Saturday, October 9, 2010

Second Saturday Giveaway: Win Owl Print Cotton Lunch Bag by Amy of Made with Luv!

Posted by Crystal

For our October Second Saturday Giveaway, we are featuring Made with Luv by Amy Kelsey!  Amy was one of the crafters YOU asked to see featured back in September.

Amy is also the Director of Sales & Merchandising for Flint Handmade and was kind enough to allow me to come over to take pictures on very short notice.  The second Saturday of October just snuck up on me!

This is Amy in her upstairs sewing corner with big windows and gorgeous natural light!  I had to ask Amy about her workspace:

"Last year my oldest son graduated high school and vacated his roomy digs in our basement. He left behind a large storage/shelving unit from IKEA and a roomy, well lit space. I moved in my 3 sewing machines, ironing board, some storage furniture, a retro 50's era metal and chrome table and a couple of desks. I made sure there was a spot for the iPod dock, and computer, two essentials if I am going to work for any length of time w/o going crazy.

I created an ideal workspace-It is spacious, comfortable, private and secluded from the rest of the house. I worked down there for about 2 months, and then promptly moved my machine back upstairs to the heart of the house, and addition that we added on to my old farmhouse about 6 years ago. Crazy, right? I know, I know.

However, I found that the benefits of having a work space that I could walk away from and leave a mess, and that housed every bit of my junk efficiently, could not overcome the disadvantage of being separated from the rest of the family and views of the outdoors and sunshine. I guess that at the end of the day, atmosphere is as, if not more, important to the creative spirit as convenience and organization for me." 

Well, it turns out Amy has two workspaces!  We took a trip downstairs to the basement room that houses the majority of her supplies and finished products.  The entire room is strung with festive colored lights.

I had to laugh when I saw these Expedit cubbie shelves from IKEA!  Not only do I have this EXACT 5 x 5 cubbie configuration in my craftroom, you may recall from our September Second Saturday Giveaway post, that Steph of Frankenstitch Productions also has 4 x 4 cubbie shelves.  Crafters love cubbies!

Crafters also love fabric!  I gasped when I saw how much gorgeous, color-coordinated fabric Amy had on her shelves.  I had to get some close-ups of all the different colors/themes, including...

...brown... and yellow...

...and kid's prints and polka dots!

But, even more amazing than the lovely stacks of raw fabric are the bags and purses and bibs Amy makes with the fabric!  She has a great system for storing her bags once they are finished.

She keeps a clothing rack with shower curtain hooks in her basement to hang her finished products.  This way, the bags don't get wrinkled, the bright colors liven up the space and she can be proud of at all of her hard work on display!

Amy also has an empty wooden box that she is thinking about using to store smaller finished products.

It was passed down to Amy from her mother, who kept her knitting in the box.  We love intergenerational family craftiness!

Well, with as much space and time as she dedicates to Made with Luv, it was obvious to me that Amy is very committed to handcrafting!  I had to ask Amy how she got into crafting in the first place:

"Crafting sort of snuck up on me. I have always been enthralled with creating things, that high that you get when something comes out better than you imagined it would. My mother and grandmother have always been makers, but of the type who never are willing to admit to being creative; by their own description they "only" followed patterns.

It wasn't until I started making tattoo inspired baby bibs (the first few were gifts, which led to requests, which led to retail sales) that I had the confidence to begin to believe that people would actually pay me for my designs."

And, what awesome designs she creates!  Amy has clotheslines in her basement where she hangs her works-in-progress.  She had several projects featuring her original bag structure and decoration designs hanging on the line when I stopped by, including a handpainted owl bag on green fabric.

I asked Amy where gets the inspiration for all of her cute handpainted and applique decorations for her bags.  She showed me a small glass curio cabinets featuring dozens of charming little porcelain figurines that looked like they could have come right out of a Disney movie.

Although Amy often creates her own patterns for her bags, she also has a small library of crafting books in her basement workspace for more inspiration.  She keeps the books in an old wooden crate turned on its side, which creates a really cozy display.

Did you notice the adorable mason jar diorama above?  Amy bought it from Koliye of The Living Thread at a Flint Handmade Craft Market.  We love when crafters support other crafters!

In fact, Amy is very supportive of other crafters...especially her business partner and friend, Stefanie!  I asked Amy about how she came up with the name Made with Luv for her crafts:

"The company name was actually the idea of my business partner, Stefanie. She is also the one who encouraged me to begin trying to sell my things and started the website/blog for Made with Luv. The company is really her baby, but I have been so happy to share custody! She lives in San Diego, California, and came up with the idea for Made with Luv about 3 years ago. I send my things to sell in CA, she sends me what she creates to sell here in MI, and together we maintain "stefaniewithluv," our Etsy store."

Amy mostly makes bags and bibs for Made with Luv and Stefanie mostly makes pillows and pouches.  One of Amy's favorite materials to work with is vibrant glitter vinyl.

Because glitter vinyl is so thick, Amy had to buy a special heavy duty sewing machine on Ebay to work with the material.

This is Amy's glorious vintage Kenmore named Stella.  I about died when I saw this beautiful piece of machinery.  The color, the finish, the silver scroll design by the needle...SWOON!

Amy has already made so many gorgeous projects with Stella, but I had to ask her what projects she would like to work on in the future:

"I would like to someday make aprons, but they are a little cost prohibitive right now. I design my own purses, and some of my future designs are chomping at the bit to become reality. One bag will be a bowling bag inspired purse made with the glitter vinyl that I love so much. I would also like to do more with the handpainted designs that I have been experimenting with.

Most of my the ideas in my head are bags and purses...I have never really been thrilled with choices that are available in stores, so my mind is always whirring to come up with something that incorporates features that I like in store bought bags but displays some individuality and personality at the same time."

Amy and I went back upstairs so she could show me one of her newer purse designs.

At first, I thought it was just a vinyl and floral print bag.  Then, I realized it was a Day of the Dead print...with glitter, no less!  It reminded me of a Day of the Dead quilt that Flint Handmade featured in the 2010 Festival of Quilts.  It appears to be a popular theme with crafters!

The sunlight just looked so beautiful streaming in upstairs that I had to grab a photo of her thread in front of the window.

Doesn't it just look so picturesque and inspiring in her backyard?!?

I wanted to see more of Amy's crafting tools, so she showed me her bobbin holder, magnetic pin holder and scissors.

Look closely and you can see that the pin holder is in the shape of a cute birdie.  Amy loves her little animal inspirations!

I wrapped up with Amy by asking about her favorite crafting tool:

"Right at the moment, my favorite crafting tool is my pair of thread nippers from Gingher. They weigh 2 oz, and are very small, so that I can sew along with them in my cloth-guiding hand and they never get in the way, they are waiting to nip threads at the end of every seam. In addition, they are razor sharp, very pointy, and swiftly remove seams and boo-boos. At $20, they are a little pricey, but are very high quality, and with a half off Joann's coupon, quite a deal!"

Personally, I think Amy is the real deal...and I am super excited to have one of her creations for our October Second Saturday Giveaway!

We are giving away a brand new style of bag from Made with Luv!  This 100% cotton lunch bag features a velcro closure and carrying handle.  The charming owl print is perfect for everyone!  The bag measures 6 x 6 x 10 inches and can fit tons of delicious food.  It's reusable, eco-friendly and sooooo cute!

For YOUR chance to win the Owl Lunch Bag (valued at $10), just complete steps A and B:

A) Follow Flint Handmade via the blog, Twitter, Google Reader or whatever newfangled "following application" tickles your fancy. Or, if you don't do the whole following thing, email us at and we will add you to our email list.

B) Leave us a comment in response to this blog post by 5pm on Saturday, October 16, 2010 answering the following 2 questions:

1) How did you follow us?

2) What is YOUR favorite name for a sewing machine?  It can be the name of a machine you own or dream of owning or is owned by a friend...we just loved that Amy named her machine Stella and we want to hear more great sewing machine names!

Please be sure to answer BOTH questions to qualify for the drawing. 

The winner will be selected at random and posted on the blog within one week after the deadline.  We hope to hear from YOU and we hope you enjoyed our October Second Saturday Giveaway!


  1. I am following via twitter
    perfect name for a sewing machine= terminator

    I love the set up Amy Kate!! Great article and nice photos ladies--- I also love the lunch bag!! <3

  2. I follow you via Google Reader :)

    I haven't officially named my main sewing machine, but I affectionately called it "The Devil" for a while - this was because shortly after receiving it as a Christmas gift, I managed to stitch through my finger bone with it while quilting. We have since made up though :)

    Also, I am super jealous of Amy's craft space and all of her gorgeous fabrics!

  3. Amy is the best, and the fact she went from never sewing a bag to designing her own in a matter of months blows my mind!

  4. I follow through facebook and e-mail.

    I think the name Clyde would be appropriate for an awesome sewing machine capable of heavy duty sewing. (sort of how Clydesdale's are known for pulling heavy loads) (but I promise the name Clyde came to me before I made that connection)

  5. Follow via Facebook and emails...
    My machine is named Ginger... As in red-headed step-child (sad and neglected :)
    Great piece on great crafty mama. Very inspiring - well done!

  6. I follow via email.

    I think I would name my sewing machine Ziggy, after Ziggy Stardust. :)

  7. I follow via email.

    I would name my sewing machine Ziggy, after Ziggy Stardust. :)

  8. I follow Flint Handmade via email, Facebook, Twitter and good old-fashioned stalking (hee hee).

    I used to have a Viking sewing machine that I liked to call Thor. Now I have a Bernina which doesn't have a name - maybe I'll call it Bernie!

  9. I follow via Facebook and mailing list and love Amy's work! I think the name Sue would be good sturdy name for my grandmother's old sewing machine that I am too scared to use!

  10. I follow via email and blogger. I think that Emily would be a good name for my Mom's sewing machine that I sometimes use.

  11. I follow via email. I think "Coser" would be a good name for a sewing machine. It means "to sew" in Spanish. :-) Great blog, I love Amy's bags and own an owl purse already.

  12. I follow by facebook adn email.
    My machine's name is gertrude, she is German.
    I am ver jealous of the veiw from your work station, how wonderful!

  13. I follow via email. I love the name "Sue" the sewing machine. Great article...I feel inspired to break out Sue and get some sewing done! Thanks!

  14. I follow you online.
    Phoebe is a great name for a sewing machine.