What’s in Your Sewing Bag? | Special Guest: Anna from Wax & Wane Studio
Are you ready for another WIYSB? ‘Cause I have a fun one for you!!
Today’s guest is a quiet force that I feel so lucky to have in my quilty life.
You know when you meet someone, and you feel a kindred spirit with them right off the batt? That’s how I felt after “meeting” Anna on Instagram. First, I loved how unique her style was. Not a stitch of pink anywhere in sight! And then when we started chatting, I soon discovered a kindred sister who loves snow over rain, relishes the art of hand quilting (and the slowing down it brings) and agrees that Oreos are never safe around us! I’ve also learned she is NOT to be trusted in a “low-buy fabric” pact! HA – I kid, Anna 😉 I wholeheartedly support that yardage splurge you had to get!
So, I’m super excited for you to get to know Anna – the creative savvy behind Wax & Wane Studio – and take a peek inside her sewing kit.
Let’s dive in!
Introduction – tell us a little about yourself! How did you get started on your quilting journey?
Hi, I’m Anna! I love quilting, vanilla milkshakes, unusual shapes, and moody colors. I design quilt patterns and spread the love of hand quilting through my ongoing personal project, Wax and Wane Studio. I live in rural Pennsylvania and co-host the podcast Quilt Buzz (@quilt.buzz) with my two quilty BFFs in my spare time.
During my high school years, I was interested in creating pretty much anything out of fabric. I would make bags and pillows and tried to alter and make my own clothing with varying degrees of success. To support my little hobby, I got a job at a local fabrics shop. Although I was exposed to quilting at a very young age by my great grandmother and great aunts, I had not tried it myself until my co-worker at the fabrics shop suggested I give it a try. From there I made a handful of quilts leading up to and during my college years where I studied printmaking and fiber arts. After that, I maintained an on-again, off-again relationship with quilting up until late 2018 when I realized I was in desperate need of a creative outlet after a hiatus. I made a new year’s resolution in January 2019 to spend at least 15 minutes a day being creative. To give myself a little accountability I started my Instagram account with hopes of posting a couple of times a week and hopefully meeting some like minded people to chat with. As you may have guessed, I fell down the rabbit hole that is the Instagram quilting scene and the rest is (very recent) history.
I didn’t know you studied printmaking and fiber arts, Anna – that is SO cool! I would love to sit and chat with you more about that experience and how it’s influenced the materials you sneak into your quilts 😉 Preferably while we’re sipping on vanilla milkshakes (a fave of mine too)!
What kind of sewing bag do you have? (e.g. did you make it? Buy it?)
I use a small zipper pouch that was gifted to me by my grandmother. I believe it was hand made and has a lovely little flower appliqué, but sadly no tag or label to give credit. I like it because it’s compact and simple.
What a lovely gift from your grandmother. Proof that gifted handmade goodies truly are treasured. Plus, I bet every time you reach for your bag you think of her.
What are your all-star essentials? Your tried and true must haves that you can never run out of?
I’m a minimalist when it comes to sewing notions. My essentials are a hera marker, a small pair of scissors, some hand quilting needles, and pearl cotton thread. I’m still on a quest for my holy grail of needles but I think my current favorite are Tulip’s Sashiko needles and when it comes to thread I always reach for DMC.
I’m with you on keeping my notions to a minimum. You’re now the second guest to recommend these Tulip needles, so my next hand quilting project I’m totally busting mine out!
What is your favourite item in your kit? Why?
I’d have to say my favorite item is the little tin I use to hold my needles. It was a gift from my parents and it has a cute fox on it. It has a magnetic strip inside so the needles don’t fall out when you open it. Sometimes I keep loose thread in there too.
So cuuuuute! And I love that it was a gift from your parents 😊 Plus, yay for magnets and no pins slipping out 😉
What’s one thing we’d be surprised to find in your bag?
Nothing. Haha! Sorry to be boring but I literally only keep the four items I listed above in my bag with the occasional tin of thread gloss and thimble pad if my fingertips are sore. All other sewing tools I keep in a tray, close to my sewing machine.
No need to be sorry! There’s no right or wrong here! And this just supports your intention of keeping your kit as minimal as possible.
QUILT KITS WILL TRAVEL
When do you find yourself using your kit the most? (Travelling, on the sofa, attending sew-ins?)
I make time every day to spend at least 5-10 minutes hand quilting. If it’s nice out, and the project isn’t a huge quilt I will occasionally head to the back yard to stitch. But until my two little boys are old enough to not trample all over my lap/quilts with muddy feet I typically stick to our dining table.
First off, I love that daily intention you set for yourself, Anna. I have a similar approach and am always amazed at how projects actually move forward with this consistent practice. As for little boys’ feet trampling my quilt --- I would cryyyyyyy if muddy feet got on my quilts! It’s happened to me once with Pips where he was outside and came back in with wet paws and promptly stomped alllll over my quilt mid basting – ugh. The dining table is a smart (and safe) solution!
What’s your favourite travel memory with your sewing bag?
I haven’t traveled much with my sewing bag other than to my parents’ or grandparents’ house but I do have a very fond memory of hanging out with the Quilt Buzz crew (Amanda of @broadclothstudio and Wendy of @the.weekendquilter) in Philadelphia for a day. We didn’t actually do any quilting but we had a lovely lunch, chatted all things quilts, walked the beautiful Rittenhouse Square area and got some great quilt photos!
So, I’m not sure if I ever shared this with you, but I’ve only been to Philadelphia once (a few summers ago) and one of the few places we visited was Rittenhouse Square! That’s where we stopped for a little snack at Di Bruno Bros and the sky’s parted and I found pearl cotton thread HEAVEN – ha!! Sounds like Philly is THE place to be for quilters!
WHERE CAN WE FIND YOU?
Tell people where we can find you?
You can find me on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook @waxandwanestudio or on my website at waxandwanestudio.com. I love talking quilts, textiles, and all kinds of fiber arts so feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anything else you’d like to share?
If you haven’t already, check out the Quilt Buzz podcast! Our next episode with Jenny Haynes of @pappersaxsten will be out on July 2!
Thank you so much for sharing, Anna. It’s been so fun to learn more about how you found quilting, your love for all things fiber arts and I especially love how family centric your kit is! It’s like your family is around you while you’re creating new family heirlooms.
For more What’s in Your Sewing Bag fun, check out these guests:
Never miss a post - sign up for the weekly newsletter.
Thanks so much for including me in this fun series, Shannon! And yes, let’s chat printmaking, fiber arts, and anything else anytime! ❤️