Monday, 5 March 2012

My Modern Muse - Laura Jane at Needles Pins & Baking Tins

Kaleidoscope Quilt - Front Yea, it`s the second interview in the My Modern Muse series and Laura Jane of Needles Pins and Baking Tins is in the house...welcome Laura Jane! I`m going to be meeting Laura Jane for real in June at the FQ Retreat in London but for now we enjoyed a virtual get together.

Atop a couple of camels and during a very bumpy ride Laura Jane told me a little about what inspires her.

Laura Jane One of my favourite quilts that I’ve made is my Kaleidoscope quilt. It was one of those things that I just obsessed over from start to finish. As soon as I saw the pattern, from Cluck Cluck Sew, I had to have it. I’d seen Kaleidoscope patterns before, but I really liked the simplicity of this one, and the addition of the appliquéd circles in the middle. Then I just had to wait for the right fabric. My prayers were answered, of course, when Denise Schmidt brought out her first line for Joannes. 

Being in the UK, finding and shipping this whole collection became like mission impossible to me! I was emailing and skyping my friend in Virginia like a woman possessed! She would not have a chance to get to a Joannes for a week or so, and in that time bundles had started popping up on Etsy. Needless to say, I didn’t wait. It was the one and only time I have ever been hit for the dreaded Import Tax, and so this quilt is probably one of my most expensive to make as well lol! 

Kaleidoscope Quilt - Detail

The quilt actually came together really fast. I cut and pieced the blocks in a weekend, and quilted and bound it the following weekend. I love the red gingham I used on the back, and the scrappy binding I made. This quilt lives on my bed in the summer. My only regret is not making it slightly bigger, as it only just covers up the bottom of my bed when laid out lengthways. It’s a good sofa snuggling size though J

Annabella   When you are offline, what things in life inspire you to create your beautiful quilts?
Laura Jane I’d like to say I take inspiration from my everyday life. Recently I have become more in to photography, so I try to look at things from a photographer`s point of view, finding the interest in an otherwise mundane environment. I’m quite a techy person, I’ve always loved maths and am a computer programmer (by day!), so again I see patterns in my field of work. I enjoy the mathematical aspect of quilting; it satisfies the arty and tech parts of me in equal amounts. J

Annabella Do you have a favourite quilting book which inspires you Laura Jane?
Laura Jane  It depends what the scale is here! If we’re talking, the book I’ve made the most things from, it would probably be Pam & Nicky Lintott’s Jelly Roll Quilts book. I’ve made about 4 or 5 from there, and they never cease to impress me. The books I find most inspiring are the Material Obsession books. Every single quilt in them just leaps of the page. They are written and illustrated fantastically, and demonstrate loads of different styles and techniques.

Annabella  Is there a place you go which stirs your creative juices?  
Laura Jane I think the place where I’m most juicy (lol) is when I’m sat, chain piecing, at my sewing machine. Obviously you can’t let the mind wander when cutting (hello sharp object!), but when actually sewing or pressing blocks for a quilt I must dream up about 20 other quilts in my head!
Laura Jane`s Solids quilt
Annabella I know it`s difficult to choose with all the creativity there is online but is there a blog Laura Jane that you find yourself constantly inspired by?
Laura Jane There are literally thousands of blogs and bloggers out there that I find inspiring. If it weren’t for their ideas and willingness to share, I probably would never have got into sewing or quilting (I’m self-taught, from blogs and youtube). But to find someone constantly inspiring is a difficult thing…if posts from any of these blogs pop up in my reader, I would not skip them, and may even go back and read them multiple times:

Annabella What`s on your ipod when you are in your sewing space?
Laura Jane There isn’t one specific song or artist I like to listen to when quilting, but if there is music playing, it`s most likely to be one of these:
Dire Straits
Red Hot Chilli Peppers
Ed Sheeran

Anything from the 80’s…. the cheesier the better!
Annabella  Do you ever get the quilter`s equivalent of `writer`s block`?  What do you do to get through it?
Laura Jane Oh I get it all the time!! Sometimes when I’m having a crazy busy week at work I don’t feel much like crafting in the evenings. Or when I’ve got loads of commitments which absolutely had to be done yesterday and are still outstanding it makes me even less enthusiastic about doing them! But usually I just sit myself down on a weekend and force myself to do it. Having a full on sew day every once in a while can usually bring back my mojo!

My favourite of Laura`s  - her Snowball quilt
Annabella Apart from your immediate family, who has been your greatest creative inspiration in your life and why?
Laura Jane Am I allowed to say my Mom? 
Annabella No but go on...
Laura Jane She’s always gently nudged me to do what I want to do. Sometimes knowing what that is before even I do. She would spend hours cutting and sticking and painting and drawing with me, as a child. She taught me how to crochet, although I was shockingly bad at it for a long while because she holds the hook weird ;-) She taught me how to knit, and was patient when I ended up with some sort of trapezoid shape, not the teddy scarf I intended. She gave me the creative freedom to try or do anything I wanted… just so long as I cleaned up the mess afterwards!

Annabella Who is a creative inspiration who you would most love to have 30 minutes of their time?
Laura Jane That’s a hard one! I would love to sit down with Anna Maria Horner and ask her how she does it all! How she manages to be a mom and a writer and a seamstress and a designer and a teacher and all the other things she fits in along the way…

Annabella What is your favorite ever line of fabric and designer?
Laura Jane I’d like to say Flea Market Fancy is my favourite fabric, but I fear I’m being predictable. How about Katie Jump Rope? Or Innocent Crush? And my favourite designer? Denyse Schmidt or Anna Maria Horner. Both. J

Thank you so much for popping over Laura Jane - it`s been a laugh and you`re an inspiration.  If you don`t know Laura Jane, be sure to check out her blog here!


ScissorsandThread said...

Fab interview, I love Laura janes blog and quilts.

Sheila said...

Great interview, smashing quilts.x

Unknown said...

Wow, I almost sound like I know what I'm talking about! x

Isisjem said...

Great interview! Love posts like this, where you can get to know someone a bit better!

Katy Cameron said...

Great interview with my Sewing Summit roomie!

Prof. S (the enchanted bobbin) said...

How fun -- I love these interviews!

Judith, Belfast said...

Great interview A & LJ! Jxo

Leanne said...

So do you really ride about on camels?This was a great interview.

Mrs Flying Blind... said...

Ooh she's love isn't she! x

Archie the wonder dog said...

Fabulous interview!!

Lizzie Allen said...

Great interview! Am amazed at how much Laura gets done! Her quilts are simpy gorgeous. I am luckly if I get 2-3 hours an evening during the week to do something quilty.

Kelly said...

Fab Interview!

Jenelle said...

Great interview! I enjoyed learning a bit more about Ms. Laura. :)

Katherine said...

Laura is such a sweetie. Thanks for interviewing her, Annabella.

Cherie said...

Love the interview they are such a great idea and really inspirational =D said...

Thanks for lending us a peak into Laura Jane's quilty life. I hope I get to ride a camel when I visit.

Indianna said...

Nice to know that I'm not the only maths geek that likes to quilt - must be something about the angles!

Canadian Abroad said...

Laura Jane is fabulous and its a great interview. Thanks Annabella!