Meet the lovely Jemima Flendt of Tied with a Ribbon
What is your current design focus?
At the moment I am working on quite a few magazine contributions with a focus on clean, fresh and bold designs. I love getting to work with designers upcoming ranges to create new patterns for people to make themselves. I have been designing quite a few Christmas and festive quilts and wall hangings lately.
What are your short and long term goals?
In the short term I will continue to grow my pattern range – I always have new ideas for quilts and projects and love creating these. I also love getting to teach these to people and getting to travel to teach now is very exciting with an upcoming tour of New Zealand. So I am looking forward to more travelling to come.
I love to travel to quilt shows which are full of inspiration. I hope to do some more traveling next year to quilt markets as these are a great place to immerse yourself in all that is modern and taking place in the quilting community.
I have been working on releasing my first book which is due out early in 2017 – this has been a great process and I can’t wait to see it all finished. This has been a dream come true.
How has your work developed over the years?
Quilting has always been a passion of mine – I love the process from design to fabric selection, to making and then even the binding. I think I have grown more into my own style and concentrated more on what I love to do rather than feeling pressured to make something that isn’t really me.
With having done many quilts and projects for magazine commissions, this has really strengthened my pattern writing skills. I concentrate on writing patterns that are easily understood and the fabric quantities are always for most in my mind to help make this easy for people when they are making the quilt or project themselves.
I love creating quilts and projects for kids – probably as I have two girls myself so I find this genre of sewing bright, fun and very imaginative.
Tied with a Ribbon has continued to build as having started from home a few years ago to now having a distributor. Having my designs and patterns sent out Australia wide and internationally has been a great platform to develop.
What drew you to designing fabric and quilts? Tell us a bit more about your history.
Sewing has always been part of my life. My nanna taught me to sew and craft at an early age and my mum was always sewing as we grew up. I started quilting when I was about 16 – I had my mum take me to the local quilt store for lessons and my love started there for quilting.
Professionally I used to be a home economics teacher and I loved teaching sewing and cooking to my students. So for me sewing and teaching have always been a part of my life. I left high school teaching several years ago and now work full time on Tied with a Ribbon.
I love the process of teaching someone how to sew and quilt. It is great to watch and see their skills develop and how they become inspired to want to create quilts and projects of their own.
What is your design process like? Any tips for people who are interested in doing something similar?
Usually for me I start having seen something that inspires a design – it could be things out in nature or the architecture in buildings and from there I may build a pattern in my head. I have a little art book filled with sketches or ideas that then become designs. I then set about creating a pattern on paper with my grid paper and pencils and draw out the design. Once I am happy with that I then draw it up on the computer and work through measurements.
Often as I am designing I have a colour palette in mind or particular fabrics that I think would look great. Making the quilt comes next and at the same time I write down pattern notes and tips for the project. Once I am happy with the quilt I then get to writing the pattern.
What is your proudest moment?
Having worked on my book this year I would have to say this has been proudest moment. From designing each of the projects to making and then all the technical work behind writing patterns and all the content this has been such a big achievement and dream I had been working towards.
You regularly feature in quilting magazines. How did you get started with this and what are your tips for others who want to get published?
I have been working with national and international magazines and publications for about four years now. Originally I was approached by an editor to see if I would like to design and make a project and it started from there. I really love writing patterns for this style of format and it is a real buzz to see your designs not only in the pages of the magazines but I have been lucky enough to have had quite a number of quilts on the covers. Better than that though is when you get sent pictures by someone who has made your design. Having people make and create them is what it really is all about for me.
For anyone looking at getting started I recommend giving it a go – if you want to have your work published then firstly decide which magazine may suit your style. Work up some ideas and approach the publication with some options for designs. Nothing ventured nothing gained! Editors love fresh new ideas and yours just may be their next project.
What is your current personal sewing focus?
I picked up a project when I was at Spring Quilt Market from Quilt Works – this is an applique style project and I am looking forward to starting this. I have been doing a lot more crochet at the moment for myself but I think that has been because I have been so busy making quilts for patterns, blog tours and my book that crochet has given me a break from sewing to relax with.