Well……what can I say except that perhaps I am getting OLD? Just the other day I was browsing Daryl’s absolutely marvellous creations….admiring her work and WONDERING to myself why I hadn’t interviewed her for the sewist Interviews Series yet….
Well…..I was just about to email her when into my inbox popped an email from Daryl herself WONDERING why I hadn’t posted her interview yet? LOLLL I really have LOST the plot, I tell you! I checked my files and sure enough, there it was….the interview AND all the wonderful pics to go with it!
SO …I am sorry Daryl…my humble apologies for not posting this much sooner! I really am a silly GOOSE! (Well I am sure there are a lot more colourful adjectives you can all think to apply to me BUT come on…..haven’t YOU done something silly like this too sometime?? PLEASE don’t tell me I am the only silly person to walk the earth?? LOLLL)
Over to you Daryl:
When did you start to sew?
I learned some sewing from my mother when I was a child, but I did more sewing when I was in high school in home economics class. Half the year we sewed and half the year we cooked in class. It was fun.
Who taught you or were you self taught?
I first learned some sewing from my mother and then in high school, but when I was older and on my own I taught myself more types of sewing and quilting. I got books from the library and learned. Then when I had a personal computer, I began to find all kinds of information online.
What sort of things do you like to sew?
I like to make quilts both pieced and appliquéd, as well as bags and some clothing. I don’t sew much clothing for myself anymore, but I do like to make my grandson pajamas. I also love to make and use and give bags as gifts. I guess I am truly a bag lady, lol!
Do you like to use patterns or do you prefer to make it up as you go along?
When it comes to making quilts I prefer to make it up as I go along. I sort of design as I go. I usually have an idea in mind, but as the quilt progresses I will change things. I have designed a couple of quilts that I made into patterns and sell them on Craftsy: The Alphabet Quilt I designed and made in 2000 and then created a paper pattern that I sold in a few quilt shops and then last year turned it into a pdf to sell on Craftsy. I designed the Batiks Heart Quilt several years ago and this year put it on Craftsy too. The Batik Hearts quilt is my best seller.
With making bags, I like to use a basic pattern that I like, but I change things to personalize the bag to my tastes. I have made some of my own bag designs from scratch though without a pattern, but those were more basic simple bags. I have learned a lot about bag making from bag designers like you Christine and others too.
Have you made something that is your all-time favourite creation? If so, why?
The last thing that I have made is usually my favorite thing until I make the next thing, lol. I know I get better and better at my craft(s) with each item that I make. I look back at things I made a decade or more ago and I see such a difference in my work…for the better of course, lol. You know practice makes perfect as they say. Well I am not perfect, but I feel like I know what I am doing now at least, lol.
Do you have a favourite fabric type that you prefer to work with? Favourite fabric line or favourite designer?
I like batik and hand dyed fabrics the best. I love the bright colors of both batiks and hand dyed fabrics for making quilts and bags. I try not to even look at fabrics in stores or online because I have so many fabrics in my sewing room that I need to use, so I don’t even know much about the latest fabric lines or designers that are out there.
Any sewing secrets you would like to share?
If I shared them they wouldn’t be secrets anymore, lol!!! Seriously, I think just taking your time with what you sew and really enjoying the process is more important than the finished results. We all make mistakes from time-to-time when we sew, but if you learned something from it then just consider that part of the journey. Sometimes when you make a mistake you learn more from the mistake than if you hadn’t made a mistake. Mistakes can help you to really stretch your creative thinking skills so that you can take that mistake and turn it into something creative. There have been times when my mistakes have brought me to tears, but after the tears have dried I do start to think about how can I rectify this mistake? And you know some of those mistakes have forced me to create something I might not have otherwise and in the end I am so glad that I screwed up because the end result is even better than if I had not made a mistake…oh course this isn’t the case every time, lol. I never stop learning.
What type machine/s do you have?
I have a Brother PQ1500s that is a semi-industrial straight stitch only machine that I use the most. I love the power of this machine. It sews through thick fabrics easily. I have a Brother Innov-is 80 computerized sewing machine that I use for zigzag and other stitches. I also have an old Bernina 830 Record. The Bernina has a narrower free-arm that I like for when I sew clothing and other things when a free-arm is handy. Plus I have a lot of presser feet on the Bernina that I don’t have on the other machines. The Brother Innov-is also has a free-arm, but it is too wide for sleeve cuffs. I don’t know why they didn’t make it narrower? I have a Singer 301-A straight stitch machine too. The 2 older machines are what I like to use when I go to my sewing groups. Each machine I own has a feature or features that I like better than the others. Some machines I use for certain things that just sew better on that particular machine. No machine does it all or does it all well, so I just can’t part with any of them.
Do you have any sewing goals?
Yes! I have so many ideas in my head that I want to sew. Mostly quilts and a few bags too. I just wish there were more hours in the day to sew, knit, email, blog, etc.
Oh yes tons of them! Some decades old. Sometimes I put things away because I lose interest or I can’t wait to start a new project or I don’t know quite how I want to finish it yet. So I tuck it away until I get inspired again. I am glad that I didn’t finish some of them, because later I do get inspired and finish them in a better way than I would have if I had just finished it from the start.
When do you find time to sew?
Most anytime I am in the mood. I sew everyday or nearly everyday.
Do you have a dedicated sewing space or room?
Yes in fact I have 2 rooms, lol. One room has 2 sewing machines set up and a sewing table my husband built me. The other room is where I keep my fabric, ironing table, and cutting table. They are nearly always a mess too, lol!!! Too busy creating to keep it clean! They are small rooms and across from each other. If the rooms were side-by-side I would have knocked out the wall and made one larger room.
Do you have other hobbies that you like to indulge in?
Yes I love to knit and I crochet just a little, but prefer knitting. I also like to dry felt or wet felt. Sometimes I knit something and then wet felt it. I make things out of felt material too, mostly appliqué things like penny rugs, pincushions. I do some fabric and yarn dyeing from time-to-time and tie dye clothing too. I do some Kumihimo (Japanese braiding). I like to rubber stamp, stencil, paint and use rubbing plates on fabric too. I do hand embroidery, especially on my quilts. I make a little jewelry from beads. I make handmade soap when we need it. Handmade soap lasts for so long that I don’t have to make it very often; about every 3 years I make soap. I used to macramé, paper mache’, do pottery, cross stitch, make dolls and stuffed animals and needlepoint too.
I married my best friend 33 years ago. We have 2 grown children and one grandson.
Thanks Christine for the interview and for allowing me to share a bit about myself and some of my creations with your readers.
If you or someone you know have some sewing to share why not do it here with us, by scoring yourself your very own interview! Simply email me and we’ll chat! 🙂
Same goes for any Pattern Designers wishing to share your creativity! Email me to be featured in our pattern designer Series! 🙂