What’s in Your Sewing Bag? | Special Guest: Giuseppe Ribaudo from Giucy Giuce
Are you ready for another sneaky peeky?
I’m SO excited to have today’s guest participate in the What’s in Your Sewing Bag series.
Giuseppe, better known as Giucy Giuce, has been a maker I’ve been following for years now. It has been so fun seeing his creative journey take off. Not only does he have some killer EPP and FPP skillz, but he’s also now designing his own fabric lines for Andover – whaaa? How cool is that?!
Since he’s a maker of multiple talents, I’m super curious to see what he stocks in his sewing bag.
Let’s take a look!
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Introduction – tell us a little about yourself! How did you get started on your quilting journey?
My name is Giuseppe Ribaudo and I am the guy behind Giucy Giuce. My grandmother, a prolific seamstress, taught me to sew when I was a child. I didn’t much care for garment sewing but put my skills to use in 2008 when I lived across the street from a fabric shop and started quilting. From there I joined Instagram and discovered a supportive and creative community of sewists who were terrifically encouraging. I honed my skills by sewing samples for fabric companies, making display pieces for their booths at trade shows. From there I wound up getting a job at Andover Fabrics in their marketing department. While working at Andover I began giving lectures on my work and teaching. Eventually I began to design fabric for Andover, as well. About a year ago I decided to leave my position at Andover and focus on my business. Then Covid hit and things got real interesting real fast! Things were crazy for a while, but I recently relocated from NYC to Maine and am currently working on getting things back on track.
I have SO enjoyed watching your journey, Giuseppe! I remember one of your early posts about tackling EPP while on the subway and thinking “now that’s dedication!” (also, our Metro system here is so rocky, I’d be worried about tackling anything with a sharp object!).
What kind of sewing bag do you have? (e.g. did you make it? Buy it?)
Whenever I travel, I only ever take hand-sewing projects, specifically English paper piecing projects. I have two sewing bags that I use regularly, one small one that holds my most essential items and a larger one for bigger trips. My small bag is a simple little zip pouch that I made. It holds a small pair of snips, thread, needle minder, needles, one *Sew Tites magnet, and a seam ripper. This is the bag I use when I just have a wee bit of sewing to do. The block I am working on I just keep in a Ziplock bag.
For longer trips I have a Bionic Gear bag (pattern available here) that was made in collaboration with Kristy from Rock Baby Scissors. I made the outer panel of the bag and Kristy constructed it. I bust out this bag when I am going on a long trip and want to store multiple blocks/projects.
Ha! I laughed when I noticed you store you blocks in a Ziplock bag – I do the same! And I love the idea of having two kits – one for smaller projects and a larger more stocked one for longer trips – super smart! Also, I just love the design of your bag and love it even more that it’s a collab between you and Kristy – so fun!
What are your all-star essentials? Your tried and true must haves that you can never run out of?
My two cannot live without items in my EPP bag are *Richard Hemming & Son size 11 milliners needles and Invisafil thread by Wonderfil. Both of these items completely changed the way I EPP and I will NEVER use anything else.
Ohhhh, I haven’t heard of Richard Hemming & Son needles, nor have I tried Wonderfil Invisafil. Now both are on my list to try!
What is your favourite item in your kit? Why?
I have just a few needles from my original pack of Richard Hemming & Son milliners needles that my great friend Karen from the DIY Addict gave me to try. I have lost a few along the way over the last few years but the few that remain are dear to me and remind of my friendship with Karen, a woman who was and still is a massive part of my love of EPP.
Aren’t gifted notions and tools the best? I have a similar love and sentimental attachment to sewing notions that have been made or gifted to me. Makes the creation journey that much more special.
What’s one thing we’d be surprised to find in your bag?
I don’t think any one thing would be surprising to find in my bag, I think it’s the size people would find surprising! My mighty little pouch that I use most often is maybe 3” x 4”. I have made entire EPP quilts with this one little bag. That really thrills me!
Proof that you don’t need a bunch of stuff to make a full EPP quilt! The smaller size most likely encourages keeping those notions streamlined too 😉
QUILT KITS WILL TRAVEL
When do you find yourself using your kit the most? (Travelling, on the sofa, attending sew-ins?)
Mostly when I travel. I used to do the bulk of my EPPing on the subways in NYC. Whether I was headed to and from work or on my way to see friends, I did a lot of sewing on the subway. That’s a big part of why my kit is so small. I’d keep the kit in one pocket of my jeans and the Ziplock bag with whatever block I was working on in the other. Easy to carry around and always a great conversation starter on the train.
My true favorite time to hand sew though is on a long airplane ride. I like to sew in public places. It often starts a conversation with a curious onlooker. I like to hope that maybe just once or twice the conversations have led to someone reading more about the world of EPP and quilting. Maybe they even picked it up and tried it for themselves! I think that’s part of our responsibility as sewists, to spread the word of quilting in any way we can.
Giuseppe, I would SO love to sit and chat with you about all things quilty! Lucky strangers to get to spark a conversation with you about EPP. I especially love your take that it’s our responsibility to share the quilty love – I have a similar philosophy and motto!
What’s your favourite travel memory with your sewing bag?
Probably the great conversations I have had with people on the subway, other passengers on a plane, or flight attendants. One particular fond memory was when I was vacationing in Nicaragua. I was hand sewing in the common area of our hotel and a curious young man of about 15 years old who worked there had so many questions to ask about what I was doing. I did my best to explain to him with my limited Spanish. He hadn’t been exposed to quilting as far as I could tell. He was so enthusiastic about it. It was so charming. I offered to teach him which he politely declined. But I was so thrilled to see a young person so excited and curious about EPP.
I LOVE that story! I think it’s so fun to see the curiosity and delight in people who discover quilting for the first time.
WHERE CAN WE FIND YOU?
Tell people where we can find you?
The best place to find me is on Instagram (@giucy_giuce). I’ll also be launching a brand-new website in January!
Ohhh, I can’t wait to see your new website! Super exciting and I know how much work goes into that! Thank you so much for participating in the WIYSB series, Giuseppe. It’s been an absolute pleasure to read through your responses, learn more about your sewing journey and get a little peek at your most loved notions.
For more What’s in Your Sewing Bag fun, check out these guests: