Why this particular craft? I’ve tried lots of different crafts, but I think patchwork appeals to me so much because it can incorporate many things I love; hand appliqué, embroidery, EPP and the opportunity to create something that will be used and hopefully loved and enjoyed long after I’m gone.
If you weren’t doing this, what else would occupy your time? If I hadn’t started my business designing in the patchwork industry, I’d still be working as a graphic designer or something else creative. I still enjoy graphic-design work, which I do get to incorporate when I create my books.
Who taught you your crafting skills? My mum was a teacher and loves craft. We did every type of craft over the years. She tried to get me interested in patchwork long before I was, but I resisted. When I did eventually try it, I thought, “Yep, this is my thing”. I am very stubborn, though, and I usually like to jump in and work things out myself. I learn best this way.
What does this craft mean to you? I’ve met some of my best friends, from a shared passion for patchwork. Designing and working in this industry has allowed me to be at home while my girls grew up, to travel all over the world teaching and to be creative every day. I am very grateful for this.
Is it hard to find time to do it or is it a profession? If you love what you do, it’s not really hard work, but a joy. Luckily I’m a night owl, so I get a lot done in the evenings, after dinner is done, the family is in bed and the phone isn’t ringing.
From where do you draw inspiration? I’m mostly inspired by my family and friends, nature, critters, the garden and home. These themes appear in many of my designs. I like to include heartfelt verses and messages, also.
Why this skill – and this style? I have always leaned toward creative pursuits. I love handwork, in particular. It soothes my soul, when life is busily rushing around me. Needleturn appliqué, embroidery and EPP, keep my hands busy but still let my mind wander.
Where do you live and work? I live in my workspace. I do have an office, where I write patterns and books and we keep our stock, but I design and stitch at our dining table in the family room. I never wanted a sewing room where I would be away from the rest of the family. Soon after I began designing, we bought a much larger dining table, so I could have my work at one end and still have everyone sitting down to dinner. It’s messy, though, which is definitely the downside.
Natalie Bird, The Birdhouse –