Meet The Designer Sharon Madsen!

Sharon Madsen has the distinction of being the Sew It All contributor that has been in the most issues. You can find her fun projects in every issue of Sew It All except for Volumes 1 and 2. To say we love Sharon’s fashionable take on sewing is an understatement.

Meet The Designer 682x1024 Meet The Designer Sharon Madsen!

I was excited to ‘talk’ with Sharon and see what makes her so crazy about sewing. Read on for more fun stuff on Sharon and be sure to answer the question to be entered into Sew News Oct/Nov issue Meet The Designer prize pack. Don’t forget to take a sneak peek at all are fun goodies that are coming in the next issue of Sew News, hitting newsstands December 18th!

~ Let’s have Sharon take it away ~

Where do you live/from? Are your surroundings inspiring?

Born and raised (mostly) in Minnesota – or MinneSNOWta as some of my friends who live in warmer climates like to say (with an evil laugh). Yes, it’s true we do get a lot of snow. But it’s not true that we talk like the characters in Fargo, ‘don’t cha know’.

Can you give us a little background on how/why you got started sewing and creating.  You betcha! (ha,ha) I come from a family where artistic pursuits were always encouraged—painting, drawing, music, dance, poetry— you name it and someone in my family had the talent. At age 8, my soon-to-be aunt spent a day teaching me to sew, everything from a visit to the fabric store to going home with a finished dress. I was hooked!  Since no one else in my family sewed, I ended up teaching myself (with many hilarious mistakes along the way). By my early teens I was sewing most of my family’s wardrobe and started a business selling doll clothing. Over the years I also received a bit of criticism from those who learned to sew “by the rules” as I haven’t always done things “the right way”. But I learned to shake it off as I only sew for the enjoyment it brings to me. The time I spend sewing has ebbed and flowed over the years but not my love for the artistic pursuit.

Is there an area of crafting, sewing etc that you would like to explore more?

There is so much more I would like to learn that I don’t even know how to pick one.  Of course finding the time is always the challenging part.

How has technology improved your creating life/work efforts? Is there some area of technology that you’ve had to adapt to, or maybe don’t care for.

Technology forced me to become better at my craft partially because I didn’t want to embarrass myself when I began posting my sewing projects on my blog back in 2006!  Technology has also made it much easier to learn new techniques, to find inspiration and to connect with others who share the same passion.  I have sewing friends all over the world that I have yet to meet in real life due to technology.

What is your conception process for a design or project? Do you sketch it out, go straight to the machine, take a photo etc.

I sketch. I have a stack of notebooks filled with ideas, some have come to fruition, others not yet. I keep a notebook with me at all times because I never know when inspiration may strike—the shape of a cloud, a detail on someone’s outfit, the color combination of the junk mail pile—an idea can pop into my head anywhere. I even keep a notebook  near my bed because sometimes ideas appear in my dreams.

What other creative endeavors do you engage in?

Does making up excuses to not exercise count as a creative endeavor?

What has been your (to date) greatest/proudest achievement in the creative world? Being a guest on Sew It All

What would be a dream project, commission or book project for you?

Like many others who sew, I have an idea for a book that I’d like to pitch… the idea is not fully hatched but of course it is related to sewing.

Answer – If I won the lottery….

Tithe to my church, share with my family, pay off the bills, quit my job, volunteer at an animal shelter  and buy myself a top of the line sewing machine!

What do you do when you are not at your sewing machine?

During the day I work as a communications manager for a small city. I also teach a few Zumba and REFIT dance fitness classes.  Other things I enjoy include baking, reading, hiking, and spending time with family, including my two spoiled dogs.

Any tips you’d like to share with the Sew News readers on sewing, creating or inspiration?

Sew things that make you happy. Don’t obsess over sewing “mistakes”, it happens to us all and it’s just part of the learning process. Seek out people and resources to help you learn (you know, like Sew News!). Give yourself permission to stop working on projects that aren’t going as planned and to celebrate the ones that do.

Be sure to follow Sharon at one or all of these social media avenues for more of her take on sewing and creating.


Instagram: SharonSews


Prize Pack  682x1024 Meet The Designer Sharon Madsen! Question for you, dear readers. What do you love to do besides sewing? What other hobbies do you engage in? One commenter will be picked on Friday November 7th!


 Meet The Designer Sharon Madsen!

About Jill

I write for the Sew News and Creative Machine Embroidery blogs. I love sewing, vintage and would love to get a comment from you!
This entry was posted in Meet the Designer. Bookmark the permalink.

108 Responses to Meet The Designer Sharon Madsen!

  1. Helen says:

    I like to read beside sewing and a little bit of cross stich.

  2. Paula Preti says:

    I recently taken up horseback riding, and yoga. Quilting is at the top of my list

  3. Cathy M. says:

    After sewing and quilting, my favorite hobby is home improvement projects. I recently completed a 40″ X 60″ walk-in shower with a bench. I did everything from the plumbing to the tiling! I love to shop the Habitat for Humanity Re-Stores within 120 from home for building materials. It saves me lots of $$$ and it helps provide funds for for local Habitat homes.

  4. Cherie says:

    I also like to read and try to crochet and knit.

  5. Evelyne Carlen says:

    I love crafting, baking and reading. Especially anything to do with fiber arts.

  6. Tabitha Keener says:

    Besides sewing, I’m an avid reader! I love books! Thanks so much!

  7. teri c says:

    I also like to read and garden.

  8. Sheila Ivany says:

    I love to read, cross stitch & play computer games, when time permit. Happy Quilting

  9. JoAnne says:

    I like to do embroidery, knitting and crocheting. However, quilting is my current favorite.

  10. Michele says:

    Fabulous article! I’ve also loved sewing from a young age, my mother set a great example!

  11. Mary Lou Pape says:

    I knit, crochet, make cards, quilt, cross stitch, needlepoint and am learning drawing and beading. I’ve retired twice and started working a part-time job at a place that I love! (Gilda’s Club) But it is getting in the way of my hobbies!

  12. Inita Bermudez says:

    Love your story. Great job and all your hard work.

  13. MNBarb says:

    Kayaking and hiking.

  14. mad14kt says:

    I <3 SEWING … FIESTA :)

  15. Laurie Rockman says:

    Sharon Madsen always has inpirational articles in your magazine. She’s quite creative and it is always easy to understand the directions she provides.

  16. Marilyn S says:

    I love paper crafts and wood crafts. Thanks!!

  17. Shawna says:

    I love to read Always ready to learn something new

  18. Deborah K. says:

    I love beading and knitting!

  19. Piroska says:

    I love to crochet, cross-stitch, paint, bake and garden. And now that I’m a grandma–play!! :o )

  20. Rhonda says:

    I love to quilt, bake, scrapbook, knit I just love anything I can make myself.
    I am active in Girl Scouts and make a lap quilt each each for a prize for one of our
    leaders to win. I have always done some type of craft since I was very young when I learned to knit and sew on an old push petal Singer.

  21. Tina morrow says:

    i knit, crochet, scrapbook, cross stitch and quilting

  22. Beth van Duzer says:

    Aside from sewing I like to bake, dabble in photography, and I love reading blogs / finding tutorials on-line that I bookmark or pin and hopefully will actually attempt to complete.

  23. Tina Lindstrand says:

    Sharon, I love the interview and I love that it was an aunt that taught you to sew. My 10-year-old niece and I are getting together next weekend so she can shop my stash and make herself a skirt, we had so much fun the first couple times we did this! Just passing on the love!

  24. Betsy says:

    I garden quite extensively when my hips do not ache and I have dabbled into beading

  25. Jackie Thompson says:

    I love to bake and ride my bike.

  26. Cyndy Lacey says:

    Great question! I love cooking and sharing my talents with everyone. Whether bringing treats or crock pots, aprons and pot holders or just encouragement, I love to give and teach what I know how to do with others.

  27. Elizabeth says:

    I enjoy reading but sewing has become my number 1 hobby. All others pale in comparison.

  28. Pam says:

    So excited to hear that Sharon is from Minnesota! (I’m pam in minn!) Besides sewing and quilting I like to flower garden and take care of my beautiful baby granddaughter. Love your answer abou good at making up excuses for not excercising.

  29. Sheri Fowler says:

    I work full-time and have for many years now (was a single mom for 14 years). The only hobby I have had time, or the skills for, is sewing. I’ve dabbled in other things (scrapbooking, cardmaking, knitting) but I’m terrible at them so I stick to what I’m good at……sewing :-)

  30. Lori Morton says:

    Besides sewing, I love to crochet, and make stamped cards & my own envelopes.

  31. Karen C. says:

    Besides quilting, I enjoy photography, reading, and playing golf.

  32. Elaine says:

    Sewing, counted cross stitch, gardening, reading and baking. More ideas than time of energy.

  33. Ellee says:

    Photography is my other passion.

  34. Audrey says:

    Besides sewing I love to knit, read, hike, fish and camp. It all keeps me busy and out of trouble. Thanks for the giveaway.

  35. Bonnie says:

    It’s not really a hobby per se, but besides sewing, I am passionate about, and work on, breastfeeding advocacy and support for other moms :) Thanks for the giveaway!

  36. Carol says:

    I enjoy the homey things!

  37. Sivje Parish says:

    I love your advice. It is nice to be able to stop a project midway through if it isn’t making you happy.

  38. brianne matlage says:

    i’m an HR manager by day and sewist by night. No other hobbies, sewing keeps me busy enough!

  39. Patricia Garnham says:

    I love to fish, then cook it and eat it … And bake … And play with textiles of all sorts

  40. Sally Hughes says:

    Love a good giveaway…

  41. Kathy H says:

    Other than sewing, I love to read historical fiction and historical romance and I am passionate about advocating for immunizations and volunteering.

  42. Karly Nelson says:

    Sewing and music are my two greatest loves and I love that I can do both together!

  43. Margaret Andrews says:

    I like to spin wool from my own sheep…we have moved away from the farm but I still have wool to spin and dream about when we had all those sheep.

  44. Lisa Marie says:

    I like sewing best but also enjoy cooking, travel, fitness classes, and card making.

  45. Maggie says:

    I love creating — baking, writing, crafting, and yes, sewing!

  46. carol d. says:

    my second favorite hobby is telling darling husband what to make in his wood studio; this comes after sewing and knitting and quilts. Thanks for the chance to win !!

  47. Tiffany Willis says:

    i love to cook and take photos!

  48. Carmen says:

    Very interesting. I love learning how creative people think and work!

  49. Bárbara Rodríguez says:

    I love to draw fashions for my sewing

  50. I love to read knit and do cross stitch when I’m not spending time with GC.