Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Creative Homefires: Reanna Lilly Design

Creative HomeFires is a series which highlights the value that creativity offers to family members of a deployed spouse/significant other.  We offer stories of the creative life and the beautiful benefits experienced during some of the most difficult seasons.

Let me introduce Jen Eskridge of Reanna Lilly Design.  Here's her story:
Hello, everyone, my name is Jen Eskridge and I am thrilled to share my motivation behind my Etsy shop.

I sew all sorts of items.  In fact, my background is in Apparel Design.  Armed with that, I set out sewing and designing.  I stitch with used military uniforms.  There are many ladies who also sew with uniforms.  All of our designs vary a bit, but we do all love what we do.  We make things from bags to baby items, and from garments to accessories. 

My Cube Purse design is what "put me on the map" for sewing.  I conducted most of my business as word-of-mouth through the spouses groups on various different military bases.  My husband was Active USAF for 11 years, until recently transitioning into the Active Guard Reserve.  While sewing on commission, I realized that there was no real way to stay ahead of the demand, efficiently.  I took my original designs and turned them into sewing patterns.  They offer instructions on how to make the item as well as how to "break down" a uniform for its new, re purposed end-use.  All the patterns include directions to make the item featuring the uniform, or stitch it up using only traditional cottons.

Most recently, one of my designs, The Home Front Sunggler Quilt was featured in McCall's Quick Quilts magazine.  Aside from bags and items being a great way to show your support for your loved one, a quilt made from a parent's uniform is a great way for the kids to feel close to the parent while they are separated.  The quilt is quick, and the pieces for construction are chunky rectangles.  Great for a beginner or seasoned quilter/sewist.  The pattern will release under my own company name, ReannaLily Designs, later this summer.  More uniform quilt designs are on the horizon, as I do think they are a very important way to feel just a little bit closer.

Just because uniform has a rip or stain, or was washed with a ball point pen in the pocket is no reason to cast it aside.  These uniforms represent our way of life and the life our loved ones have decided to lead.  I support my favorite military man 100%.  Now... if I can just get him to go TDY  so I can ransack his half of the closet...

Look for more patterns in upcoming issues of Quilter's World (April 2011) and 101 Patchwork Projects (Summer 2011).  I currently operate two shops, one for finished stitched samples at and the pattern shop at

If you are looking to dabble in sewing and quilting, I also maintain a blog site that has 32 different sewing related tutorials as well as all sorts of sewing and quilting related posts.

Thank you so much Jen for sharing your story! If you would like to submit a story for this series please contact us ("Contact" tab at the top of the blog) for consideration.   


Sara Rubendall Design Studio said...

What a cool idea, I love it!

jenharruff said...

I love your cube design. I've never seen anything like it. Kudos to you!

The Emerald Tree Shop said...

Beautiful story and love the cube bag design. Congrats on being featured in McCalls Magazine. Very inspiring!