Friday, June 26, 2009

5 Questions: Stitched with care

This weeks feature is an exception to my usual feature on Etsy artists. Cindy of SewHappyDesigns has a shop on Artfire, so I didn't run across her on Etsy; which is usually the case with the artists and artisans I feature here, but through her blog.

Cindy loves creating anything with fabric and quilting, a tradition that came from her grandmother when she was very young. Fabric is her canvas and she's proud of the quality and detail of her work and she should be; the bright and colourful quilts, baby sets, pillow cases and kitchen linen sets for sale in her ArtFire shop are super cute and very well made. My favourite item in her shop right now are the On The Farm Placemat sets. It could be that we've just returned from a trip where we spent considerable time on two farms, but anything with cows is really big in our house right now.

In addition to sewing items to sell online, Cindy also teaches in her home classroom to learn more about her classes visit her website . You can find Cindy's creations in her Artfire shop, and on her blog,, where Cindy writes about sewing, Blockhead Radio and the bits and pieces that make up her life. In addition to the blog and her Artfire shop you can tweet at her, and plurk her. And if you are ever in Adams Center New York you can see her creations in person at Painfull Acres, an Amish furniture store there.

Here's what Cindy had to say in response to this weeks questions:

Describe the palette you use to create with, what colours do you always reach for?

Colors depend on my mood. I love the colors of fall, but my favorite spring color combos are pinks and greens. I just like how they look and have done a large queen size quilt (FOR ME!) and many smaller quilted projects in that combo. In the winter, I LOVE to work on bright kids fabrics. Winters are very long here in northern NY and it just brightens up my day when I work on the bright colors on a stormy winter day.

Do you listen to music when you create? If yes, what's on your play list right now and why?

I listen to music and have several artists that I play. I love everything from country to rock to a soft instrumental CD. I like Rascal Flatts and Sugarland, the Eagles, and the Beatles to name a few. (I'm definitely showing my age.) When in my classroom teaching I play soft piano instrumental CD's and light an aromatic candle to keep everyone I also have days when all I listen to is It is an Indie Music station. I am the station's number one fan and recommend you check them out for great music, fun and informative shows. It's a great family station with a great "family member" following. Oh, yeah, and my favorite Indie group is definitely The Stone Coyotes. I have purchased their CD through and listen to it lots.

Do you have any influences that guide your work?

I was influenced at an early age by my grandmother, mother and wonderful Aunt Barb who taught me patience when sewing, but also to strive for attention to detail. I will treasure those memories forever. I am also influenced by fabric. Sometimes the fabric will be my guide when I select the quilting pattern for the project, which is usually almost always the last and hardest step. Also, many times the colors are chosen carefully for the placement in the pattern. Colors can make or break a project. If it isn't working, it goes in a "can't touch this" (picture me singing to MC Hammer) bin and I will pull it out at another time to throw together a "green" shopping bag, or something neat for myself. Last week I took a can't touch this block and made myself a quilted sunglasses case. Life is good.

What life or art lesson have you learned that has shaped your work?

The biggest life lesson I have learned is patience, patience, patience. Teaching beginners to quilt requires a great deal of patience. Not everyone has the same level of sewing or learning skills. The rewards are great though, when I see their successful creations and see their enjoyment in the craft I love.
Patience is also required to have a certain level of toleration in my own sewing and quilting projects. If it doesn't pass my personal "eye of detail" it gets ripped out and re-done. I pride myself in the detail and quality in my creations.

Which Children's book character would you be and why?

I am a huge Harry Potter fan. Harry is surrounded by good friends who help him get through the tough times. I have made some wonderful lifelong friends through my love of quilting and sewing and that is very important to me. And, I often approach a project with a "magic wand" feeling. I reach for fabrics and think, "what can I conjure up today?"


Shawn Michel de Montaigne said...

My mother was an expert quilter. She made some incredible quilts, if I remember correctly.

Good to know this artist is a Harry Potter fan too!

~~Sew Happy Designs~~ said...

Thank you for doing such a wonderful write-up, Tami. You make me proud!

cabin + cub said...

I am always amazed of beautiful quilts.. would love to learn one day. Great feature!

djStoreRoom said...

Cindy's work is really cool..

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