Welcome to the second post to hear a bit more about Coral. Show us your sewing space! What’s the best thing you ever bought into it?
I’m lucky that I have my own room for my sewing space. The way I see it, if my husband gets a room for all his crap, I mean computer equipment, then I get a room too.
Without a doubt, my most important tool is my Janome MC6600P in a table so it’s flush with the top. Since getting this machine my quilting techniques have improved across the board. It was an investment in my continued growth as a quilter. I also love my Fiskars 60mm rotary cutter. I like it BIG if you know what I mean. 😉
Where do you find your inspiration? Who are your quilt idols? What is inspiring you right now? Please tell us five things that are inspiring you right now
I’m definitely inspired by all the amazing quilters out there, especially machine quilters. OG machine quilters Harriet Hargrave and Diane Gaudynski inspire me with their flawless traditional quilts. Heirloom Machine Quilting is my bible. I’m also inspired by more contemporary and modern quilters like Ann Fahl, Karen McTavish (she replied to me on Twitter once!), Angela Walters and Leah Day.
I’ve been pretty crafty all my life. I’m lucky to have been exposed to many talented and creative women over the years.
My Mom is an amazing seamstress. She made countless Halloween costumes and Barbie clothes for me and my sister Pearl (yes our names are ocean themed). Every year we would make a different homemade Christmas ornament to send to family members. When I was a senior in high school (year 12) I wanted a gold dress for prom. So she made me one out of gold lamé. She always encouraged my sister and I to do what we loved, regardless of what it was, and still does to this day.
My Grandma Mary Jean first exposed me to quilting, but also fostered a sense of curiosity and play in me, and all her other grandkids, from a young age. I remember making marble runs and Lincoln log houses with her. I was luck enough to live with her and my Grandpa during the summers during my undergraduate. Even though I was in my late teens/early 20s and was of course thinking only of myself, I treasured that time we had to get to know each other. For her 80th birthday in 2011 I made a memory quilt from all our family photos for her. It’s one of my favourite quilts that I’ve made. We recently collaborated on a wedding quilt for my sister and her husband. Grandma pieced the top and I quilted it.
My Grandma Lois was super creative and dabbled in probably every craft known to man. You know that saying about “she who dies with the biggest stash wins”? Well, too late, because Grandma Lois won. When we were kids we used to spend several weeks each summer at her house. She always had amazing stuff for us to do. We got to dig in the garden, paint fences and bird houses, make those awful puffy paint t-shirts that were super popular at the time. Grandma Lois loved Victorian décor and pink, but she also loved to go to the hardware store and get her hands dirty. I inherited her Ginger scissors and pinking sheers. It means a lot to me to use tools that she used. Grandma Lois passed away in 2011. I made a quilt in her memory with her favourite pinks, roses and lace. Making it was very cathartic for me.
My Nan was born and raised in Manly in Sydney. She was a war bride and moved to the USA in 1945. Although she wasn’t related by blood, she was an old family friend who took care of my sister and I from the time we were six weeks old. She taught us how to knit cotton washcloths, do printed and (eek!) counted cross-stitch. More importantly she made us finish our homework before we could watch Days of Our Lives. Before I came to Australia she gave me the priceless advice of “Don’t let those Aussie boys lead you down the garden path.” I use scarves she knitted for me all winter long. Nan passed away earlier this year just shy of her 91st birthday. I plan to make a quilt named “I Still Call Australia Home” in her memory.
I’ve been lucky to have many, many more special and inspiring women in my life. And I think of them while I’m creating.