When I was 8, way back in the day, my mother sat me down at her sewing machine and taught me how to use it. Within the hour I decided to try a zigzag stick using the standard 1/4" foot and of course, broke the needle. Terrified and close to tears I called mum over, who assured me that it was all okay and I could try again, however it was another 3 months before I was brave enough to sit down at the machine again.
And boy am I glad I did.
Over the years I have dabbled in cross stitch, stump work, dress making, pencil case making, pillow case making and anything else my heart desired at the time. But I've always come back to the patchwork quilt.
Just before the Australian summer of 2014, I upped sticks and moved to London...without any quilts! At the age of 25 I am sad to say that I had never finished a quilt for myself, though I had made many for other people. I'd never fully realised the fact that I'd not made a quilt of my own given that mum always kept the house well stocked with her beautiful creations. But now, living in London, I was starkly aware that I lacked a quilt. Talking to mum about what quilt I should start with to rectify my situation, she suggested Kaffe Fassett's Big Bang Quilt, a design we'd seen at the Liberty store during her visit.
A week or so later and the most wonderful care package arrived for me at work...which I eventually turned into my very own Big Bang quilt.
I enjoyed the process of putting this quilt together so much I decided to follow in my mother's footsteps and become a designer and teacher myself. At birth I was given the name Emma Mary and so it made good sense to call my business that too. Besides, I figured people like Cath Kidston, Amy Butler and Kaffe Fassett all went by their names, so I should too! (Secretly it was mostly because I couldn't quite settle on anything else...)
I have since started teaching at a wonderful shop in Kew Gardens here in London and am loving every second of it. I'm in the process of designing my first set of quilts, designing and writing up the patterns with some help from a wonderful designer friend and of course, putting together this website!
I am looking forward to continuing on my journey as Emma Mary Designs, working with my mother and other fabulous patchworkers out there and of course, many many more quilts!