Five Questions With: Brother Sews Ambassador Joanne Banko

You’ve seen their projects. You’ve read their posts. You’ve studied their monthly tips. And now, you can get the inside scoop on your favorite Brother Ambassadors. Read on to find out what makes our Ambassadors tick (or sew, or craft!).


What is your favorite sewing season and why?

I can’t actually narrow it down to just one season, so summer, winter, spring, and fall would be a truthful answer. Why? Well you see, I sew or write about sewing nearly every day! Each and every season, I’m inspired to create something for myself, friends and loved ones, or to share with my sewing community or followers on the Stitching Sewcial Brother blog.

What was the last thing you created for a friend?

I recently sewed a keepsake pillow for a fellow animal lover. I started by using my Brother inkjet printer to print one of her cherished pet photos on fabric. Then I appliquéd the piece onto fluffy fabric that mimicked the fur of her beloved pet. On the pillow back I added a name using an adorable font from BES software.

What is your favorite Brother accessory?

To be perfectly honest, it is whatever accessory is currently attached to my machine! As an accessory aficionado, I love to make use of not only the standard accessories packed with the machine, but all of the optional accessories too! I like to say there’s a Brother tool for every task when it comes to sewing, serging, and machine embroidery. If I had to pick an all time, absolute favorite category of accessories, it would be the special couching attachments, both for embroidery and for use on the sewing side of the machine. It’s so much fun to create surface texture and these accessories make it easy and fun!

What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out in sewing?

Aside from learning basic sewing and pressing techniques, learn to make the most of your machine by experimenting with all the built-in options and accessories. I like to compare this to learning to drive a car. Basic driving lessons teach you how to operate the vehicle and follow essential do’s and don’ts while on the road. Once you know the basics, that vehicle can take you anywhere! It’s the same thing with learning to use your sewing machine to the fullest. Once you understand the capabilities and functions of utility stitches, you’ll find basic construction of any project so much easier. Beyond that, learning about machine accessories and decorative options will give you the creative license you need to let your imagination soar!
What is your favorite thing to do when you are not sewing or crafting?

After reading my above answers you may have guessed that I love to sew and create whenever possible. However, I do enjoy swimming, nature walks, a stroll along the lake, and a quiet escape with a good book. After a little R&R I’m always eager to get back to sharing the love of sewing with sewing friends both near and far away!

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