Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Interview Series: Week 11 – Millions of Stitches

Now that I think I have a better grip on my health (*knocks on her desk*), I'm back to my old antics, and of course, back to posting interviews regularly.
At the time I'm putting this one together, however, I only have one more to post after this one! :(  I'm still awaiting responses from quite a few of the people who I have sent the questions to, so I'm hoping they send them in – I won't say who it is here, since I don't want my readers going and bugging them.  I know I don't ask the easy ones, and it takes some time for the answers to flow right, or to decide just how to answer them.

This week, I bring you Millions of Stitches of Zibbet – hand sewn bags of all kinds, adorable Christmas Stockings, crayon rolls, clutches, pillows, so much it's hard to list them all!

Name: Nancy German
Craft: Fabric Bags, Purses and Items for the Home
Favorite material (or medium, whatever you want to call it!): I work with fabric.
Most Popular Seller (whether it be online or at shows): Purses, tote bags, crayon rolls, Christmas stockings


Harvest Crayon Roll
I wish I had one of these when I was … meh, no, I wish I had one of these now! I'm not too old!


Mine-ICON What got you into your craft?


MillionsofStitches My business grew out of a lifelong hobby.  I’ve always enjoyed sewing and creating with fabric.


Mine-ICON How did you learn your craft?


MillionsofStitches I learned the basics from my mom, but I credit my Home Ec teacher with teaching me correct methods, and the reasons behind those methods, which I use to this day.


 Blue and Gold Striped Pouch
Perfect pouch for anything!

Mine-ICON What about YOU? Who is the artist behind those wonderful items?


MillionsofStitches I retired from a confidential administrative assistant position in January 2010 and started my business in April of that year. My husband and I live in rural area in upstate New York.


 Christmas Stocking
Absolutely adorable, and looks big enough for some great Christmas loot!


Mine-ICON What is a typical "working" day for you? How does it usually start and end? How many hours do you spend crafting? How many hours do you spend on other things? What about distractions? I know we all have them! Do you usually accomplish all you wanted to?

MillionsofStitches I don’t think I really have a typical day. Since I don’t have many outside commitments I can work in my sewing room just about any time. Some days I start as early as possible, other days I might not begin until mid-afternoon, sometimes I don’t sew at all. Unless the project I’m working on is small, I usually don’t complete it in one session. I spend a lot of time laying out my pattern and cutting the fabric which really makes a difference in the final product. I usually take a break before beginning to sew. I might also go away from it again before it’s completed. When I come back to the project I often see it differently than I did while I was working on it.

Mine-ICON What happens when you Oops? Everyone has them. Do you get frustrated and destroy/start over, or do you go with the flow and see what comes out in the end?

MillionsofStitches I think there are three kinds of “oops”. The first is something that can be ripped out and easily corrected, the second is to turn the mistake into a design element and the third is to ditch the project. I learn from all three. I usually put the piece aside for a while when I hit an “oops”. Sometimes when I look at it again I realize that it’s not as bad as I originally thought or I can see how to easily correct the problem. Sometimes I will take it apart and use the fabric for another project.

 Laundry Bag
Epic gift idea for anyone off to college or starting out on their own, or for anyone who could use a bag for their laundry!

Mine-ICON What is your design process like? How many tries does it take to be happy with the final product?

MillionsofStitches I usually base my work on purchased patterns, so I don’t have a design process per se. Like with cooking, I usually follow the pattern/recipe pretty closely the first time I make it and might do it my way when I make that item again. From that I’ve learned that my way might not be the right way or most efficient way! As far as being happy with the final product, I am usually happy with the outcome on the first try. That’s not to say that I haven’t made my share of really awful things! I like variety also, so I usually don’t make multiples of one item at a time. Some days I make totes, some days crayon rolls, some days aprons or whatever strikes my fancy.

 Paisley 'N Stripes Walker Bag
Perfect bag for anyone who uses a walker, wheelchair, or scooter so they can carry their essentials in style!


Mine-ICON What is your greatest roadblock, be it government regulation or that little frustrating thing that just likes to sneak up and stop you in your tracks? Broken needle? Jump ring jumping out of your pliers? Yarn knots? Cats? Dogs? The family hedgehog rolled about in your yarn basket?

MillionsofStitches Living in a rural area can be a roadblock. Not having the materials on hand for a project can really slow it down.  It’s sometimes difficult to get what I need unless we are going to an area where there are big fabric and craft stores. Other times my greatest roadblock is not being able to decide what to make. The choices of patterns and fabrics are endless!

Mine-ICON All important pricing... Do you have a formula? Do you wing it? Do you feel your work justifies your prices?


MillionsofStitches Pricing remains difficult for me. I don’t use a specific formula. I tend to base my price on what has sold and what I think people are willing to pay. My workmanship definitely justifies the cost. My goal is to earn a profit while pricing my items affordably.  I put a lot of myself into each piece that I create. It’s more important to me to do quality work than to see how many items I can produce.


 Maple Leaf Pillow
Beautiful, contrasting, and a gorgeous accent piece for fall decor.


Mine-ICON And of course, is there anything else you'd like to say to our "viewers at home"?


MillionsofStitches Just that I’m incredibly fortunate to be at this place in my life where I have the time and resources to create nearly every day. Most items I make are one-of-a-kind which I really enjoy and think my customers appreciate.


I certainly appreciate it, and I have not yet become a customer, but oh, some of the things in your shop need to go on my list of "snap up once there is cash at hand for such things"!  Thank you so much for what you do, Nancy, and again for telling your story and allowing me to post it on my blog!

Be sure to visit Nancy at Millions of Stitches on Zibbet if you haven't already!

1 comment:

Barbra said...

Excellent interview and great to know Nancy better. Her work is wonderful!