Sponsor Saturday: Garden Laundry

Welcome to the first "Sponsor Saturday"!  I hope to do this weekly--or at least, semi-weekly--to give you all a chance to meet some of the fine people over there in my sidebar, and perhaps win a sample of their wares.

First up is Garden Laundry, an Etsy shop that sells pretty vintage sheets, bedding, and other textiles, all hand-selected by proprietress Michelle Cheever.  Michelle is also "happy mama to a magical boy and wife to an amazing husband".  (It's always fun to meet people you have things in common with, right?)  She recently answered the following questions from me:

Me:  I love the look of mismatched beds with vintage sheets, but I haven't done it yet in my own house because--silly as it sounds--I'm not very confident in my mixing and matching skills. Any tips for people like me?

Michelle:  Mix and match vintage sheets can make any bed look sweet and cozy, but it can be intimidating to try and find the right mix. Here are a few tips for picking a cute combination: choose one color family, like pinks or purples. Try and find sheets that are mostly from that color family to create a great mix and match look. Another option is to mix different prints, such as a stripe and a floral, or a gingham and garden print. The great thing about mix and match vintage bedding is that there are no rules, so just pick what you like! If it makes you smile, you've found the right combination! Plus, vintage sheets are usually pretty affordable, so you can keep reinventing your bedding until you get it just right.

Me:  Walking into a really good garage sale or thrift store, I often get too overwhelmed to choose between all the vintage fabric available and walk away with nothing. With all the pretty vintage fabrics out there, how do you decide which ones to offer in Garden Laundry?

Michelle:  When selecting inventory for my shop, I try and pick items I've never seen before, prints that "take me back in time," or patterns and colors that remind me of someone or something I love. Perhaps a favorite flower, an interesting color combination, or just something unique that no one else has.

Vintage sheets
Me:  When my grandmother downsized her home, I ended up with a stack of beautiful doilies, but I've never been able to decide what to do with them. I notice that you also have some lovely doilies for sale. What's your favorite craft project that uses them?

Michelle:  Lately I've seen so many adorable craft projects using doilies that it's tempting to not sell the ones I have! Stitching them to a decorative pillow is a quick and easy way to make a chic "old is new again" statement. I've also seen them turned into sweet pockets for an apron, or even used to print a doily pattern on fabric or walls. So many great ideas!

Me:  Speaking of grandmothers, I notice in your shop description that you learned to sew from your mom and grandma. What's one of your favorite memories from that?

Michelle:  One of my favorite memories of learning to sew is getting out the big cardboard cutting board for cutting patterns. We'd pick the fabric, lay the pattern out, pin it just right, and then cut along the lines, taking out the little notches as we went. Then follow the instructions step by step. If we got confused, we could just go back and read the instructions again to see what steps we missed. I wish life were like that! :)

Me:  I also see that you have a "magical baby boy"! Having one of those at home myself, I know that--as completely awesome as they are--they sometimes make it difficult to craft as much as we would like. When do you find time to make stuff now that you're a mom?

Michelle:  I think every crafter feels like there's never enough time to craft, right? I mostly make time to create when my little guy is sleeping, though there are some projects now that he's getting older that I can do while he plays next to me. Maybe in the coming years he'll turn into a crafter and we can do projects together!

Michelle has generously offered to give away a $25 gift certificate to Garden Laundry.  To win, go visit her shop, then come back and leave a comment with your favorite vintage fabric.  (Something like, "The one with the yellow roses" is good enough!)  I will randomly choose a winner on Wednesday.