You probably know by now that Modern Makers’ mantra is to showcase and support Australian and New Zealand makers, designers and suppliers. There’s no better way to do this than to frequent our wonderful local quilt shops. More often than not, the owners of these shops aren’t there just to make a profit, they want to foster the community of makers in their area. So next time you’re about to place an order online, consider making a pleasant trip to your local quilt shop instead!
We sent our roving reporter, Maryjane Morris (aka @janiecat88), to visit the gorgeous Inheritance Patchwork and Wares in Birregurra and chat with owner Katrina Fisk. It’s a hard job but someone had to do it!
MJ: What drew you to opening a fabric store?
Katrina: Karen O’Sullivan was the instigator of original project, she shared her vision with the three of us (Katrina, Megan Doolan and Deb Cahill) and we all excitedly jumped on board. I must admit that our collective push made the start-up much less daunting. We found that we had a similar focus, and this enabled us to achieve more. Karen had already sussed out the potential location of our store, and we all agreed that Birregurra had the right vibe.
MJ: How was the name derived?
Katrina: Karen brainstormed our business name, and we just loved it. By inheritance we mean: You can either make your kids inheritance in the form of heirloom quilts or simply spend it all now on fabric!!!!
MJ: What are your short and long term goals?
Katrina: Our immediate aim is to promote our business far and wide, and get our name “out there”. Ultimately, we would like to look at pattern design as well as expanding our premises to allow for classes, making Inheritance an “all day” destination venue. I have recently learnt the ins and outs of EQ7 and this is helping to design some really lovely quilts. In addition, we are hoping to get our on-line shopping capability up and running soon. We do all have family and jobs to juggle, but being a foursome is very effective and allows for load sharing as well as support. Oh, and one day travelling to Quilt Market together would definitely be on our bucket list!
MJ: Can you describe your proudest moment?
Katrina: For Karen, this was seeing a total beginner quilter finish her first quilt. Such satisfaction! The quilter has now progressed to her next project, and this has added spark to Karen’s love for teaching, encouraging and imparting knowledge. For me, it has been the pure joy of realising my dream of opening a quilt shop. Bliss!
MJ: Do you have a favourite fabric designer?
Katrina: All four of us have different tastes in fabric, so this has resulted in an eclectic mix in the store. Fortunately, our customers love this and often comment on the refreshing mix of choices on offer. I love modern fabrics, Karen is our doyenne of 1930’s designs, Deb is our resident Liberty lover and Megan likes Liberty and a whole lot more! As far as specific designers, I do adore me a little Denyse Schmidt, also Cotton and Steel, who are just fabulous. Karen’s favourite designer is Sandy Klop who created the American Jane label for Moda.
MJ: Do you have any tips for creating fresh colour palettes?
Katrina: I tend to go on instinct, making sure there are pops of colour to spark the eye. I love the scrappy look and avoid an overly matched look. Karen often uses the trusty method of selecting a favourite print to start with and gradually curating a palette from that central theme.
MJ: What is current personal sewing focus?
Katrina: I want to make all the things! I have so many WIPS on the go at the moment! I am currently working on a Liberty quilt, a Denyse quilt, Cotton & Steel and Kowa quilts, an EPP project…plus my knitting and crochet. If I get bored, I pick up another project. I think it is important to strike when the mood hits, and not let that creative impulse/thought disappear before acting on it.
MJ: Finally, what would be your number one quilting tip?
Katrina: My top tip is this : it is important not to hurry your creativity, don’t rush it, enjoy the process!