Sunday, February 1, 2009



Believing that the HANDMADE Crafting Community is so extra ordinary I've decided to help promote others as well as myself.

If we don't "TOOT OUR OWN HORNS" each others' gifts and abilities who will.

So the first featured artist is Shabby Pine Cottage.

Shabby Pine Cottage is the guild master of Sew What on Art Fire.

So here are Ms. SPC stats:

What is your name?

My name is Shirley.

Tell us a bit about yourself. Are you married? Have children?

I live in the Pacific N.W. in Oregon outside of Portland in the country under tall firs and pines, hence the name, Shabby Pine Cottage.

I have a great husband who I have been married to for over thirty-five years. We have two grown children, a daughter and a son. We have no grandchildren yet.

To what or whom do you attribute your crafting skills?

My mother, grandmother, and many aunts who learned to sew, quilt,and crochet out of necessity. Being the oldest child of 4 girls and losing my father at age 13, we learned to sew our clothing to "keep in style." After growing up, getting married and having a full time job, my sewing came to a stop. When my children came along I decided to be a stay at home Mom.

You said that after making the decision to be a stay at home mom you had "more time on your hands and wanted to do more. How did you "fill your time"?

In the 80's I was reading a women's magazine and read an article about a stay at home Mom who had a commercial embroidery business. I thought this was something that I would like to do. So after much discussion with my husband, we made a trip to the distributor for more information on buying and starting a embroidery business. At that time embroidery was not a common thing to do and was not regarded as a home hobby. We were told that we were crazy, not only by friends and relatives, but by the banks.

The distributor made it sound super easy. My hubby and I decided it was something I really had to do (you know it's in the blood) so we invested our own money. And after five days of in home training and I was on my own. No magazines, embroidery support groups, internet, or people to talk to about this craft market like there is today. I really was all on my own.

After many frustrating moments the defining moment came as I threw a pair of scissors across the room. They stuck in the wall and at that moment I KNEW....I CAN DO THIS.

Everything in our house got embroidered----good, bad, or ended up in the garbage. Four years later after alot of flowing tears, $50,000.00 spent, and many sleepless nights I had expanded my business to 17 embroidery heads and even had an employee. I loved every minute watching that thread make magic on fabric.

Today, I no longer have my business but the craft is in my blood. I purchased a new Bernina sewing machine that does embroidery. I'm back to sewing and adding all that magic to the fabric. I love to take that piece of fabric to see how many ways I can manipulate it by adding tucks, pleats, embroidery, quilting, beading, or whatever. I usually have many more hours in an item then what I could get paid for. However, many of the things I make are given away.

What goes in to deciding which items will make it in your shop?

Items must be really unique and something different than you would find in a store. Most things are not just simple and plain.

What items are you working on now or planning?"

I just finished a Hummel quilt. I embroidered all the Hummels, sewed it together, and sent it on 3 states away to my Aunt, who is a professional quilter, to quilt for me. It is just beautiful and she did just a gorgeous job.

I am now working on a Sunbonnet Sue quilt. These little girls are all so different. I never want to do the ordinary. Each square has a different theme and is filled with lots of 3-dimensional hand embroidered Brazilian detail. Some even have ponytails and braids flowing from under their bonnets.

Do you have any upcoming projects that you want to share with us?

Yes, I would like setup a blog on embroidery. I want to help people with their embroidery questions, to inspire, and tell them never to give up. Work for your dreams and they CAN come true!!

You can also find Shabby Pine Cottage at the following links:

THANK YOU for sharing Shirley and good luck in your new venture.


In and Because of HIM,
Susan aka Grandma

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