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Blog — quilting RSS



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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I am a designer for The Splendid Sampler 2

This is a very exciting milestone for me and I am glad I can finally talk about it after many months of secret planning! The Splendid Sampler kicked off in 2016 with 84 designers producing 100 quilt blocks for people to make throughout the year. Pat Sloan (in the US) and Jane Davidson (in Australia) are the masterminds behind the whole project and managed to engage thousands of creative people around the world.  I loved watching my friends get involved and following the project on Instagram and Facebook. I met Pat and Jane at Spring Market in St Louis last May and admired the first Splendid Sampler quilt in all its glory. They are very warm, talented and hard-working women. ...

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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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Happy International Women's Day 2018

It's fair to say that if it wasn't for some of the female population of West Yorkshire I wouldn't have a business!  So today, on International Women's Day I am celebrating everyone who supports me by coming to classes at the studio. Back in 2011, a small group took a chance that I might be able to help them to sew when I offered quilting classes in the Promises Auction at my children's school.  It was in my home, with quilt templates cut from cereal packets and the chaos of family life surrounding us.  I tried my best, we cracked on together and it gave me the confidence to teach a few more people.   Three years later I rented...

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The Festival of Quilts 2016 with Aurifil Threads

As an avid quilter, and an enthusiastic consumer of sewing delights I have no idea why it has taken me so long to make it to the Festival of Quilts. Perhaps it is because Europe's biggest quilt show is always in the middle of August and I am usually on holiday or surviving 6 weeks of no school with my 3 children.  However I was very determined to go in 2016 and booked it in the diary back in January. My friend Bradley at Aurifil then asked me to help on their booth so I got 4 days rather than 2, as well as the chance to spend time with Sheena Norquay who was exhibiting her work with them.   ...

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