Thursday, October 6, 2011

Retro Rita Interview: Introducing Tracy's Treasures!

Retro Rita here and I'm super excited to introduce you to Tracy of Tracy's Treasures!

Cindy's known Tracy for nearly 10 years now and has happily followed her crafting progress through the years.  Now, as Tracy embarks on officially selling her treasures, I am pleased to share my interview with her:

Retro Rita:  Tell us about your favorite craft projects
Tracy:  Oh man… favorites huh?  My favorites are those that are cute and fast to make.  They don’t necessarily have to be easy, just something I can do in day or two ~ I like that feeling of instant gratification (thread catches, mouse pads, slippers, purses, wallets, coin purses, book covers…).

Retro Rita:  What inspired you to create coin purses?
Tracy:  I met up with some book/quilting buddies at the Knoxville AQS quilt show in 2009.  One of the vendors had these little coin purses.  I was like a bug drawn to the light; no matter what I did I kept coming back to that booth.  Finally before the day was over, I went back and got a pattern and a frame.  Then I went in search of two fat quarters and one small piece of batting.  Back to the hotel we went and guess what, I’m in a room of quilters and not one of us has a needle and thread!  Down to the front desk I go to get a sewing kit from guest services!  I sat that night and hand sewed my first coin purse.  Went back to the show the next day for four more frames ~ the rest is history.  Here is a picture of the first three I made:

Retro Rita:  Share with us why you’re inspired to quilt.
Tracy:  Sue Grafton!  Yup, I said Sue Grafton.  There are a group of people I met online that all shared a common interest in reading Sue Grafton’s books ~ for those not familiar, she is the author of the Kinsey Millhone Mysteries or the “Alphabet books,” A is for Alibi, B is for… She’s up to V this year.  Anyway, back in 2007, we were all getting together to meet up with Sue for a few days in Avila Beach, CA.  Two of the ladies had each of us do some type of block to put into a quilt to give to Sue as a gift.  My block was cross stitch, which was my passion at the time… after seeing the finished product I was blown away.  You can kind of see my “T is for Tracy” in the quilt Sue is keeping warm in (second block from the left bottom row).  The love, beauty and time that went into making that quilt was my inspiration to give it a try.  Bonnie (Morningstar) sent me a book, a cutting board and cutter, and I was off and running.

Retro Rita:  What’s your involvement with quilting for charity?
Tracy:  Ask anyone and they will tell you there is one word I do not have in my vocabulary and that is ‘no.’  I just can’t seem to say no.  I blame my mom, she was the same way.  If there is someone out there that needs something and I can help, I’m there.  Quilting clubs/bees etc, and I do a LOT of charity work.  My Bee has done work for the Humane Society and made Alzheimer patient lap quilts (Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study).  On my own and through other quilters I’ve discovered pillow cases for Cancer patients (ConKerr), quilts of valor, and now animal cruelty.  The list just grows and grows ~ it’s a selfish thing ~ it makes me feel good.

Retro Rita:  So you're getting set to sell your work ~ what are thoughts/concerns/considerations?
Tracy:  I’m actually going to try selling some coin purses at a craft show in November.  This will be my debut into selling.  SCARY.  My biggest concern is pricing ~ I know I personally would only pay a certain amount for one of these, so taking that into consideration along with the cost of the supplies, the only way to make a little money is to ‘donate’ your time.  Which is okay ~ I like to keep busy and I’ll probably just stick to a ‘person to person’ sales approach.  If someone contacts me about buying one, I’ll make it and sell it to them, but we’ll see how the craft show goes before I make up my mind for sure.

Retro Rita:   Apart from crafting, what do you do?
Tracy:  You mean there is a world out there besides the craft world ~ oh my where have I been?!  I do actually have a job and do some contract work on the side.  Fun contract stuff though, building e-learning courses, websites and graphics, so it’s kind of like crafting.

Retro Rita:  What does handmade mean to you?
Tracy:  My dad made a lot of handmade things.  I saw how much time, love and care he put into them.  Now that he’s gone, I will cherish these gifts forever and they are a constant reminder of him.  I like to think that every handmade item is a smile and a memory.

Retro Rita:  Why should people buy handmade?
Tracy:  You can’t get better than handmade, that’s just a fact.  You know where it was made, who made it and you get something unique that no one else has.  Like with my coin purses, so far ~ no two have been the same.  People that make handmade items also take pride in their work, so you know you’re getting something good!

Retro Rita:  What handmade possession do you cherish most?
Tracy:  A wooden church.  My dad made it.  I bring it out every Christmas; add some angel hair, a couple little trees and it just brings my family back for the holidays.  And I have a little post-it note cut into the shape of a heart from my husband that says “More” on it.

Thank you Rita and Tracy.  We're all wishing Tracy wild success at her first craft show!  If you're interested in purchasing one of Tracy's coin purses, you can contact her directly at  In the meantime, I asked Tracy to custom make a couple for this month's blog giveaway.  You all already know how in love I am with vintage crocheted doilies, so Tracy stitched up three coin purses especially for you:

Aren't they so sweet?!  Leave a comment on this blog post, or any/all of my October posts and you're automatically entered to win one!  On October 31st I'll randomly draw three winners from your comments ~ yay!


ImagiMeri said...

Hi Cindy,

Wow, what a neat interview, and what beautiful work she does. Normally, I wouldn't be a glutton after already winning one giveaway, BUT, these coin purses are so dang cute......I need one! So, count me in again, please.


Jingle said...

It's a pleasure to get to know Tracy! I LOVE those lace doily coin purses! They are FABULOUS!!!!

Jenny's Heart said...

Those are so vintage and sweet :)
I am thinking stocking stuffers...

Dancing Kait said...

I love Tracy's stuff and she is such a sweet soul. I only met her a couple of weeks ago via another quilting friend. I love her Penny Purses and this is the first time I've seen the doilies ones. They're precious.

Dancing Kait said...

I just love Tracy's stuff. I only met her a couple of weeks ago via another quilting friend. She is such a sweet soul and I just adore her Penny Purses. This is first time to see the doilies - they are wonderful.

Dancing Kait said...

I may have inadvertently sent comment twice - sorry - can say I'm twice as excited to win a doilies coin purse - lol

VintageBettys said...

We love those ittle coin purses! Tracy does a spectacular job and we wish her the best! I love the ones with the bright red cheery background. Thank you for stopping by, we would love it if you did a post showing off some of your vintage/new holiday decor :)

Have a great day
Laura and Michele

LAUREN said...

Love her coin purses! I am a sucker for those closures!

Missy said...

How cute!

Julie Harward said...

These are so very cute! ;D

Getting Hooked said...

O'my gosh.. these are great! I hope I win :)

Michaele said...

The coin purses are ADORABLE! I hope she does well at her show! What talent!

Sizzle and Zoom said...

I would buy one of her little purses in a heartbeat. They are adorable. I like the last one that's blue with the white lace.

Holly- Cutie Pie Cottage said...

thanks for this give away Cindy and Tracy!

I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks it's SCARY to sell your own creations! :) I hope you do well, Tracy! ♥

The Summer Kitchen Girls said...

We are sooooo in love with those change purses....we just might have to talk a little business with Miss Tracy!

Paula Parrish said...

Hello Rita,
Thanks so much for introducing us to Tracy a dear crafty friend of Cindy’s. I love Tracy’s super creative and fun change purses.
Smiles, Paula

blessedmom's simple home said...

What cute little coin purses and a nice interview too. That was sweet of you to do it :)
Have a great week!

Dell said...

Tracy is a very crafty lady! Great interview and I love her eye for creativity. Thanks for the opportunity to win a piece of her wonderful handmade items.