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How on earth did this all begin!!

Wanting to get back into the workforce, but also wanting to do those mother things for my 2 young children, I was on the lookout for something that had flexible hours, able to work from home and wouldn’t it be great if it was something that I really enjoyed doing.

So you can imagine how excited I was when I saw my first quilting machine. Being totally fascinated by it, I went up and gingerly nudged everyone out of the way so I could have a go….. Trying to look like the expert I took hold of the handles and not being sure, I asked myself “ should I guide the machine or does it move by itself?” Well I never really found out, as no sooner did I start the machine, but the thread broke and I went running thinking that I had broken the machine…

Over 12 years have past since then and I have seen machine quilting grow from being quite unacceptable to being a very much accepted way in finishing your quilt in this busy day and age.

I have been patchworking for nearly 20 years now and everywhere you look around my home there is some evidence of the craft I love so much.My first quilting machine was a short arm DAQ, which at the time seem to only accommodate continuous line quilting. But as the craft has developed over the years you now see people using a shortarm machine and achieving some great results which would compare with any longarmer.

One of the ways in which machine quilting developed in Australia was thanks to the inception of the Australiasian Machine Quilting Conference. Here was a place that machine quilters from all over Australia and New Zealand could get together to network and be shown new idea’s and techniques. It was at the first conference that I really saw what a longarm machine could do and by morning tea on the first day, I was on the phone trying to find the money to buy a new machine.

I have been one of the luckier ones where I could turn my craft into an income. Not only do I quilt, but I design, teach and have had lots of projects featured in several magazines. If it wasn’t for the magazines I would never have as many finished quilts as I do now. They have been a great incentive to pull those Unfinished projects out of the cupboard and complete them.

Just by looking at all my quilts you can chronicle how patchwork and quilting has evolved over time… From that first sampler quilt…..only one brand of fabrics to choose from “Cranston” .. “ A Range”…… isn’t that something your home is on!! If you made a pink quilt you only used pink fabrics, a blue quilt, only blue fabrics…. and every second quilt was apricot!!….

My first sampler was pink, every shade of pink in the spectrum, only pink….. all 20 blocks…well the first 18….. on the last 2 I became daring and lashed out with some green leaves…

A few quilts later “country” came into vogue… move over florals, checks are the go!! No more of that fiddley needle turn appliqué… vlisofix was the only way to do it …..funky, brights, hand dyes….. you were only limited by your imagination, but every now and then that apricot quilt would turn up again.

My current favourites are Reproductions. I love those old looking fabrics and the old looking quilts they make. When designing projects I have 3 rules… make them quick, make them easy and make them look like they have been around for a long time…Just like a lot of people, now a days our time is precious and although we might have that “special treasure” being worked on in the background, we still like to achieve and have a finished product we can snuggle up with.I love the challenge of looking at a quilt and trying to figure out the quickest way to put it together.

A lot of people ask do you tire from quilting all these quilts….. I would have to admit as I gettowards the end of a very large and intricate quilt, I think “how can I go on”….. and that only lasts till the next quilt is out of the bag and all those creative juices start flowing again….

I have taken another step forward and invested in a Statler Stitcher, which really does bring my 2 loves together, quilting and computers... How much do I love my Statler enough to retrofit my other machine... But my greatest love is my partner Garry, cause if it wasn't for his love and support I would not be able to do what I am doing today....

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