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Mary Foral

About Me

I started sewing at the age of nine through 4-H (a girls/boys club predominately in rural areas). I was very fortunate to have a Home Ec teacher as my sewing leader and she influenced my sewing the most. When I started taking sewing garments to the county fair, I received 3rd or 4th place on all of them. Through her expertise, I was able to develop my skills to receive 1st place on my garments at the county fair. I was even selected from my county to go to the state fair. She made such an impact on me that I became a Home Ec teacher.

My sewing has changed somewhat throughout the years. Up until 10-15 years ago, I worked mainly on woven fabrics making blouses, pants, dresses, suits and coats—you name it, I have made it. Now I work mainly on knit fabrics making tops, dresses and skirts.

There are three recent projects that I am particularly proud of. A few years ago I made lined and interlined pleated drapes with a contrasting band along the top. It was a huge undertaking and it seemed like it took FOREVER to complete, but it was well worth the effort. My most interesting garment project was taking my friend’s wedding dress and creating a baptism gown for her granddaughter. My most recent garment project was drafting and sewing a mother of the groom dress. It was a navy dress with a lace bodice and a silky knit skirt. To keep the dress from looking too boring, I embellished it with 900 blue crystals for that added sparkle.

I grew up on a farm in southwest Wisconsin (go Packers). I went to college at UW Stout, studying Home Economics Education (they call it something else now). I taught for a short while, but then found a job in a fabric store. I was there for over 5 years and enjoyed every minute of it. Needless to say I have MANY boxes of fabric.

I met my husband, Mike, in a ballroom dance class and 4 years later we were married. We moved to Aurora in 1988 and have lived there ever since. Mike is a chemical engineer working for BP. We have 3 grown children, a daughter who is a zookeeper, a son, who is a mechanical engineer and a daughter who is studying to be a teacher. We also have 3 cats Leona, Oliver and Susan.   My older daughter and I use to foster kittens through a local animal shelter and it was a great way to have an endless supply of kittens.

When I am not sewing, I love to be in my garden. I have many perennials, especially peonies, daylilies and hostas. I also love to ballroom dance with my husband and we dance at least once a week with our club. It isn’t competitive, just for fun. We attend several conventions each year, but our favorite one is in Florida in the middle of January.

I am a new instructor at Quilters Quest. I am teaching beginning garment sewing and am looking forward to share my expertise with others.