matching homemade dresses from the time I can remember all the way through Junior High School. One year we both put our feet down and said we wanted store bought outfits for Easter. Mom relented and agreed to take us shopping. She took Vicki first. When she got home she ran in to her room to hide her outfit so I couldn’t see it. Then Mom and I left for the same store.

Once we got back home, Vicki and I put on our outfits for the big reveal. Coming down the hallway I could hear Mom laughing. She was able to keep the secret. As much as we had protested matching dresses we both picked the same skirt and top, but in different colors. None of us could stop laughing. There were no protests that year.

While in Junior High I was able to take Home Economics classes that included a sewing track. Because I had been sewing for so long, the apron project that was supposed to take 8 weeks only took a week and a half. My teacher gave me another pattern that took a week to complete. After that she let me bring in what I wanted to work on, but also asked me to help my classmates if they needed it. This first sewing class yielded two aprons, a smocked-bodice dress and some tote bags that I used for gifts. It also taught me patience and teaching skills as I helped my classmates whenever they asked.

I continued to sew through High School and college in my spare time. After I got married most of what I did was creating clothes for my daughters. And yes, they too got to experience the fun of matching dresses while they were growing up. My sister was in to quilting and suggested that I might like to try putting one together. My response was that I didn’t have the patience for cutting fabric into pieces and then sewing them back together. We both look back at that and laugh because it’s the same thing, just different results. Instead of clothes you end up with a quilt.

Fast forward to today. The two things I LOVE doing the most are scrapbooking and quilting. It took me a little while to put two and two together, but these arts are the same thing, only I use different mediums when creating. My original scrapbook pages were traditional, using papers, stickers, actual photos and pens to journal the stories. I currently only scrapbook on my computer with the Forever Artisan program, creating books, calendars, wall hangings, and other special goodies for family and friends. The process is the same as sewing. I have an idea of what I want to create, then find the necessary materials and tools to make it happen. Some of these are simple projects, while others take a little bit more time to find just the right pieces to create the final project. But once they are completed I feel so happy with the end results.

A friend of mine once told me that everyone has a creative thread in them. They just need to find it and follow the path it leads you down. I am so thankful for my mom leading me down the path of taking something, cutting it up and then putting it back together in the way I need it to be. Scrapbooking and quilting are the same thing. They just tell their stories through different mediums.

Happy Scrapping/Quilting….

Sandy Norman

PS: The “Matchy Thing” continues with a new generation:


Content list:

#p2PCalmBeforeTheStormBP L&R
Paper: Color Pip Mixology 3
Fonts: Sandy, Sandwich





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19 Responses to Guest Blog: Matchy Matchy by Sandy Norman

  1. tinakbruderer@yahoo.com says:

    What a great read.Thx for sharing.

  2. Sherry Mims says:

    Love your story! I have sewn since I was a child but didn’t do much until I retired. My creative passions, like you are quilting and Artisan scrapbooking. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Bridget Clay says:

    Such a fun story! Thanks for sharing! I wasn’t as smart as you. My dad’s side of the family were AMAZING seamstress. My dad actually made my prom and military ball dresses every year starting as a freshman. (I was invited to senior prom as a freshman). I didn’t catch the sewing bug until I was an adult, taught myself and made my two girls’ clothes all thru their elementary. Your story reminded me of the happy accomplishment I had after making their dresses. My biggest accomplishment was matching plaids. LOL!!

  4. Donna Ames says:

    I love the memories of homemade clothes and matching clothes. We had a certain amount of that in our family, too.

  5. Lani Creely says:

    Sandy, What a great story. While I was not a big sewer when my kids were small, I did make my girls matching dresses often and Halloween costumes for them and their brother.
    In 95 I started quilting with girlfriends. I have made several quilt tops and so far during the quarantine I’ve done 4. Scrapbooking is what I did during high school and got hooked again in 2003. While I also started out traditional with simple pages, I now do digital (because the Pixies make it so easy), but put them in traditional albums because I love the look.

    Thanks for sharing, Lani

    • Sandy Norman says:

      Lani, I am right there with you about starting and completing projects during the “shelter in place” orders. I have been bouncing back and forth between scrapping and quilting/sewing projects. I guess I could say I’m lucky because my fabric stash and list of digital scrapping projects is enough to keep me entertained for a while. Who know…. I may have all my Christmas presents done earlier than normal.

  6. Sandy Aldern says:

    I never thought of it that way! I was raised sewing my own clothes since middle school and sewing some of daughters clothes, all of her Halloween costumes, and much home decor. Then my job took over. Since retirement, I am getting back into sewing clothes and my digital scrapbooking. It’s like the trees vs forest thing. I see all of the parts into a whole. Great story!

  7. Nancy Tosh says:

    Sandy – I love your story. You have done a great job of documenting these memories. I hope that that you can transfer your blog post somewhere into a page close to the ones in your dresses. It is definitely a memory that I am sure your family will want to look back onto for generations. Nancy

    • Sandy Norman says:

      Thank you Nancy. These pages have been placed in one of my everyday books near pages of my daughters’ matching Easter outfits. (Yes I did that to them, too.) I like to be able to show pages highlighting current events with ones from the past

  8. Cindy Rold says:

    I like the idea that everyone has a creative thread inside them that they just have to find and follow. I never thought I was creative until I discovered scrapbooking. Of course, now I give all the credit for the creativity on my pages to the Pixies.

  9. Tara Wells says:

    I love this!! Thank you for sharing. The matching store bought outfits gave me a chuckle.

  10. Pat says:

    This is so great! Made me smile. Thank you for sharing!

  11. Terry Vachowski says:

    Thanks, Sandy! I laughed about you and your sister demanding store bought dresses! The first place I went when I got my driving license was to a store to buy a sweater that wasn’t hand made! Good memories! XOXO

  12. gayneal says:

    Sandy, what a great story!

  13. adakallen says:

    I LOVE your story!
    I can relate … mom taught me how to sew. I sew for the family while my sister cooked for the family.
    I can relate … scrapbooking. I can see something and think “I can do that.” I can whip out our cell phone and take a picture of something and my kids will ask what are you taking a picture of, my reply “scrapbook idea” or I can take a Blueprint and change it up before I finish. BUT … I love the instructional parts of scrapbooking – Bright Idea, S2F, PMP.
    Thanks for sharing your story!

    • Sandy Norman says:

      Hi Ada, It really amazes me to find out how much all of us truly have in common besides our love for scrapbooking, in whatever form we choose to use. I had a conversation with my sister a few days ago. She has been the quilter in our family for the longest time. I can remember her telling me a while ago that if I could cut up papers and photos and put them back together creating beautiful pages I could do the same thing with fabric. They are actually the same craft, just using different mediums. It’s really hard admitting she was right (but she is the older sister).

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