We are proud to present our May Member of the Month, Shirley Chavez. She is 71 years young and making a big mark on our crafting community with her active participation and serious dedication to Craftsy.
We are most impressed with her handcrafted gifts and truly touched by her kind heart. It is her story about how Craftsy helped her overall health and wellness that landed her in the spotlight, and we don't plan on letting her leave anytime soon.
Without further ado, we really want you to meet Shirley too!
What are you best at when it comes to crafting?
Quilting and knitting.
Shirley made this quilt in the Craftsy Secret Garden Quilt workshop
We completely agree that these crafts are your specialities from all of your beautiful projects. What has been the biggest struggle with your craft?
Just learning new, more modern techniques.
New or old, we love the way you put your crafts together. How did you start your crafting?
I learned sewing, quilting and crochet as a very young child from my grandmother.
Some of Shirley's in progress work in a quilt from Craftsy class Improvisational Piecing, Modern Design
We love when crafting is passed on from generation to generation. What a wonderful way to celebrate creativity. With all of your creativity flowing, how does your craft help manage your stress level?
It takes my mind off things, and I love to create things to give as gifts.
We are so glad you are sharing your talents as gifts. How does working on your craft keep your mind sharp as you age?
I love problem solving as I learn new patterns and techniques. I think that helps keep my mind active. I'll be 71 this month, and I don't feel I have lost any sharpness as a result of my active crafting.
It looks like the problem-solving has done you well. How has Craftsy best helped your overall health and wellness?
I was in my favorite local quilt store showing off the Secret Garden Quilt when a young man came in asking the sales people if they knew a grandmother who makes quilts for her grandchildren, as he had a 33-year-old quilt his grandmother made for him. And, it was getting very worn out. His grandmother is now deceased. So, he wanted a grandmother to make him a quilt to replace it.
I made him one from the same pattern as the Secret Garden Quilt, matching the fabric to his original. He was thrilled. I have a picture of us together with his original quilt and the new one I made him. I didn't know this young man, but I know that the skills I learned in my Craftsy class brought joy to him and me alike. It was challenging to come up with a design and materials similar to his beloved quilt. But, it gave me such a good feeling when I saw his face after I presented his quilt.
We are so touched by this story and couldn't ask for better crafters in our community. You are truly a benefit to us. In what way, do you benefit from crafting at Craftsy the most?
Being able to learn from excellent teachers that I would not get access to any other way.
Fun black and yellow mounted quilt blocks Shirley made in Craftsy Block of the Month 2013
It is wonderful to share our instructors with you and the rest of our members when you may not otherwise have access. What has been your favorite craft/classes at Craftsy? Why?
This is so hard because all of the classes are so good. Laura Nelkin is my favorite teacher because she is so generous and thorough with her teaching.
We absolutely adore Laura too! What class/classes were you happiest to take at Craftsy?
I love them all because there are so many diverse crafts on Craftsy.
It is so nice to make sure there is a craft that fits all of our members. What advice would you give to a large group of Craftsy beginners?
When you enroll for a class; watch the entire class all the way through, make sure to print all of your materials, and start from the beginning to work through your classes. Be sure to ask questions on the class platform.
This is the Secret Garden Quilt Shirley made for her granddaughter!
We couldn't have said it better ourselves and definitely encourage members to take their time with the platform since they have lifetime access. What project did you create that makes you most proud?
The Secret Garden Quilt that I pieced and free motion quilted for my granddaughter.
What a special way to honor your granddaughter and your love for her. For all your generosity, we must ask what class on Craftsy would you most like to see in the future?
A sock knit-along with Laura Nelkin that would also help you calculate making socks in different sizes. I am currently enrolled in the class Knit Original Cuff-Down Socks, which has a lot of good information. But, I like the way that Laura demonstrates the item step-by-step with each type of stitch.
It is always our mission to surprise our members, so we will have to see what is up next for our hard working production team. Where do you find inspiration for new projects?
Everywhere. Many times, when I see something I like, I start thinking about how to use those elements in a project.
With your incredibly sharp mind and beautiful crafting techniques, we are truly inspired by you. Thank you for sharing your story with us and for letting us share your story with the rest of our members.