CHRISTY G. COLLINS BIO:
If this were feudal England, I would fit right in! I LOVE all things folk art! Drop me off at a Renaissance or Living History fair & I’m in heaven. That’s probably because I grew up making things with both of my parents and grandparents.
I first learned to quilt when I was 5 years old. I remember carrying my “blankey” around with me & playing under my grandmother’s quilt frame. That particular day I sat under the quilt watching her needle go up and down & I just wanted to do what she was doing. So, when I asked, she threaded a needle & showed me how to sew on my baby blanket. A few years later, I sat in nearly the same spot and learned how to make my first 9-patch square.
My mom sewed clothes, knitted and crocheted. She taught me to knit and crochet when I was 6. Most people don’t realize that it used to be normal for a 5-6 year old to begin learning those skills. I will forever be grateful that they recognized my interest and took the time to patiently share their knowledge with me.
My dad also took me along with him everywhere he went. If he had a project to work on around the house; I got to help. As the years went by, I became more and more proficient with the tools in his shop and eventually taught myself wood sculpture and carving. We had some of our best talks over a lathe and belt sander- or outside digging a ditch or painting the porch.
Invention came naturally to me because it was something that my whole family did. My mom experimented with recipes and continually tried new crafts. She made alterations to patterns with ideas that she had and just worked at it until she figured it out. I don’t think there was anything in or on the property that my dad didn’t Jimmy-Rig, usually with our assistance running errands and handing him tools. The mentality in our home was simply to “figure it out.” If you came up against something that you didn’t know how to do you experimented until you figured it out. If you had a bunch of scraps from Mom & Grandma’s projects and you wanted new baby-doll clothes, you got a pair of scissors and needle & you figured it out! What it looked like was another story- but hey! The accomplishment was awesome!
I remember one of the only vacations we saved up for and took was a trip to see family several states away. On the way back home, we passed through Cherokee, NC. At one of the tourist traps I found a cheap tom-a-hawk that I was just dying to have. My dad refused to pay the couple of dollars it cost for something that would break in 5 minutes. He told us that we would make one instead.
So, when we went back to the campsite; that’s what we did. We went down to the stream & picked out the perfect rock and stick. Then he showed us how to strip the bark off of the stick, which we though was pretty awesome! After that he used the axe to split the sticks a little bit at the time & had mom help us boil them for awhile until they were pliable. Once the wood was soft enough to shape, we inserted the stones and used some twine he had in the camper to wrap the stone into place. Then we used charcoal from the fire to decorate them! It was the BEST. VACATION. EVER! I kept that thing for years. And I will never forget the lesson that I learned from making that tomahawk. When you want something, look around, find the right materials & make it yourself! That’s what I’ve done with Yosaic™ Quilting. I’ve taken scraps of fabric and turned it into a new art form that is uniquely my own- & I’m excited to share it here with you!
*PS- The yellow blouse that I’m wearing in the picture is the first one that I made by myself as an adult! I dyed the fabric and made adjustments to the pattern. It was the beginning of a great journey!
Degree: Elementary Ed from Penn State, 3.86 GPA
Certification in Art K-12
Concentration in Spanish
2 Years Business and Marketing, Allegheny College of Maryland
10+ years Business Marketing/Advertising, Average 63% account growth annually! (That’s 4-8x’s the average sales!)
5+ years teaching: Spanish, Art, & English as a 2nd Language (also wrote Spanish K-3 Curriculum)
Inventor of new form of quilting- coming soon to this website!
Quilting, Sewing Clothes, & Embroidery
Painting, Drawing, Wood Carving & Amateur Photography
Knitting & Crochet
Baking, Canning, and Healthy Cooking (+ recipe experimentation)
Camping, Hiking, & Fun with Family!
WHAT I’D LIKE TO LEARN:
Spinning (yarn making)
Smocking (a sewing technique)
Gardening (I’m learning right now)
WHERE I’VE BEEN:
Western United States: Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Park, Glacier National Park, The Grand Canyon, Temple Square during the 2002 Olympics!, Mountain drive through Colorado!
Washington DC/ Baltimore/ NYC
WHERE I’D LIKE TO GO:
Any number of Folk Art Schools and/or living history camps! (We’ve got a fabulous one right here in Somerset, PA at the http://www.somersethistoricalcenter.org. Barrel Making or Maple Sugaring anyone???) *Not an affiliate- just an amazing living history center!
A Quilting or Knitting Cruise