Saturday, July 16, 2016

Get to know the QQQ's: Carol from Village Quilts / The Village Bag Lady

I'm Carol Ethier, owner of Village Quilts and The Village Bag Lady

How did you come up with your shop name?  
When I first opened Village Quilts in 2013, I lived in a small town.  I wanted my shop to reflect the values and homey comforts of that type of environment.  When I opened The Village Bag Lady in 2016, I wanted a visible link between the 2 shops.

Where do you live? 
Just recently, we moved to Peterborough, Ontario in Canada.  

When did you start making quilts? Or, when did you become interested in quilt-related items (fabric, patterns, etc)?  
I started sewing when I was in Grade 8.  My mother was a very talented seamstress, and my grandmother loved to quilt.  I received my own sewing machine as a graduation gift from high school, and I have never looked back.  Although I have taken many sewing courses, including tailoring in University, I am a self-taught quilter, and have quilted for over 20 years.  
Tell us about your first quilt or other important first in your sewing life.  
When I started quilting, my first couple projects were wall hangings--very traditional styles.  Then, my grandmother developed Alzheimer's disease, and I made her a quilted patchwork throw with all her grandchildren's names stitched in the blocks.  When she passed away, the quilt was buried with her.

What inspires you?  
While my first quilting projects were quite traditional, I now find myself inspired by colour and abstract designs.  Quite a change, but I think I can express my originality more with these modern quilts.

Do you have any other hobbies? Pets? A garden, kids, or volunteer activities? 
I also enjoy to do counted cross stitch; in fact, I have done that for much longer than quilting.  But I am not ashamed to say that my passion for quilting has left little time for that anymore.  I still have many cross stitch projects planned, including an East Coast street scape which I designed after a visit to Nova Scotia.  My husband and I, both recently retired, enjoy biking on the many trails in our area, and taking mini trips on his Harley Davidson motorcycle.  Our little dog, Lord Stanley, keeps us on our toes.  

Do you do any charity sewing?  
Not at this time

Running an Etsy shop means you wear many hats in one day. How do Etsy activities impact your other life activities, such as work, family, other activities?  
Until recently, I worked full time in a doctor's office.  When we retired and moved to Peterborough, we had the basement of our new home finished so that I could have a large sewing studio.  While my passion for quilting began as a hobby, I now try to focus 4-6 hours a day on sewing in my hopes to develop 2 successful Etsy shops.

How do you plan your projects?  
I very rarely use patterns.  Most of my projects are inspired by the fabrics themselves, pictures I see, and holidays we all celebrate.  I admit that I don't sleep well, and find myself doing most of my planning when I wake up during the night lol!  Then in the morning, I rush to write down my ideas so that they aren't forgotten. 



  1. We have a lot in common, Carol. Self taught quilters, counted cross stitchers, design most of our quilts without patterns. Loved reading your story.

  2. Thanks for sharing your great story, Carol. I am also a self-taught quilter. I love the story about the quilt you made for your grandmother.
    Everything you make is beautiful.
    Blessings in your two shops!

  3. Seems like a lot of us are self taught, best way if you ask me, then you don't worry about the 'quilt police' Love your quilts and bags, always so colourful.

  4. Carol, your quilts are an inspiration to me to go bold with color! You made your mom and grandma proud! Self taught, no patterns, sounds familiar!
    And I really like your new bag shop. Lots of hard work manipulating stiff bags through a sewing machine, I' m sure!
    And , you are an Etsy success story! Over 200 sales! Wow!

  5. Lord Stanley is a handsome devil. And I love that batik quilt ... marvelous use of color! Very inspiring Etsy success - Keeping up with two shops - oh my!

  6. Beautiful quilts! Glad to hear I'm not the only one awake planning quilts!