Beverly McCullough is an at-home DIY queen & one our beloved Project Designers. She is the voice and the talent behind Flamingo Toes, a super cute crafting/sewing/DIY blog. Whether she’s giving tips on how to recreate that stunning must-have Anthropologie necklace or showing you how to make an adorable summer clutch, Bev’s posts never fail to captivate. They’ve already captured the attention of thousands of fans! Beverly is a woman on life-long quest to create, enjoy and inspire and doesn’t mind a bit that she gets to have a blast while doing it all. She is a West-coast gal and a loving wife and mom. We’re thrilled to have a chance to introduce you to her today!
Pellon Projects: How did you first get started with sewing?
Beverly McCullough: I started sewing pretty young! My mom made a lot of our clothes, plus lots in our rooms – we always had handmade quilts and curtains – all matching of course. So it was pretty natural for me to want to make my own things too. I was so excited to receive my very own (second hand) sewing machine for my 16th birthday.
I also worked in a fabric store all through college and for several years after, so that made a huge difference for me with understanding fabrics and patterns.
PP: Was there an inspiring influence in your life that pushed you in a particular creative direction?
BC: Like I said, my mom was a sewer, so that probably started me in that direction. But I’ve always loved trying different things – quilting, apparel, and accessories. I think since we always had handmade things in the house, it was natural for me to prefer that most of the time to store bought things – or to be able to say, “hey, that’s cute – I’ll make it myself”.
PP: Describe your process a bit… How do you come up with new patterns and how to you move through the steps from idea conception to project completion?
BC: Oh – that’s a tough one. Often I’ll come up with an idea for an item and I’ll sketch it out – along with basic ideas for measurements. Then as I start to create the paper patterns, I’ll lay them out and adjust fit or style depending on how it all looks. Once I have a pretty good idea of the patterns, I’ll cut out the fabric, and then make any further adjustments as I sew. And there’s a lot of hoping and praying the whole thing turns into something cool!
PP: Do you find yourself seeking out other sewers both in your area and in the online arena for inspiration and support?
BC: I definitely look to my friends online for inspiration and support – there are sooo many talented bloggers and sewists online that you can find an huge variety of projects and tools – and you can find such great tutorials on how to do almost anything! Locally I have a great group of friends – we get together for monthly Pinterest parties for crafting and eating. Those are so much fun and so much inspiration.
PP: Your picnic bag & blanket tutorial is one of our top patterns. How did you come up with the idea for the pair and what fabrics did you use?
BC: Wow – that’s so great! I think the idea originally came from talking with the representative from Pellon® about a project to feature, and we came up with the idea of the picnic bag and quilt. I wanted it to be something cute and portable. I love that the quilt folds up and you can carry it in the pocket of the bag. The fabrics are all from Joann’s – they are 100% cotton prints.
PP: What is your absolute favorite thing to create (could be anything, not just something sewn)?
BC: Oh really don’t have a favorite – as I’ve said before I have crafting ADD. And I have to change things up and make different things or I get bored. So I sometimes I just HAVE to sew – but then I have to change it up and make some jewelry or make a fun piece of wall art. I think that’s what keeps creating fun for me.
PP: You’ve got some fabulous projects under your belt (the recent potholders, the sunglasses case, and that fabulous Anthropologie Asterid Coin Purse knock-off to name a few). Any particular favorites?
BC: I am pretty fond of the Simple Clutches I did a few months ago – 4 different clutches using the same pattern. Those were really fun to change around and make different for each version.
PP: What advice do you have for new sewers and crafters out there?
BC: I would love to stress that the project doesn’t have to be perfect. What really matters is that you love it – and you have fun doing it. And the more you make, they better you’ll get. :)
PP: Who is your favorite fabric designer?
BC: I’m a huge Amy Butler fan – we’re redoing my daughter’s room in her fabrics right now. But I also love Heather Bailey and Anna Maria Horner – oh and lots others. I have a slight fabric addiction.
PP: What is your favorite Pellon® product and why?
BC: Oh gosh – that is really hard. I’d probably say both the Fusible Fleece and the Heavy-Duty Stabilizer. They are both so versatile and you can use them in home décor and apparel. Oh – and Wonder-Under®. Can’t forget that.
PP: What is your go-to, can’t-live-without-it tool?
BC: Ha. Probably my seam ripper. Cause I’m so impatient that I don’t always take the time to pin and I usually end up pulling it out to correct my mistakes.
PP: I know that the answer to this question is on your own blog, but I have to ask here, for the benefit of our readers;). Where did the name Flamingo Toes come from?
BC: In coming up with a blog name, I really wanted something fun and quirky – that stood out. I didn’t want to be labeled with one style of crafting. Plus I live by the beach and I’ve always thought flamingos were fun and quirky and cute. Hopefully like my blog. :)
PP: You recently attended the SNAP! Conference in Utah. What was it like to be immersed in a craft and inspiration filled environment like that for 3 days and what did you get out of the experience?
BC: Oh – it was just amazing. Being around 320 women who “get you” makes for an amazing conference. The sessions were packed with info and the whole conference was really well put together. I came back just inspired and fired up to create! And most importantly, I made – and grew – friendships with some seriously talented, fun women!
PP: You mentioned something on your blog about possible changes to your blog in the future. Where do you see the blog heading and do you have any ultimate goals for the future?
BC: Nothing too drastic. :) But I do have a ton of ideas for projects – and I want to be even more proactive about expanding my blog and my opportunities!
We’d like to thank Bev for taking the time to chat with us! We love getting to learn a bit more about the woman behind the designs! For information about Bev, head to her artist page on pellonprojects.com or check out her blog, Flamingo Toes. You can find her on all of the usual online destinations, including Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
Download a FREE pattern for Bev’s Picnic Bag & Blanket right here. We have it on good authority that she’ll have another project available very soon;).
All photos courtesy of Beverly McCullough ©2012 Flamingo Toes