Hello, and welcome to my little corner of the blogging universe! My name's Sarah, I live in Jersey, Channel Islands and I blog about all my quilty makes, many of which I sell through my website, www.quiltcandy.co.uk
Don't worry, I'm not going to give you a sales pitch on my blog, I realise it's a bit like selling ice to Eskimos!
But I do want to share some of my quilts and answer some of the questions that Beth posed for us. By the way, a huge thank you to Beth for hosting this awesome bloghop, what a task it must have been to co-ordinate us all!
So here goes with answering the questions, hopefully they will help me focus and not ramble too much ;-)
When did you start quilting and who taught you?
I've always loved being creative, and I remember doing knitting and cross stitch with my mum when I was 8 years old. But it has only been in the last 4 years that I have embarked on quilt making. It kind of came naturally to me, and I was initially inspired by my wonderful friend Rachel's mum who made the most beautiful quilts, and did a City and Guilds Patchwork and Quilting Diploma. You can more about my creative journey on my 'About Sarah' page, if you're interested! But to cut a long story short, after my daughter was born, (she's now nearly 4) I started doing a Level 3 Certificate in Patchwork and Quilting via Distance Learning with the School of Stitched Textiles. I am not even half way though yet, (you work at your own pace) but I have learnt so much already, I just love it.
It's only been in the last year that I set up Quilt Candy, and I've had such a great response to my work, that at the moment I don't have much time to focus on my coursework. I have also been completely distracted by this wonderful blogosphere where I have learnt just so much from so many talented bloggers, and made so many wonderful friends. So in a nutshell, the answer to the question is, I am self taught, but I am learning new things every day and I so enjoy sharing all I learn and make on my blog.
Why did you start your blog?
I started my Quilt Candy blog when I launched my website, as I wanted a 'behind the scenes' narrative, as well as wanting to meet and share my experiences with other bloggers. I'm so glad I did!
What is the meaning of your blog's name?
I called myself Quilt Candy for two reasons. Firstly, I make quilts and bunting for children, so to refer to my quilts as 'candy' seemed really appropriate. All kids love candy! Secondly, Quilt Candy is a bit like 'eye candy' and I really want my quilts to be just that; quilts with beautiful fabrics that you can't take your eyes off.
What is your favourite type of project?
My first love is making quilts. I know that sounds very generic, but it's true. And the irony is that I spend a lot of my time making bunting! I sell bunting on my website, and it's proved very popular. People just go mad for bunting, especially when it's got their child's name on it ;-)
I am always looking out for fabrics that will work well for personalised bunting, so that I can offer lots of choices. I am sure it will come as no surprise that this one is the most popular!
And here's my latest design; in fact the Retro Birds fabric was chosen by a customer and I think it works really well.
So back to the original question, what is my favourite type of project. (Sorry, told you I ramble!) Well I just love designing quilts. Sometimes I can just look at a collection of fabrics and instantly know what to do with them. That's what happened when I got my hands on some of the Out at Sea collection by Sarah Jane. I pretty much designed this quilt in my head and just used pen and paper to help with the quilt math. That's the part I don't love so much!
And I love hand quilting too. Large stitches using no. 8 perle cotton thread. (Sarah Fielke style). It looks soooo pretty, and I think makes a quilt look extra special.
I tend to play around with designs too, rather than just sticking to straight lines all the time. It makes the quilting real feature of the quilt as well.
I have also been lucky enough to do a spot of writing, which is my second love, after quilting. This year I wrote for British Patchwork and Quilting Magazine, which was fab, and I'd love to do more!
I've also reviewed a couple of books over at The Sewing Directory website. Now I really would like to do more of this too!
Do you belong to or would you like to belong to bees, QALs?
Just when I thought I was really busy and couldn't take on any more commitments, I only went and joined my very first sewing bee! It's called the Strip Bees and it's hosted by the lovely Maria. You can read about it in detail here, but essentially there are 6 of us, and we each make a strip and then pass it on, until we each have a quilt top made of strips at the end of it. Cool huh?! It's only just kicked off and here's my first strip.
I am so looking forward to seeing how all our quilts turn out!
Have you attended or are you planning on attending any sewing get togethers?
If you are too, I'd love to hear from you!
What are you working on now?
Right now I've got a few things on the go. Firstly I'm working on a commission quilt, which is going to be just beautiful.
And my own personal WIP is my I Heart New York Quilt, which you can read all about here.
And wait till you see the backing fabric!
You'll have to come back again when it's finished for a full view ;-)
What type of sewing machine do you use?
I am so lucky to be able to say that I have the Bernina 550QE sewing machine. It is my machine of dreams, and all thanks to the advice of my very lovely blogging friend ChrissieD (whose work is amazing by the way) and my wonderful husband who purchased it as a (semi) surprise for me for Mother's Day back in March this year. I can't recommend it highly enough.
What other hobbies do you have?
Right now quilting (and bunting making) pretty much takes up all my time. Did I mention I have 2 small children, aged nearly 4 and 18 months?!! But I love to read, and I love to write, both of which I don't do nearly as often as I would like. It's one of those situations where something's got to give, and in this case it's reading. I am no longer up to speed with the latest novels and authors, I just don't have the time. It saddens me a little, but I just can't do it all!
Do you have any blogging or blog photography tips/tricks to share?
I can't claim to be an expert when it comes to photography. I have a reasonably good camera and I take full advantage of picmonkey and all it's wonderful features to try and enhance my photos. It's been a mission of mine to make my pictures as good as possible without spending a fortune on cameras and lenses. It does take time, and being no expert it probably takes me longer, but I think I am getting there, slowly!
So my very amateur tips would be;
- experiment as much as possible and don't be afraid to zoom in close to capture the details.
- choose a setting on your camera that blurs the background
- try and take your photos outdoors, as natural light is so much better
What other social media do you actively use?
You can also find me on Twitter and Facebook, and I've just set up my Quilt Candy Pinterest Page, so I shall be pinning like mad very soon!
Thank you so much for stopping by. If you've got this far without falling asleep then you either deserve a medal or you've got the stamina of an ox. No, seriously, I really do appreciate you still being here. What a great series this is!
Here's the rest of this weeks schedule:
Leigh Anne @ Ella's Cottage
Stacey @ The Tilted Quilt
Sarah @ Quilt Candy
Jackie @ NW Patchwork
Erica @ Happy Fabric
Stephanie @ Simple Sewendipity
Lauren @ Seraphym
Amy @ Cloud CouCou Crafts