I founded Custom Keepsakes in 1992 as a custom heirloom sewing business. I was just trying to support my heirloom sewing habit, like so many of you are today. I was so in love with all of the beautifully delicate trims and the luxurious fabrics, but especially the trims! There were so many Swiss edgings and insertions that I wanted, but I really could not afford to buy them in the quantities I wanted.
Home embroidery machines entered the scene, and I dived in head first in 1995. I could tell immediately that the delicate look I wanted in my embroideries was something I would have to create myself, so I started to learn to digitize on Day 1. A year or so later, I sold my first embroidery designs on floppy disks. To this day, I have never purchased an embroidery design.
Over the years I have pioneered many innovative techniques for home embroidery, but have become best known for my delicate style of digitizing that so closely mimics handwork. Specialties include bullion roses by machine, continuous eyelet embroidery, and garment patterns "in the hoop" for babies, dolls, and ladies, among others.
I have been honored to be a teacher at the Martha Pullen School of Art Fashion over a dozen times, and an author of heirloom and hand smocking articles in Sew Beautiful magazine and other Martha Pullen publications since 1993. Martha has been a dear friend and supporter to me during all these years. I am also an occasional contributor to Classic Sewing, a magazine by Hoffman Media.
I live in Indianapolis with my husband, Mike. We have two lovely grown daughters that you probably watched grow up in Sew Beautiful magazine as they modeled my smocking designs, back in those handwork days. Now my granddaughters Harriet and Violet are the first in a new generation to enjoy the fruits of my labor from those days long ago, as well as today's creations.
I hope you will enjoy my website!