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2019 Women's History Month: Meet Kendra

We wanted to highlight some of our team members that are working behind the scenes daily like our inventory manager, Kendra. Kendra joined the team soon after we moved from Broadway in Mid-Cambridge to Inman Square. We had never had a full-time inventory person and it's been such a relief to have someone on the team dealing with all our suppliers and making sure we never run out of thread or muslin (we still run out of knitting needles but that's supply not meeting demand). You may see Kendra occasionally covering the front desk or processing a special order but for those of you that haven't met the woman working in the stock room full-time for the last couple of years, we hope you enjoy this interview.

When did you start making things?
I couldn’t say when I started making things, that memory is too fuzzy, but I do remember when I started sewing. My mom was a home economics teacher for high school freshmen, specifically the sewing portion of home economics. There was a lot of time spent in the basement family room with my mom watching movies while she was sewing. I was even able to negotiate a later bedtime if I would agree to do the pressing for the quilt she was working on. This would usually buy me another hour or so to stay up, totally worth it.

Once I was old enough and interested she had me stitching lines on paper to practice working on her sewing machine. After awhile I proved I could handle the sewing machine without injury and I started making simple panel dolls and following easy patterns. A few years later I tackled a twin size Amish quilt which I slept under for quite awhile and even entered it into the Fryburg Fair 4-H Exhibition. This first quilt, along with my mom’s interest, got me hooked on quilts early. Soon after that I realized I could come up with my own designs with simple graph paper and have been experimenting with design since that time.

What's your favorite thing to make?
My favorite has always been quilting but for the past couple years I started getting into making garments. Learning how to fit patterns to my body is a skill that I have been wanting to improve for a long time which led me to started taking classes at Gather Here even before working in the stock room. Making clothes that fit is one of the most satisfying things. Especially when you receive a compliment on the garment you make out in the world.

What do you like the most about being a part of the gather here community?
The amazing knowledge and encouragement! Hearing the projects everyone is currently tackling absolutely gives me new ideas and encouragement to try making something outside of my comfort and skill level. It also helps that anytime someone finishes a project we get a new show and tell. Nothing feels better than showing up to work with a new bag or garment that you’ve made and everyone recognizes the hard work you’ve put into it. This doesn’t happen nearly enough outside of maker communities.

What's your favorite tool?
Not really sure I have one specific but my cutting table is pretty high on the list of favorites. Now that I have a larger space to work - my dad built a simple table that I use every time I’m in my sewing room. It’s the perfect height and size for my space and myself and was built using the instructions from Closet Case patterns.

What do you do when you aren't making things?
Lots of hibernating during the winter with cooking, bothering a tiny white cat and card playing. Gin rummy and cribbage are the house favorites. With any luck I’ll be out on the water this summer with kayaking and canoeing.