How did you get into quilting? I started making small quilts because I wanted to learn to do the quilting myself. So I started with small pram quilts, and what better subjects than teddy bears? After handling the small pram quilts, I progressed to a small baby quilt. I love patchwork and appliqué, but I find quilting is the most challenging part of the whole process. These small quilts were made well before I knew I was going to be a grandma, and they have been great gifts to friends with new babies.
What’s next on the agenda for you and your quilts/sewing? I have enough fabric to open my own patchwork shop! I must confess that I am addicted to buying fabric (and wool, and embroidery floss and small wood pieces for my buttons and brooches!). Consequently, I’ve decided to make small quilts (so I can quilt them myself) for gifts, sale or donations for fund-raisers, so I can use up my fabric stash. Unfortunately, my stash is growing, as I buy faster than I can sew!
Do you like to participate in craft shows, workshops and sewing bees? I’d love to have the confidence to teach at a sewing bee. I’ve been asked by the owner of a patchwork shop that I frequent to do workshops but, to date, I haven’t had the courage to do so. Perhaps one day that may happen.
How long have you been stitching? I can’t recall when I first started sewing properly, rather than dolls’ clothes etc, but I have sewn off and on for many years. I made clothes for my two children until they refused to wear homemade clothes. I used to go into the local patchwork shop because I loved the colours of the fabric, and this helped with my colour choices for my painting hobby. I started a beginner’s patchwork class, and the rest is history. Now, I really enjoy designing my own patchwork tops.
Did you have formal stitch-craft training or were you self-taught? I’m mainly self-taught. I’ve attended a few workshops over the years. I decided that I would like to learn free motion quilting and attended monthly FMQ classes last year. I am a slow learner when it comes to FMQ, or if the truth be known, I haven’t been putting in enough practice. I’m also a perfectionist, and my attempts at FMQ are far from perfect.
Would you love to spend all day, every day doing your stitching, or do you prefer to steal some time now and again? I like to sew and paint as often as I can. I find the busier and more hectic life is, the more productive I become. I find that’s when I really need to sew, as it helps me relax and unwind.
What’s the best tip you could pass on to a beginner? Just have a go and enjoy the process.
Yvonne Westwood, Yvonne W Designs –