Hi Everyone, My name is Calli. My blog is called Make it Do. I am so happy to be here on Polkadot Chair today. I DO wish I was sitting in Melissa’s craft room on her polkadot chair with an embroidery in hand and time to visit. Melissa and I met at a blogging dinner a year and half ago and I felt immediately like she was an old friend. Since then I’ve felt like I’ve gotten to know her even better through her wonderful blog. Melissa is not only incredibly talented, she is super fun, funny and kind.
Q: Okay, to start… just the facts… introduce yourself. Do you have kids? How many? Where do you live? Where did you grow up? (general region is okay).
I grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah. I met my husband after we had both just got home from a summer spent working in different parts of Alaska. We both were attending the University of Utah (Go Utes!) and fell in love. Just like Melissa, we have three wonderful kids, including a set of twins. My son is 11 and my girls are 9. We still live in Utah, in a small community nestled right up against the Wasatch Mountains. We love where we live and spend as much time as we can in the outdoors. My family and I love to ski, hike, bike and go camping.
Q: Favorite Musical group when you were in Junior High… did you have a favorite song?
Oh Junior High! I am really going to date myself now! My first band true love was U2. But I also loved Howard Jones, Tears for Fears, and the Police. When I thought no one else was listening, I would put on my Dad’s records of Simon and Garfunkel, Don McClean or John Denver. John Denver was definitely NOT cool, but I still loved him!
Q: When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was really young, I wanted to be nurse (who didn’t give shots) and take care of babies. At one point when I was in 5th or 6th grade, I wanted to be an Interior Designer. Because what is better than wallpaper books and paint chips?! At one point I was sure I’d be a mystery writer just like Agatha Christie. When I was in junior high and high school I wanted to be a teacher.
Q: What’s one thing that you’d love to do but can’t?
I’m embarrassed to admit, but I’ve never learned to crochet. I see wonderful crochet projects and can’t believe I’ve never taken the time to learn. I especially want to make a crochet blanket and a crochet scrubber for my kitchen.
Q: Any hidden talents?
I’m the reigning Kinect bowling champion in our family, but I can’t bowl worth a darn in real life. I’m pretty awesome at Harry Potter trivia. I’m also a master marshmallow roaster- golden brown puffiness every time!
Q: When and how did you learn to sew?
As young as I can remember, my mom taught me how to do embroidery and cross-stitch. At around 8 or 9, I took my first machine sewing class. I still remember machine stitching coloring book pages on the lines. Little did I know how often I would be doing machine applique and use those very skills!
Q: What made you decide to start a blog?
It sounds odd to say it out loud, but I had a dream that inspired my blog. In my dream I had written a book. As I woke, I felt strongly that it was not an ordinary dream, it seemed profound. The moment I woke up, I wrote everything I could remember about the dream in my notebook. The dream niggled at me for weeks. I argued to myself that it was crazy to even think of writing a book. Then one day as I was working on a sewing project the thought hit me that I could start a blog. At least I could try my hand at writing, even though I never dreamed anyone would read it… and by that evening I had a WordPress.com blog and Make it Do was begun. It’s been an amazing journey, getting to know readers from all over the world, meeting other wonderful and talent bloggers, and watching Make it Do grow.
Q: What are your 3 favorite projects that you’ve posted on your blog?
Oh it’s hard to choose my favorites!
1- Snowman Kit! This was also one of my favorite handmade gifts to give.
2- Old Lampshade to Chicken Wire Basket. This project turned out better than I hoped! I love that the idea came from rummaging around in my basement full of discarded things.
3- The Night Owl Bag Pattern is one of my all time favorite sewing creations. I not only love how easy this bag is to make, but the Night Owl Bag turned out to be extremely useful for lots of occasions. My girls use their bags for late-overs with friends and sleepovers at grandparents home, of course. But they love to use their bags for read-a-thons or pillow concerts at school.
I steal one of their bags whenever I need to take quilts or large sewing projects on the go. We’ve even taken a Night Owl bag to picnics to carry our blanket, kites and books. It’s a perfect large capacity bag. I plan on making a bag in “grownup” fabric for me soon.
Q: What’s the most difficult thing that you have made and posted on your blog? How long did it take you? Any sewing machines thrown out the window?
For me the most difficult projects are always the ones when I have to sew using synthetic fabrics. I don’t like how they feel and I hate how they slip around on my machine. I can’t stand having to pin the bejeezus out of my fabric and I really hate fabric that frays. I’ve never thrown my sewing machine, ’cause I love it too much… but I’ve been known to drop of few choice swear words over slippery satins. Every year when I finish sewing costumes, I am so GRATEFUL to get back to cotton, linen and wool.
Q: Last craft fail
Failure is more apart of creating than I ever dreamed. There are projects that just don’t turn out the way I imagined. Often being forced to innovate after making a mistake ends up being my favorite part of a project. In a way, failure is a really good thing.
As for a sewing fail that stayed a failure, this past summer I carefully designed and created my perfect, purse-style bag with the intent of creating a pattern. While the bag had every functional detail of my dream bag, the style fell totally flat. I tossed my prototype and pattern pieces in a box, where they are still sitting on a craft storage shelf. I hate thinking about that bag that got the better of me, so I may come back to it later and see if I can get it right the next time.
Q: What fabric do you WISH you had lots and lots of?
I’m totally in love with the whole Old New line by Lecien. I’ve always been drawn to cheerful 1930’s fabric and Old New is like an updated, fresh 30’s. I can barely find my favorite pieces anymore and if a fabric company ever reprinted a line just for me, this would be my first choice.
Q: What fabric in your stash can you not bring yourself to cut up?
I’m never shy about using a fabric that I’m head over heals for. Nothing is better than sewing on and then enjoying a project made with fabric I’m in love with.
Q: What’s the next thing on your sewing “to do” list?
Hexagons! I was out to lunch with my friend Amy of Diary of a Quilter and she had her latest hexagon pillow with her. It was so charming, I’ve been dying to make my own ever since. Right now I’m working on a Merry Christmas banner patterned after one my grandmother made and retro-styled Christmas stockings, both projects are so fun to work on!
Q: Describe your perfect day.
I think my favorite days are the ones that are simple. This time of year, waking up on a cold weekend morning, I love having my kids climb in bed with us to talk. If it’s my perfect day, we’d go out for breakfast. When we come home, my girls and I would watch old movies like “To Catch a Thief” or “Wait Until Dark” while we stitch or knit together. It would be snowing big puffy flakes and in the afternoon we’d head out to go snowshoeing. We’d come home cold and tired and have soup, hot homemade bread, and for dessert we’d all dip caramel apples rolled in crushed Butterfingers. We’d end the day playing Ticket to Ride or Quiddler. That would be a perfectly lovely day.
Thank you Melissa for inviting me to join you today! I had so much fun. Happy Holidays to you and your family!