Getting to know you – Sarah Chisholm

Ooh, Saturday! Another interview. With Sarah, who makes the lovliest quilting you can imagine. Lots of colour! Certainly makes me happy to look at it! She also has a lovely blog, which you must check out as soon as you have read her interview. And if that isn’t enough, she is also really, really nice. :-) Now, let’s see what she has to say. – Thanks, Sarah!

Your name
Sarah Chisholm :: blog :: shop ::

Where in the world are you?
Ottawa Ontario Canada

Briefly describe yourself and what you make
I’m a 28 year old office worker who dreams of colourful quilts and fabrics all day long. By night I pursue my passion and sew, sew, sew. I’m a quilter and loving every minute of it. I also crochet and I’m currently trying to learn how to knit socks. I am newly married (just over a year) and very happy that my husband loves video games as much as I do sewing. We have an understanding. Which means I get lots of time to sew! Cleaning however, is not our passion. Please call ahead if you’re coming to visit. We need some notice. We’ve been trying to teach our two kitties to clean, but so far no luck!

Who or what inspires you?
I’m inspired by all of the wonderful artwork being created all around. I spend far too much time on flickr and reading blogs. I also love to buy craft and quilting books and magazines. I may never make a thing from them, but the colours and patterns are so inspiring.

When / how did you learn?
My mom taught me to sew when I was quite young. I was using the sewing machine (supervised) to make little Christmas stockings out of felt at around age 5. In high school I didn’t do as much crafting, I was too busy watching hockey and baseball, spending time with my friends, and I always seemed to be rearranging my bedroom furniture. It was after high school that I got back into crafting, and I began quilting when I was around 18.

Why do you ‘bother’ to make things by hand?
I love the process of deciding and designing my next project, choosing fabrics, sewing them together. When I look back at the things I made, I am always amazed that I actually created these things with my own hands. I think while making things I’m in the zone. What I love about quilts is the joy and comfort they bring to people.

What is your craft ”philosophy”?
I usually just go for it and hope it works out. But I am known to agonize over small details for a while. I am definitely about the process. I’m not afraid to have works in progress. I don’t feel the need to complete one thing before starting another.

Fondest craft-related memory?
My favourite Christmas presents were those from my aunt and her family (my mom’s sister). I was allowed to open one present on Christmas Eve and it would always be theirs. It was usually a crafty kit of some sort. A box filled with knitting, crochet and loop potholder supplies, a kit to make reindeer ornaments. Just what every girl wants. I also have this weird memory of going to some sort of camp (I think it was over March break) and they had this gigantic jar of teal/blue glitter. I remember using lots of it! Still love glitter!

Can you reveal a little about your creative process?
I love to get everything out, have a look at it all, and go from there. My sewing room is almost always untidy. I took photos of it clean so that I could remember what that looks like…haha. I think its all part of the creative process. It’s hard to be inspired by something if it’s put away in the cupboard.

How do you deal with crafty mistakes?
I’d like to say that I ignore them. But I can be a bit of a perfectionist. If it’s going to bug me, I unstitch what I’ve done, and re-do it. If it’s reached the point of no return, I start something else.

Favourite book(s) or craftbook(s)?
My favourite quilting magazine is American Patchwork and Quilting. I also love Quilt Sampler. My current favourite books are: Applique Delights, Quilts with a Spin both by Becky Goldsmith and Linda Jenkins, Cut-Loose Quilts by Jan Mullen, Last-Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson, The Modern Quilt Workshop by Bill Kerr and Weeks Ringle and any of Kaffe Fassett’s quilt books,…I could go on and on.

Do you have a designated craft space? What does it mean to you?
I have a sewing room in our apartment. I love this space. It’s my little oasis. This is the first time I’ve had a dedicated space for my creativity.
Do you use a sketchbook or journal?
I usually sketch my ideas on random pieces of paper. And then subsequently lose them. I’m trying to keep everything together now in a binder. It’s usually numbers for quilt calculations, little doodles that may or may not make sense later, and tons of to do lists. I’m always making lists. I think I like making lists more than checking things off of them.

Why is crafting good for you?
It makes me happy. I love it. It keeps my creative spark going. Keeps the kid inside me alive!

Is your art/ craft a business as well?
I do make things to sell on my etsy shop. I don’t really like mass producing items like a factory, so my shop isn’t always well stocked.

What impact (if any) has the internet had on your craft?
The internet has had a huge impact on my creative life. Flickr and blogs have introduced me to kindred spirits all over the world. Crafty types who understand when I gush for hours about a certain fabric, or quilt block. People who get it and live creative lives. I’m very grateful for all of them.

Do you make art or craft? Is there a difference?
I do think of art and craft on even playing fields. I think that one isn’t any better than the other. I’ve never called myself an artist. I know I make beautiful things and have been called an artist by others. I guess I just feel weird and don’t want the extra baggage that comes along with it. Since I mainly make quilts, I just call myself a quilter.

If you could make any project without limits to cost, materials or even skill, what would it be?
I don’t know what I’d make, but I’d sure order a ton of fabric to make it!


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