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Patchwork Quilting and Artwork together.

One thing about people who undertake quilting (or any crafting activity for that matter), is that generally they are not solely focused on one particular craft, and are multi-talented in a host of different crafts. Commonly, people who make quilts also sew other things, knit, or do crochet, embroidery... you get the idea. I'm no different in this aspect. I have multiple interests and many that I have been cultivating since a very young age. If you have read my bio, you already know that my Nana taught me how to sew, but between my Nana and my mother, I was taught a number of crafty skills, including the basics of knitting, how to bake, and even gardening. My grandmother was also a talented musician and scenic painter. I was always encouraged to let my artwork flow. But I have to admit, that when it comes to Kohatu Patterns, I have been a bit shy about showing these other talents because I simply wasn't sure that people would actually want to see it, because (and this is a bit embarrassing) I took art in high school... and failed... twice. Since that time (oh so long ago now) I have always felt a bit inadequate about my artwork, but I kept drawing in my quiet time because I enjoyed it. Besides, you came here for the quilt patterns, right? Why would you want to see the other stuff I have been working on? So I would quietly enter a Spoonflower design challenge, or upload a design to Society6 and most of the time... say nothing.

Sunflower garden is a pretty fabric design which I created after being inspired by my garden.

Having said that, after a gentle nudge from a family member who recently discovered that I have been continuing to draw and create artwork for the past twenty years, (even if it was mostly meant just for me), I was encouraged to be a bit more public about my other creative endeavors. I story-polled my Instagram following to find out if I should show more of my non-quilting artwork, (specifically my drawings and fabric designs) or if I should just stick to posting about quilting and my quilt patterns. Of the many (many) people that responded to my poll, the answer was quite astonishing to me that people do in fact want to see my other forms of artwork. So get ready to see more drawing, baking, gardening and generally more of me being me from now on:

Kereru Dreaming, New Zealand Artwork by artist Rachel Clay (Langford) from Tapawera, Nelson, New Zealand

"Kereru Dreaming" was inspired by my mother's volunteer work with native bird rehabilitation.

Recently my drawings have had a bit more of a New Zealand flavour to them, and honestly, these drawings hark back to my childhood in Tapawera, New Zealand having grown up in a rural farming area and done a lot of outdoor adventuring like tramping and skiing with my family. My mother is also quite heavily involved with native bird rehabilitation in the area also, so there is always a lot of native bird-life around to be inspired by when I visit her.

"Kea Inbound" is a drawing that I created while waiting for a flight from Christchurch to Wellington.

"Kea Inbound" is a drawing I started while waiting for a flight from Christchurch to Wellington

Initially, I was unsure how these artworks could be relevant to patchwork and quilting, however it wasn't long before I realised that I could make a repeating pattern from the Kea drawing and turn it into a fun New Zealand fabric on Spoonflower:

My artwork is available on Spoonflower so that it can be used in quilting and sewing projects. This kea fabric is a great piece of Kiwiana if you love sewing and want to add some New Zealand flair to your craft project!

I'm still working on how "Kereru Dreaming" can be incorporated into a fabric design, but the design is available on Society6 and can be ordered on Coffee Mugs, Cards, or as a Canvas Print if that's your preference:

My artwork "Kereru Dreaming" shown on a coffee mug. The picture is a New Zealand native bird surrounded by kowhai flowers that I have hand-drawn.

It's taken me a lot of courage to be a bit more public in this aspect of my work and I'm greatly honoured to have such a lovely and supportive following when it comes to my creative endeavours. I want to thank each and every one of you, you are amazing. I'd also like to say if you have a hidden talent for anything creative, whether you are a quilter, a cook, a painter, a writer, you create needlework or even if you cultivate a beautiful garden - you are an artist. Maybe it's time to be brave and show it to the world. Even if you did fail Fifth Form art (twice), you probably still have something beautiful to share with the world.

Happy Quilting (and other creative endeavours), Rachel

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links for products and services that I trust and use myself. If you purchase an item via one of these links it will not cost you any extra, however in some cases, I may earn a small commission which helps me fund my quilting habits. Thanks for your understanding!