Place des Arts will be open on September 19.
Pam Leitch, a new artisan in our Christmas Boutique this year, started making stuffed bunnies over 25 years ago as gifts for the children in her life. As her technique improved, Pam moved on to other animals and creatures and eventually started selling her exquisitely crafted creatures at craft fairs as “Pals Country Critters.”
Pam’s love affair with creating things from fabric began at a young age. She and her sister grew up as daughters of a single mom, which meant the family didn’t have a lot of money for extras. So, when the girls entered junior high school, they started taking sewing lessons. Their mother bought them a sewing machine, and soon the sisters were buying fabric and piecing together different patterns to make their own “designer” clothes, including dresses for the school dances.
Once Pam had children of her own and a full-time job, she had no time for sewing. However, upon retirement, she was right back to her creative passion. She took a doll making course several years ago and used the techniques she learned to combine her love of fabric with her love of fantasy creatures, resulting in “Pals Country Critters” — a variety of animals, gnomes, fairies and elves.
According to Pam, her creative process can be very chaotic. She says, “Usually I’m working with a mess of materials on my work table. I use different fabrics, greenery, buttons, etc., and then things just happen.”
Of all her critters, the large hares take the longest to create, often up to several days to get them right. Pam says, “The layout and sewing goes quickly but coordinating fabrics for the suits takes time. It used to take me a long time to sculpt the faces, but I’m getting faster.”
We’re pleased to showcase Pam’ gorgeous work in our Christmas Boutique, especially because there is a very limited supply. Pam says, “It is really just a hobby. I won’t sell widely or over the Internet because I want to keep this as a hobby I enjoy.” Indeed, Pam’s main reason for selling is simply so she can make more!
You can see several of Pam’s Pals (the name is derived from her initials: Pamela Ann Leitch) in our Christmas Boutique and also at the Coquitlam Christmas Craft Fair.