I happened upon our final Hoedown Showdown blog interviewee while surfing Etsy. Her fun project bags and excellent construction caught my eye. Please join me saying “howdy” to Cheryl from My Needle Crafts!
I love your tag line “busy hands = happy heart,” your goal that quality is number 1, and your story of learning from your mom and grandmas. Tell us a little about how MyNeedleCrafts got started.
I have always been a bit of an entrepreneur and my love of making seemed to go hand in hand with that. Initially, I had an alterations and custom sewing business that I ran from my home. I started making knitting bags as a bit of a side hobby. I had begun with a few bags that I made for myself. I really loved making them but a person can only have so many (not really lol).That’s when that entrepreneurial side of me thought, “If I love them so much, I’m sure others will too” so I decided to open an Etsy shop. I never dreamt that it would take over! I gave up my alterations business over a year ago because the demand became too great to do both! I’ve been very lucky that I can do what I love every day.
What is your creative process like? Does it start touring the fabric store or do you begin with a sketch and look for fabric to match your vision?
I’m a compulsive fabric and yarn shopper! I love beautiful things! The creative process absolutely starts with the fabric! I find things that I love and go from there.
Do you still offer your amazing bags at craft shows or has Etsy taken over? If yes, do you have any events this Fall where people can find you live and in person?
For the time being, I am still on Etsy but also have just recently opened up an independent website. I’m pretty excited about making this move! I have a few Fiber/Knitting shows that I do each year. You can find me at the Kitchener/Waterloo Knitters Fair and the Woodstock Fleece Festival each year. The Woodstock Fleece Festival is coming up on Oct 14th in Woodstock Ontario.
Your new line of progress keepers and stitch markers are really charming. What inspired the expansion from bags to notions?
I love fun accessories so it just made sense to add a little bling to my shop. Plus it added to my “maker’s” obsession to learn a new craft!
Do you employ any eco principles in your craft business? (i.e. reduce, renew, recycle or eco materials, etc.)
I am very mindful of keeping my waste to a minimum. I like to use as much of my fabric as possible both from a financial and environmental standpoint. Smaller bits are saved and used for other projects or are donated for quilting.
What draws you to creating with cotton and linen? Is there something about the way different fibers interact with different fiber yarns? Or is it a certain aesthetic only achievable with cotton and linen fabric?
I would have to say that I’m a bit of a natural fiber snob. This is both with fabrics and yarns! I love the look and feel of both cotton and linen and I think they last and stay beautiful for a long time.
Puddles species to species question. What role does your lovable pooch Georgie play in your creations?
Georgie is a mix of who knows what! LOL She is a rescue dog and has been at my side (and under my feet, or desk) for about 6 years now. She mostly just keeps me company while I sew.
Find Cheryl and her fabulous bags and stitch markers around the world wide web in the following places:
Website: My Needle Crafts
And if you’re in Ontario October 14, purchase one of her bags in person at The Woodstock Fleece Festival!