A Spot of Tea about Me...

I'm a self-taught quilter and have been designing and sewing my own quilted crafts since 1997 when out-of-the-blue I decided to make a baby quilt for an expecting co-worker at the frame shop where I worked. I immediately fell in love with the idea of painting pictures with fabric instead of watercolour.

I am greatly inspired by tea, Japanese country patchwork, and the online craft community where I am known as PatchworkPottery. My style has been described as “country chic” which mixes elements of old and new to create a sophisticated timeless quality. I like to incorporate machine-appliqué, hand-embroidery and buttons along with at least a splash of linen in everything I make. I enjoy combining elements from both my passions of patchwork and pottery– creating dishes with patches of intricate patterns, and quilting three-dimensional teapots and teacups.

When I started out I only considered it a hobby as most crafters do especially when they also have a full-time job. My very supportive and loving Japanese husband Sota allowed me to quit my job in 2004 to focus on my crafts and to raise our daughter. When I joined Flickr in 2006 things really took off! Flickr is the best thing I have ever done as far as crafting goes. It really opened up the crafting world to me. I have made so many wonderful friends all over the world and have found so much inspiration!

I love receiving comments & feedback on my work, and messages from flickr crafters & bloggers everywhere! It has helped turn my hobby into a career. A year later, one of those comments resulted in opening an online shop on Etsy to sell my crafts. As my online presence grew, several book publishers asked me to create patterns for new craft books. It was quite exciting! My patterns have now been published internationally in 11 books to date and I hope one day to publish a book of my own.

However, I could not keep up with the demand for my crafts and soon realized there was not enough time in a day to sew crafts and spend time with my family. After sewing my 200th Teacup Pouch I also realized that I wanted to create new projects. I have been selling my patterns online since September 2009 and sales are increasing exponentially! To me, success is making money while you sleep or while you spend time drawing with your daughter!

My hands must always be doing something so I take partly finished projects or a sketchbook when I go to the park with Claire or to the café while I sip my almond chai latte. My favourite saying is, “While there’s tea, there’s hope.”

When I’m not sewing, I enjoy gardening in our private backyard filled with flowers, vegetables, berries, fruit trees & mason bee houses. We like to go to the river to pick thimbleberries and blackberries in the summer. I also like baking healthy and delicious treats to serve my friends who come for tea regularly. And of course I have a growing collection on teacups & teapots.

I am lucky to have a room in the attic of our rented house to call my studio although it can get quite hot in the summer! It is filled with handmade items and supplies that inspire me. My large window looks out over the beautiful trees and bridge across the river. My daughter and our two cats, Percy Persimmon & Opal, are my helpers. Claire likes to design patterns, and Percy & Opal like to re-arrange my layouts, shred my batting, and warm my lap. I create, casually blog and sell my pattern booklets online from my bright attic studio in New Westminster, BC Canada.

Enjoy your afternoon tea & quilted crafts :o)