We are excited to share our interview today with Heather Ross. Heather is busy these days with events for her beautiful new book, Weekend Sewing: More Than 40 Projects and Ideas for Inspired Stitching. Her latest Far and Away collection started to fly out our doors the moment we added it to the shop, and we know about your lasting love (see the comments!) for her Mendocino and West Hill collections.

Heather keeps everyone up to date with her Heather Ross blog. She also has a Weekend Sewing Flickr group where you can see a great selection of Summer Blouses, Flower Girl dresses and much more, all from patterns in the book.

We’re expecting more Far and Away by the end of April, and the rest will be in the shop at the end of May. We can’t wait to see what you create with Weekend Sewing patterns and the beautiful cotton double gauze of Far and Away.

Sew,Mama,Sew!: Congratulations on the success of Far and Away! We were one of the first stores to get it and it flew out of the shop… This must be such an exciting time for you with the new collection and the book. Your days must be so full. Have you had time to enjoy it all? How do you use your own fabric and patterns?

Heather: At the moment I am using my book patterns and my fabrics together, making display samples for some upcoming shows and events. I am so in love with this double gauze, it’s perfect for dresses and skirts and blouses. Of course, not every grown woman would wear a blouse covered with unicorns!I am happy to see that my extremely geeky little creatures and odd fellows are finding their way into peoples hearts and homes, I was a little afraid for them. When we were all getting organized on my desk last fall we seemed a rather shy and vulnerable crowd. Now we are quite pleased with ourselves.

SMS: Where do you stash inspiration and ideas so you can pull them out at the right moment? Do you have journals? Notebooks? Inspiration boards?
Heather: I try to save ideas, but usually its the things that set up camp in a corner of my brain and refuse to leave, eventually ending up in my sketchbook. Some of them, like the donkey that is currently becoming fully formed (inspired by my third birthday in Mexico, when my grandparents arranged for my sister and I to go for a donkey ride and when the festooned but humble little steeds appeared on or doorstep we thought that they were ours to keep), have been waiting for a very long time.

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SMS: You mentioned sewing patterns at Quilt Market last spring… Do you have plans in the works?
Heather: I decided to do books instead. I wanted a format that would help me to tell a story and to show that sewing can be integrated into anyone’s life and home in a stylish and practical way… I wasn’t sure I could do that as well with patterns.

SMS: We loved the Weekend Sewing Design Challenge. How is your personal quest going to make a closet-full of new clothes from Weekend Sewing?
Heather: Very well, thank you! My husband refers to the right side of my closet as my “imaginary beach house wardrobe.” Wasn’t it amazing to see what everyone came up with for the challenge? So inspiring!

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SMS: We were so sad to read that you won’t be designing fabric for awhile. What is going to happen with the great clothespin doll fabric you designed?!
Heather: The clothespin people are getting a little restless, but they are not strangers to persecution and I expect that they will make a pious but proud entrance when the time is right.

SMS: We read on your blog tour that you’re looking forward to a few “lengthy projects that will hopefully be loved and enjoyed by kids.” Can you tell us a little more?

Heather: I used to spend a lot of time swimming the remote rivers of Vermont and Northern California. I would swim as hard and for as long as I could upstream against strong currents and then turn around and swim back to my starting point, which usually only took minutes in comparison to the hour it took on the way “up.” When the river was especially clear I could watch my reflection on the sandy bottom while I was being swept along and look and feel as though I was flying. I have been thinking about that feeling for a while now. I think that I wasted a bit of time trying to develop a more sophisticated, serious style. I was wanting to move away from “novelty” in an effort to be taken more seriously. I have decided to swim with the current for a while, embrace all things young, and I have a feeling that it will feel a lot more like swimming downstream. I am in the very beginning stages of illustrating a children’s book and hope to write a second sewing book– about sewing for your children.

Thanks, Heather! Images are from Weekend Sewing and Heather Ross.

Join us for Spring Sewing Month. Comment to win this week’s prizes from Fiskars/Gingher: one winner will receive a Gingher Nickel Rotary Cutter and a 12-in-1 Sewing Multi-Tool. We’re also giving away four $20 gift certificates to Sew,Mama,Sew!