Marlene Ingraham, Founder of Original Sewing & Quilt Expo, is continuing her series of interviews with various faculty members and sewing personalities for The Maker’s Experience (Did you catch part one featuring Linda Lee?). Today, we learn a little more about Evy Hawkins of A Bit of Stitch.
From Marlene: I had such a great time talking with Evy about her sewing life and her business and how she keeps so many balls in the air (and is always smiling, even in on the phone, I can tell). And while we were talking we discovered we could do something really extraordinary in her workshops – take a look to the photos at the bottom of this post to see just how great these workshops really are! Meanwhile, you’ll get way more than you thought! We can not only send everyone home with a complete embroidery design file with project directions (did you even know these projects are all in-the-hoop projects?), but also give ALL the kits from a class to EVERYONE! Evy is using Riley Blake fabrics, so you know they’ll be great ….. and so for instance, the Boot for Loot class has three kit choices and you’ll get to choose one to complete in class and take home the other two! Complete! Same with the Happy Day Banner (3 choices) and Foliage Frolic (2 choices).
I guess the more we talk, the better things get … and so without further ado, here’s my first interview with Evy –
From Marlene: Where do you find your inspiration?
From Evy: Everywhere! I love to see the beauty in our world, even in unexpected places and unexpected things, don’t you? There’s a spider web on my porch right now that keeps telling me “Sashiko stitching on gray – quilt, quilt quilt!” And then there was the pot of burnt corn last week (well, I was SEWING, not pot minding!) and I noticed how pretty that yellow looked against the black charred pot. Now I need to make a yellow and black something, it’s was a stunning color combo.
MI: What are your top three sources for creativity?
EH: My eyes, my hands and my crazy brain. Well, as for eyes I’m guessing that like most folks what I see is my greatest inspiration. That’s why we love magazines and books and quilt shows! (And shopping, ha!) And have you ever been in a fabric store that you were told not to touch anything? They know us. We need to fondle the fabric! It speaks inspiration to us through our fingertips, right? Sometimes just picking up a skein of yarn makes my brain go CLICK, and there it is, all laid out for me in my minds eye – a new project! Then there’s my brain which some nights just won’t go to sleep along with the rest of me and keeps me wide awake thinking of “wonder what this would look like” “wonder if I can make that stitch look like this thing on that fabric?”
MI: What’s your favorite part of creating?
EH: When all the materials are gathered, the plan is hatched and the first step is waiting. Ahhhhh…. It’s like the first bite of really good chocolate. Just perfect.
MI: And your least favorite?
EH: Cleaning up the mess afterwards. I have to put on really funky music and talk myself into it. Usually I bribe myself. “If you clean up this table you can go have a cup of tea and a cookie!”
MI: Your favorite color?
EH: When you asked me this one a couple of colors popped in my mind and then they kept popping. Well, huh. I thought I had a favorite color, but you know what, I think I just love them all! I do tend to gravitate to a certain color family for a few weeks and then find myself moving on to a new one. Right now I’ve been fixed on aqua blues. Right before that it was pink. Next I have a feeling it is going to be yellow, charred around the edges!
MI: Favorite food?
EH: Something that someone else has cooked for me. Well, I don’t think I can live without Earl Gray tea and dark chocolate, but other than that if I don’t have to cook it, it’s my favorite! (Tell me again what this boxy thing with knobs is in the room with the refrigerator?)
MI: What do you think would surprise most people about yourself?
EH: For the last few years I’ve been Baby lock’s Sashiko spokesperson and that’s been awesome. I mean, have you SEEN what that machine can do with that one sweet little stitch? And then there’s also Baby lock’s Embellisher – a needle felting machine – which in my humble opinion is right next to the Sashiko in being brilliantly creative. My work and teaching events have revolved around them so much because I am totally in love with what I can create on these two unique machines. Many people are surprised to learn that my main business is actually machine embroidery design. Figuring out what I can teach my embroidery machine to do next is one of life’s greatest pleasures for me. Plus the fact that I can take the art that is running wild around in my head and put it in stitches that someone else can stitch out too – bonus fun! I am tickled pink six ways of Sunday that I’m getting to teach three embroidery classes for the Original Sewing & Quilt Expo! Can’t wait!
Evy’s workshops taught in Fredericskburg, VA: