Meet the Author
Hey there, can you introduce yourself?
HI! I am Virginia Lindsay, author of Pretty Birds and the designer and sewer behind Gingercake Patterns. I adore sewing and creating fun and simple projects. I live near Pittsburgh PA and I have 4 kids who inspire me everyday!
Tell us a bit about the book?
Pretty Birds is based on busting into that scrap bin and using it to make fun little birds. All of these are small projects- ranging from the tiny fairy wren to a lovely swan- I used my own scraps to give me sense of scale so that the sizes would be reasonable. The birds are mostly beginner friendly (like the dove) but also might challenge you a bit (like the hummingbird!). The materials needed are mostly already in your sewing room with the exception of recommended wool felt, tiny buttons for eyes and embroidery floss.
What was the inspiration behind it?
The concept from the book actually came from the team at Rotovision- a creative publishing company based in England. They liked my animal pillows and contacted me with this idea. I was able to choose which birds to make and together, we created the book. It was a fantastic experience working with such creative and supportive people.
Which is your favourite project?
I have so many! But my favorite is probably the hummingbird because I love the way his shape and wings turned out. He was hard to simplify and that challenge was exciting and kept me up a few nights!
What is your craft space like?
When I had my 4th child a few years ago, my sewing room moved out of the guest room and for a few months I had a dingy corner in my unfinished basement. When the spiders and terrible lightly finally got the best of me, I decided to take out a small loan and finish a portion of my basement for my studio. A fantastic decision for sure! Working in my bright and colorful space makes me very happy and it was a fabulous investment. I have lots of room and it is completely mine (i don't have to share with any kids or husband! haha!)
Have you always been creative?
I have always been crafty and loved drawing and art class. I am more attracted to practical arts for sure- garden design, sewing, furniture painting, etc. But I love art museums and art of all kinds too. As a younger person, it was hard to trust that my creativity was more than just average so I tried doing other work on the fringe of creativity like advertising. It took taking a break from 9-5 work and staying home with my kids for a few years to start being really creative in my own way.
When did you first start crafting?
Not counting all the other crafts I tried before sewing (like paper making, furniture painting, ornament making, etc) my first sewing project that I really got into was sewing an Archie and Olive doll by Wee Wonderfuls. Those dolls were so well done and after I made one, I ended up making about a dozen and gave them to all my nieces and kids in my life. It was so fun to mix the fabrics and create something so that ended up being so loved by the kids in my life
Who are your crafty heroes?
I think HIllary of Wee Wonderfuls for those first dolls, I always follow Rae of Made by Rae, Maureen Cracknell Handmade, Dana of MADE, and many more!
Where do you find inspiration?
I like to make everyday life things useful and beautiful so I look close to home to my initial ideas- I ask myself, what is needed here? For my birds, I looked at photos of the the real birds and also scanned Pinterest for fabric combination ideas.
What's next for you?
I am continuing to to work on my own sewing patterns for Gingercake, I have a couple more books with Rotovison in the idea stage, and I am hoping to get more involved in making kits for my sewing projects and maybe a few youtube instructional videos!
A step-by-step, illustrated craft book for bird enthusiasts and devoted crafters whatever your skill level.