I think I may have stumbled onto something with the tablet pouch design. Yesterday I got a phone call from my Dad telling me that he has bought my Mum a laptop for her birthday and asking if I could make her a case for it. A quick chat with my Mum then revealed that she would like a pouch like the two I blogged about recently, but also, could she have a unique and special laptop bag to hold more than just the laptop. Hmm, somehow my Amy Butler Weekender Bag doesn’t feel like the biggest bag making challenge I’m going to have this year. I’ve been away from home this weekend, so no sewing :(. Instead I have been busying myself by designing my Mum’s laptop bag. Now, she knows about my blog so I’m not going to be able to say too much about the design here (at least until after her birthday). However, I just wanted to show you my design notebook. Isn’t it pretty?! It has fabric and embroidered embellishments, but it also has a teapot design (ok I clearly have a problem with teapots – see here, here and here). I use the book as a doodle space, but also to help plan out the construction process for various projects. It’s not neat but it keeps everything in one place and gives me a resource to refer back to when I repeat a design (like I did for the tablet pouch)
To kick things off here in My Patchwork Home I thought I’d start simple with a little bit about me and my decision to start a blog.
When I was 15 I started making a patchwork quilt. 4″ paper squares wrapped in yellow green and blue solid fabric were painstakingly hand pieced together by me (and various friends who took pity on me) over the next seven years. Eventually I had a quilt the same size as a single duvet. I sewed a back on to it and then started putting the batting in as one might put a duvet cover on a duvet. Once it was more or less in place I sewed little crosses in the corner of all the squares to hold my ‘duvet’ together and then whip stitched the final edge closed. It was done. I had made a patchwork quilt.
A few months after finishing my patchwork quilt, as I began studying for my Masters Degree in 2007, my mother threatened to paint my bedroom duckegg blue. It’s perhaps a little presumptuous to call it my bedroom as it was simply the room I slept in when I visited my parents, but it was, notionally at least, my room. In what I can only describe as a belated fit of teenage pique (aged 22) I resisted my mother’s decorating plans for MY room and immediately set about making a bright red and orange double bed sized quilt with the deliberate intention of scuppering her colour scheme plans. 6 years on and that quilt is currently stuffed under my sofa, 90% quilted, 98% abandoned, utterly bereft of my interest and attention. I do still plan to finish it one day. However, for now the legacy of that quilt has been that it led me into the world of patchwork quilting and gave me a hobby that has kept me sane throughout the turbulent and chaotic years of finishing my PhD, getting married, moving all over the country and learning how to be an army wife.
In September 2012 we moved to Staffordshire and for the first time ever I saw a quilt that someone else had made. Until then my entire exposure to patchwork quilting had been through online blogs, YouTube videos, Google image search and various tutorials. The first thing I did when I knew we would be moving to Staffordshire was to google local quilting shops – I needed to know where my supplies would come from. What I found was the Staffordshire Patchworkers and Quilters Guild; a wonderful welcoming group of people who meet every month to listen to a speaker and look at lots of lovely quilts. I saw them, touched them, moved them, and marvelled at the textures and colours that were so different to the online images I was used to. Here I think my enjoyment of quilting became an addiction. My number of projects has skyrocketed in the last 12 months and I’m always thinking about the next idea or mulling over design choices in my head.
So 13 years after taking my first step on my quilting journey I am starting a blog of my own. It’s feels like the only way to say thank you to all the patchworkers and bloggers out there that inspired and nurtured my interest in the craft. To begin with my plan is to post a mix of my current projects and a record of my earlier creations (successes and failures). If nothing else it will be a nice way to keep a record of my fabric endeavours and possibly meet some new friends. If you do visit, please let me know you’ve dropped in by posting a comment. It would be lovely to hear from you.
Till next time