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150 Patterns and Counting: A Quilting Journey from Farmhouse to Fabric Wonderland!

You know how I'm obsessed with those intricate paper pieced patterns, right? Well, Forget counting days, minutes, or years in this neck of the woods. We're all about counting patterns! And guess what? My business just hit the big 150-pattern milestone! Who needs a calendar when you've got creativity on your side, right?

It seems over the years I've been on quite the pattern journey. I’ve been driving lots of big machines thanks to my boys, been in and out of the garden a few times, down to the beach, on underwater adventures, up in the skies, into space and I even whipped up a few patterns from the kitchen. Yep - 150 foundation pieced patterns and I am not stopping yet!

So, let's rewind the clock a bit, shall we? Picture it: the late eighties and early 90’s, a wee lass living on the family farm, with not a hint of coffee addiction in sight. I practically lived next door to my grandmother, a powerhouse of creativity. My grandmother was an amazing lady. In addition to single-handedly running her own farm, she was also incredibly creative. She did amazing oil paintings, baked like a demon, and sew garments fit for a runway. She was my muse, my mentor, my everything. And it was there, in her cozy abode, that I first fell in love with sewing, hunched over her vintage Bernina sewing machine like a quilting prodigy in the making.

The original sewing machine which I learned to sew on and which later became my own!

It wasn’t until 2005, during my stint at a Big Box craft store in Australia, that quilting stole my heart. Surrounded by a kaleidoscope of fabrics and quilting tools, resistance was futile. My first quilt? Let's just say it was a bit rough around the edges – literally. But with practice came progress, and before I knew it, no desk, no dining table, yet there I was I was knee-deep in stitches, stitching away on the floor in the most awkward of positions.

Fast forward a few years, after a detour into the world of Paramedicine and a bout of PTSD that threw me for a loop and landed me job-less, I found myself back in New Zealand, expecting my first child. The search for the perfect quilt for my little bundle of joy led me down the rabbit hole of paper piecing. And let me tell you, once I got a taste of that whimsical world, there was no turning back. Before I knew it, I was designing this darling Yellow Farm Tractor quilt block and stitching up a storm for the kiddo. It wasn’t long and I had a whole convoy of vehicles ready to roll.

The Yellow Tractor was the first quilt pattern I ever designed. It was made using mostly fabric scraps.

This is where the plot thickens! It all started with a seemingly innocent suggestion from a well-meaning Aunt – "Why not sell that fabulous quilt of yours?" But there was no way I was parting with my precious creation, knowing full well the blood, sweat, and tears that went into every stitch. You know how it goes – folks who aren't knee-deep in fabric tend to underestimate the sheer love and dedication poured into quilting.

But fear not, for out of that brain-storming session emerged a stroke of genius – what if, just maybe, folks would be keen to stitch up their own versions of my designs? So, armed with determination and a splash of curiosity, I dipped my toes into the world of pattern-making. Cue a bit of research, a dash of creativity, and voila – my Yellow Tractor pattern was born.

Let me tell you, that fateful day in October 2017 marked the beginning of something truly remarkable. Fast forward to today, and my sewing room is bursting at the seams with fabrics galore, including a few designs of my own creation. There's a menagerie of finished quilts, table runners, bags, and wall hangings – some polished to perfection, others still awaiting their finishing touches.

But perhaps the pièce de résistance in this quilting saga? My website, a treasure trove boasting hundreds of unique paper pieced patterns – 150 to be exact! And what better way to celebrate this milestone than with the release of my darling Daisy Mini Quilt pattern? It's the icing on the cake of this whirlwind quilting adventure! 🌼🎉

The Daisy Mini quilt pattern is my latest release and it’s my 150th paper pieced pattern!

Happy Quilting, Rachel