Needle & Thread Interview – Rachael from Imagine Gnats

Today I am excited to introduce you to Rachael from Imagine Gnats. Her creative energy is infectious and her blog is a favourite of mine! Rachael is the one who designed my lovely banner and button for this interview series, but her talents are not just limited to graphic design – she makes clothes, quilts, bags and anything else that can be made using a sewing machine, she designs fabric, embroidery patterns and dolls. Is there anything she can’t do?!

i is for button 200

In Rachael’s own words:
My
name is Rachael, I grew up in Eastern Pennsylvania, and I have lived in Ohio for the last twelve years. I live with my husband, Nick (we were
just married on new year’s day), our two daughters, three dogs, and six
cats. Yes, we vacuum a lot.

My daughter Kahlin (pronounced like Colin), is seven, in first
grade, learning to knit (well, sort of. it comes and goes), loves Katy
Perry and Justin Bieber (much to my dismay), wants to be a veterinarian,
and is so incredibly like her mama that we often butt heads. Like most
seven year olds, she asks lots of questions and has way more energy than
should be allowed. When Brenna (now nearly four) was just over a year
old, and a year before i knew either her or Nick, her mom passed away
suddenly. A lot has happened in all of our lives between then and now,
far too much to fit here, so I will simply say that I am honored that
Brenna’s mom chose me to watch over her amazing daughter. Brenna is the quieter of
our girls, sometimes even shy or timid, and she takes a little time to
warm up to you.

My daughter Kahlin (pronounced like Colin), is seven, in first
grade, learning to knit (well, sort of. it comes and goes), loves Katy
Perry and Justin Bieber (much to my dismay), wants to be a veterinarian,
and is so incredibly like her mama that we often butt heads. Like most
seven year olds, she asks lots of questions and has way more energy than
should be allowed. When Brenna (now nearly four) was just over a year
old, and a year before i knew either her or Nick, her mom passed away
suddenly. A lot has happened in all of our lives between then and now,
far too much to fit here, so I will simply say that I am honored that
Brenna’s mom chose me to watch over her amazing daughter. Brenna is the quieter of
our girls, sometimes even shy or timid, and she takes a little time to
warm up to you.

Is sewing a hobby you have had since you were young or has it been something you have come to as an adult?
Growing
up, my mom was always sewing. she made a lot of clothing for us when my
brother, sister, and I were young. I played around with her sewing
machine some, but didn’t really get into sewing for myself again until
about ten years ago when I got my first machine. I started sewing much
more about three years ago when I made a rag doll for my daughter and
people started asking me to make some for them… soon after, I had my
etsy shop set up and the blog soon followed.

Is/was your paid job or educational background
creative?

I recently left the corporate world,
where I had worked in banking for the last ten years. Now I work in a
fabric store, Sewn Studio,
and it has been fabulous! I get to touch fabric, match patterns, and
help people choose patterns… and i get paid for it! I’m still a bit in
shock that this is an actual job 😉 I did spend a few years in college
as an architecture major, so I have some design background, but nothing
specifically textile related.

Rachael’s sewing space / bedroom

What types of projects do you enjoy creating the most?
I’m
always inspired to create things that are difficult to figure out, it
seems. I enjoy a good challenge, and have been working on getting some
of my own patterns to the point where they might be able to be used by
other people. the first pattern I made is for my Madeleine bag and
available for free on my blog and I also have my first set of embroidery patterns for sale in my etsy shop.

What are your favourite sewing tools and materials?

Well, I’d be lost without my seam ripper for sure! nothing fancy, just the
one that came with my machine. i do love my Havel’s scissors that I got
recently and would definitely recommend them. Also my magnetic pin “cushion”, and a good sewing gauge.
Name your top five sewing inspirations.
Wow.
there are so many amazing people out there creating things that i feel
like this list is constantly shifting. at the moment, i would say:
– Danielle at my sparkle – her project run & play entries last season completely blew me away.
– Shelly at Patterns by Figgy – her patterns are inventive and fun, but classic.
– Shannon at luvinthemommyhood – i love that she’s always willing to try something new and has a great eye for patterns.
– Katy of monkey do – seriously everything she makes is amazing.
– Meg
at elsie marley – of course, kcwc is awesome. and i love how meg seems
to have such restraint in her design which I never seem to manage.

 How do you balance your sewing and blogging with your ‘real life’ eg. Paid work, family?

Ha!
people actually do this? Well, to be fair, I am still getting used to
the new job so things are a bit in flux. Mostly I just try to remember
that my family (and me!) come first and take time for that. It’s a bit
of an ongoing struggle, but I’m getting there. Mostly it’s an issue when I have some new idea in my head that needs to come out now! And my
schedule just doesn’t allow for it.
Apart from sewing, what other creative pursuits do you enjoy?
I also enjoy graphic design and knitting, though i haven’t seen those knitting needles in quite a while…

Thanks Rachael! I recommend that you pop over and follow her – you can find out more about her and Imagine Gnats here:
Blog
Etsy
Facebook
Pinterest
Flickr

If you enjoyed this interview, check out the first two in the series!

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