Guest Corner is a space for you to find out all about what the Sewing World’s designers, authors, quilters, dressmakers, print makers, softie sewers and bag decorators are all up to! Get the very latest in info and gossip about all your favourites right here.
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1. When did you start sewing?
I started sewing at a very young age (well, cutting and gluing fabric really) when I made clothes for my Barbie dolls as a child. It was not until I was about 16 that I started to take sewing a little more seriously and to take some pride in my work.
2. You have your finger in a few different pies – softies, embroidery and quilting. What do you love to sew most?
I really enjoy working with fabric in any form. I enjoy softie and doll making the most as it feels like you are creating a character to interact with (memories of soft toy and doll “friends” as a child). I enjoy the challenge of embarking on a large quilt as it feels like creating a form of Art, which will be special to those you love for years to come. Embroidery or stitchery is perhaps the most relaxing and enjoyable pastime. I watch very little television but if I am working on a stitchery project, I treat myself to watching a movie during the day while stitching with a cup of tea beside me.
3. Do you remember your first quilt? Which quilt is your favourite?
My first quilt was a grandmother’s flower garden quilt which I found in the cupboard when I was 10 or 11. I found a box full of paper pieces and exquisitely ugly 70’s cotton fabric hexagons. I asked Mum if I could have it and she said yes and showed me how to make the hexagons and sew them together. I am quite sure that I never finished that quit. I wonder how many hexagon “flowers I actually made! It is a great memory though.
4. What lead you to start your business?
I started my business about 14 years ago now. I started creating patterns, as there were so few Aussie pattern designers at the time. Most of the patchwork stores in Australia were filled with gorgeous patterns from America and this led me to believe there was a market for more Australian designs. I was a young stay at home mother of three children who really wanted to work from home. I had a number of part time jobs while trying to get Rosalie Quinlan Designs up and running. It took a number of years to build the business to the point where I could drop the extra jobs and concentrate on my design business full time. It is such a privilege to work in this industry with so many talented Australian designers. I love what I do.
5. Tell us a bit about your businesses and your style.
I have two design labels: Rosalie Quinlan Designs and Melly and me. The patterns I do with my sister Melly have a very different feel from the Rosalie Quinlan Designs patterns. Melly and I make some very cute softies and as I mentioned earlier, they seem to have personalities of their own! I get to “play” when I design for Melly and me. Of course my sister Melanie Hurlston does most of the designing for Melly and me but she lets me join in the fun from time to time.
6. What lead you to start designing fabric? Do your fabric designs spring from your embroidery?
Designing fabric has been a dream of mine for many years. I am sure it would have remained a dream if Melanie hadn’t pushed me to pursue my dreams after I was diagnosed with breast cancer. All of a sudden, the things I had dreamed of doing became a more urgent desire as I was unsure of my health and what my future held. I went for it and was blessed enough to be given an opportunity to develop my range with LECIEN Japan.
7. How do you design your fabric? Are all the designs hand drawn or do you use a computer program? Tell us a little about your design process.
The first part of the design process for me is a name. I need a name I like and then I develop the ideas around the name. I usually walk around in a daze for weeks as I am thinking of elements for a range and concentrating on little else. My designs are a combination of hand drawings and computer designing. I scan the hand drawings into the computer and then play around with repeats and colours until I am happy with the way it looks.
8. How many fabric lines have you done? What is the latest one with Lecien called?
This is my second range with LECIEN. It is called “Sweet Broderie”. My first range was a year ago and it was called “Grandmother’s Flower Garden”.
9. What excites you about being an Australian designer? What do you think makes Australian designers different?
I love being an Australian designer because it is an honour to be part of such a talented group. Australian designers have really evolved over the last few years and brought their fresh, unique designs to the world market.
11. Who or what inspires you?
My family are a huge inspiration to me. I come from a long line of talented sewers and am blessed with the skills past on to me from my Grandmother and my Mother. I am also inspired by retro fabrics, laces, trims and buttons.
12. What are you working on at the moment?
What am I not working on at the moment would be a shorter answer! I have received my sampling for “Sweet Broderie” and am busy designing for the launch of the fabric in Houston! I am also working on teaching projects, a book and several quilts. It is so much fun working with the new fabric and I am not getting much sleep but that is ok with me!
You can view more of her inspirational work at http://www.rosaliequinlandesigns.typepad.com/