I have been surprised to see how much events in the world effect my creativeness.
I designed the It's A Lot Quilt as a direct reaction to 2020 and the worldwide pandemic. It really was an awful lot. The quilt is also a lot - although I would say it is a lot of beauty! Favourite fabrics, favourite sewing techniques, favourite design elements all in one riot of colour and joy but still very much a lot.
Orla was designed during a quieter period of the pandemic for me - living in NSW Australia. Covid spread was almost non existent and the world around us was opening back up even if Australia still had closed borders. It was a joyous make and I consistently hear from other makers how enjoyable it is to make the Orla Quilt - even those that claim not to love needle turn appliqué. Hint - you can always substitute needle turn for your preferred method of appliqué - it's your quilt!
Then the Delta strain escaped hotel quarantine and into the Sydney community, into regional NSW and then to poor Victoria - Melbourne (my home town although not where I now live) having the dubious honour of being the world's most locked down city.
The spread brought with it the particular difficulties of six people all working from home. Four teens and kids doing home school and two adults attempting to keep 2 business and an employee position running as smoothly as possible.
For us that wasn't particularly smoothly. I felt overwhelmed with the responsibility (somewhat self imposed) of trying to appease our family's feelings especially when my own feelings were not calm.
Usually, when I do not feel calm, I craft. In particular I hand sew. And I really enjoyed picking up the chicken scratch quilt I am making. However I was still unsettled, really unsettled, and I was losing the battle of staying calm amongst a lock down and angry and anxious feelings.
Enter the cushions. I had designed the Vintage Orange Peel Cushion to play with beautiful Liberty fabric. The wonderful supportive business, whom I sometimes partner with, Ava and Neve, bundled up gorgeous Liberty tana lawn and makers around the world had made their own lovely versions.
Then, one of my dear sewing friends, Ange @alittlepatchwork and I were messaging about how satisfying making cushions was in unsettled times. Especially satisfying because they require a creative process but result in a fast finish. This discussion encouraged me to design the Emma cushion and I promptly followed it with the Starshine cushion.
The cushions are all gorgeous individually, but as a trio they made me incredibly happy and proud of my creativity. I found myself admiring them and clapping with delight (I'm a little odd - I get it - but all the best people are).
And that, my friends, is how I came to design the Happy Clappy cushions. They are scrappy and joyful but they are also a feeling of home wrapped up in three hand made cushions. I hope, if you chose to make them, they bring you as much joy as mine bring me.
The pattern releases on Friday and I have just managed to work out how to offer a discount for signing up to my newsletter. If you previously bought the Vintage Orange Peel cushion you really want to sign up because then I can send you a discount code for the Happy Clappy pattern. So please do sign up.