This week I’m delighted to introduce you to Jenna who is another Flickr/coffee pal who I met a few months ago. Jenna is extremely motivated and loves to hunt out fabric bargains, clicking up the KMs on her car to search through forgotten bolts of Anna Maria Horner’s Good Folks and other out of print fabrics. Jenna can be found online through Flickr here. (Read to the bottom to find out how you can be part of this fun series.)
1. How long would you say you’ve been quilting for and what was it that got you interested in quilting?
Properly – since January – but I’ve been around quilters before. My mum even worked in a quilt store for a little while when I was about 13. I wasn’t a fan of the fabrics available back then… Mum’s idea of modern quilting was a lot of zodiac fabric with metallic gold details. (Love you Mum)
Late last year I started buying fabric for clothes for my two little boys and noticed that the quilt fabrics available now are strides ahead of where they used to be… and I want them in my home! I made some pillows and things but quilts started to become a more attractive proposition. I’m fairly well hooked now.
2. What was your first quilt and how do you think you’ve evolved as a quilter from that quilt?
My first quilt was a grid of rectangles made from cheap, loosely woven poly/cotton/wool fabric remnants with polyester batting… in 1996, when I was 15 and had no fabric budget It was stitched in the ditch and needed 1/2″ seams to stop it fraying… I cut the rectangles so that it would fold down evenly to a pillow size and made a matching pillowcase to hold it. It was for a 20-hour bus trip to the snow, we could take a pillow or a blanket but not both so I got my craft on.
Needless to say – everything is different now! My machine is better, my technique is better, the fabrics I’m using are better.
3. What are you working on right now?
Right now, I’m working on quilted pillows. I’ve also got a couple of tops completed that need quilting, and a few more I’ve started. Many of these are simple grids or tumblers etc but I’ve got a mod mosaic and a few other slightly more challenging things started.
4. Tell us about your sewing machine(s)?
I have my mum’s Elna SU, newly serviced, but I mostly do clothes on that. I was using a Brother NS30 until very recently but it doesn’t sew straight over bulky seams, which was a complete nuisance! Three weeks ago I shelled out for the Bernina B530 (“Bernice”) and everything is suddenly 200% easier. Except needle threading, I actually like the threader on the Brother a bit more!
5. Do you prefer hand quilting, machine quilting or sending it out?
I’ve never sent a quilt out for quilting so I can’t comment on that, and I am currently too impatient for hand-quilting. Many of my projects have been uber-basic in piecing so they don’t warrant that kind of time. When I get some of my more complex projects done though I probably will hand-quilt or send them out to have them done.
When machine quilting I have the digital radio on, probably a little too loud Usually 702 Sydney or NewsRadio. I’m an ABC kind of girl.
6. Do you sew on the dining table or do you have a dedicated space?
Currently our badly-set-out terrace house isn’t used downstairs for much other than storage due to the almost-dangerous staircase, small kids, and the kitchen is upstairs. I’ve let my sewing overflow to half of the ground level… it’ll need a significant cleanup and reorganisation when our renovation is done and I’m confined to a real room again.
7. Name three of your favourite fabric designers.
So many designers do stuff that I absolutely adore, but right now…
Anna Maria Horner – I adore Good Folks (I really went on a bender or two when Craft Depot were putting out all those rolls in June/July) and Field Study is really growing on me. Little Folks voiles are so beautiful as well, I have a little stash of Pastry Line yardage destined for backings (picked up at ~$7/yard, so it was too hard to say no!) Her colour sense is off the charts and nearly every range works together. Fabulous.
Melody Miller – fussy cutting all those retro motifs is great fun right now and suits the pillows I’m doing right down to the ground.
and American Jane (Sandy Klop) – I’ve gotten right in on her particular twist on 30’s and retro styling. Can’t wait for my parcel of Recess to arrive
8. Is there a fabric range out of the new season ranges that you’re drooling over?
I’ve fallen for three or four prints from Field Study (AMH), a couple from Bella (Lotta Jansdotter), and I’m itching to see some of Madrona Road (Violet Craft) and some of the new Koseki stripes up close. I’m mostly about basics and blenders this season though, so we’re talking the feathers from Field Study, the sketchy and pebbly prints from Bella and the sprouts from Madrona Road