Amanda Jane Textiles began on 1 September 2014, so the business has just turned four. It was always intended to encompass several different activities (represented by the shop awning image in my logo suggesting a variety of things on offer).
From the beginning there was a blog: a series of posts (usually) about textiles and other subjects related to art & design Over 170 post have been written since then. From the start of this year there has been a post every week, usually published on a Monday.
Since April 2018, I have also been compiling and sending a monthly newsletter for customers, which is full of design and colour inspiration and which includes a free pattern or tutorial. Send me a message in the comment form if you would like to be added to the mailing list.
Textile design was also in the mix. I trained as a designer by becoming a mature student at Art College and studying part-time for five years. Although I used my studies in my subsequent career as a teacher, I always wanted to design my own fabrics and now there are more than a hundred designs in my online studio on Spoonflower.
Writing patterns for others to sew and quilt was another key activity. I learnt in my first career as an editor in educational publishing how to write good copy and thirteen years as a teacher contributed to my ability to make instructions clear. There are twenty-one patterns in my Etsy shop and more in the pipeline. In addition, I have been writing for magazines, currently for Quilt Now.
Teaching has remained a thread running through Amanda Jane Textiles (not just in the writing of patterns) and I have taught a number of classes and workshops in person over the last four years. At the moment, the best way to learn with me is to take my Skillshare class ‘Make Your First Quilt’. You can try it – with a special offer – using this code: http://skl.sh/2tqJnEf
Speaking has been an unexpected and enjoyable aspect of my self-employed business. I usually speak for about 45 minutes, with time for questions, accompanying the session with a series of photographs on PowerPoint and a very large pile of quilts!
Exhibiting has been a part of the picture too. The picture above was taken at the Festival of Quilts 2018 where I had three quilts in the competition. I’m wearing a top made from my own ‘Bees and Bumble Bees’ fabric design – one of my early ones and still a favourite.
Being a one-(wo)man-band, I have had to learn to do everything myself, including how to make a website from scratch. I have also needed to change the website as time as gone on (with the kind assistance on a few occasions from the helpful people at WordPress!). With the fourth birthday of Amanda Jane Textiles comes a brand-new look for the website. Do you like it?
Roll on year five!
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This is my ‘Bees and Bumble-bees’ fabric. You can find it here.