Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Introducing Sheila....SewFaithful

I love having an Etsy shop.
Making money from it is great.
Making friends from it is even better.
Of course, since my nickname is 
"Friendship Ambassador to the World"
what else would you expect?
No really, someone called me that once....
Anyway, I digress.

Upon opening my own shop I joined a "team" on Etsy
called The Christian Artist Street Team.
Seemed like a good idea to meet some people and learn from 
them how things worked around the site.
Sheila and I figured out that we were in the same general 
part of the world.  She is about an hour and half from me.
We first met in person at another Etsy friend's home where 
I was participating in an Open house.

Sheila(left) and Angel on a trip we took to Lititz.  So much Fun!!

Sheila walked in and it took me a couple of 
minutes to realize who she was.
Then there were hugs and laughter.
In my defense, Angel had done such a great job
as a hostess that people had been coming in 
one right after another and I was a bit overwhelmed
with meeting all of those new people.
Overwhelmed but happy.

Anyway....I thought you might enjoy seeing some of the beautiful items Sheila makes and 
hearing a bit from her.  She is a very warm and kind person.  I think it shows.....

 When did you begin sewing?
I’ve been sewing since I was a little girl-maybe 8 or 9 years old. My grandmother was always sewing, and I have fond memories of time with her in her upstairs bedroom sewing room.  One thing I remember vividly is her saying “time to get the ripper” . Part of learning to sew is knowing you WILL have to use a seam ripper to take out your mistakes.

Your favorite thing to make?
It depends. I go through cycles. Right now it’s felt dolls. 

Sarah...a Wee Wonderful Doll

Little Red Riding Hood

But a few years ago it was heirloom sewing. I made several very intricate Christening gowns with lots of lace and special techniques that I studied how to do for several years.

Did you make your girls clothes when they were younger?
I would usually try to make them their Christmas dresses. I was working outside of the home when they were little, so time was an issue. But I loved for them to have a special handmade dress for Christmas. (I’ve saved them all in hopes of having a grand daughter one day, or making them into a quilt or something.  ~Sheila added later that she has a trunk full of home made Halloween costumes from her daughters younger days.  She's holding onto them for future Grandchildren.  She says they will make for the best dress up fun. 

How did you happen to begin making dolls?

I’m not sure. I think I just saw some patterns that appealed to me, and off I went. I found I really enjoy working with wool felt and having something to hand sew instead of always sewing on a machine.

 I love the egg bowl fillers. How do you get them so even? Mine would turn out bumpy, I’m sure.

Most people who make things that are stuffed with wool or polyfil, don’t put in enough stuffing. You have to stuff them till you think you can’t fit anymore, and then add more stuffing! Also, very short machine stitches keep the seams smooth, as well as careful trimming of the seams.

  Tell us about your family?
I have the best husband in the world.  I have no doubt that God brought him into my life. I had a difficult childhood and prayed for a man like Bruce to love me. My prayers were answered!  He is a kind, patient, loving man.
 I’ve known him since 7th grade, and we have been married 30 years. We have two lovely daughters, Sarah-24, and Megan-21. Sarah works and John Hopkins and lives in Baltimore City which she loves (a country girl in the city, who knew). Megan will be going into her senior year of college in the fall. I think we will be adding a son in law to our family within a year or two (Sarah’s boyfriend Zach).

  Is this shop more business or hobby for you?
I would say a little of both. Probably more of a hobby at this point. I used to sew a lot more for business. I started out embroidering  Irish Dance costumes for a dance school. 

I made probably 100 dresses over about 5 years in that stage of my business. I did a lot of home dec type work during that time also. I was able to purchase a very nice sewing machine and cabinet from the money I made during that time.  ( I bought my sewing machine and cabinet from a Mennonite family business in Ephrata, PA) They have a sewing machine shop on their farm.  It’s like a step back in time driving onto their farm, then you go in the shop and here are all these incredible machines. Their whole family has a role in the business from the boys doing machine repairs to the girls selling in the store. They rotate working the farm ,house chores, and the sewing machine business. It’s really quite an experience to go and talk to them. Their service and prices are known up and down on the whole East Coast.

  Your favorite color? Does this influence the things you make?
I love pink, and feminine prints.  So I guess that’s why I like to sew girly things. But I also like the modern, vintage, and retro type materials. I think I’ve found a way to make it all work together.

I think you'll agree that Sheila really pays attention to detail and is delightfully 
accomplished as a seamstress.
I hope you'll take time and drop by her Etsy Shop.

All who have made it this far in the post and who leave a comment will be entered in 
a drawing to win one of Sheila's Key Fobs.
 For a second entry,
Just pop over to her shop and then come back to tell us 
which one appeals the most to you.

We would be so delighted if you "Pinned, Tweeted, Blogged" or in some other 
way passed on the word but we aren't going to make you jump through hoops.
We'll just say thank you in advance for those who do any of these things.


SHEILA said...

Becky, what a lovely feature. I am truly honored and blessed to be a part of such a wonderful team, and to have met you as a result.

Julia Badgley said...

How good to hear more about you Sheila:)Interesting to hear about your work with the Irish dance school and to see the picture of your work.

Out of the key fobs, I'd pick this one:
but that was a tough choice since all the material choices are lovely.

Debby said...

Beautiful little dolls. Being able to make the Irish dancing costumes and those heirloom gowns would take tons of talent.

ZudaGay said...

I loved learning a bit more about Sheila! She is as delightful as the precious dolls she makes. I think my favorite thing in Sew Faithful right now are her pear pin cushion/needle book sets.

Melissa G. said...

How fun that you got to meet in person! I love her shop. Those little dolls are so cute. Elijah says he likes the cookies.

Marydon said...

Oh, my! What a talented lady. Love that pink purse ... the dolls & cupcakes are just precious.

TY for bringing her to us, Becky.

Have a beautiful day ~

Buttercup said...

Great post. Sheila's work is lovely and I would love that sweet mermaid for a gift.

Angels and Everlastings said...

What a great feature Becky,
I was familiar with Sheila's work but had never seen the Christening gowns. What beautiful work she does!

Lorrie Esposito said...

What a wonderful feature of one the sweetest people I have met on the CAST team. A true talent and that embroidery is amazing!
Pick a fave-incredibly hard but I do love this one:

Vee said...

Very interesting interview and beautiful sewing. I'm completely impressed. More than anything, though, I'd love to know about the Amish sewing machine repair shop. ☺

MYSAVIOR said...

Wow! One of the best features I have ever seen on a blog. Beautifully done. Sheila is a complete package of love and talent♥
We all love her!


MYSAVIOR said...

How do you pick a favorite among all the beautiful items in Sheila's shop. I love her dolls.



KarenW said...

I love Sheila's work! She is so detailed and all her items are so beautiful/adorable.

KarenW said...

This one is probably my favorite.


Love the pink one pictured on your blog too. :)

Theresa said...

Sooo many pretties:) Love those little dolls! Have a blessed day, HUGS!

Theresa said...

My favorite is the Key Fob Key Chain Yellow Blue:) HUGS!

AnnMarie aka Vintage Junkie aka NaNa said...

Love this post and Sheila's shop. Adorable dolls...my favorite is the mermaid. Such a talented lady!

Mechelle said...

Thanks so much for featuring Sheila. I have learned so much more about her. She is so talented!

*~Niki~* said...

Wonderful interview, I loved getting to know more about Sheila. Blessings Niki x

Anonymous said...

Sheila, your work is exquisite! It's nice to get to know more about you.

Linda Pruitt said...

Love her work! especially love this pillow cover:


JulieandMax said...

Fabulous post - Sheila's work is beautiful and you've made we wish I lived in your part of the world so I could meet you two lovely ladies in person :)

bananaorangeapple said...

I would love to win a key fob! Am I too late to enter?
I wish I could meet up with Sheila and Angel, and you too Becky of course, friendship ambassador extraordinaire!

Melissa G. said...

Good morning, i just shared a link t SewFaithful etsy shop on FB. Hope it helps to bring more visitors!

SHEILA said...

I am truly touched at all the sweet comments and the promotion of my shop. God Bless you all :)