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My very first trade show - Stitches 2016

Last week I had my first experience of a craft-based trade show.  I took part in Stitches at the NEC in Birmingham, Europe's largest event of its kind.  My textile art, quilts and clothes were displayed on the Aurifil stand, the most popular thread on the market for quilters.  I used their products in all of my projects and had made work to showcase their different threads including Brillo (metallic), Lana (wool), Floss and other weights of Egyptian Mako cotton.  My aim was to validate my idea to sell products featuring my designs, as well as other "Beautiful Tools for Creative People". As soon as I arrived I knew that the creative world is where I want to be. I...

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If you love sewing read this blog

  The mini quilt pictured here is this year's Valentine, stitched on my Janome machine using Aurifil 50wt threads and my freemotion foot.  It is my first experiment with text in textile art, and is a little wonky!  I received a very inspiring book on the subject for Mother's Day last year, written by British textile artist Sara Impey, and I finally had the time to try it out. I have loved Sara's work since visiting the V and A's seminal exhibition on Quilts from 1700-2010 a few years back, so I was really happy when she allowed me to share her work Between the Lines later in this blog post. The declaration "I Love You More Than Sewing" is a big...

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The Start of my Entrepreneurial Journey - create what you want to see in the world

Next week I take up my place on the Entrepreneurial Spark business accelerator programme in Leeds.  Back in December I had to submit a business plan and pitch my vision to a team of professionals. It was scary, but I got through it and on February 3rd I will be on the 7.30am train to boot camp. For the next 6 months I will have a lot of input from people with business and financial expertise. I will have an office space to work from and be part of a network of entrepreneurs with access to industry-specific mentors, growth consultants and lots more.  My aim is simple - to develop, produce and sell products that I would like to see...

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Teaching Alex and Brad from Aurifil how to sew a tie

A few weeks ago I spent the day teaching Alex and Brad the basics of sewing.  They spend their days surrounded by thread and creative people at Quilt Market and other International Shows, so they were keen to give it a try. Not wanting an easy challenge they chose to make a tie - a project considerably harder than it looks and which drove contestants on the Great British Sewing Bee to tears.  They didn't cry.  Here's a little video to watch….

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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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