Finding your Passion with Ponderosa

Today we’re introducing and spotlighting Paige Anderson, the face behind Ponderosa. Paige’s sewing story begins before she was born. Her family has a strong tradition and makes sure their sewing skills pass with each generation. Starting as an ecologist, Paige studied the ponderosa pine trees for her candidacy. Inspired by her past work in the eco field, Paige wanted a way to tie her love for nature with her quilting, thus naming her brand after the beautiful pine tree – Ponderosa.

Inspired by trees, the back to the land movement, 2000s alien movies, and womanhood as a whole, Paige focuses on bright colors that merge well to create pieces that flow and feel balanced. As time has gone by, she’s found inspiration in multiple things from vintage fashion and home goods to ceramics and murals. Currently, Paige’s work focuses on freeform curves and semicircles.

As a mother, Paige transferred her career from ecology to creating a business as an artist. While she first feared that a journey like this wouldn’t be feasible, she found this to be her truest passion!

“After having my child, I switched gears from being in the ecology field to wanting something I could do with my daughter in tow. Up until that point, I had always told myself that being an artist wasn’t a feasible career path for me, but… it’s the only one I’m passionate about. “

Ponderosa was created to bring quilting into the everyday world. Working on our JUKI TL-2010Q, Paige knows the importance of speed! Designing and creating accessible goods like bandanas, keychains, pouches, and totes, Paige has been able to share her products again and again. Off the path of trends, Paige likes to focus on what speaks to her personally! Her proudest work to date has been a large quilt project she’s currently working on based on a landscaping painting she created, a difficult task she’s proud of, but one Paige says might not happen again!

The future of Ponderosa is a bright one, JUKI lovers! Paige’s next dream goal is to open up a maker’s co-op in Olympia, Washington. Currently, Paige is looking for a space with an abundance of natural light, room for makers in the back, and a retail space upfront. With her friends in tow, Paige is currently working on her master plan and hoping to make this dream a reality. She hopes to see you there once this dream is completed!

If you’re interested in learning more about Paige and her work, visit her on her pages! We’ll link them down below for you.

Click here to Ponderosa Creative Instagram!

Click here to shop Ponderosa Creative!

The Little Green Bean

Credit: The Little Green Official Site

Located in Minnesota, you can find Missy Luukkonen, owner of the Little Green Bean! Born and raised in Duluth, Missy fell in love with sewing in high school and has been sewing crafts, quilts, and many other projects for over 20 years. This is all thanks to an extraordinary teacher.

Starting as a hobby, Missy was working full time in a profession she loved and coming home to sewing projects as a way to relax. What began as something to do in her free time slowly grew with each new project. Missy was making burlap tote bags when she started an Etsy shop for the fun of it, not realizing how well it would grow! After saving up her Etsy shop money and taking her husband and two sons on vacation, she thought the shop would be a great side business, but it continued to evolve.

Credit: The Little Green Bean – Instagram

As time went on, she found that her side gig was becoming a full-time job. Once she realized her small business continued growing, Missy decided to take a chance on her dream. Thus The Little Green Bean was here to stay! The products on her online store are constantly changing by customers’ suggestions. Missy makes these suggestions come to life with the help of her husband, who now happily works and runs the shop as well.  After her husband, Chris, joined, they settled on a great dynamic, Missy handles most of the designing, and Chris does the production. With both partners jumping back and forth with ideas, they make an accomplished team.

One project they’re very proud of is the “Monthly Gnome“! Each month, Missy and her husband create a sweet gnome, that is new, and original in design. These little gnomes can be a one-time purchase or a monthly subscription if you’re a collector.

Credit: The Little Green Bean – Missy

Missy’s shop has continued to evolve as she’s always working on different ideas. Ever since Missy was a child, she was always making something. Not being afraid to try new things, Missy goes for it when a new idea pops up. While getting the perfect pattern may take several attempts to perfect, she’s always ready to learn along the way. One type of project she tends to stay away from is clothing, “I have never liked sewing clothes though, I’ll make PJ pants for my kids, but that’s about as far as I go with clothing!”

We recommend checking out Missy’s breath-taking workshop on her socials! Wanting her work area to be different from the rest of her home, Missy imagined her space to be bright and happy. Using fun and bright colors, Missy was able to create a space that was inviting and fed her the good energy she likes to work with. Cleanly organized and with perfect space for her JUKI’s the TL-2000Qi and MO-6700, every day Missy spends her time in her cottage and garage making the next big thing.

To learn more about Missy and her family business, check out her website here! Make sure to check into Missy’s socials as well for an inside look into her shop and home life at on Pinterest and Instagram.

How Its Sewn with Nicole Chen

Nicole Chen
Asymmetrical Cotton Seersucker Dress by Nicole Chen

Hello everyone, today we’re excited to introduce a fellow JUKI Lover, Nicole Chen! Read on to learn more about Nicole’s journey on becoming a sewer in 2020 as she shares her experiences in picking up her new go-to hobby.

As a fashion retail buyer in New York and a student pursuing her fashion design certification by night, Nicole always loved the process of creating- and in her case, making clothing! During the beginning of quarantine, Nicole began documenting her sewing journey on social media including Instagram @Howitssewn and website Howitssewn.com for people to join her as she learns new techniques on each project.

“It’s my main creative outlet and makes me feel so happy and fulfilled, especially when I can see my improvement over time.”

Joining the wave of new sewers, she began by taking apart and upcycling her old clothes, giving them a new life. As she gradually improved with the help of videos, she designed and drafted original sewing patterns.

“I love the challenge and design freedom that self-drafting allows, but the process from pattern to clothing is a lot of trial and error. There is no escaping this, but each mistake teaches me something new!”

Floral Print Ruffled Linen Dress By Nicole Chen

As Nicole continued to grow, she ventured out to find inspiration for her projects. Her recommendation? Look into the Google Arts and Culture collection, an online museum created during quarantine. This application has helped people escape their homes and explore a beautiful and awe-inspiring online exhibit with artwork, images, and cultural artifacts from around the world. She explains it’s a free application allowing you access to gain inspiration from any fashion museum and art gallery they have on display. Her favorite artist to follow is Zimmermann, for their fun and flirty pieces, and Alexander McQueen, for their technically intricate clothing.

Early on in Nicole’s sewing journey, she told herself she would learn a new technique for every project she worked on as a way to challenge herself. Having an infinite amount of possibilities at her disposal, Nicole is currently learning about curves and movements of the human body and how to rein the designs she wants.

Nicole’s advice for newcomers? Sewing is 80% preparation and 20% actual sewing. Taking the time and care to prepare everything beforehand like fabrics, pattern truing, and cutting sets you up for a win!

A JUKI lover like us, Nicole invested in her first JUKI serger last year, the JUKI MO-654DE! After being recommended by friends and online sources, she claims it as one of her best sewing decisions, here’s some advice below from Nicole on how to choose the best serger for yourself.

Juki MO-654DE

“To save you the time, here are my top 3 aspects to look for in your first serger:

1. Color-Coded Threading System. The last thing you want is to spend half an hour changing your thread color. The 4-color coded system is great for visual learners and is super intuitive.

2. Adjustable Differential Feed. This is a must-have if you often work with knits and stretchy fabrics. This is the trick to create those beautiful lettuce hems!

3. High-Quality Knife Blade. This is, arguably, the most satisfying part of serging. A good blade will cut smoothly through your excess seam allowances and leave you with neatly finished edges.”

As the new year continues to bring in new sewers, we’re so excited to share with you their accomplishments. To learn more about Nicole and keep up with her quilting journey, follow her on Instagram today @HowItsSewn or her website HowItsSewn.com!

Urban Quilting with Wendy Chow

Urban Quilting with Wendy Chow
Wendy Chow – photographed by
Rachel Kuzma

Welcome JUKI Lovers to a new book we enjoy! The “Urban Quilting: Quilt patterns for the Modern-Day Home” by Wendy Chow is one of our new book recommendations for beginners and experts alike. Each of the 10 quilt patterns has detailed instructions for making quilts in different sizes. The book is beginner-friendly and has everything you need to know to get started in creating beautiful quilts.

Wendy Chow, an Aussie modern quilter and pattern designer based in New York, focuses on bold, unique color combinations and geometric shapes inspired by architecture, interior design, and nature. From the age of four, Wendy was transfixed by sewing, but it was not until high school where she began her quilting journey. Using quilting as an escape from the real world, Wendy created quilts and designs that helped her through her days at her corporate job.

Wendy’s love for quilting brought her to a dream opportunity when her publishers found her on social media and offered a publishing deal. “Never in my wildest dreams, I’d envision myself writing a book one day. The opportunity randomly presented itself when my publisher, Blue Star Press, contacted me after they saw my work on Instagram. At the time I was still trying to figure out whether to continue to pursue this new creative career path or to go back to my daily grind in the corporate world. But we all know what happens at the end,” Wendy stated when asked what brought her to venture out to the publishing world.

Urban Quilting: Quilt patterns for the Modern-Day Home – photographed by
Rachel Kuzma

It was hard to choose, but one of the designs we loved most at JUKI is found on page 34. The bold design is perfect for those wanting to learn a new skill in quilting since it features Half-Square Triangles; a common motif in designs perfect for those still learning. Wendy teaches you how to create this design by constructing multiple Half-Square Triangles in record time with one of her favorite tricks. You won’t want to miss this! All of Wendy’s designs also have levels from “beginner” to “advanced beginner” written under each design, making this book great for those just starting or wanting to expand their quilting horizons.

Find your own “Urban Quilting: Quilt Patterns for the Modern-Day Home” by Wendy Chow at the following locations below to begin your quilting journey today.

Purchase at the following online retailers:

Amazon

Book Depository

Barnes and Noble

If you enjoyed the book, what part did you enjoy most?

Share your quilting journey with us!

JUKI Feature: Wendy Chow, Modern Quilter & Designer

Happy February, JUKI artisans! This month we are featuring the quilting story, inspirations, and progress of modern quilter and designer, Wendy Chow. Keep scrolling to read!

Quilting is an art form that has continued to thrive after centuries. Today, quilts are not only seen as a utility to provide warmth, but they also represent us and our story. I hope to pass down this creative legacy through my modern designs. 

“Today, quilts are not only seen as a utility to provide warmth, but they also represent us and our story.”

My name is Wendy and I’m an Aussie modern quilter and pattern designer based in New York City. I have a deep love for prints and patterns. My designs feature bold, unique colour combinations and geometric shapes inspired by architecture, interior design and nature.

I was exposed to sewing from a ripe age of four. Mum used to make her own dress patterns and sewed all sorts of things for my sisters and I, including bedsheets, curtains, dresses, costumes and pajamas. Hovering over mum, watching what she was working on, made me curious. I wanted to learn how to use a sewing machine. However, her fear of my getting the needle stuck in my finger got in the way and I had to wait until high school home economics class. 

With the basics from school, I taught myself how to quilt. Quilting was introduced to me in 2015 when my sister spent most of her spare time making quilts for friends and family in my parents’ dining room. Eventually quilting became my escape from my hectic corporate job. It was a creative outlet and the thought of my projects helped me get through the long hours in the office. This was the start of the.weekendquilter. 

“It was a creative outlet and the thought of my projects helped me get through the long hours in the office.”

I got my first Juki nearly a year ago and absolutely love it. My husband bought it for me as a thank you gift for moving to the other side of the world for him. I chose the Juki HZL-NX7 for its large workspace for throw and queen-sized quilts, and the straight stitch and dual-feed dog functions make domestic quilting a breeze. With the automatic thread trimmer function, I have also saved hours and spools of thread from not having to trim any loose threads on the back of my quilt tops. Since the upgrade, I haven’t visited a long arm quilter and my quilting experience has been much more enjoyable. 

Follow Wendy’s story on Instagram, @the.weekendquilter.