What’s your idea of the perfect stitching day? The perfect day would be raining, the house would be tidy, the phone turned off, someone else would be running the kids around and cooking dinner. I would have the blissful luxury of thinking, completely undistracted, about my stitching and nothing else. Dream on!
How long have you been crafting? My crafting journey officially began in kindergarten, when each child in my class was given a small rectangle of huckaback fabric and standard Government issue perle cottons in bright green, red and orange! We were instructed to stitch straight lines across the cloth. I quickly became bored with straight lines and ventured to make patterns with my threads. On taking my work home at the end of term, I enthusiastically raided Mum’s stash of embroidery threads. She had every colour of the rainbow! I stitched that little rectangle of huckaback to within an inch of its life until every row was filled. And I have been stitching ever since. To use my hands to craft is as instinctive and vital to me as breathing!
What crafts do you do? Embroidery, patchwork, quilting, bag making, gardening.
Is crafting your hobby or your profession? I feel like my crafting remains a hobby, having never formally studied textiles or design. My formal training is in plant biochemistry and mathematics, and my main employment is in an Entomology laboratory. However, as time passes, I find myself increasingly drawn to creative pursuits, and I would happily spend all my time crafting if I could discover a way of making it pay the bills!
Do you teach/publish your skills and projects? I teach an occasional class at local fabric stores, as time permits. I feel very privileged to have published projects for Australian Homespun and Moda Bakeshop. My blog remains my primary means of sharing projects, tips and techniques with other crafters.
What do you love most about crafting? We all live such busy lives now, constantly bombarded by electronic media to do more, spend more, exercise more, eat less, have more friends. While others might do yoga or have a massage for relaxation, I retreat to my sewing space. Sewing calms me and offers some peace from the otherwise frenetic pace of my life.
What is your proudest crafting moment/achievement? In all sincerity, some of the projects I’m most proud of have been designed for Homespun magazine. Over the years, the Homespun team has dreamt up some wildly creative project ideas. They call me up, and the conversation goes something like, “Now Bloom, do you think you could make us some luggage tags”? Sure, no problem. “Ah yes, Bloom, but we’d like them to look like vintage suitcases”! Ok then. Can I say, I have absolutely loved each and every challenge the team has set me! There is something immensely satisfying in being set a unique creative brief, which initially seems difficult and unlikely, and working it through to an achievable and hopefully beautiful end.
5 words that best describe your craft style? Understated, detailed, thoughtful, nostalgic, floral