Who is Sarah Fielke? Tell us a little about the person behind the name and the team that helps her tick.
I?m just a girl who likes pretty things. I love anything creative and always have ? I draw, and sew, I like to sing and I read a lot. I have always loved making things with my hands, patchwork and embroidery, cooking, painting.
I would love to be able to tell you about my vast team of stunt sewers and house keepers, but there?s just me and my hubby! Damian runs Sewn, which is actually his business, I just write for him and his business partner. They have other websites they own and run as well. We both work from home, which has its good and bad points! I?m very lucky to have some marvelous friends who baste my quilts for me sometimes as I can?t do it myself, and of course my fantastic machine quilter, who turns things around for me in the blink of an eye when I?m up against a deadline.
What’s an average day in your life? Share it with us…
Not very glam I?m afraid. I get up and have a cup of tea while I answer my emails and chat to friends on Facebook, then get my boys off to school, and usually spend the rest of the day sewing, drawing or writing and doing mundane things like the washing! There is always a quilt on the design wall and hand appliqu? or quilting that needs doing. I teach classes twice a week from home so some days there?s that going on, or friends dropping in to sew or chat. Boys come home ? homework, football practice, violin lessons, dinner ? then sewing in front of the TV.
Most people will recognise you from the Material Obsession books. How has your life changed since the first book was published?
When we did the first book I had no idea that it would make the splash that it did. I knew that people liked my quilts and that they were somehow different than the norm, but nothing more. When you have a successful book like that, doors open for you where they would not have opened before, and I have had some wonderful opportunities offered to me since the first book was published.
When the book came out I was working full time in the MO shop ? since then I have sold the business and I work from home, designing and writing and teaching, which is much more what I enjoy and more satisfying to me. I wouldn?t have been able to do that without the success of the first book though, plus a lot of hard work!
Material Obsession 2 has just been released in the US. It’s a wonderful book, with a very interesting premise – explain the idea for the book and the notion of two…
I had the idea for MO2 before we even wrote the first one. When I decided I wanted to do a book I went to Kathy and explained the whole theory I had in my head ? that the first book would be called Material Obsession One ? One being not only the first book, but also your first quilt, or the first idea you have when you start a new project, the jumping off point.
Two was how to take the One idea that started you off and go off in two different directions to make the idea your own ? which is why the quilts are in pairs and we both started with a similar idea germ and made our own interpretations of that idea.
My ideas for book premises went up to about 5 or 6 ? I was getting just a little bit ahead of myself J We presented the first 3 ideas to the publisher when we first met with them. I may still use some of those ideas in future books, there were some good ones!
Do you have a favourite quilt in the book? (Mine is Fruit Tingles – I’m yet to start it, but I’ve got it on the list!).
I think my favourite quilt in MO2 is Sunday. It?s hard to translate how that quilt feels when you touch it into a photograph. The fabric I used is a Lecien self- stripe, with one of my favourite Kaffe Fassets on the back. The result is that the two fine fabrics combined with the hand quilting has made the quilt drape beautifully and the back has a lovely ripply feel to it. I don?t usually use plain fabrics (you may have noticed!) but I just loved making that quilt. It is on my bed and I enjoy looking at it every time I walk through the room.
The quilt I enjoyed making the most though was Charlotte Sometimes. I LOVE doing hand appliqu? and all those little inside curves in the flowers really floated my appliqu? boat.
Now that MO2 is out, what’s next? Any more books in the pipeline? What tricks do you have up your sleeve? (tell us about sewn, dolly quilts etc etc)
I?ve always got something up my sleeve! At the moment I am writing for Sewn (www.sewn.net.au) obviously, that will continue into the foreseeable future and we have lots of amazing things planned, including the launch of Sewn Europe which will involve a lot more European content and features. I have projects coming up in Down Under Quilts, Quilter?s Companion and also Quilter?s Newsletter in the US. I also write my blog which I LOVE (Hi bloggy friends!) www.thelastpiece.net
I have just finished writing my third book, which is a book on my own this time. It will be published in Australia in 2011 and will be called, From Little Things. It has been SO exciting doing this book by myself and I am thrilled to see what my wonderful publisher comes up with for the layout. I am illustrating the book myself this time so that is another exciting happening!
I am running a wonderful dolly quilt program with my friend Amy from Mrs Schmenkman Quilts where Amy makes the quilt one month and I make it the next. The best thing for me is that I end up with 6 of Amy?s beautiful little quilts for my wall! People can sign up to get the 12 months of patterns or buy each pattern separately. You can see some of the quilts at my online shop, or at Flickr everyone is having such a great time and it?s not too late to join up.
I?m also running a Dolly Quilt program through Rhinetex in Europe ? if you are in Europe and want to find out more about it, contact your local patchwork shop and ask them to ask Rhitetex! It?s called Sarah Fielke Dolly Quilts and it is fantastic fun, each shop is running the program a little differently so you are best to contact the shops directly.
Last, but I think most exciting, is my first fabric line which was released at International Quilt Market in Houston in October! It’s being produced by Lecien and is called From Little Things (like my next book!) *pics below*
Drawing+fabric+quilts = one very excited Sarah.
And so you see that there really isn?t much more room up my sleeves at the moment, in fact I?m lucky I can fit in my shirts.
We have one copy of Material Obsession 2 up for grabs – signed by Sarah herself! Just leave a comment on this post and we’ll pick a winner in a week’s time. It really is a fantastic book, absolutely packed to the brim with inspirational quilt projects.