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The first look at my next applique series...

Last night, inspiration struck, so I grabbed my trusty Ipad and began to draw. This is the first look at my next applique series, Aussie Babies.

(New baby croc quilt pattern mock-up)

When I was four, my dad taught me to draw. It was such a magical gift as it allowed me to capture the world around me and bring things to life from my imagination. I used to draw little creatures, cut them out, mount them onto cardboard and create a little stand so they could sit on my desk at school. It was only a short time until my friends caught on and started paying me $2 for a desk buddy of their own. So, when I was in year 2, in the year 2000, I started my first business called 'Desk Buddies'; I drew up a little order form and would send it around at lunch; classmates would fill it in and pop their $2 coin into an envelope and pass it onto to the next person. I invested all my hard earnings at the canteen, buying all the treats my heart could desire. I almost ran it for a year before moving on to the next thing, a magazine called "Junior," using good old fashion collages from any visual material I could get my hands on and my own drawings.

I kept on drawing, bouncing from one creative project to another all the way up until I went to university, which is when I stopped drawing and started working in the corporate workforce. (Which was still awesome, but not very creative).

However, Back in 2016, in my mid-20s, I got really sick.

I ended up in the hospital a few times and had a bout in intensive care. It took me years to rebuild my strength; I am only starting to feel like myself again in 2023. But all those days laying in bed led me back to drawing again. I designed a few applique patterns for Mum's business, and the next thing you know, my first collection, 'Windows into Africa,' was created in 2017. It was like my life had come full circle. Desk Buddies 2.0, but with applique patterns.

(Windows into Africa, at the International Quilt Festival, Houston, 2018).

(Windows into Africa, at Craft Alive, Rosehill, 2017).

These quirky creatures I had created took Mum and me around the world. We experienced Houston, New York, and Paris together; granted, we would always come home broke as any trip from Australia is costly (and long), but the memories and people we met on the way are much more valuable than money.

Now six years on, with many more creatures designed, and the most amazing online community of quilters, I sometimes wonder, what if?

It was an unfortunate thing that led me to the most fortunate place in my life. If I never got sick, there would be no Pattern Poole, and I can't imagine my life without it today. Having a business with Mum has taught me so much; I never knew how to make YouTube videos, use graphic design software, and learn to code a website. Every day I learn something new, and I am so grateful to have the space to do that.

And thinking about full-circle got me thinking about my 'Southern Sky' applique collection. I created this collection before I was savvy at using Adobe Illustrator, and now I know so many new graphic design tricks I am eager to use them.

I recently asked our community what applique patterns they wished to see next, and many members said Australian animals and Australian flowers. So, last night I started to design my little baby Aussie animals and felt like these patterns would do well in a quilt-as-you-go cot quilt book where I can show all my different ideas for layouts, colours, and all. I don't have an estimated release date at this point, as we are still working on our other quilt as you go book with all the different QAYG methods, but I thought it would be fun to give a sneak peek so you can all let me know what you think.

The Baby Koala Block.

This is a mock-up of my baby koala design, where I repeated the block four times to create a pattern repeat. The block features a koala surrounded with eucalyptus leaves, gum nuts, and wattles like in its natural habitat. The idea is you can choose the focus; in the above image, the gum nuts are at the centre of the quilt, or in the image below, with the wattles at the centre.