Maya from Aunt Bea’s Fabric has popped in today for a chat….
FQ:Tell us a little about how ‘Aunt Bea’s Fabric’ came to open its virtual doors?
AB: Bea started about 5 years ago, from an overflowing sewing room that turned into an EBay store, and then an online shop of her own. She asked me (Maya) to come in and be on call, if she needed to go out of town, or had a really busy day at the shop… and before long we were working side by side. Now I do the ordering, focusing on Japanese and user friendly apparel fabrics (denim, knits, lawn, and double gauze, oh my!).
We believe that everyone has someone who they learned to sew from (an Aunt, Grandma, or teacher) and these people are all ‘Aunt Bea’s’. I taught my 12 year old sister how to paper piece hexagons last winter while we watched ‘Glee’ and had the thought that I was an ‘Aunt Bea’!
FQ:Do you have a team of helpers?
AB: We do! The ladies you see writing for the blog are all part of our “store team”. Maya, Bea, Jean, Sara and Samantha! We have lots of different areas of interest and skill levels, but all share a total love of fabric and sewing. I love that if I have a sewing question I can take it in to the shop and ask and get 4 different thoughts on how to solve my problem.
FQ:What has been the best thing about having an online fabric store?
AB: I love being able to work with prints and color and be around inspiring materials all day. I’m so happy knowing that I’m sending out a package that will inspire someone to create. I love that it is part of my job to read a million sewing blogs and see what people are making.
I am also amazed by the kindness of the people we send fabric out to. I love hearing about charity projects they are working on, it is so inspiring and wonderful to use your skill to make something to comfort a stranger. It warms my heart!
FQ: You stock a wonderful array of both quilting and apparel fabrics ~ is it hard deciding which lines to stock?
AB: I usually go with my gut! I read lots of blogs and try to see what people seem excited about, and I make sure that I am excited about it. We can’t carry everything, but we can carry lots of beautiful prints I am excited to send out in to the world to be made into beautiful things.
FQ: Do you have a favourite fabric designer?
AB:I adore Naomi Ito’s prints. I love how her collections have similar themes each year (floral, dots, stripes) and play with scale and color. I think they look like watercolors and sometimes like they were drawn with a marker. So dreamy!
FQ: It must be sew tempting being surrounded by so much fabric yumminess – do you find time to sew for yourself?
AB: I just moved into a new house with 1,000 windows, so that is what I’m sewing these days: curtains. When the leaves start turning I get excited to do some hand quilting and get cozy. I love this time of year for sewing.
FQ: Does your passion lay in garment sewing, small project sewing (like bags & pillows for example) or quilts? or everything!?
AB: I usually have a little bit of each going on
. I have an amazing piece of (heavy!) vintage silk I am going to make a dress out of, a few alteration projects, a tote bag, and 3 quilts that just got pulled out to start working on again. Is that normal, to have 7 projects on the horizon?
FQ: Aunt Bea’s Blog ‘Make It Sew’ is full of helpful tips, techniques and tutes – what do you enjoy most about blogging?
We have blog meetings where everyone brings a project they are working on and sit and have food, chat, show and tell, and plan our next few months of blogs out (very loosely- if inspiration strikes, we follow it!). Jean teaches a beginning sewing class and has been sewing for over 45 years. She helped me figure out that my vintage silk is indeed silk with a lighter and a corner of my fabric! Sara is learning all about garment sewing and has an amazing enthusiasm that I enjoy reading, and has some fantastic plans for vintage sewing patterns. Samantha has a no fear sewing and knitting style, trying projects with and without patterns, and she has a great eye. Bea is always weaving personal stories in with her blog entries, and is wonderful at pointing us toward new blogs.
I love to make simple projects that show off prints, and I recently showed off some family made quilts that I was excited to share about. Seeing the blog grow has been one of my favorite recent additions to Aunt Bea’s.
Thanks for chatting with us today Maya!
Aunt Bea?s Fabric are offering FQ readers a first time buyer 10% off coupon, with the code FQPub3. Happy Shopping!