Amy Latta is passionate about inspiring her online community by sharing honest inspiration for everyday life. On her award-winning blog amylattacreations.com, you’ll find easy-to-follow hand lettering tutorials, along with all kinds of craft and DIY projects anyone can create. Amy recently stopped by to teach us some hand lettering, show off some new fabric markers, and design some beautiful quilt labels that you can DIY for your next project! Before the tutorial comes out, let’s learn more about Amy – from her creative journey and process to her inspiration and more!
How did you become fascinated with hand-writing and beautiful penmanship?
I have loved creating art ever since I was little – I was the girl who doodled all over the pages of my notebooks in school and tried to take the prettiest notes possible. I learned traditional calligraphy with a pointed pen as a teenager and have always enjoyed playing around with different font styles. When brush script, which is the current most popular form of hand lettering, started to become really popular a few years ago, I absolutely loved the look of it and determined that I was going to teach myself to do it. The contrast of thick and thin lines inside every letter makes it so unique, and it’s definitely my favorite artistic way to write.
Do you play with fabric in your craft life? How do you use it?
I sure do! I know how to sew, so sometimes I make fun fabric projects like cute bandanas for my dog or Halloween costumes for my kids. During the beginning of the pandemic, I sewed hundreds of fabric masks for the nurses at local hospitals, and it felt amazing to be able to use my crafting skills to help other people in a real time of need. I also use felt a lot, making DIY ornaments and plush toys.
What crafting tool are you most dependent on?
Since lettering is my specialty, it would probably be my markers, but when it comes to general crafting, I often find myself in need of a hot glue gun and a paintbrush. I also absolutely love my Cricut machine! It allows me to cut my lettered designs out of all kinds of materials like vinyl, fabric, felt, infusible ink, iron-on, leather, and more, which means I can make a huge variety of projects.
What was the most frustrating project you ever worked on? How did you stay motivated and creatively present to finish it?
If I’m being honest, it was an attempt at wood burning, and I failed so terribly that I threw it across the room and then into the trash. Nowadays, I have a scorch marker that lets me wood burn without the difficult equipment, though, so I have indeed been able to hand letter on wood! I know that finishing strong and staying motivated is important, and I have definitely done that during my fair share of projects (I often find that when I’m frustrated, I just need to walk away for awhile, then come back with a fresh attitude). But I also think there’s wisdom in knowing when to let a project go too. You don’t have to do everything.
What do you do to find inspiration/encourage your creativity?
I am an incredibly visual person, so I am most inspired by what I see. Sometimes that might be something in a store or something on Pinterest, and when I see it, I am inspired to try creating a personalized version of it for myself. Other times, I see materials, like a particular fabric or wooden sign or flowers and I start to envision what they could become.
What occupation would you like to try if making wasn’t an option?
I would go back to my previous occupation as a ballroom, Latin, and swing dance instructor. It was indescribably fun! I loved everything about it: the dancing, the learning, and the teaching. The thing I didn’t love was the hours, which kept me away from my family in the evenings. I stopped teaching dance when my son was 2 years old because I knew that as my kids got older and started school, those evenings would be the only real time we had together and I didn’t want to miss them. As I was navigating being a stay-at-home-mom, I stumbled across a craft blog and that’s what led me to start this whole venture with my website and everything that followed. No matter what my occupation, though, I would never stop creating on the side.
Who is your favorite fictional character?
I actually majored in English in college, and taught English in the public school system for four years, so I am a major book nerd. I have tons of beloved characters, and it’s so hard to choose just one! I guess if I had to choose, I’d pick Elizabeth Bennett from Pride & Prejudice.
What craft material have you been hoarding the longest?
So, you are assuming that I’m a hoarder. LOL. I prefer “collector.” I’m not sure what material I’ve had the longest, but I definitely “collect” markers, wooden surfaces, vinyl, metal stamping supplies, and paint. When I reorganized my craft studio in February, I literally donated boxes and bags full of paint and other supplies to the local elementary school as well as giving some away to friends, and I still have more than I need.
Describe your perfect day.
It would definitely start with sleeping in! I am NOT a morning person by any stretch of the imagination, and right now my kids’ school schedule means I have to be up by 6 AM every day. I’d sleep in, then ease into the day with some coffee on the couch, snuggling my cat and dog while doing my daily devotion and catching up on email. Then, I’d take a few hours to leisurely create something just for the joy of it. I might work on a paint by number or start a new project. After lunch, I’d film a television segment to share crafty ideas. For dinner, my husband would cook one of his absolutely incredible from-scratch meals like Mongolian Beef or Orange Chicken and fried rice, then our family would take a walk on the beach…because my perfect day would include living somewhere near the ocean. We’d catch up on the boys’ days at school and spend some quality time together. Then, we’d play a game together as a family – probably Super Smash Bros or Mario Kart 8 if my boys had their choice. We’d finish the day with my husband and I watching a Hallmark Christmas movie together. What could be better?
What’s your dream project? What’s the “maybe some day…” creation you have in mind?
I would absolutely LOVE to do a hand lettered mural on the wall or even the chalkboard of a local spot. Ideally, I’d do a coffee-themed one in our local Starbucks. At one point, our church also toyed with the idea of a lettering piece on the back wall, but it hasn’t come to anything yet. I just think doing something on such a large scale would push and challenge me, and it would be amazing to see it there in the community inspiring other people.
The other dream project I have – and I’m not just saying this because you are the quilt people – is to create a handmade quilt. It’s one of the only art & craft type things I’ve never attempted, and I know how much time and love goes into creating one. I feel like it would be such a huge accomplishment and I would be so proud of myself for actually taking on such a big, new project.