Pellon: Where do you find inspiration for your work?
Jill: I find inspiration in flea markets, magazines and boutiques where I look at something and think “I can make that for less.” I look at vintage sewing and craft books, modern art and coloring books.Inspiration is everywhere. I constantly snapping pictures with my phone and emailing them to myself. I carry a little notebook around to scribble ideas or sketches as the come to me. Having a blank mind is great for inspiration.
P: What does your creative process entail?
J: A lot of the time I start with one component that I love (a fabric, a color, a design) and then I just run with it. I play around a lot. I make mistakes. I rip them out and do it differently. I don’t always use things as they were originally intended to be. Don’t be afraid to try something new. What is the worst that can happen?
P: Why do you enjoy sewing/crafting/quilting?
J: I am a very sensory person. I love different color combinations and patterns. I touch and pet everything in a store; fabric, yarns, felts, ribbons. There is a large feeling of pride to make something, too. To combine fabric and thread into a dress, or a bag or a quilt is a great achievement. I get such a good feeling making things that I don’t think I could stop if I tried.
P: Do you create mainly for satisfaction, gifts, art or another reason?
J: I usually create to fulfill a need; my daughter need new pants, my desk needs organizing, the sun is blinding me while I sew, etc. The thing is, I can never seem to just make something that only fulfills the need. I have to make it awesome, too!
P: What tips or tricks learned through experience can you share?
J: Stop being afraid!Don’t be afraid of your sewing machine! Just put the thread in and let her rip.I find that too many inexperienced stitchers are afraid. They think they’re going to mess up, or ruin their fabric, or worse. Guess what? You will…sometimes. And other times it will come out just awesome. The only way to become an “experienced” maker is to do it. So just take a deep breath and do it.
P: When and why did you start sewing/quilting/crafting?
J: My mom taught me to sew when I was ten years old and I made a black jersey knit skirt. It involved a lot of tears and throwing fabric across the kitchen. Then the summer before I went to college I saw a string quilt in a shop while we were on vacation and my mom convinced me I could make it for my dorm room. Fast forward through two months of tears,seam ripping and fabric throwing, and I had made my first quilt! (These days there are a lot less tears and fabric throwing. Still plenty of seam ripping though.)
P: What inspires you to start a project?
J: Free time. No really. I am a stay at home mom with two small kids who is also going back to school. My day is packed to the gills. But as soon as I have a free half hour or more, my wheels start spinning and I’m in my studio or in my To Make folder on Pinterest.