What’s in Your Sewing Bag Amy Sinibaldi?

What's in your sewing bag Amy Sinibaldi? | Shannon Fraser Designs Series #sewingbag 

Do you remember the first creative that got you fired up to make?

You know the one. The one that every time they share a new project or make you just fan girl over it?!

That’s how I’ve always felt about Amy Sinibaldi’s work. There's something about her whimsical designs that I just adore.

It’s been such a pleasure to see her creative journey evolve from sharing handmade goodies on her blog nanaCompany and in her Etsy shop, to writing books and launching countless gorgeous fabric collections with Art Gallery Fabrics. Which you may have noticed sneak their way into my quilty projects on the regular (see them here, here, here and here) 😉

When I thought about the What’s in Your Sewing Bag series, I just knew that Amy would bring her magical touch and offer you lots of inspiration.

Let’s dive in!

Amy from nanaCompany standing in her living room | What's in your sewing bag Amy Sinibaldi? | Series by Shannon Fraser Designs #modernmaker

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Introduction – tell us a little about yourself! How did you get started on your quilting journey?

I began sewing in 2006 after convincing my husband to buy me a sewing machine on Father’s Day, no less. That says a lot about my husband, by the way. He’s my biggest cheerleader and believes I can do anything! At any rate, we bought a Shark sewing machine from Target and I struggled on that thing for years. Then I thought I was moving up in the world when I bought a Singer, but that was still awful. When I bought myself a Janome 7700–that was the first time I realized that sewing doesn’t have to be a struggle or arm-wrestling match. It sews like a dream and I love it.  

So, the first thing I taught myself to sew were little girls’ aprons. I made these felt sugar cookies with bead sprinkles and it was all so cute. Then little by little I taught myself to sew just about anything. I simply went through all the techniques and sewing projects, one by one, and taught myself via the internet. At the time I was sharing all my work on Flickr and getting feedback from that community, which I loved. I caught the eye of some amazing people in the biz who asked me to start contributing to books and magazines. Eventually Tuva publishing asked me to write a book for them—the first in their sewing sector as they’d previously only published cross-stitch and embroidery books. At about the same time I was approached by Pat at Art Gallery Fabrics, and that was a dream come true! I designed my first collection, Paperie, under Pat’s tutelage and I am about to complete my tenth collection with Art Gallery Fabrics. It’s been a very public, very long journey of learning and growing creatively, and I’m still learning. I’m still working really hard at making my ideal fabric collection, but I get closer with each collection I design.

I love how your sewing journey started, Amy! It’s very similar to my own 😊 I remember you sharing a picture of your sewing room in your garage and being so inspired that you don’t need to have a fancy sewing room to be creative! I’m so thankful to Pat for reaching out to have you design fabric – you’re so meant to have your designs on fabric!!

Handmade striped zip pouch made by Amy | What's in your sewing bag Amy Sinibaldi? | Series by Shannon Fraser Designs #sewingkit


What kind of sewing bag do you have? (e.g. did you make it? Buy it?)

I have so many project bags or pouches. They’re all handmade (either by me or my friends) and I have a needle book in each bag along with my fabrics, papers and essentials for that project.

The needle book you made me many moons ago still brings me joy on the daily! Handmade goodies from creative friends really are the best!

Zip pouch with EPP handmade by Amy Sinibaldi of nanaCompany | What's in your sewing bag Amy Sinibaldi? | Series by Shannon Fraser Designs #zippouch


What are your all-star essentials? Your tried-and-true must haves that you can never run out of?

I have quite a few “essentials” and I grab as needed, generally as I’m running out the door, but luckily everything is generally ready to go when I am. In each bag I have a needle book, which was one of the first tutorials I published at nanaCompany (my blog) and I have made hundreds of them. The little felt pages are just perfect for holding needles and pins. Then, I like to have a glue stick, my favorite *Clover glass head pins, a *Clover Hera marker, *Clover seam ripper, my fave *Gingher Epaulettes 3.5” embroidery scissors, needles by *Tulip or *Jeana Kimball’s Foxglove Cottage needles, floss by DMC, EPP papers, *leather thimble pads from Colonial, my *Fiskars rotating cutting mat (it’s like 8” x 8”), a mini Fiskars rotary cutter, a *Pilot Frixion pen, my AGF measuring tape, and thread by *Aurifil. Probably the most recent addition to my sewing must haves is a bottle of *Flatter by Soak. I’m madly and deeply in love with the scents and I love the Fig and Pineapple Grove scents best. I feel like these elevate my sewing experience.  

OMG, we twin on the Flatter scents!! They really are amazing! I was totally curious about the leather thimble pads from Colonial you mention, Googled it and realized I have a similar product by them, but the plastic version. I bet the leather works way better!

Sewing and quilting essentials illustrations by Amy Sinibaldi | What's in your sewing bag nanaCompany? | Series by Shannon Fraser Designs #sewingnotions



What is your favourite item in your kit? Why?

I suppose my must haves are the *Gingher Epaulettes, a good needle, and *Clover glass head pins. They’re just necessary, quality, sharp and efficient.

I love that your favourite items are the key essentials one needs to tackle any sewing or quilting project! I’ve seen the Epaulette scissors before, but this is the first time a maker has mentioned how awesome they are. You’ve got me curious 😉

Little bear pin cushion | What's in your sewing bag Amy Sinibaldi? |  Series by Shannon Fraser Designs #pincushion


What’s one thing we’d be surprised to find in your bag?

I tend to find that what works best for me is to put my most essential items in a cleaned out Bonne Maman jam jar. I can fit a needle book, spool of thread, my scissors, pins, and leather thimble pads in there.  Then I can toss it in my bag, as I head out the door.

Clever!! Those Bonne Maman jars are the best for pretty and practical storage. I use them for my basting pins and binder clips (which is what I use for binding), but I hadn’t thought of tossing it in my sewing bag! So clever 😊

Amy's go to sewing notions and tools to make sewing on the go easy and fun | What's in your sewing bag Amy Sinibaldi? | Series by Shannon Fraser Designs #sewingnotions


When do you find yourself using your kit the most? (Travelling, on the sofa, attending sew-ins?)

Lately the only hand sewing I tend to do is binding. But I love to hand sew binding. I usually do this parked on a couch and watching a movie I’ve seen a hundred times. I may do EPP every once in a while but sewing binding by hand is my fave.

I couldn’t agree more, Amy! Hand binding is my fave too. There’s something so special about finishing the quilt journey with a quiet and cozy binding session while re-watching a movie – quilty bliss!


What’s your favourite travel memory with your sewing bag?

We have taken so many road trips as a family, and I have always taken hand sewing with me on these trips. I have a pouch for each kind of EPP paper I use and I’ll throw in my Bonne Maman jar, and a whole bunch of scraps into a bag and I’m ready to go!

Sounds like you’ve got sewing on the go down pat!

Well Travelled Sewing Bag and pin cushion handmade by Amy | What's in your sewing bag nanaCompany? | Series by Shannon Fraser Designs #needlebook

Pictured above is Amy's Well Traveled Sewing Book available in her Etsy Shop.


Tell people where we can find you?

My books:

*Sweetly Stitched Handmades
*Rainy Day Sewing (with Kristyne Czepuryk) 

My fabrics:

Art Gallery Fabrics 

Anything else you’d like to share?

Don’t let perfection get in the way of anything. As I’ve learned over time, perfection is boring; it defeats the creation of true art and is not really attainable anyway. Enjoy the process and if you don’t know how to do anything don’t let that stop you! Thank goodness for the internet and YouTube. If not knowing how to do something were a true obstacle, I would not be where I am today.

Yes! Love this, Amy! All so true! I love to say don’t let fear get in your way as the best things are just on the other side of your comfort zone.

Thank you for always being such an inspiration and for cheering us on to continue our own creative exploration. I can’t wait to see your 10th fabric collection – I just know it will be stunning!

 Fabric storage box, spools of Aurifil thread and handmade pincushions - pretty and practical sewing notions made by Amy | What's in your sewing bag Amy Sinibaldi? | Series by Shannon Fraser Designs #sewingessentials


For more What’s in Your Sewing Bag fun, check out these guests:

Happy stitching!




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1 comment

  • What a fun interview! I’ve followed Amy for years and learned a few things today! I’ve got those same jam jars but never thought about tossing them in my bag!

    Kristin Esser

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