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Karen Lewis Interview for Jenni Smith Sews

I first met Karen Lewis a couple of years ago at the fabulous Chirpy store in Leeds.  Karen had just published her book Screenprinting at Home and had an open workshop to give the basic techniques a go.  Last November I also enjoyed a full day workshop at Karen's home studio with some of my quilt-loving friends.    (My rather wonky logo templates ready for screen printing!)  Karen is incredibly busy at the moment.  She is working as a fabric designer for Robert Kaufman and this week she announced that she will be teaching and lecturing at Quilt Con 2017 in Savannah, USA. She has also set up The Thread House with Jo Avery and Lynne Goldsworthy to release patterns...

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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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#My Liberty - The Edwyn Collins Quilt

The quilt pictured here covers my bed at home and my husband Paul and I sleep under it every night. It features three Liberty prints including Ornithology by Edwyn Collins from the Art Rocks Collection, as well as some remnants from my wedding dress. I made it in 2012 whilst heavily pregnant with my third child, and there is a story behind how and why it came about. I met musician Edwyn Collins and his wife Grace Maxwell in 2011 when helping with an exhibition of his bird drawings at the 108 gallery in Harrogate. I knew his music because of the 1991 hit 'A Girl Like You', rather than his earlier career with Orange Juice.  I had also been greatly...

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