You can easily spend a lot of time with Elizabeth’s Oh, Fransson! blog; one thing leads to the next and you’re soon lost in a wealth of inspiration. We featured Elizabeth’s innovative door stop tutorial during Handmade Holidays and she was a prize winner in our Bag Month contest too. Elizabeth’s currently hosting a Lunchbox Swap, with fun tutorials and the cutest lunch containers around. We’re excited to borrow a bit of Elizabeth’s inspiring and innovative sewing ways during her time as a SMS Board Member. Welcome, Elizabeth!

SMS: How long have you been sewing?
Elizabeth: I’ve been sewing my whole life. I’m sure my mother must have taught me how, but it was so long ago that I just don’t remember it. I did a lot of hand sewing as a child – mostly making clothes for my dolls. I got my first machine when I was 22 (ten years ago) and have been using it ever since.

SMS: What do you enjoy about sewing?
E: More than any other craft I can think of, sewing allows one to create a very wide range of usable objects. I find it very freeing to be able to make things myself, in my own design. I also enjoy the problem solving aspect. It’s always fun to turn a concept into a real finished product.

SMS: What are your favorite things to make?
E: I adore patchwork. I’ve always been fascinated with surface design and color, and I love finding ways to combine different prints and colors. I never, in a million years, thought I would admit this but I do enjoy the mathematical aspect of quilting and often create a numeric sequence/repeating pattern of some sort to determine the placement of fabrics/blocks.

SMS: How do you find time to fit creativity (sewing and any other creative loves) into your life?
E: With very little sleep! I know that sounds sarcastic, but it’s kind of true. I’m at work/commuting for almost twelve hours every weekday, so I have a choice between going to bed at a reasonable hour and working on projects. I choose working on projects almost every time. I also try to work on projects for at least 16 hours every weekend. My husband is extremely supportive of my creative efforts, which is wonderful.

SMS: Do you have a favorite sewing tip or skill that’s made things work better for you?
E: Don’t assume there’s only one way to do things. There are usually several, and what works for someone else may not work for you. (Also, change your needles!)

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SMS: What’s a favorite thing you’ve made lately? Why?
E: I’m hosting a lunchbox swap and have been trying to post about different ways to make lunch-carrying containers. I’ve been particularly interested in attractive, reusable versions of things I see commuters using every day (grocery bags, etc.). Last week I made some fabric bags modeled after those small paper shopping bags – the kind with cord handles – that I often see people carrying their lunches in. The bags I made were very simple – two rectangles (exterior and lining) with boxed corners and a rolled hem at the top, into which eyelets were set for cord handles. Each bag took 30 – 40 minutes. This was, obviously, no great triumph of sewing or design skills. But it was so useful! I’ve been using these bags all over the house. I have a small oilcloth version on my bathroom counter to store stray hair clips/bands. I have a medium sized version hanging on the coat rack in the kitchen to store my cats’ toys. The larger ones are in my sewing room, holding different pieces of projects I’m working on. I’m always happy when I make something that’s actually useful and I was very happy with this project.

SMS: Can you tell us a little more about yourself?

E: I’m 32, married, and have lived in the Portland area my whole life. My husband and I have two very spoiled cats, George-Michael and Maeby. I started blogging last summer as a way to document the projects I make and to force myself to devote more time to sewing/crafting. I feel like, for the last couple of years, I’ve only been making things for friends’ weddings and babies. I’ve enjoyed doing that, but I’m really relieved that I’m going to be able to spend the better part of the rest of this year (well, you know, when I’m not at work!) working on my own projects and designs.