Hi friends; editor Lorinda here! I am taking over the social feeds this week to share a bit more about my good friend and Quilter’s Planner social media manager Sarah Ashford, who is also a contributor for the 2022 Quilter’s Planner! Sarah is not only a pattern designer and our social media manager, she is a quilting teacher, author of two books, and is the founder of the Great British Quilter, championing the British quilting community. She is one busy lady!
Sarah designed the Windmills baby quilt for the 2022 Quilter’s Planner. Made using rainbow scraps, it is a bright and sunny project that puts a smile on my face every time I see it! The quilt finishes at 48″ x 60″, making it a very generously-sized baby quilt that could be love throughout childhood.
Keep reading to hear Sarah share more about it’s design and construction!
Thank you so much for designing such a beautiful project for our 2022 Quilter’s Planner! Can you tell us a little about the inspiration behind it?
It’s always such a pleasure to design for the Quilter’s Planner, a product that is dear to my heart. I knew that Lorinda loves rainbows so I wanted to incorporate that theme. I also have an increasing number of scraps piling up in my sewing room and wanted to make a dent in them and try to use what I have rather than purchasing more fabric when I already have so much. So a scrappy rainbow quilt was the initial starting point! I really liked the block that looked like a windmill, which is how the name of the quilt came about.
Tell us a little about the fabrics you worked with for the Windmill Quilt.
I wanted to use a bright, colourful rainbow palette of prints, and luckily I had plenty of scraps to choose from. For the background, I used a selection of low volume prints as opposed to plain white. I like low volume prints because they provide contrast and interest. I especially love a text print!
How do you go about designing quilts and projects? What is your design process?
Sometimes I have an idea in my head and I just sketch it on paper and then run with it, and other times I use quilt design software and play around until I have a composition that I like. I knew for this quilt that I wanted a scrappy rainbow, so that was my starting point, and the design was secondary. Other times it could be a new technique that I want to try or a fabric collection that I want to work with. It really does depend!
What type of fabrics are you drawn to? Would you say you have a distinctive style?
I would say my style is fresh, bright, colourful, and fun. I like playful prints with cute animals, motifs and patterns. I also love pink, so that features in my work quite a lot!
Tell us a bit about your sewing space. Do you have a dedicated space or are you making space on the kitchen table?
For many years I was a kitchen table quilter and now I have my own studio which is just wonderful. I have a desk for my computer and sewing machine, a large cutting table and lots of shelves and draws for fabric storage. I love that I no longer have to clear everything away and that I can just leave it out and return to it. I do like it to be organized, so after each project is finished I have a good tidy up and sort out before I start on the next project.
What is your favorite feature of the Quilter’s Planner?
There’s so many aspects of the Quilter’s Planner that I love! It’s the diary pages that I use the most to keep my day to day life organized and I love the vertical layout with a Monday start date best. There is plenty of room for me to write down all the things that I need to do and remember each day. I also really like the Projects at a Glance pages, as these pages help me keep track of all the quilting projects I’m working on. I probably have more WIPs than I should have, so looking at this helps me figure out where I’m at for each project.
Do you have a favorite Quilter’s Planner accessory?
I really love the rose gold pen as it writes so beautifully! Finding a pen that writes smoothly is a rare thing and so that, along with the stick on pen holder is really useful.
What is the one thing you can’t live without?
Fabric and thread. As long as I can cut fabric up and sew it back together again, I’m happy!
What do you want to do more of in 2022? We’d love to know!
I would love to do more face to face teaching next year. I have managed to teach a couple of classes this summer at the Festival of Quilts, which is a wonderful quilt show here in the UK, that was finally able to happen again. Connecting with quilters in person was such a joy, and it reminded me just how much I enjoy meeting like minded people and passing on my skills. I really hope there can be more of that in 2022!
We look forward to meeting up with Sarah in person hopefully soon. Thanks to Sarah for taking the time to answer our interview questions! We are so happy to have her as part of our team here at the Quilter’s Planner. We are giving away a copy of Sarah’s latest book on Instagram this week, so be sure to follow us there to enter!