Meet a Member: Charlotte Newland
As part of our Q & A series to find out a bit more about our LMQG members. Charlotte Newland answers some questions…
Tell us a little bit about yourself My name is Charlotte, I have three kids, aged almost 12, 9 and 6 (two girls and a boy), and a lovely American husband. I work part time as a scientific editor for a medical journal, and sewing is my therapy.
When did you begin quilting and what inspired you to start? I have been sewing for as long as I can remember. My mum made a lot of our clothes and I am old enough to have been taught dressmaking and embroidery at school (ah, the 1970s!). I started quilting when my eldest daughter (now almost 12!) was a baby. I made a very traditional log cabin quilt with very traditional fabrics. There really wasn’t anything else available at the time. Since then, I have lost count of how many quilts I’ve made.
Where do you work on your quilts and keep your fabric stash? I am lucky enough to have my own studio space. We have a garage at the end of our back garden that doubles as my office and sewing room. It is so lovely to not have to put everything away. Not so great when it’s pouring with rain and I have to brave the overgrown rose bushes!
Do you prefer to follow a pattern of improvise? I like a bit of both, to be honest. It’s nice to have a finished project in mind, particularly when using more precious fabric that has been bought from America, but I also love the freedom to just make it up as I go along and see what happens.
What fabrics do you love right now? I am a complete Denyse Schmidt addict. It’s an illness.
Which part of the process do you love / hate the most? I hate basting. Mainly because I have to move all the furniture out of my dining area to get enough floor space. I live in a teeny 1930s house with a giant husband and three kids, so there is a lot of stuff lying around!
What is your biggest quilting mistake? I tried to make a zig zag quilt once, using triangles. It was a disaster. I didn’t realise that the edges of the pieces had to be offset, so I lost all the points when I tried to sew it together. The whole thing was all wrinkly because of the bias edges, and I had cut the template way too small without realising it, so it was about a quarter of the size it was meant to be. I sewed it into a pillowcase for my eldest daughter and she is really pleased with it, but I can’t stand the sight of it!
What are you working on right now? I have about a million things on the go right now, as always. I’m making a king size quilt for our bed, and that’s been lurking for about 8 months (with very slow progress). I also have all the fabric to make a quilt for my mum. Goodness knows when I will get around to it – there are at least three other projects in the queue, including an English paper pieced lap quilt that will probably take the rest of the decade!
Thank you Charlotte for letting us into your quilting world.