Children learn fine art of sewing from home ec teacher

Angela Peacock

Stitching a sense of pride and accomplishment is what Lucy Nials believes children gain from attending her sewing classes.
Nials, a retired Tucumcari home economics teacher, volunteers her time to teach sewing for more than one reason. She said not only does the activity give children a positive hobby to do in their spare time, but once they learn the new skills it gives them proof of their own abilities.
“These children are architects with fabric. Just like they build a home piece by piece the children do the same with material until eventually they have something they’ve made and reason to be proud of themselves,” Nials said. “When children play with video games they’re playing with someone else’s creation, but sewing allows them to be the creator.”
Last holiday season 10-year-old Patrick Weigel wanted to help his mother create a quilt but didn’t quit have all the skills he needed to finish his project, which is why he said Nials’s class was the perfect opportunity for him to learn the techniques he needed to complete his quilt for this Christmas.
“I was going to learn carving this summer, but now I’m going to take up sewing. The neatest part is it makes you feel happy when you are the one how gets it all done,” Patrick said.
The hardest part about sewing for Brittany Caldwell is cutting the fabric, but no matter how much time it takes she’ll finish even if it just to “show up” her cousin who also enjoys sewing.
“I hope my quilt turns out ok. It takes a long time but it’s all worth it,” said 13-year-old Caldwell.
Tomoko Bahrs has been sewing for about seven years, and even though she’s had more experience than some of Nials’s other sewers she didn’t hesitate about taking her class.
“The thing about Mrs. Nials class is you learn a lot of extra things like how to use the sewing machine and seam ripper a lot easier,” Bahrs said. “She teaches you that you can use almost scraps for quilting fabric.”
As long as there is an interest in sewing Nials will continue to teach. She said her limit is six children per class so that she can give each child the individual attention and direction they need in order to proper sewing skills.
“In sewing there are no mistakes only learning opportunities,” said Nials encouraging children who are interested in sewing to contact her at 461-3967.