National Craft Month is off to a great start, and we’re not slowing down! I’m so pleased to introduce you to Heidi Boyd, the author of the book Stitched Whimsy. If you haven’t had the opportunity to pick up your own copy of this fantastic book, you’re in for a real treat! It’s absolutely chock-full of projects that are super cute and achievable.
|Just a few of the fabulous projects in Stitched Whimsy!|
Q: When did you start crafting? What craft did you start with?
- Heidi: I was fortunate to grow up in an artistic home. My parents are British immigrants they were constantly creating: painting fabulous murals, making handmade toys and assembling elaborate holiday decorations. My mum and dad made sure I was surrounded in materials and would helped me sew my own felt puppets and doll clothes. I learned to knit before I could read. My first true love was drawing and painting.
Q: What other crafts do you do besides sewing?
- H: They are very few crafts I haven’t tried. I went to amazing art classes with a German teacher while I was in Canadian elementary/high school. We painted on glass, made mixed-media collage, molded Fimo (polymer clay), and even painted on silk. At that time I also had a wonderful babysitter who taught me to crochet and generous neighbors who taught me how to paint Ukrainian eggs, paper quilling and raised decoupage. On a trip to England my grandmother shared her love of weaving and encouraged me to needlepoint. My crafting interests were piqued and supported at every turn.
Q: What made you decide to write Stitched Whimsy?
- H: I’d been contributing sewn animals and toys to Stitch magazine for a couple of years. I started making extra samples of my favorite designs to sell at local Craft fairs. These creations delight crowds and are always quick sellers. The overwhelming response encouraged me to focus on sewing.
Q: What is the best part about writing a book? What’s the most difficult?
- H: Writing a book allows you to immerse yourself in a subject. The time and focus to explore the ins-and-outs of the materials and techniques. I learn so much every time I write a book. The hardest part is working through design problems figuring out how to fix patterns that aren’t working perfectly.
Q: How do you get inspired when you’re feeling a lack of creativity?
- H: My schedule doesn’t allow for non-creative days. Editorial and magazine deadlines keep me designing every week. If I’m ever stuck I get out and walk in the woods with our dog Otto. If I need specific visual inspiration I simply Google search images. Real life animal photos are the best resource for creating convincing stuffies.
Q: What is the skill or technique that most intimidates you?
- H: Cutting a straight line. No joke, I’m challenged even with a rotary cutter, clear ruler and mat.
Q: What’s the best advice you can give a new sewist?
- H: Buy great fabric—you’ll love what you make even if it doesn’t turn out perfectly. Just like knitting, it’s always more pleasurable to work with good quality yarns.
Q: What tool, notion or material can you not live without?
- H: Since I’ve been working with felt my Sizzix Big Kick is indispensable. You just can’t cut perfect flowers and circles by hand. I even use the die cutter to make the shapes in my new Whimsy Stitching Kits.
Q: How has crafting changed your life?
- H: Crafting is my life!
A huge thanks to Heidi for taking the time to answer our questions and spend some time with us here on Stitch Craft Create!
Kelly is proud to be an editor for F+W Craft. She’s also a quilter, blogger, sister, daughter, best friend, sewist, fabric hoarder, travel enthusiast, unpaid theatre critic, tap dancer, piano player and cupcake baker from Cincinnati, Ohio. Kelly loves all things quilted and stitchy, and enjoys sharing her creative process here and at Stitchy Quilt Stuff.