Sweetgrass Sews by Nicole

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SweetgrassSews is taking a short break


Note from shop owner Hello and thanks for visiting! I’m working on some new items and plan to re-open October 4, 2022.

Note from shop owner

Last updated on Sep 19, 2022

Hello and thanks for visiting! I’m working on some new items and plan to re-open October 4, 2022.

Nicole D. Williams

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Nicole D. Williams


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5 out of 5 stars
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About SweetgrassSews

Sales 21
On Etsy since 2021

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About Me

My name is Nicole D. Williams and I am a fourth generation Gullah sweetgrass basket maker in Charleston, SC.

My inspiration for learning to sew sweetgrass baskets was my grandmother, Elizabeth (Rouse) Jenkins, who passed away several years ago. When my grandmother was in her 70s she had an injury that kept her home for an extended period, so she, unbeknownst to us, began sewing baskets and giving them to different family members. Up to that point, we had no idea she knew how to sew baskets (although I do have several cousins who have been sewing them for decades). One day I asked her to teach me and she tried, but got frustrated with my left-handedness and we eventually gave up on trying. When she passed away I got this urge to try learning again to continue the art form. I learned that my grandmother spent a lot of time teaching one of my cousins how to sew before she died and asked her to pick up where my grandmother left off with my teaching. After a few weekends with her and some other wonderful basket makers, I practiced making starters every morning before work and I’ve been sewing baskets ever since. For me, there is just something about forming that initial round piece of the base that always gets my creative juices flowing.

Over time I have found a style I am most comfortable with and I sew baskets either outside in or inside out, it just depends on how I feel when I start a piece. I sew to not only carry on the tradition, but also for expression and relaxation—I still work full time (as a RN) and treasure those stolen moments throughout the week that I get to work on my art. Often times I surprise even myself with what I come up with!

To further add to the uniqueness of my work I like to point out a big difference most people don’t recognize when purchasing Gullah sweetgrass baskets from me or other sewers/weavers—my left-handed rows flow in the opposite direction of those done by a right-handed person and that difference is a tell tale sign of the handedness of the basket maker (left-handed sewers are rare).

My hope is that anyone who receives a piece of work done by me finds as much joy in having it as I did in making it.

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  • Nicole D. Williams

    Owner, Maker, Designer

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SweetgrassSews is considered a professional seller (known as a trader) in the EU. What's this?