Happy new year! New year, new faces and new featured makers! Today's featured maker is no stranger to most of us - meet Grace Elliott. Grace has been an awesome testing team member since we launched in 2020 and you will find many photos of her daughter on our website and in our sewing group. You can follow more of her work on Instagram @craftdon.
Tell us a little bit about yourself...
My husband and I live in southeastern Pennsylvania with our six kids: my two stepdaughters, our three biological kids including identical twins, and our foster son. My days are mostly spent feeding everyone, homeschooling my younger middle three, or going to therapies, doctor appointments, and foster care related stuff. In the midst of chaos, I try to do other things I love like sewing, beach trips with my friends, hanging with my husband, reading, or volunteering at church or with local foster care charities. I love anything geeky, Star Wars, or Disney World related. A friend once described me as, “never sweet, but always kind,” and I love that.
How did you learn to sew and when?
Almost everyone in my mom's very large and happy family sews (mostly quilts), and though we have always lived far away, that culture has impacted me my whole life. When I was around 4 years old, my mom taught me hand stitches and embroidery. I’d make little stuffies and pop them in my dad’s suit pockets before he’d leave for business trips. By the time I reached middle school, I was upcycling all sorts of different clothing items. I also completed my first quilt — a kit gifted from my grandmother — when I was around 12 years old.
What's your favourite type of fabric to work with?
Right now I sew a lot of Cotton Lycra because I love all the fun custom fabric prints, I’ve been sewing for fabric promotions almost as long as I’ve been on the Peony tester team.
What's your favourite Peony make to date?
Both Lily and Powderpuff are my favorites! They were in testing around the same time, and I remember gathering for what felt like forever. My older two girls weren't really into ruffles anymore when I became one of their moms, so when I was pregnant with my Lily, I dreamed of seeing her in all the ruffles I’d sew for her. Sewing Lily and Powderpuff was when I felt like that dream was coming true. My most recent Powderpuff was a present for my best friend’s daughter, who just recently celebrated her adoption from foster care and second birthday on the same day! They're such lovely patterns and have great memories for me.
What are your sewing goals for this year?
I don't really have any sewing goals for this year; I guess it would be to just keep enjoying and finding the time for it!
What sewing tip have you learned along the way that you use all the time and why?
My biggest sewing tip is to do what you have time for when you can find the time to do it. I often assemble new patterns during outpatient therapies, read through a pattern while waiting for a case worker to show up, or gather dress tiers while listening to classical music lessons.
What is your biggest sewing achievement or challenge to date? Tell us about it!
I think Christmas pajamas/outfits is my favorite big sewing challenge. When you have a family of 8, it takes a lot of planning, time, and materials to make things everyone loves! It's so rewarding to see my family wear the things I make them over and over, and Christmas 'jamas are no exception.
What advice would you give to someone learning to sew?
When people say, “You could sell that!” and you don't want to, just tell them that.
Lots of Love,