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  • Mitten Mania

    Stay-at-home-mom turns hobby into unique business

    Mitten mania pic 1
    Chris Rilling, founder of Chris’s Creations, has been sewing since she was in high school, but has only recently turned her hobby into a business she runs out of her home. Rilling sells mittens which she makes from unique sweaters she thrifts or finds in her friends’ closets. Photo by Emily Rogers
    Mitten mania pic 3

    Chestermere resident, Chris Rilling, works every day on sewing mittens to prepare for craft sales. Rilling sews whenever she has a free moment in between running a day care out of her home. Photo by Emily Rogers

    Chris Rilling, first began sewing in high school, and eventually started making children’s clothing, pajamas, and quilts.

    “I’m into the crafty stuff, every year I have made all my gifts for people, one year I made stuffed geese,” Rilling said.

    “I enjoy sewing, I always had the oldest machines, my dad would get them from garage sales,” Rilling said.

    Her last sewing machine which was from the 1950’s had the seal of good housekeeping on it, Rilling said.

    “That was the best machine. I went to a sewing class to learn how to make a pillow, everyone was laughing at my old machine, my old clunker machine. By the end of the class, mine was the only one still working, mine was the quietest, and mine would start right on the edge,” she added.

    After working with her old sewing machine for a few years, Rilling wanted to upgrade to something fancier.

    “This one is easier to thread, it has a few fancier stitches on it, it cuts the thread for you, I just wore the old one out,” she said.

    Rilling has always enjoyed craft sewing and two years ago was looking for a way to reuse an old sweater with holes in it that she had loved.

    Her aunt suggested she make a pair of mittens out of the old sweater instead of tossing it away.

    “I thought oh my gosh that’s a good idea. I made one pair, and one pair turned into three pairs, and it just kept going,” Rilling said.

    She added, “Then I had to go look for new sweaters. It just kept going, and I got hooked on it, it was fun, it was fun to sew, and I liked the end project.”

    The sweaters that Rilling uses for the mittens are either thrifted, or from her friends’ closets.

    “I’m always looking for unique things, I look at sweaters very differently now,” Rilling said.

    “It’s not just what the shape is, or what they look like, I look at a sweater and I see mitts,” she added.

    Although Rilling is busy throughout the day running a day home, she still finds time to work on her mittens.

    “The motivation comes from it’s a craft, it’s an art. I think it’s really fun trying to find the materials, matching the materials, and matching the patterns, or different colours,” Rilling said.

    She added, “There really neat to pair together, it’s more than just making mittens.”

    Rilling usually sews every day, but because she has a day home she only has a few spare minutes throughout the day.

    “I’m busy with the kids all day. Nap time, I love nap time, that’s my time where I can sit down, and I can do a little bit of sewing.

    “Weekends, and evenings, nap time, even if I’m up early waiting for kids, I’ll start sewing,” Rilling said.

    She added, on the weekends her son calls it “Mitten Mania” while she is busy sewing.

    “I’m just having a great time,” Rilling said.

    For more information on Chris’s Creations, visit her Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Chriss-Creations.