|Do you remember this fun “CD poket“? Irene whipped up a great tutorial and we included it in our Tech Gift compilation for Handmade Holidays, along with her fantastic Eddie Cap tutorial. These are just little glimpses into Irene’s sewing magic. For more you must visit Irene’s Mushroom Villagers blog and also look for touches of that magic here in the near future; Irene joins us this month as a Sew,Mama,Sew! board member. Welcome, Irene!|
SMS: How long have you been sewing?
Irene: I can remember in high school sewing 10 of my friends little calculator pouches with a drawstring cord for Christmas which was about 20 years ago. I grew up using my mom’s basic Pfaff or my grandmother’s Singer. My grandmother had a huge sewing room that was filled with stacks of fabric and you had to weave your way around the hip-high piles to get to her machine. It was wonderful! After high school, I sewed occasionally making small projects here and there through college and my early years of marriage. I started sewing more after having my kids and have made it my everyday hobby a little over a year ago.
SMS: What do you enjoy about sewing? What are your favorite things to make?
I: I love being able to make something. Yeah, you can go out and buy just about anything these days, but I love knowing that I could also make it myself. Some of my favorite sewing items are kids’ pants, casual bags and quilts.
SMS: How do you find time to fit creativity (sewing and any other creative loves) into your life?
I: Since I work at home, I can fit a little sewing here and there throughout my day, but the majority of sewing is done at night. My husband reads the kids to sleep every night so after dinner and bath, it’s my time. I usually can get a couple hours in every night. Some nights, of course, I simply don’t have the energy or have other chores to do, but since I consider sewing a treat, I almost always manage to get a little time in.
SMS: Do you have a favorite sewing tip or skill that’s made things work better for you?
I: My best advice is to have a good sewing machine that is easy to use. If you are constantly fighting with tension, bobbins or stitches, you will hesitate and may not sew as much as you could. There’s such a learning curve with sewing and a cranky machine can hold you back. With a good machine, there’s no limit, although you do need a good seam ripper!
SMS: What’s a favorite thing you’ve made lately? Why?
I: I love my Bento Box Quilt. It’s my first quilt from a pattern and the first in which there was a lot of piecing with many color combinations. I loved it because it was challenging, but still fun to sew. It was great seeing it all come together in the end and it turned out exactly how I imagined. After the quilt was finished, I was genuinely proud of my quilt.
SMS: Can you tell us a little more about yourself?
I: I was born overseas, but grew up in Oregon. I’ve been married for almost 10 years and have three kids, all of which are exactly 26 months apart. My husband is a science teacher so naturally we are an active family. We love to hunt for mushrooms, dig for clams and search for many of Oregon’s wonderful treasures. My husband and I both come from large families most of whom live in the same area as we do and so we are fortunate to have many grandparents, uncles, aunts, sisters, brothers, and cousins be a large part of our lives. Family is very important to me and I am very lucky to have such a wonderful one.
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