Thursday, July 7, 2011

A journey through stitches...


Hi everyone!

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 :-)

64 comments:

  1. I've been following Vikki for quite a while now. She's a wonderful person.

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  2. Vikki, I enjoyed your post and your work is beautiful! I'll look forward to checking out your blog with a cup of tea in hand! :)

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  3. She is a sweetie and Vikki, I just love that you've had your patterns published - how wonderful!! Can you let us know the names of the books in which you've been published? rock n quilts at live dot com rocknquilts.blogspot.com

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  4. vikki, great info, it was great getting to know you. now i am off to your blog!

    Lorene

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  5. As soon as I saw the hearts I knew who it was - remember you from the Gum Nutters early days. So wonderful you have become published - gosh things have gone fast. Continued success and so delightful to see you here on Stash.

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  6. Congratulations! You are a very creative young lady. Thank you for sharing your story with us.

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  7. Your first dollie's so cute, she doesn't look like made for a beginner!!!!!

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  8. You are such a wonderfully creative person. Thanks for sharing today. I am off to your blog now.

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  9. I'll hurry over to your blog right away.

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  10. I enjoyed your post, Vickie, and have become a follower.

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  11. I love Rosie's nursery, and your nappy stacker is too sweet. I'm on my way to visit your blog again now (I've come across it before, but could never find it again. Now I'll become a follower, and I'll always be able to find you

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  12. Hi Vikki. I enjoyed reading your post. Thanks for sharing your story with us. Will pop over to you blog to have a look.

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  13. Hello my lovely friend, I am so glad you are a good English girl and always have the kettle on!! Thanks for sharing your story. Hugs Linda x

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  14. Hello Sweetie, fancy seeing you on this site! Beautiful post from one of my favourite bloggy friends!

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  15. Nice to meet you...with my cup of tea in hand, I'm off to see your blog!
    Jacque in SC
    quiltnsrep(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  16. Just back from virtual tea at Vikki's. Thanks for the intro to her lovely blog!

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  17. Thanks for sharing your story. It's always interesting to see how one gets their start.

    Ursula

    uschbear at gmail dot com

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  18. Wonderful story Vicki. Congrats on getting published, and good luck to a continued success.

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  19. Vikki, thank you for sharing your story. It is inspiring to hear about other peoples adventures in quilting.

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  20. So glad to meet you. A wonderful post. Going over to your blog after this. Congrats on getting published.

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  21. Loved your post - everyone has a story and I loved hearing yours. Good for you on getting published. Judy C in NC

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  22. Congratulations on finding your amazing talent 11 years ago. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  23. Good Morning Vikki, what a post, filled with inspiration, smiles, warmth and sew you...I do love the dress, is that for diapers? the heart well you have me there...your doll, being published, this is what our blog is all about celebrating the successes of our guest...one of your cheerleaders today and always. x

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  24. Vikki your work is lovely - and how exciting to be in print. I'll be over to visit your blog! blessings, marlene

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  25. Gorgeous work! I love your birds

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  26. Wow what cute work! I'm heading over for a virtual cuppa tea now!

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  27. Adorable! I am a follower and love your blog.

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  28. I love your work Vikki ,I wish you continued success !

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  29. Beautiful projects - I haven't seen a "nappy stacker" like that before and my daughter is expecting so maybe, with any luck, she'll have a girl and I can make her one just like yours!! Sure hope so! Thanks for the great post!

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  30. Thanks for your story, Vicki. And your work is beautiful. I've gone to your blog and looked around, and have become a follower. Also entered your giveaway over there.

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  31. Great story, Vikki. It certainly is wonderful to see one's dreams realized.

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  32. Love your Christmas Robins - way cute - on way to your blog now:) Dee/jessibir@hickoytech.net

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  33. I love this site! Always finding new blogs to follow! I'll be right over for my "tea"!

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  34. Having family in AU, I always get excited when I see an Aussie blog. I will definitely become a follower.

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  35. I really enjoyed your story -- your work is beautiful!!

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  36. It must be thrilling to see your designs published. I especially like the little bird heart.

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  37. Vicki,
    Enjoyed your story and have signed up to follow your blog.

    lsandes@comcast.net

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  38. Loved your story and your work is wonderful. You are so right about blog friends they are the best.

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  39. I enjoyed this 'interview' very much. It's so nice to learn a little more about one of my favorite blogger/designers!

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  40. I just love the snowman and the little heart design. Well done!

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  41. Thank you for sharing your story. This blog is always the best too!

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  42. What an inspiring story. Thanks for sharing.

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  43. Hi Vikki

    I always enjoy reading your blog and it's great to see you over here today.

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  44. I have been a follower of Vikki's wonderful blog for quite a while, and know how gorgeous her designs are. Lovely to see you guest blogging at Madam Samm's, Vikki! :-)

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  45. Its great to see you here Vikki and I did enjoy reading your lovely post :) Of course I love reading your blog too and look forward to seeing what new things you come up with :) Hugs sweetie :) Vicki xx

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  46. One day I would love to be that creative!

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  47. Success in the world of fabric and thread is indeed full of love, support and encouragement! We all like to see each other further our goals and help make our homes a place filled with lovely works of art created by...US!!! it's all about creating HOME!! Enjoyed your post and will be hopping over to your blog!
    Blessings
    Gmama Jane

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  48. Good on ya Vikki, always looking forward to what you'll be up to next. Great post..
    Lizzie
    xxx

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  49. I enjoyed your post. Congratulations on having your patterns published. I'm on my way to your blog to become a follower!

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  50. I enjoyed your post Vikki. That is the absolute cutest nappy stacker I have ever seen! And the snowman pattern... I love snowmen! I'm headed to your blog now.

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  51. G'day from Perth. :) I'm from Eccles (Greater Manchester) originally....a long, long time ago! Like you, the kettle is always on at our place....and a cup of tea fresh from the pot cures everything! I love your designs and I'll be keeping an eye out for them in the mags.

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  52. Congrats on being published. I just popped over to view Rosie's room. Beautiful. You have so much talent. Wishing you continued success. I am off to join your blog.

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  53. What a great story! I'm impressed by all your hard work and dedication. Keep up the good work. I'm off to visit your blog and check out Rosie's room.

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  54. I enjoyed your story. I've become a new follower of your blog. I'm looking forward to getting to know you better.

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  55. I love your darling snowman in the magazine. I'm eager to visit your blog.

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  56. Your creations are so lovely...and your story is too...thanks for sharing.

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  57. wonderful post, vikki! the nappie stacker is too adorable and i love the christmas robins! looking forward to seeing more of your work.
    Cindy

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  58. Great post darling girl - love hearing about your journey - isn't it funny how motherhood brings out the creativity in us? Love Rosie's nappy stacker!

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  59. So nice to hear your story! You are truly talented. I so love meeting new people in blog world!
    Hugs, Sharon B

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  60. What a wonderful post, thank you Vikki.

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  61. Vikki, Thanks for your travel journal of how you came to be a sewist and quilter. Now, I'm off to visit your blog. Coffee in the morning, green tea otherwise... so will enjoy your blog with some tea.

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