I'm Vikki from SEW Useful Designs and absolutely rapt to be here and meet you all! A BIG thank you to Madame Samm for inviting me on over! (Isn't she an absolute sweetie?!) :-)
Where do I start?! The answer to that question is usually, "At the beginning"! So here a brief account of my creative journey - I hope that you will enjoy the read!
~~~I have been sewing for the past 11 years and, although I have always been a creative person dabbling in one form of media or another, I found my niche - my passion - with fabric and threads!
It all started when my first child was three years old. We were living in England at the time and I'd decided that I needed a new hobby. I had loved to paint but my son's little fingers were too keen and I couldn't leave my materials lying about... so I went in pursuit of a craft that was portable - easy to pick up and put away. The answer came to me through a UK catalogue called 'The big blue craft book'. In between the pages full of ads for paper crafts and knitting suppliers, was this wee picture of a rag doll. I fell in love! I hadn't sewed before - but was keen to learn - so sent off for the kit!
I giggle now when I recall some of the phone conversations I had with the supplier! "What is a fat quarter?" and "What does RST mean?" and "what do you use to blush the doll's cheeks?" were all basic questions I needed answers to in those early days! There were no fabric stores nearby so I purchased everything through this one supplier, and online from America. (Don't you just love the Internet?!!!)
I sewed dolls by hand for the first year until my husband bought me a sewing machine for my 30th birthday. Then two years later we emigrated to hubby's homeland here in Melbourne, Australia.
It is always a challenge to set down roots in a new place - no matter if it is near or far from your original 'home' - but I was like a kid in a candy store when I discovered the abundance of patchwork stores that were right on my doorstep!
It was only a matter of weeks before I took up with a new friend to learn the basics of patchwork and quilting. Of course - my stash kind of took over after that!! Six months later I had some very special sewing projects to start organizing - nursery items for the expected arrival of my baby girl! I set to work designing a feminine nappy stacker (pictured below), and re-purposed my son's old cot mobile by covering it in romantic pink and green vines and hanging love hearts from it (hearts pictured in my banner). A dear friend taught me new sewing skills in the form of making curtains and other soft furnishings, and I discovered a new-found confidence with my sewing machine. (For a tour of Rosie's nursery, read this post.)
My love for designing continued to grow - fuelled by a desire to create personal gifts for my loved ones. I dreamed of one day having my projects published within the pages of my favourite Australian craft magazines - you know, in the future - when my children had grown up!
But my ambitions were to be realised much sooner than I had ever hoped. I started my blog, SEW Useful Designs back in March 2009, and offered a few free designs. My new online friends were so supportive and encouraging that I gained the confidence to put forward designs to the magazines. Isn't our blogging community amazing?!! My online friends are a huge part of my life and have shaped my journey in profoundly positive ways!
I had to pinch myself when I saw my own work in print!
I'm still designing for magazines - and my next goal is to have my patterns available in patchwork stores. And so my journey continues...
I wonder what the next 10 years will bring?? I wonder where your journey is taking you??! Wherever you are headed - I hope that your journey is both blessed and exciting!!!
Thank you for listening to my story. If you would like to pop on over to my blog for a virtual cup of tea the kettle is always on! (As hubby says, you can take the girl out of England but you can't take England out of the girl!!!)
I'm having a giveaway in honour of being Madame Samm's guest here today - so come and visit - become a follower - and enter the giveaway! But leave me a comment here too. Wait till you see what I have to giveaway.
Thank you once again Madame Samm for your kind hospitality! You're da best!!!
Warm wishes to all! Vikki ox :-)