This month we sit down for a Q&A with expert ribbon crafter and sewer Deanna Csomo McCool, author of 50 Ribbon Rosettes & Bows to Make: For Perfectly Wrapped Gifts, Gorgeous Hair Clips, Beautiful Corsages, and Decorative Fun! Deanna has practiced arts and crafts since she could tie her shoes. The mother of two daughters, she began sewing bows so that her daughters would feel like princesses. Find her blogging at Sew McCool and check out her fun and fabulous designs available on her Etsy page.
1. What’s your craft? I’m a ribbon crafter and a sewist/quilter. My love of fiber arts began by sewing quilts and knitting more than 13 years ago. When my older of two daughters was entering kindergarten, I started doing ribbon work because I wanted to make her some special bows that she could wear to school. My girls wear school uniforms…which are quite plain…so I wanted to dress up my girls with some hair accessories! I made bows almost exclusively for about 6 years. I really love it! And when I’m sewing other items, I enjoy incorporating ribbons and trims into my designs.
2. What project would you consider an all-time best? My favorite types of bows to make are layered boutique bows—I can get lost in my work while deciding on colors, textures, and bow centers…and then it’s so fun to put them all together into an attractive design. The large layered bows are featured as the final project in “50 Ribbon Rosettes and Bows to Make,” and you can see one on the girl on the left, on the cover. While these layered bows aren’t always to every adult’s taste, I’ve found that all girls love how pretty they are, and enjoy wearing them. They’re like mini works of art.
3. What project would you consider an all-time worst? In my early days of bowmaking, I had a lot of flops. One in particular was a Halloween bow—in orange and black, of course—that I thought was going to be the next best thing in the bow world. I mean, seriously, I expected to take the ribbon world by storm. I was selling bows on eBay at the time, so in addition to the bow being really scary looking (and not in the good “Halloween scary-looking” kind of way), the photograph was horrible. I hadn’t yet developed good photography skills. I don’t have the photo anymore, but suffice it to say….it was bad.
4. What tool or material could you not live without? I have a wood-burning tool that I bought for—shocker—wood burning projects, back in the early 1990s. I no longer make wood-burning designs, but this particular wood-burner is perfect for sealing the edges of ribbon so it doesn’t fray. I’m often surprised that this tool keeps on working after all these years!
5. What’s your hidden talent? I’m a decent portrait artist. I became a little obsessed with portraiture when I was in middle school, and the interest never went away. In college I minored in studio art and focused on figure and portrait drawing. I haven’t drawn portraits very much since college, but when I do bring out the pencils, the skill comes back to me. One of my professors required us to draw 50 heads, hands, and feet before the end of the semester…so I had a lot of practice during that class alone!
50 Ribbon Rosettes & Bows to Make is a delightful collection of more than 50 decorative ribbon projects—some classic, some whimsical, some elegant—that will prove irresistible for anyone with an interest in craft. With many sizes, colors and designs to choose from, you can craft a rosette or a bow as a charming addition to an outfit, a gift box, or even a bouquet of flowers. Each design features written instructions accompanied by clear step-by-step illustrations, and absolutely no experience is necessary!
Check out our August and September titles: