KK: Tell me a little more about what crafts you do. What do you like to make?
MJF: I love to do all kinds of things, but am probably best at sewing. I love love love matching fabric and patterns, and compared to writing, sewing is instant gratification!
KK: When did you learn to do crafts?
MJF: When I was 14, my mom told me she didn’t have time to sew for both of us, so she started me out making simple drawstring shorts and halter tops. When I was in high school, I worked in the fabric department at the local five and dime. All my money went back to them for fabric! Some nights I’d go home from work and make an outfit to wear the next day!
KK: Have you ever given a craft to a character? How did you go about it? What research did it require?
MJF: Not that I can recall. I do have a heroine in a future novel who’s a gardener and will be opening a nursery. I’ve been pinning ideas for her nursery on Pinterest, lol.
KK: What effect does your writing have on your crafting and vice-versa? Does one fall off when the other is stronger, or do they synergize?
MJF: Oh, the writing definitely falls off when I craft. Last summer I managed to balance it pretty well–I’d write in the morning and sew for an hour when All My Children was on 😉 Then at the end of summer I got a new machine and started making things like purses, e-book reader covers and laptop bags, you know, when you see some cool fabric but you’re not sure what to do with it? So I barely wrote in the fall. So far this summer, I’ve spent more time on crafts than writing, mainly because I have a lot of nervous energy and can’t sit still!
|Look at the interesting fabric effects in the center of this design! Wow! -KK|
KK: What do you dream of making when you have the time or skills?
MJF: Something retro, like from the 40s or 50s. There was a time, before I got serious about writing, that I could make anything if I just sat down to it. These days I just don’t trust myself to try. Also, I avoid labor-intensive crafts, especially when I know I should be writing.
KK: Where do you get ideas for your crafts?
MJF: Pinterest! Evil, evil Pinterest! Although I’ve been inspired by Project Runway, or even just seeing things at the store. Nothing will inspire me to sew like seeing a $400 skirt.
MJ Fredrick knows about chasing dreams. Twelve years after she completed her first novel, she signed her first publishing contract. Now she divides her days between teaching fourth grade students how to write, and diving into her own writing—traveling everywhere in her mind, from Belize to Honduras to Africa to the past.
|MJ says, “Here are two I’ll probably never make.”|
|MJ says, “Going to make this fabric in this pattern.”|
|MJ says, “Going to make this fabric in one of these patterns.”
|MJ says, “I think I may already have this pattern but I bought it anyway!”|
LOL. I just got another email from MJ, and she wants to make this skirt on Pinterest.
I think we’re going to have to bring MJ back in a month or two and see what she’s made, yes? Yes! MJ, come baaaack!