LaVerne Lewis is Founder/CEO of Women-SEW Global Foundation, a nonprofit that creates “global awareness and a response to women and girls, specifically immigrant and refugee, engaged in sewing collectives with intended outcomes of economic and leadership empowerment.” Early Inspirations – I learned to sew from my mother, on her old treadle sewing machine, making aprons and doll clothes. I was sewing and knitting by the age of 15, making most of my school clothes and my wedding dress. My mother and grandmother quilted by hand, but I was born to machine sew and quilt…and I love everything quilty, the colors, the fabric, the touch of fabric and the mesmerizing eye candy of threads in every shade, weight and size. I love mixing the medium of all kinds of fabric, not just cottons, but suedes, velvets and wools. For a while, I enjoyed making bed quilts for family and friends, but quickly discovered I could play by mixing the medium and have more fun with art quilts. For me, the fun is in the creating, the playing, the ‘trying new things’ and seeing how it all evolves. Sometimes, I will start a piece, hang it up and ponder; creativity is ongoing, fluid and expansive, never stagnant. Other times, I will finish a piece in one setting. I prefer not to do repetitive pieces, I may use the same pattern, like my zipper pouches, but I like to mix it up, change the colors, the fabric or add beads, charms or buttons. I also love making handbags of all shapes and sizes, such as free-form purses, tote bags, upcycle technique bags, and embroidery designed purses. Other thoughts – I love the colors of autumn and fall. Brown, oranges, greens, burgundy, and of course, burnt sienna; now there’s a color from the 60s in my box of crayons. My creations are created with emphasis on the color, fabric, thread, quality workmanship and the embellishment. Most of my ideas come from magazines, watching YouTube sewing and taking classes from professionals. I love quilt retreats, which is where I have learned an enormous amount of handy tips and time-saving ideas in fixing my goofs.