We are literally smack-dab in the middle of National Craft Month, and I’m thrilled to welcome Kristin Link of Sew, Mama, Sew! to our blog. Read our exclusive interview with her, and then learn more about our fantastic mid-month giveaway!
Q: Thank you for joining us! Have you always been a sewist, or did you start out with a different craft? Tell us a bit about your craft experience.
Kristin: I’ve been sewing since I was a child, but I dabble in lots of things. I love knitting and crochet, paper crafts and glitter too.
Q: Who taught you how to sew? What was your first sewing project?
K: My mom taught me to sew. I’m not sure what my first project was. Probably a pillow though. I do remember making a skirt in middle school home ec that I was quite proud of. I was into New Wave at that point so, much to the chagrin of my teacher, the hem was finished with safety pins—on the outside.
Q: Fabric lines and designs are constantly evolving, but is there a particular designer (or designers) that you go to again and again for your personal projects?
K: I definitely have a huge stash of Jennifer Paganelli fabric. I love her saturated colors and consistently feminine and versatile prints. I’ve used a lot of them in bags and little bits are in almost all of my patchwork projects. I regularly turn to Anna Maria Horner fabrics to make garments.
Q: What’s your favorite type of project to sew?
K: Probably bags. I love how quickly they come together and you can never have too many! I also find them to be the perfect gift for just about anyone. Portland recently implemented a ban on single use plastic grocery sacks, so I’ve made and gifted dozens of cloth grocery bags.
Q: You’ve obviously been able to take something that you’re passionate about and turn it into a successful and well-known business. What advice do you have for sewists or crafters who are looking to do the same??
K: I think it is important to be prepared for all aspects of running your own business. My favorite part of the job, picking out fabric, takes only a couple of days every few months. I have to manage employees, take care of finances, deal with technology, stay on top of social media, manage marketing and more. I enjoy all of that too, but I do know people who have been overwhelmed by the parts of the job they don’t like. A website that is down, for example can be extremely stressful.
With that said, I think it’s really important to find good people who can help you with the parts of the business you don’t enjoy or aren’t skilled at. For example, I used to waste hours trying to make a button for my blog. I found that hiring a graphic designer to do that work for me was more than worth it! When you’re starting out you feel like you have to do everything, but my advice to people is to really weigh their time and passion against the cost of hiring out. Sometimes it is more affordable than you think, or you can find people who are willing to trade.
K: I’ve never done free-motion quilting! I think I will someday, but I have a lot of extremely talented quilting friends and even though they offer encouragement, I am definitely intimidated.
K: I would say seam ripper, but I’m not that picky. I really love a good pair of scissors. I have a lot!
Q: Spring is just around the corner! Have you been noticing any Spring trends in sewing?
- Granny square quilts are amazingly popular.
- I’ve noticed lots of brights on white. (Dare I say white is the new grey?)
- We’re selling lots of dress and skirt patterns.
- Pinterest has been full of Easter crafts ever since Valentines Day ended.
- Paper piecing is hot. (We’re devoting a lot of time to this on the blog the week of March 19.)?
Q: What project or projects are you working on right now???
K: I’m finishing up some pillows for my 9-year-old daughter. She has a new loft bed, so we put a shaggy rug underneath and hung some curtains on the sides. The six large pillows will complete the girly den.
Q: What other blogs do you love and follow? ??
K: There are so many that I check in with regularly, I’ll just list ten that I’ve been following for a long time:
- The Long Thread
- Moda Bake Shop
- A Sewing Journal
- Red Pepper Quilts
- Tall Grass Prairie Studio
- Happy Zombie
- Oh, Fransson!
- Gertie’s New Blog for Better Sewing
Many, many thanks to Kristin for joining us today! Please make sure to stop by her blog, Sew, Mama, Sew! for fabulous fabric, patterns and inspiration.
And now, for an exciting announcement…
Starting today, we’re launching several giveaways of craft tools and prizes that will take your crafty endeavors to the next level. From March 15 at 12:01 A.M. EST to March 22 at 12:01 A.M. EST, you can enter up to five times to win a Baby Lock Anna Sewing Machine, with a retail value of $399!! This contest is open to entrants in the United States and Canada.
It’s really easy to enter. Just follow these instructions:
- Locate the Giveaway widgit on the right column of the blog, labeled “Baby Lock Anna Sewing Machine.”
- Log in by providing your name and email address on the widgit, or log in with Facebook.
- The widgit will give you options for entering. As you complete each task, click the “Do It!” and then “Enter” buttons to check off that task. Each task gives you one entry for the prize. The tasks are outlined in Steps 4-8.
- Leave a comment on our blog that answers the following question: “What book topics would you like to see at the Martha Pullen store?” You must complete this task to qualify.
- Start following our blog. You can do this in one of two ways: by clicking the “Join This Site” button on the right column of the blog, or by entering your email address under “Follow by Email.” You must complete this task to qualify.
- Follow us at our Stitch Craft Create Facebook page. If you’re already a follower, simply click the “Enter” button for that task on the widgit. You don’t have to do this task, but if you do, it will give you an extra entry for the prize.
- Follow Stitch Craft Create on Twitter. If you’re already a follower, simply click the “Enter” button for the task on the widgit. You don’t have to do this task, but if you do, it will give you an extra entry for the prize.
- Follow our Stitch Craft Create Pinterest boards. If you’re already a follower, simply click simply click the “Enter” button for the task on the widgit. You don’t have to do this task, but if you do, it will give you an extra entry for the prize.
Just so everyone is clear, you must complete Steps 4 and 5 to qualify for the prize. Steps 6, 7 and 8 will give you one (1) additional entry each for the prize.
And the winner is . . . Carmen Nuland! Carmen, you’ll be contacted shortly with more details. Thank you for entering, and congratulations!
Thanks to Baby Lock for the beautiful machine!
Good luck to everyone, and keep your eyes peeled for more exciting giveaways as we start the second half of National Craft Month!
In this giveaway, one (1) entrant will win a Baby Lock Anna Sewing Machine, valued at $399.00 USD. The entrant must live in the United States or Canada to qualify. Each entrant must complete Steps 4 and 5 as outlined above, for a total of two (2) entries. Each entrant is also able to enter an additional three (3) times by completing Steps 6, 7 and 8 as outlined above, for a total of five (5) possible entries. All entries must be in by March 22, 2012 at 12:01 A.M. to qualify.
All entries must be entered through the Rafflecopter widgit located in the far right column of the blog; completing the task without entering it in the widgit will make you ineligible for the prize. To do this, complete each task, then press the “Enter” button on the widgit. The drawing will be performed at random through Rafflecopter’s random number generator, and the winner will be announced within two (2) business days of the end of the contest. We will post the winner both on this post and on the widgit.