Week 3 – 2018 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop

This is week 3 of the 2018 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop.  Have you read all the exciting introductory blog posts in the past weeks?  What wonderful quilting stories out there. If you have missed them then click on the Happy Stitching Team button on the right of my blog to catch up.

A bit about myself

I originally hail from Kenya. Growing up in the 70/80s was an amazing time in Mombasa.  Mombasa is a coastal town in Kenya with Arab/Portuguese influence.  Its known for its beaches and the slow pace life style with lots of family and community interaction.  Of course, the world has caught up with Mombasa so things have changed. But having said that Mombasa at heart is the same, warm, casual and fun.

My happy place

Ever since I remember I have loved to sew.  It was my happy place.  This was all nicely supported, as I had my maternal aunties who ran a Garment’s factory and had access to so many fabric off cuts.  At first I used to make my own clothes then my friends wanted me to make them hip new clothes.  All this was formalised by studying at Home Science College, majoring in clothing and textiles.  By the age of 19 I was running a creative small business making traditional clothes for women in our community.  The clothes were embellished by hand embroidery, hand painting or applique.  My business was going well as it grew from my passion of creating beautiful clothes.

Then I met my husband and travelled all the way to Australia to start a family.  I never dreamt that one day I will be living in the land down under. It was just destiny.  Today I live in the beautiful city of Canberra.  Picturesque and peaceful.  Lots of active and creative places to go to.  This is also the home of my guild the Canberra Quilters.  The Canberra Quilters put up an annual exhibition every year in August.  The calibre of quilts are to envied.

Quilts

In Australia, I was introduced to the world of quilting.  I was amazed when I saw art quilts and how they looked like paintings except they were made with fabric.  I then purchased my first computerised sewing/embroidery machine.  The Husqvarna Designer SE, which I still use.  I bought it for its embroidery function, but soon I got sucked in to the world of quilting.  I desperately wanted a quilt for myself and could not just settle to buy one.  Coming from a creative background, I had to learn this art for myself and make it for myself.   so I did my first quilt class in 2004 with a local quilt store and made my first quilt “Healthy Living“.  My second quilt was from a pattern designed by “Julie Wallace” of Quilter’s Barn, I made the Winter Rose. Sad to say that she is no more.

When I first started quilting I thought of joining my local guild, but working full time and raising a family, It was impossible for me to attend guild meetings.  Searching online, I found this fledgling quilting group based in India, the Desi-Quilters back in 2006 or so.  From a handful of quilters, it now boast’s group membership close to 3000.  This got me into blogging about my quilts although if I see some of my earlier posts I feel like deleting them but then I thought that at least it can be a testament to how far I have come.  Quilters in India have come quite far and are now going to have their very own quilt festival – The India Quilt Festival 2019.

Designing Quilts

I design my quilts using EQ 8.  I am not sure how I got into buying the EQ software, but I have had it since EQ 5.  I hardly used it for many many years, then at one point in time I got thinking that I want to do something more with my quilts so I talked to a friend who is a copy writer  in Sydney, asking her to design a website for me, however she was very gracious and encouraged me to start a facebook page, hence No3quiltstudio on facebook.

Through this page Husqvarna India saw my quilts and was invited to take part in an online quilt competition in 2015.  The theme of the quilt show was “Joy of Flowers”.  I was not sure how I was going to achieve this, then with the help from my son I designed my quilt inspired by a photo taken by my husband. At that time I did not know my EQ software very well so I designed the entire quilt on paper!  My entry of “Joy of flowers”  won a Pfaff Passport 2.0.  I was elated!

Following that, I showed my quilt to an online quilting friend who is working for the Australian Patchwork and Quilting Magazine.  She loved the quilt and offered to show it to her magazine editor.  The editor liked it and wanted to publish my quilt which then forced me to design the entire “Joy of Flowers” quilt on the EQ, just so I could give them correct size templates.

Since, then I have not stopped, I have made several quilts for the Australian Patchwork and Quilting Magazine and the Australian Handmade Magazine.  Some of the quilts I designed for the magazine are:

What next

I mainly love the designing aspect of quilts and quilted projects.  My main goal is to keep designing quilts, sharing and connecting with other quilters all around the world.  I can’t believe how giving quilters are and that is the main reason for the growth of this industry.  So keep sharing with love!

What I have learnt through my quilting journey

I never in my foggiest dreams thought that one day I will be quilting or inspiring people to quilt.  Having an online presence and working on something I love has helped me grow as a quilter.  By having all information at my fingertips I can challenge myself constantly to try out new quilting techniques.

I strongly encourage anyone who is new to quilting take a beginner quilt class.  Join your local guild and if you are time challenged, join facebook quilting groups or just do an online course.  Keep on playing with colours and sketches to come up with a quilt or simply purchase a quilt pattern from numerous designers and make it your own with your choice of fabrics or by adding some embroidery or applique to it.  It’s that easy!

Talking about playing with colours and sketches check out my Exploring Colours for Quilts series.  At the moment we are on Challenge 1: Exploring Primary Colours.  Do check it out and join my linky part.

Also check out my Beginner Quilt Lessons this is my way to give back to the online community as it has been nothing but generous.

What did your first quilt look like and where did you learn how to quilt?  Let me know in your comments below.

Introducing the other New Quilt Bloggers for Week 3:

Please visit all these blogs.  You will love it as each of these quilters are super talented!

I would like to thank the co-hosts for the 2018 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop, Beth at Cooking Up Quilts; Jen at Dizzy Quilter; Tish at Tish n’ Wonderland; and Sandra at mmm! Quilts.  To be eligible for the giveaways, you need to visit their each of their blogs and follow the instructions to enter to win a giveaway.

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