Anni Downs

Did your distinctive style happy over time or was it immediate when you started stitching? My style is a little naive and whimsical, with warm hues and low contrast. I am always developing, and my style is quite different from when I first began. When I started, I did much more piecing of images - now I prefer to appliqué my images. The colours I use now are much lighter than they used to be. Some of my earlier designs are still some of my favourites, but others look very chunky compared to what I do now.

Are you good at all the crafts you have tried? Gosh no! I tried crochet and just couldn't work out where to put that crochet hook - I created a bunch of weird looking knots. I definitely need some assistance there.

What sorts of crafts do you avoid like the plague? Anything that includes masses of glue and sparkles. I’m a traditionalist at heart and avoid anything too kitsch or cutesy.

Of all the designs you’ve created, which has been your favourite? In My Garden Block of the Month is still my all-time favourite, along with Gossip in the Garden. I spent ages creating these, and so they feel like a part of me. They’re definitely the ones I would try and save in a fire!

And which has been most popular with the public or gift recipient? An Angel Story Quilt is still the one I have feedback on the most. I think a lot of people identify with it. And the quilt from my book A Simple Life would come a close second.

Are you happy with the space you work in – what are its limitations and benefits? What I have now is a small corner in a spare room of our house, which I share with a double bed and loads of paraphernalia. Really, I use the corner to store my bits and pieces, then take most of what I’m working on out to the dining-room table to be with my family. My dream would be a huge sewing space with a table just for my sewing machine, one for my lightbox and one for planning and creating everything on.

What are your five favourite craft blogs for casual craft browsing? I don't really have a favourite craft blog. If ever I'm browsing on the internet, I often just Google a quilty word or two and just scroll through the gorgeous images - a great way to come across something a little different and unique to start the creative juices.

Do you have any sewing gadget you never use? I would deem myself the most basic of basic when it comes to gizmos and gadgets. I just use my regular supplies – the stuff I can't do without. I am wracking my brain, trying to think of something I don't ever use and am coming up with a big fat blank.

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