Hello, I'm Erika. (A Re-introduction)


Hi! Thanks for stopping by my blog, I'm Erika. I started this blog 14 years ago to connect with other creative people and share what I make. It's been a long while since I posted anything like a personal introduction. I never know what to say about myself, but I'm taking this opportunity to tell you about me - so please leave a comment and let me know a thing or two about you, too!

I live in the actual city of Chicago (not outside the city and still saying "Chicago" if you get my drift) with my husband and teen-angst daughter. Besides calling Chicago home I have lived all across Illinois, from Makanda to Urbana and Oak Park.

So, you can probably already tell that I love sewing. My mom taught me to use her simple Singer sewing machine when I was a kid, and my first projects were little stuffed toys and doll clothes.

I followed my passion for art and sewing to earn a Fine Arts degree in Fiber Arts and received an award for excellence in undergraduate art (check out the newspaper clipping, I look so young!). I work to share my passion for sewing through my artwork and through teaching others how to sew. It isn't a full-time gig yet, but I am so happy for the opportunity to teach others and hope to see my classes, workshops, and lectures grow in the coming years. I also couldn't make it happen without the support of my husband and family!

I am a bit obsessed with old and vintage things and am pretty good at collecting junk. I have gathered old sewing machines, books, cars, irons, sewing notions, sewing patterns, clothing, eyeglasses, aprons, and fabrics. Sometimes I outgrow the stuff I've collected, and let go of many things (and entire groups of things) to make room for the collections I use and love.

I do really, really enjoy my vintage and antique sewing machines! I mean, just the simple action of sewing with a vintage machine makes me feel all tingly. I don't actively collect as much as I used to because I already own most of the models that I want, and I enjoy sewing with all of them.

We have two cats, a brother and sister pair adopted a few years ago, and they are lovable jerks. Bea Arthur is the little one (I say little because she is smaller than her bro at 12 pounds) and Sir Isaac Newton is larger (I say larger but really he's overweight at 17 pounds).

I worked as an employee for BERNINA of America in several capacities from 2005 through 2020, such as Executive Assistant to the President, National Educator, and blog contributor/technical editor for BERNINA's WeAllSew blog (that's my old BERNINA blogging teammate above). Although I left in 2020 to pursue my own career as an artist and educator, I still have a partnership with BERNINA to supply educational content for the blog and other educational avenues.

I have a fantastic sewing space on the second floor of our house that includes a little lounge area, it is a pleasure to be in the space and work! It was a great refuge to have the space through the pandemic, which was a really tough time for my family (I made a lot of quilts in 2020-2021). We lost my stepfather in the spring of 2020 and I'm not sure if my mother has recovered from losing him, things have been hard for her.

I'm the kind of person who tends to go quiet when stuff hits the fan, and I probably went a little too "hermit" in those years. It's still difficult for me to get out and be social, and I find myself struggling sometimes with feeling left out of what's happening - but I'm making an effort to get out of the house more this year!

I'll leave you with the fact that I am a huge Star Trek nerd. The classics like TOS, TNG, and DS9. I'm not sure what I have more of in the house - models of the Enterprise NCC-1701 or sewing machines? 🖖🏻😁 Live long and prosper!

Nice to meet you! Tell me, do you collect anything special - what are you passionate about?


Eliu said…
I’m passionate about using reclaimed materials in my art.

Your For Mom really stood out for me in Raleigh. I had to revisit it several times.
Erika Mulvenna said…
Thanks so much @Eliu for checking out my "For Mom" quilt! I really like the way you reuse denim for your work. Cheers!
Lier said…
Hello, its nice to read about you, in my case i really enjoy art and animation and it is what im pursuing in life, but i don't think i collect anything specfic, mostly cuz i dont have somewhere to place and keep them haha, but i do enjoy finding antiques and looking at them, is fun

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