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Meet Kayleigh - Craft Associate

In late summer of 2021 we realized that now that the shop was actually open seven days a week and the rush of fall and holiday crafting was on the horizon that we needed in-person support. Molly and Virginia zoomed with Kayleigh, who loves all sorts of crafts and is an awesome illustrator, too, AND had recently relocated to the area. Kayleigh's experience at a big box craft store meant they had experienced holiday rushes (the likes we probably will never experience) and massive restocks and could navigate themselves around a variety of crafts and skill levels. By now you've probably met Kayleigh on a busy Saturday cutting fabric or checking folx out. Or received a postcard with their signature. We're lucky to have them not just on the sales floor but also behind the scenes making sure orders are received and stock is accurate.

When did you start making things?
Somewhere in the early 2000s, I remember taking sewing classes with my sister, Alayna, and our mutual childhood friend, Kelsey. I think that was my first time using a sewing machine. Without access to one of my own, I’d stitch little plush creatures by hand. Sock critters were a popular group-make in our trio (we made a sock dog club and everything)!

What's your favorite thing to make?
It’s a two-way tie between zipper pouches and soft dolls. I’ve sewn many zippered bags at this point, and recently experimented with quilting the outer panels. I love how patchwork, hand-quilted details, and coordinating Kona can highlight my favorite fabrics/patterns! I also never grew out of my childhood fondness for dolls, and over time taught myself to crochet in the round with the goal of making amigurumi. I’m most proud of these alien creatures called “boodledoops”—they are my most ambitious creations, and incorporate the double-crochet stitch and colorwork. Pleesh, the first boodle, turned 6 years old in September!

What is the thing you have enjoyed the most about joining the gather here team?
My coworkers and shop visitors alike inspire me to keep making, improve my skills, and try new things! I don’t think I’d be as emotionally invested in crafting sweaters, stitching my own clothes, or scheming new doll designs without the creative community that gather here opened up for me.

What's your favorite tool?
You can’t go wrong with a trusty project bag (or five). It gives me peace of mind to know that all of my project essentials are safely tucked away, ready to travel with me for on-the-go stitching.

What do you want to learn to make?
I’d love to branch out and try more garment stitching! Currently daydreaming of a sleeveless Hinterland Dress, with knitted socks to follow.

What do you do when you aren't making things?
This one’s tricky, since I’m almost always making something. If it’s not fiber-related, I’m dreaming up fictional stories/characters to illustrate. I also enjoy playing cozy video games and self-learning Japanese.

What has been a source of joy during the pandemic?
Most fiber crafts have continued to bring me joy in the pandemic, especially knitting. I’m nearing a one-year anniversary with working on a sweater, and it gets closer to completion with every round. Having a tangible record of progress is something very unique to the craft world, and also the part that I love the most.

To follow Kayleigh's creative journey on Instagram: @soft.egg.friend  

And for their awesome art and illustration checkout their website: