Hello lovelies! Today I'm interviewing one of the very amazing UJAMAA GRANDMAS - Carol!
Tell us a little about yourself!
I am a lifelong maker of things. As I grew up, I loved crafts and my Mom was always finding new projects for me. I also helped my Dad fixing and making construction projects around the house. I followed my Dad into civil engineering and worked in that field for almost 20 years. As an engineer I got to make a lot of stuff like subdivisions with sewers, roads and storm retention ponds.
Then back in 2002 my husband and I decided we wanted an adventure so we took our two boys and went with my husband’s firm overseas for 7 years. I was exposed to other cultures and their arts and crafts from around the world.
Wool tote and duffel bag
That's really interesting - I've often said you need a bit of engineering skill to be a bag maker! How long have you been sewing for and how did you learn to sew?
My mother loved to sew; she was a Clothing and Textile Home Economist, who became a Home Ec. teacher, and then a sewing machine sales person. I was allowed to use the Elna grasshopper sewing machine as a little girl because it was indestructible. I still have that machine and it is great for thick fabrics. I often sew every day. A week rarely goes by when I don’t sew something.
Felted figures that we sold or auctioned
How did you get involved with UJAMAA GRANDMAS?
I went to the UJAMAA GRANDMAS sale in 2013. They were starting a travel group so I joined that and travelled to Guatemala with them. Also at that time my parents needed to move into a senior’s residence. We needed to dismantle my mother’s sewing room and find a home for seven large boxes of fabric. The GRANDMAS have a fabric sale so I was able to donate a lot of fabric plus they made suggestions as to things I could make with some of the fabric I kept.
Pet themed slings for dog walking
I was looking for something to do with my free time and I slowly got drawn further into their activities and by 2014 was heading up the Pet Product section. I love to make things and have a worldview so UJAMAA GRANDMAS provided a perfect place for my creations and need to help others. They are a great collection of talented, smart women working for a good cause. I love sewing and crafts and this group fosters that love with ideas, demos and samples of fun things to make.
Pet bed for our sale
What do you like to sew?
I design and make much of the product that is sold in our Pet Section at the UJAMAA GRANDMAS sale.
Pet place-mats for our sale
I like making quilts, quilted runners and art quilts. These I usually keep for myself or give to family members. I have made several quilts for Quilts of Valour. I enjoy many other crafts such as knitting, crocheting, felting and needlework. Some of these projects also end up at the craft sale.
A couple of quilts I completed this year for my family
Patty also got me started with purses by offering a class on how to make purses based on the Craftsy Design Your Own Handbag. Because my mother had some beautiful pieces of wool in her stash, I started making wool purses and they are still my favorite. Working with good quality Scottish wool combined with gorgeous raw silk just makes my day.
Wool handbags with beading done by a very talented member
What do you hope for the future?
I continually like to try new things and hope to someday have less of a craft stash than I have now. The problem is that every new craft requires a new box of supplies……
Thanks Carol! I think we all hope to someday reduce our stashes...Next week we'll be profiling another of the UJAMAA GRANDMAS - Nita!