Why this particular craft? I love to sew for kids. I especially love to sew baby gifts and stuffies for children. My two daughters often have requests for me, and their requests have ranged from mermaids to puppy dogs that they can wheel along on walks.
Who taught you your crafting skills? Every Sunday, my family would spend the afternoon at my grandmother’s house. I begged her to teach me how to sew clothes for my dolls. So began years of Sunday sewing lessons. I have wonderful memories of those afternoons.
Any good stories from those lessons? My grandmother was a perfectionist when it came to sewing - so I spent the majority of our lessons ripping out seams! As I got older, whenever I did well in school or in the laboratory, my grandmother would tease me that she taught me the patience to be able to do those things well. I think she was right. Her tough love taught me to persevere in so many other aspects of my life.
Do you think of your craft as passion or a spare-time-filler? It’s definitely a passion. Time is so precious that I really have to make a conscious effort to make crafting time happen. I rarely have large chunks of time to work on a project so I work in small time increments. My husband often jokes that he’s not sure who is messier: me or the children! My projects are often in varying stages of completion and, at times, that can be quite messy. He’s such a good sport, though. He realises that, if I didn’t take advantage of the little time blocks that I have, I’d never create anything.
Do you teach your skills to others? I do. I blog often, creating tutorials for people to follow. I also sell patterns of many of my dolls and stuffies. It’s so fun to hear stories from customers and my blog readers about how they were able to follow my instructions to make special things for their own children. It’s really satisfying to be a part of such an awesome community.
Where do you live and work? We live in a suburb of San Francisco, California. Our house is old and tiny, but we recently expanded on the house to make an office/craft room for me. It’s sunny and bright and totally my happy place.
If you weren’t doing this, what else would occupy your time? Actually, I totally feel like I have a split life. I’m actually trained as a scientist. I feel like my science background is a bit at odds with my love of crafting and sewing, but there are many days when I do both. When I was only doing science, I felt like there was a piece of myself missing … I really missed being able to make things. Since having children, my work has been split between science consulting and blogging/pattern making.
Jill Pauli, Snugglebug University