Thursday, October 28, 2010

Spotlight on AWEsome! PonderosaQuilter and a Giveaway!

Welcome to "Spotlight on AWEsome"!  This time around we are talking to Valerie, of PonderosaQuilter!  As her shop name implies, Valerie creates quilts;  she also creates some really great tote bags and rugs, and crochets, too!  Her beautiful creations can be found on Etsy, at PonderosaQuilter!

Valerie is the mother of 2 grown children, and had worked as a nurse for many years.  Her career as a nurse came to stop when she developed a disabling illness.  Sewing is her therapy, which allows her to remain productive.  Selling on Etsy allows Valerie to support her sewing habit!

The Beginning...
Perhaps it was 7th grade sewing class that got me started on sewing. Or maybe it was earlier when I sewed by hand some Barbie doll clothes. However, as my mom often reminds me, sometime during jr. high I swore I'd never sew another thing. But, once I knew how to make clothes properly, I became critical of store bought clothes, particularly my pet peeve - twisted seam allowances. I made many of my clothes and nursing uniforms, up until I had a baby.

Also, maybe around 4th grade, we went to the Kutztown Folk Festival, (A yearly festival that celebrates the PA Dutch heritage of Berks County, PA)   I loved the quilts and started dreaming of making one and selling it at the festival. About 30 years later, I did just that. About that time, I also joined a quilt guild. That's when my quilting really took off.

I used to knit a lot, too. That started when I was a kid, when I saw a skein of yarn in all the rainbow colors. I begged Mom to get it for me. "But you don't know how to knit", she said. I said, "Teach me." So she did. Later I learned crocheting also. I made many sweaters. I started making potholders because I liked the ones my grandmother made, although mine are different from hers.

I also started embroidery as a kid when I saw a red Christmas apron that I wanted to make for my art and music teacher. But I do very little of that now.

A few years ago, I wanted to make a bag with old jeans. I bought a pattern. That was the beginning of a bag-making frenzy, 50 that year. I learned many different methods of making them. They are made mostly from used fabrics [or should I say 'reclaimed'] . The styles and sizes are determined by the fabric.

Any fabric that is not good enough for bags gets made into rag rugs. "Waste not, want not." Reduce, reuse, recycle.

Sometimes I choose a quilt design around a focus fabric. Mostly I get ideas from pictures.  The same with bags - from pictures and some patterns.
A Little Known Fact...
I like to listen to audio books while I sew. It loosens me up and lets the creativity flow.

Favorite Recipe...
  I rarely cook from a recipe. Too often I don't have key ingredients on hand. I look at recipes for ideas and methods. Recently I'm into Julia Child's methods,  like using wine.  What I do like is to cook with real food bought from the many local farms. This all came about a few years ago when I was introduced to the Weston A. Price Foundation.  I then developed another passion in addition to all my needlework - reading about nutrition, cooking traditionally, and talking about good nutrition to anyone who cares to listen.  And once I get going on nutrition, well, I can talk your ear off ! 
Pillowcase Shopping Bag-recycled
The Giveaway...
Valerie would like to giveaway her Pillowcase Shopping Bag, Recycled to one lucky winner!  This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.  AWEteam members may also participate!   Entries will be accepted until 11:59pm Thurs. November 4, 2010!  Drawing will be held Friday, November 5, 2010!
To enter:
1.  Visit PonderosaQuilter and leave a note telling us which item is your favorite!   Please be sure to leave your contact information in your comment, otherwise your entry will not be acccepted!
For additional entries:
1.  Follow this blog!  Leave a note telling us you are a follower.
2.  Follow the AWEteam on Facebook!  Leave a note here telling us who you are.
3.  Make a purchase from PonderosaQuilter!  Let us know what here what you've bought!
4.  Follow the AWEteam on Twitter!  Leave a note here telling us who you are!

Good luck to all that enter!  I can tell you that this bag is really pretty, and professionally constructed!  I've seen it, and I own one of Valerie's bags!

Wishing you all an AWEsome day!                                                                                                                                                             

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Treasure Trove Thursday!

Welcome to this week's Collection of Treasuries on Etsy!
First up, congrats to BucksCountyFrames for making the front page this week!  His photography is fabulous, you really must check it out!

Screen shot of Front Page featuring BucksCountyFrames

featuring jcstrong
 Thanks for dropping in!
Wishing everyone an AWEsome day!