This week our artist of the week is Deb Koch, she lives down in Eden Prairie. You’ll recognize her work in the shop as 98% of the lovely variety of sewn bags like the tutu bags, the large and small project bags, the lunch/activity sacks in the children’s room. She also has vintage goods for each season as well as seasonal crafts that have been made into centerpieces and swags.
How long have you been sewing?
I have been sewing as long as I can remember, long before we had to take Home Ec in jr high. I would make doll clothes out of Kleenex and paper towels before my mom gave me fabric and taught me how to use the sewing machine.
What inspires you to sew what you do?
I do get a lot of inspiration from Pinterest, but I guess what inspires me most is the fabric. I see a great fabric and think I need to make something with this. I like to coordinate different fabrics to go together and see the end result. I love every piece I make.
What are your favorite items to sew?
I started out sewing a lunch bag for a friend who got a plain black one free at work. I found some cute fabric and made my own pattern and she really loved it. Another friend showed me a picture of a tutu/dance bag that she wanted me to make. I made my own pattern and figured out a cute way to put the “tutu” part on the bag and it was so cute!! So I guess my answer is my favorite items are my tutu bags and lunch bags.
Anything you dislike sewing?
I hate filling bobbins. I try to do two at a time so I don’t have to stop to fill the bobbin.
Where do you find most of your fabrics?
I find a lot of my fabric at JoAnn Fabrics. I also like to go to all the local quilt shops to find unique fabric, I will buy the basic fabric at JoAnn and then the coordinating fabric at quilt stores. There is also an outlet store in Burnsville that has great fabric.
What types of items do you sew?
I mostly sew some type of bag, purses, coin purses, duffel bags, beach bags. I just started making diaper bags and they are really fun to make.
You’ve started branching out into seasonal centerpieces and swags, which do you like better crafting with seasonal items or sewing?
I have been doing crafts for a long time also. My mom was a campfire girl leader, so we made a craft at every meeting, also going to day camp when I was young we made a lot of crafts. I really like making artificial flower arrangements and wreaths. I work with fresh flower arranging and plants at my full time job as the Floral Supervisor for Jerrys Foods 16 Cub Stores. If I had to choose I probably like the crafting better, however sewing can be so calming to me.
Other than Smith’s Infusion, are there other locations in which you sell your items?
I do a few craft/art fairs usually in the fall. I have done the Harvest Moon Festival for a number of years and the Cozy Cottage event at Loon Lake. I have had a booth at the Embarrass Region Fair, the Virginia Miner Fall craft fair and a few small fairs in Minneapolis.