INSPIRE

FeelGood Features: Kara Herman

We are excited to continue our weekly series, FeelGood Features, with fiber artist  Kara Herman! FeelGood Features will showcase artitsts that work primarily with upcycled/recycled and sustainable materials. Because it’s not only important WHY we quilt, but it’s also important HOW we quilt. Our hope is that this series will introduce you to artists that you will love learning about and demonstrate the ways in which you, too, can incorporate sustainable materials into your craft. Thanks for being here! 

Kara Herman

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Kara (@crackerjackgoods)

Meet Kara

I have been creating since a very young age! I remember constantly coloring as a kid. When I was 10, I learned how to embroider from my childhood BFF’s Grandmom! Both of my Grandmother’s embroidered when they were younger but had stopped at this point. So it was cool to still get to learn from a Grandma! From embroidery I started working with any other fibers I could get my hands on. I’ve done some weaving, punch needle, machine quilting, hand quilting, I’ll try any of it! I grew up in east Dallas, Texas, have a Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature/Marketing, and my brand is named after my best buddy, my terrier mix Cracker Jack.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Kara (@crackerjackgoods)

Why do you feel called to use upcycled or recycled materials in your work?

I like to try all sorts of materials! So why not use things that are upcycled!? I realized I could find vintage pieces that were embroidered or quilted and give them a modern update. I love being able to bring awareness to fiber crafts through pieces that I don’t even know the background on. While I am working on a vintage piece I like to dream up a story for who stitched the piece years before. Instead of fabric pieces sitting in a bin at an antique store, I can display them in a hoop for people to see.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Kara (@crackerjackgoods)

How do you source your materials?

I don’t usually search out any of my materials! A lot of people give me things since they know I’m a maker. If I happen upon an antique shop I will definitely go in to see what I can find. I’ve been accumulating pieces for years! I love digging through piles of fabric to see what I can find. My favorite pieces are vintage quilt blocks and embroidered kitchen materials.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Kara (@crackerjackgoods)

Were there any particular challenges or surprises to using upcycled materials?

Yes! The main challenge I always deal with is ethical I guess. I want to make sure I am honoring the original piece in some way. So with quilted pieces I tend to not add any stitching but simply iron it out and display it in a hoop or frame. For vintage embroidered pieces I want to keep the best pieces of fabric I am using (a lot are stained or torn), and add something new to it. Lately it has been a goofy pop culture quote, or something that makes me laugh! I always hope whoever stitched it before I add my quote had a sense of humor and would appreciate it!

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Kara (@crackerjackgoods)


Thank you, Kara! Everything you make is SO MUCH FUN!  To follow along with Kara, find her on Instagram, FB, Etsy and visit her website.

Want more inspiration? Check out our interviews with Skye Rayburn and Tara Glastonbury!

Back to list

Related Posts