Thursday, March 8, 2012

This Week's Featured Member - Chelsea Friedt

Tell us about who you are and how you got started doing what you do. Did
you gain formal training? Where? If not, how did you develop your art?
I love to sew. I have no formal training. My mom could kind of sew. My grandma could actually sew very well but lives about 20 hours away. So apart from home ec class I kind of taught myself to sew. I gained some help from youtube videos, blogs and here we are. I started making bibs for myself when my first little guy was 7 months old. I had so many garbage store bought bibs thoughtfully given to me as shower gifts and in all honesty I may as well have not used any bibs at all. They shrunk up weird in the wash and the plastic backed ones melted in the dryer. They were too small, too thin, and sometimes unattractive. I finally got fed up and realized I could make my own and be much happier with the results!

• Tell us about your studio. Do you have a room or workshop especially
dedicated to your art? Or is it the kitchen table or a corner in your child's
My "studio" is half of my husband and my shared walk in closet :) I can fit a table in and a shelf for all my fabric and supplies. Its nice and cozy and quiet. I work a lot in the evenings since we have 3 little kids, it can be a little bit crazy during the day. So being on the same floor as them in case someone is crying is quite helpful.


• Tell us about your processes. How do you work? Do you listen to music or
need quiet? Is it sporadic or do you dedicate set hours to work?
I use a lot of my spare time to work. I often work in stages. One evening I will cut oodles of fabric, the next I will sew like a mad woman and then often I attach snaps while the kids are playing near me. To keep a little sanity I often watch tv shows on my laptop, while cutting fabric. A little gossip girl never hurt anybody ;)

• What are the toughest challenges you find in keeping consistent hours?
What other challenges do you face in your work and what ways have you
been able to address them (if you have)?
Having 3 children under 4 can make a person go bananas and consistency for them is always at the forefront of my mind. So there are definitely times when I struggle to keep consistency in my creative process. Some evenings are eaten up by needy children. Many people tell me I have my hands full. I prefer to think of them as "full of good things".


 • What types of materials do you use? Why?
I use a lot of quilting cotton, its thick and it is easy to find beautiful or cute fabric. My shop is geared towards moms, babes, and gifts for them, so cute or beautiful is pretty important. My favorite bibs are backed with terry cloth. It's absorbent and duals as a towel for cleaning up sticky faces, hands and trays when lunch time is over. Many people like chenille or minky backing for smaller bibs. So I make a smaller sized bib for babies 4mo - 1 year backed with those fabrics. It isn't as absorbent but it certainly is soft and very pretty.

• Why do you think people should buy handmade?
Some things are better handmade because a little more time and effort goes into the thought process of each individual item. In my situation I found that it is hard to find bibs that are made with the actual needs of babes involved. Most storebought bibs say something cute on them but that's about the distance of their functionality. I want something that someone has sat down and thought "this is not working, how can I make this better?"

• What goals do you have?
I would love to have 100 items in my shop by Christmas 2012. It would be a real dream to become busy enough to be doing this as a secondary income in our family but for now it's mostly a hobby, with a bit of extra spending money.

• What are three items in your shop that you are particularly proud of? (Include
their links)


• Will you be at any art/craft fairs this year? Any other place you will be that you
would like us to know about? (Include links to these places if possible.)
I am hoping to be a part of the Westshore Wonderland Craft Sale this year. I had seriously hoped to do a craft fair this past fall, but we had just had our sweet baby girl and it just wasn't do-able. I would also like to start in a local farmers market eventually.

Chelsea Friedt 

(Interview conducted and published by Micki Findlay - A Vancouver Island Etsy Team Leader.  Micki's shops on Etsy are A2Sea Creations and A2Sea Photography )

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