This week, our spotlight is on one of our fantastic teachers, Anna Joyce. You’ll find Anna providing all kinds of useful design insight and inspiration in her machine applique classes. Check out her upcoming sessions of Intro to Machine Applique and Applique For Your Clothing. And follow along with Anna and her vision on her lovely blog.
I have been sewing for about 10 years. After graduating with a degree in printmaking and finding I had nowhere to print when I got out of school I needed another outlet for my creativity. I was given a sewing machine as a wedding gift and my mother taught me how to thread my machine. I fell in love and have not stopped since.
Tell us about a favorite recent sewing project.
I made a set of pillows called “Ladies and Gentlemen” a few months ago and I loved they way they turned out. They were a very intricate machine applique onto a wool felt back inspired by some images from a vintage craft book. Some friends of mine ended up buying them for their beautiful loft.
What is your favorite sewing tip/tool?
Be playful while you are working! Unsure of how a color or pattern will look? Give it a try! Do not be afraid to try new things and step outside of your comfort zone, especially when using color and patterns in your fabric. Also- if you are on a roll when you are designing keep working as long as you can. Save the grunt work (in my case all of the top stitching I do on my designs) for later when you are not feeling as creative but still have the sewing bug.
Where do you sew?
I have room in our basement that I have fashioned into my sewing studio, office and command center. I really enjoy working from home (with children it is nice to be able to slip off and sew for just a few minutes when I have a moment or at night after bedtime) and my work space is cozy and functional. In the next few years I would like to move my studio out of the house into a space with a small store front, and at least one source of natural light!
I am constantly working on new projects and products but right now I am most excited about making clutches and bags. I made purses when I first started sewing and it is going to be fun to make them again with 10 more years of experience (and my amazing intern Emma who is an Accessory Design major!) to help me. I am also beginning to design my own fabric and use screen printing in my work- it is so exciting to be bringing my printmaking and sewing together after so long!