While it continues to warm up outside, Sandy Gervais is bringing the Winter to you! Her latest holiday collection, Nature’s Christmas, celebrates the spirit of Winter. Swirling snowflakes, twinkling stars, poinsettias and pine, bring the outdoors in this holiday season.
Q: Where did you find your original inspiration for this Nature’s Christmas?
A:I have always found a red cardinal against a snow covered backdrop so Christmas-y. In my 18 years of Christmas fabrics I had never done a nature themed Christmas line. I thought it was time.
Q:Tell me about your sewing machines. What kinds do you have and how many?
A:My quilt making sewing machines are two 471 PFAFF machines. One of my seamstresses preferred to sew on her own machine which meant lugging it back and forth from her house to my studio. She eventually bought a new machine and I bought her old one. I later purchased another 471 PFAFF so both seamstresses could sew on the same make and model of machine. For the little bit of quilting that I do at home, I use my 221 Feather Weight, a gift from my husband.
My garment making machine is a hand-me-down Viking. My hometown had store openings on Thursday nights. Almost every Thursday night we went to town. Mom, my 2 sisters and I spent most of the night in the basement of Chozen’s department store, where the fabric and pattern books were located. My Dad would head to Bob’s Fleet, a farm supply store. Every Thursday night there was a Jackpot drawing. One Thursday evening while shopping in Chozens they announced my father as the winner of the $250.00 jackpot. I was just nine years old so you can imagine how excited I was to hear my Dad’s name announced. Dad found us, he knew right where to look, the basement of Chozens. He then took us across the street to Rays Shoe Repair (he also sold sewing machines) where Dad purchased a brand new Viking sewing machine for Mom and us three girls. I still use this machine today. It is fifty years old and it still sews like the day we brought it home.
Q:What is your favorite part of the fabric industry?
A:I love mixing up new paint colors. I see a color in my head and I mix and mix, somewhat like a mad scientist, until I get just the right color. It is also very rewarding and exciting when the UPS man delivers a brown box with the famous Moda tape. Nothing like opening a box of brand new fabric.
|Tiny Treasures Mini Quilt Kit, available at Fat Quarter Shop|
Q:What is your design process?
A:I sketch first and then I hand paint most of my designs. I do some of the more intricate designs on the computer using my Wacom drawing pad.
Q:How do you decorate for Christmas?
A:Big. It usually takes me about 2 weeks to decorate. We always have a natural un-sheared Balsam tree. Un-sheared means that it has never been trimmed to give it the perfect triangle tree shape. This means the branches are sticking out every which way – basically a tree that no one wants but me. Our home has ten foot ceilings so it calls for a very tall tree. I usually use about 1200 lights, which takes a full day. I also like to use a lot of fresh greenery, holly, winterberries and of course quilts in my decorating.
Q:How do you plan to incorporate Nature’s Christmas in your holiday decor this year?
A: I drape each bed in both the house and cabin with Christmas quilts during the month of December. Since I design a line of Christmas fabric every year I always have fresh quilts for the beds. This year it will be quilts from Nature’s Christmas.
Q:What is your favorite holiday tradition?
A:Using my Grandmother’s green plaid dishes on Christmas Eve and Mom’s Red Velvet cake topped with a double batch of frosting.