My home in St. Ives, Sydney, Australia, 1981
Receiving my first doll quilt made by Mum Christmas, St. Ives, Australia, 1981
When I was a little girl, we lived in a suburb of Sydney called St Ives. It is now very built up, but when I lived there it was surrounded by bush and it felt like we lived in the country, even though we were close to shops and the city. St Ives is about my childhood. My mother sewed with me and for me, and I spent a lot of time cutting up fabrics and stitching together haphazard pieces of her scraps for my teddies. I was like most kids of the '80's ‐ I loved candy, leg warmers and polka dots. I wore my hair in piggy tails with big spotty ribbons tied to them. I listened to Michael Jackson and watched Teen Wolf. I played hide and seek and made cubby houses in our lush, jungle‐y acre of garden, and trapped butterflies in my Bug‐Catcher. My favourite colour combinations were the classics of the late '70's and early '80's ‐ not fluoro, but the slightly softer palettes of pink and grey, purple and teal, blue and yellow, red and white. These are the colours that inspired me when I was working towards the combinations for St Ives. I have captured the spirit of the 80’s in the collections 4 colorway names – Watermelon (pink and grey), Cherry (red and white), Blue Vanilla (blue and yellow) and Polar Purple Shiver (purple and teal). St Ives is about catching and bottling the shapes, colours and innocence of growing up, and using them in my quilts.
Gobstopper Spot Remember those huge candy balls you could hardly get in your mouth? You could suck on them for ages, and they changed colours as you sucked off all the different layers.
Legwarmer Stripe My favorite pair of legwarmers was pink and red and white, but I would have loved to have legwarmers in all these colors!
Ruffles My bedroom was a little girl's dream. My mother sewed a pink and green appliqué quilt with a scalloped edge, and I had a matching bedroom set with ruffled edging….all hand sewn and hand quilted.
Flutterbies Flutter by, butterfly…. Mum used to say that to me when I had caught a butterfly in my bug catcher or my net. I was always careful to let them quite soon so they didn't die or lose all their feathers.
Undergrowth Our house was on an acre of land and was surrounded by lush gardens that were my parents pride and joy. My brother and I spent countless hours in the garden, making secret hideaways and playing hide and seek.
Pot Plants The courtyard of the house and all around the pool had pot plants of every shape and size. We had a greenhouse that was full of potted pretties. I used to spend lazy afternoons reading in the greenhouse and smelling all the flowers.
Wallpaper My bedroom had the most beautiful wallpaper in pink and green, covered with little flowers and buds. I would lie in bed at night and look at the patterns it made.
Fairy Cakes My mum and I spent a lot of time in the kitchen too, cooking and baking, which I'm sure has carried through to my love of cooking today. My favourite were Fairy Cakes. They had little "wings" of cake sticking up and whipped cream. My mum always put sprinkles on to make them look pretty!
My first St. Ives quilt, “Made in Cherry”, 2011, from my new St. Ives fabric collection with Lecien USA. In store 2012.