Lesley Stenning’s (from Smidgebox) Stash

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In 1997-99 I studied animation. I remember first seeing Lesley in our classroom during our second year. We just saw brief glimpses of her since the only time our class mate, Derek left the studio was when she was in town (they later married!). However it wasn’t until a few years later that our mutual friend Linda, who was also in that animation program, introduced us. Linda had started putting on a craft fair in her home each November. We bothstash had brought stuff to Linda’s craft fair to sell. What was interesting about Lesley was seeing her progression over the years (all while raising a young family I might add). She was blogging, selling on Etsy, and was a regular at Got Craft (the best Indie craft fair in Vancouver). Hands down, she inspired me to start my first blog Red Spotted Patch.

It was also a tweet of Lesley’s where I heard about a Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild “keener” meeting at Jericho beach. This ignited my involvement with the Modern Quilt Guild and co-founding of the Fraser Valley Modern Quilt Guild. So of course drawing Lesley’s stash was high on my list!

1.When we first met your were living in North Vancouver. You sewed in a little corner in your kitchen. Since then you’ve move to Victoria. What does your stash and your sewing space look like now? 
Well, I still sew in a corner of my kitchen, but it’s a different shape ;) Our kitchen is L-shaped, and on the short side there is a little built-in desk with what should be the pantry right beside it. My pantry is filled with fabric! The desk top is granite, which isn’t my favourite

material for a workspace, but it’s what was there and I haven’t changed it yet, a project for another time! My husband works from home, and his desk is right behind mine, so it means we can chat or sort-of hang out while we both work.

detail Lysa Mair-3232

Drawn June 2012
10″ high, 10″ wide – 2″ deep

2. I seem to remember you’re a big on-line fabric purchaser. What are your top 3 on-line shops?I haven’t been buying as much fabric as I used to, but before, I almost exclusively shopped at Hawthorne Threads. Their selection is amazing, fast shipping times, and reasonable prices. I also love Tonic Living for home decor fabrics {and it’s canadian!}. I used to also go to Fabric.com for a bargain every now and again. Those are really the only ones I even use any more, though I haven’t had the chance to check out some of the newer shops just yet :)

WEB Layer-Cake-Lysa-Mair-3276

Drawn June 2012
14″ high, 18″ wide -2″ deep

 3. Is there a designer who’s fabric stash you’d love to see, even if it was just a peek? Can I pick a couple? My faves are Anna Maria Horner, Heather Ross, and Lotta Jansdotter.

4. I have two of your bags, I’ve always admired your fabric boxes and baby quilts. I think what’s always drawn me to them are your fabric selections and combinations.  I was excited to see you’ve again opened your Etsy store, but there is no fabric in it? Tell us about your new endeavours. Ah, thanks Lysa! Fabric choices have always been my favourite part. I love mixing and matching colours and patterns! Makes my heart sing. Sadly, the chronic back issues that have been bugging me for over a decade got worse over the last two years with a hamstring injury, and sewing just got too difficult. I have had to stop {hopefully just for now!}. I am one who has to create in some way or another, so I picked up a pen again and went back to drawing words, something I used to love to do many many years ago. There has been a huge resurgence in popularity of modern calligraphy and hand-lettering, so I was excited to try it again. What fun! It is definitely just a hobby for the time being, something to do on the side while I spend time with my family.



Drawn June 2012
12″ high, 24″ wide -2″ deep

5. You’re on a ferry heading back to Vancouver from Victoria. Your entire stash is in your vehicle. You parked on the top deck. It’s a hot day so you decide to leave all the windows and doors open. Whoosh, a gust of wind rushes through your car. Fabric flies everywhere and, of course, this is just as you get the signal that you have to drive off the ferry. Which three pieces of fabric do you scramble to grab because you just can’t leave them behind? Why those particular three pieces? This question made me laugh, I can actually picture it! I’ve chosen a few of my all-time faves.

Top to bottom in the photo, there’s Wallflower in mustard by Amy Butler, then Posies in turquoise by Denyse Schmidt, and then Optic Blossom by Amy Butler. I sort of snuck in a fourth, it’s a very close tie and Heather Ross has always produced some of my faves, but I adore her Mendocino Octopus print, shown in aqua in my middle photo, but I also love the yellow, orange, and mustard colourways. Yes, “fabric addicts are us”!!

The two Amy Butler prints are ones I haven’t got anymore, except for maybe a few small scraps. Denyse Schmidt’s Flea Market Fancy was re-released a couple years ago, so I was able to get more of the turquoise floral print, but it’s not on the same base cloth, so I admit I am hoarding what I’ve got left of the original :)fabrics

Thanks Lysa, that was fun!