Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Featured Artisan -- Discord Threads

We hope you enjoy our interview with,


When and how did you first become interested in crafting?

I've crafted since I was little. My grandmother first interested me in sewing when I would visit when I was little and she would be stitching away in the back bedroom.

How long have you been creating your chosen craft?

I've been sewing since I was little and my Grandmother taught me, but I also sewed in costume Shoppe and tailoring shops learning all the way. I've always tried one thing and easily become bored, but a little bit ago I stumbled on up cycled sweaters as fabric. Because the possibilities are endless, I am never bored.

What are your crafting influences?

Seeing Katwise designs influenced me a great deal. A year ago you could search 'up cycled sweater' and find a few pages, but now there's 3 to 4 times that number. I emailed Kat early on and told her I would strive to create my own designs instead of copying her lovely elf coat design. And I think I have done that with my own draping and sometimes total reconstruction of every element of a garment in a new up cycled and earth-friendly piece of clothing art.

Does anyone in your family do a similar craft?

No, just me, but my 12 year old wants to design a teen line for me to sew, so we'll see...

Upcycled Sweater Scarf Black Green Striped Boho Pixie Elf Hippie Chic

What kinds of places have you displayed your craft in your life?

Online, contest, retail stores and craft and art shows. I recently was a top ten finalist in the NBC Universal Art of Reuse Contest and my twirly skirt was shown on the Today Show. And in September a design will be part of the Grand Rapid Good Will's submission for the Art Prize contest.

What else do you do besides create these beautiful pieces?

I spend time with my daughter and work fulltime as a computer software technician and trainer.

What is your favorite piece that you have created so far?

Gosh, I like all of my designs, but I suppose if I just have to pick one it would be this one.

Upcycled Sweater Coat Twirly Skirt Multi-colored Tiers Pixie Elf Boho

Why did you make that piece?

Funny, I actually made that as an experiment to use up scraps. It is very similar to Katwise designs, but instead of up and down strips, I went with patched tiers.

What does it take to create pieces like that?

Lengths and lengths of patched strips gathered and sewn into tiers that kept getting longer each tier.

What is special about your pieces?

Handfasting Wedding Ceremony Cloth Patchwork Memory Custom Made Bridal

They give sweaters that were discarded or unused a new life in a unique and quirky new design.

What makes this kind of craft "good" to you? There is very little waste. Instead of scraps, I sweep almost all of the soft serger trimmings into a clean bin to use as stuffing at a later date. The serger trims the edge so nicely that the fluff is super soft. And then as referenced above, scraps are cut into lengths that are sewn together for a tiered sweater coat. This is very green crafting. I suppose I could be greener by using a foot powered sewing machine, but until I find one, I'll stick with my Juki!

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