Friday, January 11, 2008


Alysa began sewing in a junior high home economics class, where the first project was a pencil bag. "I was so proud to use something that I had made myself," she says. "After that I sewed off and on with my mom's help for a few years." But she engaged with sewing in earnest during college when her sister-in-law taught her how to make patchwork quilts. "I made quilts for everyone and loved it." The quilts were followed by baby blankets, then bibs and burp cloths as gifts. Then she had a baby of her own (Joe, as you might have guessed) and found out that the things she made worked better than anything store-bought. "The absorbency and stain-resistance amazed me! I thought I should share my baby items with others."

Then she found Etsy. It seemed the perfect venue not only for her handmade baby items, but for other things she can sew as well. Now she makes bags and pillow covers as well, and is looking forward to including some fun headbands and covered buttons in her shop. The different items allow her to work with unique vintage fabrics -- her only problem is too many ideas and not enough time.

Fabric inspires her. "My favorite thing is to go searching for vintage fabric. I have a great little store near me where I walk in the door and the owner goes right to her fabric closet and pulls out funky, bold, bright vintage fabric for me to look at. It is so fun and I love to imagine what I will make with each piece. Sometimes the fabric is so nice and so unique that I just hold on to it for a while because I want to make sure that I use it in the best way possible. I don't want to waste it!"

Joemomma is the name of her shop, which has recently been joined by a destash shop as well.

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