This year I will be doing a monthly featured sewist because who doesn't like human interest stories! I used my bestie, Vicki, as the jumping off point because she puts up with my shenanigans and is the reason I started sewing to begin with in the form of jealousy. She entered a cross stitch project in the local fair and won a ribbon and I decided then and there I wanted to do that too! So without further ado, here is Vicki's story--
~What types of things do you sew?
I consider myself a straight-line sewist, so I typically make quilt-tops, pillow covers, and bags. I enjoy traditional, English and Foundation Paper piecing. I also love to cross-stitch, which is a great way to keep my hands busy when I’m not near my machine or have a quilty project in the works!
~When did you first begin sewing?
I can remember sewing as a young child, maybe five or six years old, starting on plastic canvas. My mom, Regina Leatherman, set me up with projects, which evolved into actual cross stitch, as well as machine sewing. I made a small duffel bag in high school Home Economics, which I still use to carry my sewing projects!
~What was your inspiration to learn sewing?
What child doesn’t want to do what their parents are doing? Mom was patient with me and afforded me the opportunity to sew. She treated my projects with as much importance as hers, getting them professionally framed and showing them off with pride. She nurtured my confidence in crafting and continues to be my inspiration.
~Do you have a favorite designer of patterns, fabrics, etc.? If not, what general themes or colors do you typically gravitate toward?
I can look at fabrics for days. For real. I love falling down a rabbit hole online, looking at prints and patterns; and I gravitate toward the retro colors – aqua, pink, and red. I love the colors and vintage illustrations of Urban Chiks, Cottage Mama (Lindsay Wilkes), Sarah Jane Studios, and Bonnie & Camille/Thimbleblossoms. I’m also smitten with Tula Pink’s bright colors and fantastic illustrations (more on that in the projects section).
I’m a sucker for a cute holiday print, which is why I have more Christmas-themed quilts than anything else. I currently have Cottage Mama Sugar & Spice (Valentine’s Day) and Easter Parade fabrics on my table ready to cut into a couple new projects!
~Tell us a little about the project you are most proud of or your favorite.
My most favorite project is a work in progress, our 12-year-old daughter Josie! Seriously, though, it was a project for her that holds dear to my heart. My mom and Angie made her newborn layette, including quilt, bumpers and crib sheets, using vintage prints (of course); which I loved. We moved when she was a year-and-a-half old, and I made her a quilt and pillow from Sarah Jane’s Children at Play line for her new room. There are so many sweet memories associated with that project and that time in our lives, and that fabric line remains a favorite of mine!
Another project I’m pretty proud of has been 18 months in-the-making. I enlisted in a Tula Pink La Passacaglia Block-of-the-Month, alongside my mom in 2020. It has been an adventure, for sure. Completely hand-pieced and a ton of fussy-cutting, this is my largest and longest project ever. It’s safe to say it’s a once-in-a-lifetime quilt. It has been a blast doing it with mom, though, as we make different fabric and/or cutting choices for each block. I’m hoping to complete the top by the end of February, 2023.
~What is the one sewing tool (besides your machine or hands) that you would hate to be without?
Wonder Clips! These were a game changer when I first started using them, and now I use them for everything. I would always get stuck by pins when I wrestled larger projects through my machine, and it was so frustrating. I recently started using a blood thinner, so a simple pin prick can turn into a near blood bath (okay, not quite) which isn’t great when you’re working with fabric. I also use Wonder Clips for hair controls (dang bangs!) or paper clips.
~Do you have a tip or trick that you would like to share with everyone?
My tip is just to jump in, don’t overthink, and make it work for you. I usually give myself one or two chances to rip and redo a mistake. After that, I keep on truckin’. Those imperfections and “modifications” give projects character. I also love to use my quilts and have them broken in. The wear and tear becomes part of the quilt’s story and proves that it was well-loved.