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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 new coat - with pockets big enough for a dead rabbit!

This week I finally went out in the coat I have been working on, very sporadically, for a good year or so. The wool cloth is from Marton Mills, which is 15 minutes down the road from where I live, and is lovely to handle. I have been guided through the main processes by the great Ann Ladbury, who is also delighted that she doesn't have to see it again in class! It started out as the pattern pictured below though I merged all of the front and back into single pieces and added welt pockets.  When I was considering the pocket size and placement Ann Ladbury pointed out that the look and cloth I had chosen was sporty and...

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Sewing Retreat in Florence Nightingale's Childhood Home

I have just returned from a weekend of sewing in Derbyshire with 18 of my friends, some I have known for many years and others I have met more recently through a shared love of all things stitched.  The location was a charming, if not slightly mad country house where Florence Nightinghale spent her childhood years.    The soundtrack to our 3 days away was the whirring of sewing machines, the kettle boiling for endless rounds of Yorkshire tea and, most memorable of all, laughter.  From 7am (when some of the hardcore ladies were up crafting) to 2am when the party animals finally gave in, there was always a lot of happy chuckling (or cackling in some cases) to be...

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2015 - The Year of the Communal Quilt

So I have been quilting now for 10 years, though by no means prolifically.  On average I have stitched 2 or 3 each year for close family and friends.  However looking back at 2015, all of the projects I have been involved with have been communal.  I realised this is the reason why I love this particular craft so much.  Quilts can grow from a single idea, shared with like-minded people.  For me, much of their charm comes from the multiple personalities that piece them; individual styles collaborating to make something unique.   The quilts I have helped to make have celebrated births and marriages: they have been sent to siblings separated in the care system: they have raised money...

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