Today we are chatting with quilter, blogger, author and teacher, Jemima Flendt from Tied with a Ribbon. Jemima specialises in punchy, modern designs and delivers online workshops and retreats to motivate and energise beginner quilters and sewers.
We first fell head over heels with her work about two years ago and now she has completed several knock-out quilting projects using Nerida Hansen Fabrics starring Jennifer Bouron’s Millennial Girls and Holli Zollinger’s Bazaar collections.
Is there anything you cannot do, Jemima?
Believe it or not I cannot knit, but I am learning.
Now, take us back to the beginning, where and how did this love of quilting start?
With my nan all of my memories are of baking and sewing with her. I spent a lot of time with her when I was younger and together, we would craft. Also, my mum would sew all of our clothes, which meant fabrics and crafts were readily available in the house.
One time, mum redecorated my sister’s bedroom and I gathered the scrap material and sewed my first quilt. I was 16 years old and before I knew it, I was hooked. Mum then enrolled me into quilting classes to refine my technique.
Has this tradition continued with your two daughters?
When they were younger, yes, but now they are 18 and 16 years old and their focus is on their social lives. They both have the skills and the tools are there anytime they want to do it, but there is no expectation.
Where has your passion for quilting taken you?
I design and create quilt and sewing patterns for my label, Tied with a Ribbon, as well as conduct workshops teaching others how to quilt. My teaching background has helped with this, because previously I was a high school teacher of home economics.
As my business grew, I had to make a choice between the two. It was scary, but I took the plunge into writing quilting patterns and sharing my passion and I have not looked back. I love encouraging and introducing others to quilting.
My students are from all around the world – France, Germany and the US is big for me. I adore our global quilting community and once we start the lessons there are no oceans between us.
What would be your hottest tip for those starting out in quilting?
I’d highly recommend in investing in good quality sewing equipment. Some people make the mistake of purchasing cheap and nasty machines that do not perform well and this only leads to frustration. If the budget allows for it, spend a little more money and you will notice a significant difference with the end result.
Another one is ironing! It is a vital part of the process and often overlooked, but it will give you are more polished and professional finish.
Who and what inspires you?
Most of my projects have a personal element. One time I went through my trinket box that contained my nan’s old brooches. I sat down and drew them and from there designed a quilt pattern.
I find inspiration all around me though. I really love visiting Melbourne. Last time I was there I kept seeing a letter S graffitied in alley ways. It was my inspiration for my new and upcoming pattern called, Love Triangle.
What do you do when you are not quilting?
I love to crochet, I’m trying to knit and I’m into cross fit. I’ve learnt that I need to create a healthy balance in my life. There was a time when quilting became all too consuming.
Sewing tutorial for the beautiful All Stars Pillow on Jemima's Blog here
Words by Jacqui Taylor