How did you feel when you first started sewing? I honestly don’t remember. I was six when my mum started teaching me, so I don’t really remember a time when I couldn’t sew. I used to love stitching with my mum, and I felt very important when I was little if she let me use her sewing machine or take some fabric from her stash. I was a kid who liked to be still and quiet; I loved to hide away to read and to sit and stitch.
Has your response to your craft changed much since then? I have a lot more patience than I used to. Quilting is my blessing and my curse. I love my job with all my heart, but it’s also just that - a job, and by its very nature, some days I really don’t want to go to work. There’s a big difference between picking something up to work on it for the love of it and HAVING to sew for hours on end. I know it sounds like heaven but it’s not always like that.
What is it that keeps you creating? I simply can’t imagine my life without it. Making things with my hands is my whole life – it’s my income, my pleasure, my way of expressing love and of channelling off stress or sadness. I don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t make things.
Do you teach your skills? I teach in Australia regularly and also internationally several times a year. I also teach online classes at Craftsy.com.
How long can you spend browsing in a patchwork store? How long have you got?
What’s your favourite time of day to sew? If there’s machine sewing to do, it’s always done through the day when there’s no one home. I usually go to the studio at about 10am and work from then until everyone gets home, usually about 5 or 6. I hand sew in front of the television, so that often happens at night.
Do you have any sewing gadgets/notions you never use? Lots and lots. Way too many. I’m a pretty simple stitcher - my machine, a few specialty rulers and my favourite appliqué gear, and I’m all set.
What do you wish for your creative future? I’m really excited by how enthusiastically quilters have embraced my Block of the Month programs – that’s opened up a whole new avenue of my business for me. It’s lovely to have something happen entirely the way I want it, without having to cater for the wants and needs of publishers and fabric companies. I hope the future holds more of the same - more books and fabric and thread collections; working with companies and people I respect and admire; more opportunities to teach lovely people in amazing places; and more quilts. Always more quilts.
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