One of my favorite parts of last year's holiday season was highlighting some of the amazing makers in our community that use sewing as their artistic medium. While I'm not sure I can swing a full 12 days of Stitchmas again this year (too. many. things. to. do.) I knew I still wanted to share some of these makers stories and creations.
Let me tell you, I'm so excited share our first maker: Colleen Peck of Moonfaerie Designs. (I'm sure you think I'm being a bit hyperbolic for the purpose of a blog post, but I just scanned her Gallery page again for some photos to share and I am near bursting right now with giddiness!)
If you know me you know that not only do I love sewing, but I LOVE vintage stuff and I have a very strong affection for Vintage Aprons. So you can only imagine my kid-in-a-candy-store giddiness (sorry, there's no other appropriate word-- I need to use it twice) when I wandered into Colleen's booth at Celebrate! West Hartford this past June. (The photo below is the glorious-ness I found!)
Vintage. And Aprons. And Handmade. It was so much goodness. If it weren't for 3 antsy kids and 90°+ weather, I would have stayed there all day and bought pretty much everything. So, she was the first person I headed to when it came time to round up this year's Makers and to my delight, she agreed!
One of the beauty of purchasing items from local craft-makers is that you know you're buying from a real PERSON and that your purchase means something to both parties. So we're getting a little more personal this year... And as a heads up: this aprons are one-of-a-kind so the ones you see may no longer be available!
Hi Colleen! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself, what you exactly you make and how you started making them?
I live in Willington CT with my husband, 2 dogs and a cat.
I recreate aprons from vintage linens, feed sacks, laces, bureau scarves, handkerchiefs. I also create jewelry from vintage bits and bobs.
I have always sewed and I quilted for years. I have always loved vintage fabrics and laces and collect them. I was at a flea market and I found a crumpled up apron and handkerchief in a bag of lace I had bought. They matched each other but they were in bad shape. I washed them several times and sewed up some tears, and I envisioned an apron out of the 2 pieces. That is how my apron making began! I also have a country line, created from feed sacks. I have pictures of lavender, roosters, tractors, sunflowers and more that are on the bibs of the aprons. I can custom make the feed sack aprons and will put any picture on the bib that you want. You just email me a picture and I create the apron. One of my favorite things is to create aprons for you from your family linens. When you are ready to take them out of the drawer I work with you to create special family heirlooms. **Editorial Interruption: THIS IS GENIUS! I love, love, love this idea so much it kind of takes my breath away.**
So our readers can picture you at work, where do you make your products?
I work out of my home studio in Willington CT. I have a sewing room that overlooks the backyard. All I have to do is look to the right and I see birds, flowers, blue skies and green grass. Such inspiration!! I also have an area in the basement where I create my jewelry and do some of my cutting of fabrics.
What's your favorite part of what you make?
I love taking the half aprons and matching the bureau scarfs, handkerchiefs, pillow cases, laces to the half aprons to create a full apron. The possibilities are endless and I spend hours doing this. I imagine who would be wearing the apron or what they would be doing while wearing it. That is how the names and the stories are created, each apron comes with a name and a story.
Who do you picture buying your aprons?
Everyone!!! The aprons make a wonderful shower gift, birthday or holiday gift. A gift for yourself!! My aprons are not only worn as aprons, I have customers come to see me and they wear a solid color dress or leggings and a top. They match an apron to their outfit and out the door they go, looking beautiful! They wear them out as a fashion statement.
Because we all need a wardrobe of aprons now (for us and everyone we know), where can we find your work?
My website is www.moonfaeriedesigns.com. I am on Facebook as Moonfaerie Designs, and instagram as moonfaerie_designs. My website has an event and shoppes page where my latest shows can be found and the stores that I have my aprons and jewelry in.
Go check out her page, but here are the ones that are coming up:
November 11,12 Craft Festival to Benefit Medical Aid to Haiti, at the Church of St. Peter Claver in West Hartford, Connecticut
November 25, 26 Artists Open Studio Tolland CT
Dec 2,3 Artist Open Studio Tolland CT
You can also find her feedsack aprons at:
Fort Hill Farms in Thompson CT and Artful Annie's Gallery, Goods and Gifts in Stafford Springs CT.
I'm now sold on the idea of custom designs. What's your cut off for custom orders to arrive before Christmas?
I am doing special orders up to Dec 11th. I work through my email, firstname.lastname@example.org and send you pictures after finding out your needs. You can pick the apron from the pictures I send and I ship that day or next.
Thank you for letting me feature you on our Local Maker series!!
Alright West Hartford Folks, you know where you need to go on November 11th and 12th! And keep on scrolling for some more of Colleen's beautiful work!