Sunday, May 31, 2009

Interview with Kim (Kim's Crafty Apple)

Many quilters I know are deeply connected to family and friends. Perhaps because of the slow, often meditative rhythms of cutting, piecing, quilting and binding a blanket or wall-hanging, quilters have a built in opportunity to think about and reflect upon the people who will receive the finished piece.

Kim, of Kim's Crafty Apple, is no exception. She is a member of the Quiltsy Team and graciously shared some insights about quilting, creativity and family life.

"I've been blessed with an undramatic life," Kim says, "and extremely lucky to not have anything very traumatic affect my life so far."

An undramatic life, however, does not mean life is dull. "I recently retired from my full time job as a civil engineer," Kim continues, "and am currently a stay-at-home mom of two small baby girls."

Kim opened her Etsy shop in February 2008. It is a place where creativity blossoms in the form of quilts, pillow cases, onsies, rompers, dresses, t-shirts and the like. "I have been creating things my entire life," she says, "and whenever possible, I choose to make my own instead of buying something."

Kim's "Spring Flower Quilt" (pictured in the photo above) won the Etsy Baby Spring Fling Challenge earlier this year.

Kim works in many different mediums: beads, wire, fabric, paint. "Anything and everything," she says. "The variety of things that I create helps to keep me motivated and inspired. If I get bored by quilting, I make bracelets or rings for a while, or I paint pictures or whatever. I am always creating SOMETHING."

"The name of my store," Kim says, "comes from the fact that I am part of a family-owned and operated apple orchard." Lapacek's Orchard, when open for the season, offers freshly picked apples, freshly pressed apple cider (unpasteurized and no preservatives), hand-dipped caramel apples and more. "When I first started dating my now-husband, his family let me display my jewelry in the apple store. It went over better than I ever expected. I have continued to create things to sell during apple season."

"I am also proud to sell a few items made by my mother-in-law, Diane, and my sister-in-law, Karma. I lucked out when I married into an extremely talented family!" The long-arm quilting on many of the quilts you see in Kim's shop was done by her aunt-in-law, Barb, from Quilts by Barb. "Make sure you check out her shop," Kim says, "for more amazing quilts!"

In April 2009, Kim opened a second Etsy shop called The Apple. Here you will find a wide array of earrings, bracelets, necklaces and rings.

Along with raising two small girls, quilting, jewelry making, and helping out at the apple orchard, Kim is also involved with a fundraiser in her community each year for Cure Kids Cancer. "Hearing the stories of families that have had to deal with this just breaks my heart. I have two beautiful and vibrant girls of my own. I can't even imagine how families get through this type of tragedy."

When Kim is feeling crabby or sad, she turns to her family and to her work for support. "As I've said before, I haven't really had that many challenges in life...yet. I'll be interested to see how I handle them."

For inspiration and a chance to escape for a little while, Kim turns to her favorite fiction books. "Losing myself in a story is the best escape from the world for me. I have a tie for my all time favorites: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell and East of Eden by John Steinbeck. Two Books I can read over and over."

"Music can always pull my mood up," Kim continues, "I really like a little bit of everything. If you were to listen to my play list on random, you would be so confused--Andrew Lloyd Webber to Green Day to Black Eyed Peas to Ben Harper to Colbie Caillat to Metallica...a little of everything!"

As to what shoes Kim wears? "I would have to say I have a split-shoe personality. I am a city girl transplanted in an orchard. I enjoy being outside but I really am not a fan of bugs or dirt...I'll get dirty if I have to but I would prefer not to. I LOVE to get dressed up when the opportunity arises but it doesn't happen often. I still remember in college calling up my best friend and saying, 'I have mascara on...we're going to the bar!' That being said my shoes would be a TEVA and a fancy, fun high heel."

You may find out more about Kim's work in her quilt shop, jewelry shop or on her blog

For more information about Lapacek's Orchard, visit their website or blog.

Kim is a member of the following:

Carried Away Bag Team
Design Style Guide Team
Etsy Baby
Etsy Mom Street Team
Quiltsy Team
Wisconsin Street Team

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