Hello from sunny Cornwall (well, as I write this, it’s sunny!). My name is Diane and I’m really happy to have the opportunity to contribute to the ever growing and inspiring UKQU community and website. Since I joined the FB group, I’m inspired daily by all the beautiful work that everyone does. Plus, all the fab tips and tricks that are shared. Although I confess that it is sometimes hard to keep up. It’s one of the most active FB groups that I belong to.

As with many of you, I learned to sew and crochet when I was a child. And have had many projects on the go over the years. Most would end up as gifts for family and friends. I first started doing patchwork when my kids were little after seeing a couple Mums doing it at a toddler group I went to. Honestly, I loved how easy it looked and all the lovely fabrics they were using. I made my own hexagon templates from old magazine pages and soon had made my first quilt. Well, actually it was a cushion cover in the end. It turned out it would be a while before I got my first quilt made! Four kids close in age meant time was rarely on my side or spare!

Ok, I digress. You will soon discover that I’m a fairly verbose blogger ha! And I get easily sidetracked which has got considerably worse as I get older. Which brings me nicely to the rest of my intro. I’m in my 50s and a happy empty nester living in the heart of Cornwall. I have four grown up kids (including twins) and am a proud Nanny to four gorgeous grandchildren.

I work from home with my hubby running a small creative business. I’ve been doing creative work for over 15 yrs in the craft and hobby industry. Originally starting out as a self-taught web graphic designer. I went on to design scrapbook and card making papers selling them on my own website as well as other online shop outlets. I later became a freelance designer for Serif designing digikits for their Daisy Trail brand.

Initially, it was just to make a little bit of extra money as my kids got older. It was definitely about doing something I loved and later decided to try and pursue it as a more permanent way to earn a living. Not easy. Many, many pitfalls. It’s been a bumpy ride having to navigate a lot of personal ups and downs including a couple of life changing events. And having lots of low self-esteem issues and a lack of self confidence meant I did a lot of “stop starting”.

But it’s been worth it. That’s for sure. I have always tried to keep my dreams and goals real and doable. Even if it takes longer than I originally planned.

Becoming a fabric designer is one such example. Over the years when I was designing scrapbook kits, I thought many times that some of the patterns and drawings would make nice fabric. How cool would that be? To design fabric? I kept thinking about making a quilt using my own fabric.

And so I started to research what I needed to do to become a fabric designer. It took a couple of years and giving myself a good talking to about my confidence. But I did it and am proud that my first collection, Merryn, was designed for Makower UK and came out a couple of months ago (March 2018). Not only did I love the whole process, but it has brought me some new and unexpected opportunities including teaching workshops at my local fabric shop, The Sewing Studio.

In future blog posts, I’ll share more about how I got work with Makower UK as a freelancer designer and what my design process is. If there any other aspects of designing fabrics you’re interested in knowing, please do let me know.