Thursday, July 14, 2011

Day #125 - #2 "Crafty Corner" Interview!!

Good morning from soggy NH!

It's time for another interview. Today, I'd like you to meet Melissa. I met Melissa through one of the header drawings I had offered up. Wait till you see what she has to say!

How did you start your business in the first place? I do not own a business but I am thinking about launching a custom quilt business right now. I just got a Janome Horizon and I have been designing my own quilts for the past 4 months and I think I have a unique perspective to share with other people. I will probably launch on Etsy.

How did you come up with your company name and what does it mean to you? The name of the business will be Bitter Sweet Baby Custom Quilts. My daughters name means Bitterly Gracious and I love the way that Bitter Sweet sounds. Sweet and Gracious go hand in hand in my opinion.

Tell us about what you make and how you got started. For the most part I make quilts and things for my daughter. I started sewing when I was 11 years old in a home economics class, but I have been watching my mom sew my entire life. I started quilting when my niece was born. I finished my first quilt 10 years ago this month.

What is your favorite project to work on? I am a terrible project hopper. I start with one thing, then an idea catches my fancy and move on to that, coming back to the previous project sometimes months later. I also hate "finishing" work so some quilts will literally sit for months because I do not feel like hiding the threads from quilting.

How do you get your ideas? Do you start with a fabric, yarn, or fabrics or a concept in mind first? I usually start with a concept and then pick fabrics/yarns to go with my concept - at least that is what I do when I am designing my own quilts. Sometimes when I walk into a store though I will just buy fabric/yarn that I love and hold on to it until I design something that it will work with.

This is the first quilt Melissa designed.  It is for her daughter's "big girl bed."  Wouldn't YOU love to sleep under it?

What other type of crafting to do you? I sew, I quilt, I am a photographer, knitter and hooker (crocheter)

Describe your crafting/studio space to us: We just had a new home built so I got to design my sewing studio. It has a large window facing our front yard and three 2x2 foot windows along the side wall which are filled with frames of all the important people in my life. I have several framed "pictures" that dear friends have made for my crafty space. I have a large bookshelf full of knitting, sewing and quilting books/magazines and supplies. I have a large Ikea red cabinet that I have transformed into my fabric and active project cabinet. It has glass doors and is GORGEOUS. I have a large Ikea desk for my computer, scanner and printer and a desk from JoAnn's for my sewing machines. My theme is definitely blues and reds, which are two of my favorite colors. It is my zen place.

You have a blog, how do you decide what to write about? My blogging partner tossed around the idea for writing this blog for awhile and had the name Love Affair with my Brother, but she thought it would be too much of a time commitment to do it alone and asked me to join her. I said yes, I sew every day during nap time and I thought it would be a great opportunity to share what I make with like minded people. I have had so much fun doing it and I am really glad she asked me.

What is your best “stress buster”? Folding laundry, which I know sounds really weird, but I get a sense of accomplishment when the hamper and the laundry room are completely empty!

If you could meet anyone, who would it be, why? I would really love to meet 2 of my great-grandma's and my dad's mom. They were all very talented crafty woman and I would love the opportunity to learn from them and see the things that they created. I have been blessed to have a quilt top to finish from my great-grandma from Tahiti and I have every intention of doing so!

What is your favorite memory from childhood? Camping trips to Lake Tahoe, CA with my family. I remember being pulled out of the water because I had literally turned blue from the cold water. I can't wait to create the similar memories with my hubby and baby when she is older. There is nothing better than cutting oneself off from the world for a few days and getting lost in nature.

What are your lifelong dreams? My lifelong dream is to finish my Master's Degree in Education, teach during the school year and sew/quilt during the summers (while also playing with my baby). I have no plans to finish my degree until my daughter is in school, I don't want to miss out on this time in her life. I also really want to have my own long arm quilting machine, but that dream has to wait until we are a dual income family again.

If you could visit anywhere on Earth, where would it be and why? I would like to take my family to Tahiti, it is where my great grandparents are from and I want to share it with the two most important people in my life. I was there when I was 23 with my parents and it was a life changing experience.

Thanks for sharing a piece or two of your world with us, Melissa!
Quilty hugs,

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