It’s such an honour to be chosen as a Juki brand ambassador. You know how much I love quilting and sewing, but did you know that I have over ten years quilting experience, with a background in fashion design and desktop publishing? It’s true! I went to fashion school 15 years ago and I am actually still good friends with Lee (to my left, writing notes) in the photo you see up there, as we prepared for the end of year fashion parade.
Fashion school was no picnic. There was a lot to learn and were expected to produce high quality, industry standard garments. I can still recall practising our seam allowances by sewing lines 1cm apart (with no guides or special feet) on calico for hours, until we got all those lines perfectly parallel. Our teacher would get out her ruler and we had to pass her stringent quality checks before we could pass to the next level and learn the next technique, like a welt pocket or peter pan collar perhaps! But all this practise and attention to detail has only given me a solid base for making quilts. I hold myself to high standards and quality for all my projects, always. I just can’t help it!
Another favourite moment was testing the fabrics in the science lab. We would have to figure out what the fabric swatch was through experimentation. We used the bunsen burner, dipped them in chemicals like bleach and acetone. For the record, cotton will blacken or char over the flame and polyester will melt and the fibres will harden. Good memories with great people.
As fashion students, we sewed for countless hours on the class industrial machines, practicing techniques, making étoiles and projects. We had such a great time in class and I learn so much from our wonderful teacher Belinda, who was unlike any other woman I had ever met before. She always wore amazing designer clothes, always wore bright lipstick, never had a hair out of place and most importantly, knew everything about everything in the fashion industry. I wish I could let her know what I’m doing now and that while I have moved on slightly from fashion, I haven’t gone far.
So, here I am. Still sewing, still creating, still loving fabric and thread.
Becoming a Juki Brand Ambassador is such an amazing opportunity and I can’t wait to show you what’s coming up for the second half of the year for Raspberry Spool. There will be new patterns, workshops, national engagements and much, much more. At the beginning of the year, I wrote about my goals and where I am heading. I’m pleased to tell you that I am not only kicking my goals, but I am also going above and beyond my wildest expectations.
Seriously, I couldn’t do this without you and your continued support.
This is the first sewing machine I love enough to name. When I got the word that I was going to become a Juki Brand Ambassador,
I had Ms Tina Turner singing away, telling me how she had left that good job in the city… And, well, the rest as they say is history. Meet Mary. She is perfect in every way.
Did you name your machine? Let me know why you named him or her in the comments below – I’d love to know the story behind it!