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My Sailor Collar block on the Splendid Sampler 2

I am very happy to share my block design with you all for the Splendid Sampler 2 - Sailor Collar on page 42 in the book. This is the first time I have been part of a worldwide sew-along and it has been a really interesting journey so far.  I feel more confident in different quilting skills and watching my quilt grow is exciting. I also love watching everyone else's projects develop, and seeing how each person can put their unique spin on each block.  The block represents a sailor collar and that is because I am working on a quilt project using the remnants of one that belonged to my Grandpa Stanley when he served in the Navy in...

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The Orchard Garden Collection for Liberty

I loved being involved with the development of Liberty's latest quilt range The Orchard Garden.   I had my first preview back in January when the head designer Mary-Ann came up to visit my Ilkley studio.  I instantly fell for a couple of the signature prints including Pheasant Forest.  The design is similar to Jess & Jean on Tana Lawn with delicate details perfect for piecing into a quilt. The first strike-offs arrived in the Spring, and we designed the Orchard Star Quilt as a free project to accompany the collection. This pattern can be downloaded from Alice Caroline's website here, where you can also buy fabrics.  I made the quilt in time for Festival of Quilts in August and...

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Why Jenni Smith sewing and quilt patterns are unique

On the eve of the release of my debut quilt pattern, Morris Mouse, I wanted to share a few insights.  The strongest value in my business is to be helpful. This goal drives the studio classes that I teach, and the patterns that I produce.  I want people to improve their skills and to feel the sense of pride and achievement that I love at the end of a craft project.  I know from experience that written instructions for any sewing or quilt pattern can be tricky - however well drafted.  I have been frustrated, confused and, at times, I may even have had a little cry when I just don't get it! Therefore, when I wrote down my vision...

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My trip to Aurifil HQ in Milan

Recently I spent a day at Aurifil HQ in Milan, invited by the very lovely Brad Mitchell who is the UK sales manager and, as it turns out, grew up just down the road from me in West Yorkshire. During my day in Saronno I learnt about the history of the company, saw the production process at the factory and planned my first collaboration with them at the Craft, Hobby and Stitch show in the UK next February (yippee).  I love Aurifil thread like so many other people out there and bought my first batch from Lisa and Justine at Simply Solids who have a really good supply here in England. I not only use it for quilting but also...

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Yorkshire and Proud Part One - Inspiration from the Local Landscape

I was born in Leeds and though I have travelled a lot in the past, my home is now in Ilkley, on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales.  My friends would say that I have a fairly strong Northern accent and I see myself very much as a Yorkshire lass: I am pretty hardy in cold weather, I love a brisk walk on the wild moors just like the Brontë sisters many moons ago, and I drink a lot of tea.  A lot of my recent quilt art has been directly inspired by the landscape that surrounds my home.  First up are the very famous Cow and Calf rocks on Ilkley Moor. These huge formations are made of millstone grit and...

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