Student Spotlight!

Posted by Bianca Howell on

Hello! It's Mary here today to share Owl & Drum's Student Spotlight!

Each month or so you will get a chance to get to know some of our students as we shine the spotlight on one of the many wonderful folks who frequent our sewing, quilting and other fiber art classes and workshops.

There are lots of classes that we offer at our little store, but none of them would happen without people to attend them! We love teaching our craft, and we have had the good fortune to meet all sorts of wonderful folks through our events. We appreciate each and every one of our students, and it would not be possible to do what we do without you! 

This time the spotlight is on Tarynn Venable! You might recognize Tarynn as the lovely gal who made the spectacular red Rifle Paper floral dress (pictured below) at our Urban Sew-In Retreat last April. Tarynn's first sewing class at Owl & Drum was one of our very first Beginner Quilting Classes, before Ann Olson began teaching for us. But her first class with me was a Beginning Sewing Boot Camp that ran for 4 weeks. When those 4 weeks were over, she did another 4 weeks of Advanced Beginner Boot Camp, and then another and another until it became an Open Sewing session each week. She even brought her family in for a Stuffie Sewing party! Tarynn is one of our most devoted students, and a dear friend! 



Here is our Q&A with Tarynn:

Tell us little bit about yourself! 

Hi! My name is Tarynn Venable. I am a Tulsa native, I am a self employed esthetician, and I love to create! I have a husband, 3 step children and 3 pups. 


When did you start sewing/quilting? Was it at Owl & Drum?

I grew up with my mom and grandmother, and my grandmother was always sewing or making flower arrangements (she really LOVED Memorial Day). She made the whole family these sequined stockings for Christmas. She loved telling the story about when I three years old she was making a stocking and had all these little dishes out with a bazillion sequins in them. I came over and she warned me to not touch her tray. I looked down at it, and "whoop!" Smacked the tray and they went flying everywhere. Ha! Who doesn't love watching glittery things shin through the air? Getting back on track now, the older I got the more I loved fashion and shopping. I took the Fashion Design program at Tulsa Tech and loved it. I made my prom dress, and it just makes you feel like a rock star wearing something you made! Then as adulthood began I kind of feel out of sewing. And then my life changed when Owl & Drum opened! They have restored my hobby, and keep me totally inspired! I'm so grateful for Mary and Bianca. 


What was your first class at Owl & Drum?

 My first class at O&D was the the Beginning Quilting Class,  I am not sure of the name of the instructor! Ha! What I do remember is taking forever to pick out my fabric, and Bianca was so patient with me, and helped me select the best fabrics. 


Please tell us which Owl & Drum classes you have taken – whatever you can remember!

 After my quilt class I didn't take another class for a couple of years, but I'd pop in occasionally. Then I signed up for the Beginners Sewing series with Mary. Mary quickly became one of my favorite people. I sewed with a couple of other girls and really enjoyed my time with all of them. I also really enjoyed my "ME" time up there. Working at O&D there's no distractions, and you're constantly inspired. I took several classes following that Beginner Knits, Improv Quilting Camp (yes this was for kids, but I wanted a stay-cation). I've mostly done open sew since my skills have grown. 


What, if anything, surprised you most about learning to sew?

 The thing that has surprised me the post is what you're capable of... now I'm more selective about what I buy to wear. Can I make it? What's the value? Do I want to make this? It's also inspired me to make other things. I've signed up at FabLab, I want to make some jewelry. I'll never stop sewing though!


What benefits do you find that sewing/quilting provides?

 It relaxes me... in a weird way... Sometimes it makes me tense if I'm in a complicated moment, but I'm only thinking about what's in front of me. I can't plan or worry or think about the day when I am sewing. That's really nice. It's definitely a form of meditation for me.  


What are your favorite sewing/quilting projects?

 I've started making formal gowns for myself for the Junior League of Tulsa's Gem Gala. That's been really fun. One of my proudest pieces is the Improv quilt I made with Mary's guidance at my Improv Quilting Camp. It's just a crazy way of sewing if you've never done it. It's so organic, and mind blowing! Super love it, and I'd like to make more... Lord knows I have the fabric! 



What are your future sewing/quilting goals?

 I'll continue to make formal gowns, and I'd like to get more into improv quilting.... I also have a stack of projects I can see as I type this... 


What is one project or skill you really want to tackle?

 Hm... A skill I'd like to have, but haven't had the drive to pursue is hand quilting. People who do that blow my mind! Talk about patience!  


Do you have any favorite fabric designers?

 I don't... Or better yet maybe I should say ALL OF THEM! 


How often do you get to sew?

Depends on my other extracurricular activities, I do love a deadline. I try to sew weekly.   


What would you sew right now if time and budget allowed?

EVERYTHING! I would make clothes, quilts, bags!


Which project are you most proud of so far?

 Oops, I think I said this earlier, but probably my improv quilt. I love it. I can barely use it!


Tell us more about your sewing experience- anything that comes to mind! For example: What challenges you? What do you dread as a necessary evil? What have you impressed yourself with? What do you love about Owl & Drum and our classes?  

 I really can not enjoy hemming, but it's an absolute necessary evil. I impress myself with my neatness and efficiency combo. I LOVE taking O&D Classes because I leave ready to take off for more! I also LOVE working with Mary. I've been working embroidery lately, and just added 20 more embroidery projects to my pile! O&D has helped me grow into my favorite hobby, keep the fire fueled. O&D inspired me to think outside the box of creating for myself and friends, to share my creativities with others.


Thank you very much, Tarynn! We are so happy that we have had the opportunity to influence your skills and creativity! Thank you for supporting our small business, and our classes! 

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