Confessions of a Quiltaholic

8 Jul

I admit it, I like fabric. No, I have to be honest, I love fabric. I also love creating little artworks from tiny bits of fabric (known in the quilting world as ‘The Stash’). It could have something to do with being exiled to faraway countries with little to do , lots of sun and a collection of vibrant coloured scraps and fat quarters. Add to that the need to keep cool and an airconditioned room with a sewing machine and a lot of time and the resulting pile of quilts and wall hangings was inevitable.

At first I made traditional patchwork quilts with the cases full of fat quarters I took back from each leave. Then I went to Papua New Guinea which is very close to Australia. So close that I went several times and had lovely holidays in which quilt shops featured heavily.  There I discovered applique. Not just any applique but bright, happy applique. I discovered Kookaburra Cottage patterns in particular and also Australian quilting magazines. They have so much colour and fun. From then on I was hooked on applique and bright colours and I couldn’t stop.

After a while I started experimenting with my own patterns. I am not particularly good at drawing but I designed some interesting and different quilts and bags. I soon realised that if you are going to put 9 cowboys on a quilt, each in an identical space they need to be roughly the same size and  my sketching didn’t work too well in this regard. Luckily my Daughter is a graphic designer and she showed me how to trace on the computer. Suddenly the patterns looked professional and were much easier to produce. An idea was born, if I liked making these quilts perhaps others would. When I returned permanently to England I decided to set up a web site selling patterns and kits for my designs. I wasn’t too keen on doing the tracing when I had a Daughter to do it so we came to an understanding. I design, she traces and does the patterns, I make up the prototype. I like to think we have produced some very professional patterns between us. Some are made into kits as many people like to use the same material as the original. Also it is easier to have everything needed to start a project instead of having to buy everything and being frustrated by lack of availability and choice.

Quilt pattern Cowboy Layout

This is what the pattern looks like for the cowboy quilt. It has pattern pieces reversed for tracing onto fusible webbing and full sized templates for placing and fusing a whole cowboy before placing on the background fabric. These are printed on one side so that they can be placed on a light box without confusing the tracer. Also included are a general instruction sheet and instructions specific to the cowboy pattern. In addition there is a photograph of the finished quilt and a sheet with the layout measurements and materials requirements. I have tried to make my patterns user friendly based on years of using other people’s patterns and noting the pros and cons.  For individual pictures of the cowboys have a look at nsaaquilting.co.uk or see cowboy quilt link above.

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