Nan's Nappies


My first child was born in 1980.  My mother-in-law gave me some used cloth diapers she had found at a yard sale.  They had little designs stamped and painted on them.  I found stencils and ball point paints from Aunt Martha  and started creating little designs on all of the cloth diapers my son used.  I painted them so they could be right on his little bottom.  It made cloth diapering a lot more fun and they looked so cute hanging on the clothes line.  And of course, they doubled as burp cloths.  Friends started noticing them and asked me if I would paint some for them.  My friend, Tricia, really encouraged me and helped me think up a name for my business.  Since my name is Nancy, and I was painting diapers, she suggested Nan's Nappies.  In case you don't know, "nappies" is the name diapers are given in the UK and some other countries.

As the years went by, it got difficult to find ball point paints and the iron on stencils.  I was creating my own or tracing the ones I already owned onto new paper.  Very tedious and time consuming.  New paints called Tulip Paints came out so I switched to them and using brushes.  The positive thing about them was the variety of colors and the ability to get glow-in-the-dark paints, paints with sparkles, and puffy paints.  Unfortunately it was very difficult to get the detail in my designs that the ball point paints were able to deliver.

One day a friend asked me if I had heard about a new website called Etsy.  I hadn't heard of it but quickly checked into it.  I saw beautiful burp cloths that had been embroidered but I knew I could do even better than those if only I had am embroidery machine.  I started shopping but the only ones I could afford were limited to 4" x4" designs.  I thought that would be fine until I started asking friends who had machines.  They said I would quickly get frustrated by being limited to that size.  The others were just too expensive .  I have a small house and wanted a combination sewing/embroidery machine.

Time to start praying.  Yes, God cares even about sewing/embroidery machines.  I think a year went by when one day my husband was working at one of his clients homes repairing her computer.  He has his own IT consulting business.  He noticed her Bernina and asked her if it was a sewing/embroidery combination.  She told him that it was, so he told her that if she ever wanted to sell it to please let us know.  We happen to attend church with this lady and knew that she takes very good care of everything she owns.  When he told me about it, I quickly told him that even used, we would never be able to afford a Bernina.  Where was my faith????  Certainly not in the God who cares even about my sewing!

I think another year passed when my husband came to me and said our friend, Lou, was ready to sell her machine.  When he told me the price I was thrilled! It was a really great deal. But it was still too much for our budget.  My husband thought about it and looked at the finances and decided it was just too good to pass up. 

I brought the Bernina home right before Christmas 2009.  We went to Augusta, GA, where my in-laws lived at the time, for Christmas so I didn't even get to look at the machine.  We purchased some Bernina software while in Augusta.  My mother-in-law uses a Bernina sewing machine and has a Brother embroidery machine so she was familiar with what I needed. 

When we arrived back in Maryland, I started classes in Easton at Lilies of the Field.  It was an hour drive each way and I had to go every Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM for 3 or 4 weeks but it was so much fun!  Just as with my painting, my embroidery is evolving as I learn more.  I hope you enjoy my work!

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