#Great British Quilter

This week on Instagram, there is a celebration of all things quilting – and British. Hooray! I’m joining in. You can find me as @amanda_jane_textiles on Instagram and you can see more personal posts and my drawings, etc at @amanda_jane_ogden

To go with the Instagram posts, I am filling in some extra bits of information here on the blog to fit with the #GreatBritishQuilter theme for each day this week.

Also, don’t forget: Monday 23 November 2020 is the final day of the 50% discount off quilt and sewing patterns in my Etsy shop with this code: 50 PATTERNS The Etsy shop is here.

Monday – introductions

#GreatBritishQuilter – Monday

I’m not sure I ever imagined I would become a full-time fabric and quilt pattern designer! My first job was in educational publishing: I had a degree in Modern Languages from Cambridge University and got a job as an editorial assistant in the Schoolbooks Department at Cambridge University Press. The relevance of this to today’s work is that I am good at writing instructions and have a trained proof-reader’s eye for spotting mistakes! My textiles degree at Art College, City & Guilds qualifications and teaching experience came much later.

Tuesday – sewing space We are in a second Covid-19 lockdown in the UK at present. In the first lockdown, I couldn’t access my studio at Ushaw, so I brought plenty of fabric home just before the second lockdown was announced, just in case the same thing happened again. Recently, then, I have been back working on the landing in our house and my sewing area looks like this.

My sewing space on the landing at home, with ‘Tabitha’ my vintage dressmaker’s dummy in the background. For my studio space, see Instagram on Tuesday

Wednesday – work in progress I’ve been working on a big quilt based on my ‘Summer Bouquet fabrics’ (shown being pinned out on Instagram on Wednesday). I hope to have a pattern written in the new few weeks. I’ve also made a drawstring bag using my ‘Farne Islands’ fabric and I’m going to share a free pattern for it with you in the next couple of weeks – watch this space!

Drawstring bag made from ‘Farne Islands’ fabric – free pattern coming here soon! Find the fabric here

Thursday – top tip Definitely, the old adage to measure twice and cut once. I have always found Maths difficult (I’m a languages person – see above – and the numbers part of my brain doesn’t work so well). This is another reason for astonishment that I have ended up doing what I do. It’s numbers all the way, especially as I publish all my patterns in imperial inches and metric centimetres.

#GreatBritishQuilter – “Measure twice, cut once!” Instagram on Thursday

Friday – favourite quilting shop The fabric shop I most like to use is online and that’s Spoonflower, so I’d have to say that I like using fabrics from my own studio Amanda_Jane_Textiles because almost all my fabrics have a personal connection to my life and experience in some way (for example, the tea-towels printed with my grandmother’s recipes from the 1930s). Increasingly, I am using fabrics I have designed to make things and I plan to continue with this into 2021. One of my designs is called ‘New Hairdo’ reflecting on my own time spent in the hairdresser’s chair (having work done to my own – difficult – curly hair!). The design has proved quite popular in lockdown – one buyer was purchasing it to make a face-mask for her hairdresser.

‘New Hairdo’ on Spoonflower, fabric available here

Saturday – proudest lockdown make The ‘Pretty in Pink’ lingerie bag made with fabrics given to me by my friend Angela for my birthday in February this year. Angela died during lockdown, so this small piece is a poignant reminder of her. The other makes I was proud of included those items sewn to help frontline health workers, as reported here and here.

‘Pretty in Pink’ lingerie bag – pattern available here

Sunday – best quilt ever This was a hard choice. Often the ‘best quilt’ is the one in progress at any one time, but I picked the ‘Colours of Mexico’ quilt because of its association with a wonderful trip to Mexico to visit my daughter and son-in-law who were living there at the time. You can see that one on Instagram. However, I also absolutely love this quilt which I designed for ‘Popular Patchwork’ in 2017 and will never part with it!

‘Winter Roses’ designed for Popular Patchwork, image copyright: Popular Patchwork

Do you have a favourite? A quilt you could never part with? Or maybe one you wish you hadn’t given away?

Let me know what you think!

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