Stash Bee --- Hive 5 --- May Tutorial
Hello all. My name is Heather Browne, and I live in Oakdale, CT, USA with my Husband Bob and our daughter and two sons. 10, 12 & 4.
I have been a stay at home mom since my daughter was born 10 years ago. Prior to that I worked as and Labor Accountant. When I am not sewing, I serve as the Cookie Mom for our Girl Scout Troop. I have a blog that I have just started posting to this year, HotPinkThread and and Etsy shop under the same name. I am just beginning my business, and am loving every minute of it.
I am taking advantage of the time home to build a business doing something I love. I have just started up with blogging, and am starting to find out how all the social sites work together, and plan to dive into blogging (and sewing) more when my youngest starts kindergarten in the fall.
Tell us about how you got interested in quilting
I remember, as a child, sitting and watching my mother sew, and being totally fascinated as her hands thread the machine effortlessly. I wondered how she could remember how to do such a complicated task. Then there were all those pattern pieces and seam allowances and darts and buttonholes and backstitching, and pinking something or other. I had no idea what any of it meant, but she was pretty amazing.
I tried to learn from her as a child, but it never seemed to click. I learned to hand sew in Junior High Home Ec class, but truly started sewing when my first born turned 2.
I, (along with lots of help from my mother) made paw print shaped goody bags with felt on my grandmothers old Necchi sewing machine. From that point forward, I knew that sewing was something I loved. Forward a few years, and a little daughter added to the mix, and I realized that I could make some of her clothes myself, and they would be so much cuter than store bought. I purchased an inexpensive Brother Machine, set off to the internet and taught myself how to sew on the new computerized machine. My first twirly skirt was finished in time for our first Disney Trip.
I made clothing for friends children, and handbags and other items to sell at local craft fairs and online. The business was just starting to take off the ground when we had our third baby and I put it on hold to focus on the family. After deciding recently to get back into sewing, it seemed there was no longer a market for handbags, and my daughter has outgrown the twirly skirt years, so I went on a search for something else to create.
A new sister in law was coming into the family, and mentioned she would love to have a quilt and maybe learn the process herself. Aha, I had found my new adventure. I personally had never liked quilts, not on my bed at least. I am a fluffy comforter sort of gal. But my new sister in law was classy, and stylish, and I knew that I could put my skills to the test to give her a gift she would love.
I began scouring the internet for patterns and how to videos and stumbled upon a Block of the Month Craftsy Class 2012 by Amy Gibson. Because of her enthusiasm, I began looking at quilting in a whole new light. I very quickly loved the sense of satisfaction I get from making beautiful pieces of art that are functional and cozy too. QUILTING was in my blood!
These are some pictures of her quilt and pillowcases during the creating process.
How do you organize your fabric stash?
I am very disorganized. But the stash is slowly becoming organized. I have been using the 6" ruler method of folding my fabrics around the ruler and then taking them off the ruler and folding in half and storing on an Ikea Expedit shelving unit. All of my colors are right there in front of me, at a glance and it makes a beautiful setting for creativity. I have begun organizing my scraps by sizes, in hopes that someday I will have enough to make a scrappy hexie quilt. Note the abundance of juvenilee prints still left from making kids clothing.
Who is/are your favorite fabric designers?Robert Kaufman, Riley Blake, Amy Butler and all things fresh, bright and bold! I love geometric prints, and love to think outside of the box. I stay away from rust, brown, gold, and dark green. I am not a traditional quilter, although, I do like some of the traditional patterns with a modern twist. I like to take the pattern that I have and tweak it just a little to make it non-standard, and non-traditional in some way.
What is one thing you have learned that you wish you knew when you first started quilting?
How to sew a scant 1/4". Seam rippers have gotten alot of work around here. Even sometimes now, I find that I have to pick out seams to make a pattern work.