I’ve got a new What’s in Your Sewing Bag to add to the growing series! This time you’re heading to Toronto, a hop, skip, and a jump away from where I’m in Montreal to visit with Cristina, from Ships and Violins.
We originally connected on Instagram many moons ago and it wasn’t until we ran into one another at QuiltCon earlier this year, that we finally got to meet. I loved it! It gave me a chance to learn more about her and hear about what she’s been working on. Plus, she’s feisty and uniquely her, which I just adore. If you’re new to her modern designs, then your eyes are in for a treat! The geometric nature of her patterns always draws me in!
Based on her designs, I know that Cristina loves foundation paper piecing, so I was curious to see what notions she keeps tucked into her sewing bag.
Let’s sneak a peek, shall we?!
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Introduction – tell us a little about yourself! How did you get started on your quilting journey?
I’ve been crafting and creating since my early years watching Art Attack on TVO. A tactile world of colour, pattern, and design appeared before me when a colleague introduced me to quilting in 2018. I quickly dusted off my sewing machine and dived into a plethora of fabrics! Today, I’m totally and irreversibly immersed in a whimsical world I’ve called Ships & Violins. I work from my home studio in Toronto, Canada, where my husky-shepherd, Maia, keeps me company.
How is it that I didn’t know about Maia? I love that you have a furry friend keeping you company as you sew too! I also had to look up Art Attack! That would have totally been my jam too had I known about it 😊
What kind of sewing bag do you have? (e.g. did you make it? Buy it?)
I decided it was time to upgrade my gear to reflect me and my brand. I used Melanie Ham’s Zipper Boxed Pouch tutorial to make a set of three pouches in Ships & Violins colours – caramel and grey. I chose two prints from Ghazal Razavi’s new Seasons collection for FIGO Fabrics, and sewed in one of my cork labels to serve as a zipper tab. Now I have a pouch for any occasion!
Oh, I love these lil’ cuties, Cristina! And the colours are most definitely on brand! But it’s the cork tabs that are just too adorable!
What are your all-star essentials? Your tried-and-true must-haves that you can never run out of?
As an avid foundation paper piecer, I rely pretty heavily on my six-inch Add-A-Quarter ruler. I don’t typically purchase specialty notions, but the Add-A-Quarter ruler is a game-changer for being more efficient and accurate at FPP. I’ll also add Aurifil’s 50wt in Dove Grey to this list. It’s my go-to thread for pretty much every project.
Gosh, I don’t know how many times I’ve wondered about that Add-A-Quarter ruler and whether it was worth the investment. Taking your advice and will check it out!
What’s one thing we’d be surprised to find in your bag?
A sachet of Irish Spring soap chips. There was a distinct fragrance that wafted out of my grandmother’s sewing bin when I first unclipped the lid. After some digging, I found a weighty item, wrapped in tissue and nestled in one of the corners. I curiously unwrapped it to find a bar of Irish Spring soap. The scent is so reminiscent of her that I created a little sachet to keep in my own sewing bags.
Isn’t scent a funny thing? It’s amazing how memories get tied to scents we smell and associate with events/people/places. I wonder if there was a functional purpose for storing the bar of soap in her sewing tin.
What is your favourite item in your kit? Why?
Any of my grandmother’s notions. I inherited a large plastic bin of her sewing notions and some WIPs when she passed away in 2022. I recently started to dig through the large spools of neutral-coloured threads, buttons neatly grouped in clear grocery bags, and sample after sample of crocheted pieces. It’s undeniable that her organizational skills were impeccable!
I relished in some of her kitschy items and added more practical ones to my kit, including metal snips, a film canister of pins, a tailor’s tape, and a thimble. Other items have been stored away as keepsakes, like a thimble with a yellowed piece of tape on it that says My first thimble – 1949 in Portuguese.
That is so beyond cool, Cristina! I love that you inherited your grandmother’s sewing notions and that you found her original thimble – wow! Can’t blame you for tucking that special piece away!
Where Can We Find You?
Tell people where we can find you?
Thank you so much for sharing your newly made pouches with us, Cristina. I especially loved hearing about the special notions you inherited from your grandmother. I’ve always found that inherited/made/gifted items seem to bring extra joy when you use them. It warms my heart to know that your sewing expeditions are extra special when using your grandmother’s tools. Keep up your creative exploration, I can’t wait to see what pattern you release next!
For more What’s in Your Sewing Bag fun, check out these guests:
- Megan from Megan Nielsen Patterns
- Brittany from Lo & Behold Stitchery
- Sharon from Sharon Holland Designs
- Ally from Ally Ryde
- Megan from Megan Collins Design
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