Today I would like to introduce you to a lovely, friendly lady with many talents up her sleeve! Of course, not least of which is her sewing! Over to you Teje:
Hi! I am Teje from Finland and I’m living in Greece with my Greek husband, our two dogs and one cat.
Both countries and cultures have an effect on my works. Beautiful nature, colours, Greek sea and mountains, Finnish forests and lakes - they inspire me. My grandfather was a painter, my mother was an artist in many fields and my father is an architect. I have inherited love for colours, designing, art and creating. My dear sister, who lives in England is very talented sewist and has her own business with unique leather items.
When did you start to sew, who taught you and what do you like to sew?
I was lucky to have very talented mother who stayed at home with us. She taught me and my sister to sew, knit, crochet, weave and most important she thought us to create and enjoy making something on our own. I was about 5 years when I made my first crochet jumper. First we sew clothes for dolls and later for ourselves.
I used to sew all kind of cloths and even winter coats, bags and things for home. About 3 years ago I finally found the courage to start patchwork and the same time I began to write my blog. Patchwork and quilting became a passion! I love to make quilts and other things (bags, pouches, notebook covers, cushions) with patchwork. Also I really enjoy hand quilting.
Do you use patterns?
I don’t use very many patterns except for clothes and even then I often sew from my own ideas and use an old cloth for pattern. For quilts and bags I haven’t used patterns. I enjoy very much making plans what to sew and finding a way how to do it.
Before quilting I used to knit all the time and usually fantastic yarn was the inspiration and then I started to plan what to knit with that. Now with the quilting it happens often that I start to look my fabrics and puzzle with the colours and prints. I may have had a project in my mind but sometimes fabrics and colours lead me to sew something else.
My latest quilt ‘Fantasy Forest’ is my all-time favourite. It was a project that wasn’t planned, difficult and something new to me (foundation piecing). I loved those fantastic animal blocks and wanted to give a try. I couldn’t have guessed that I shall make a whole wall hanging quilt and win the 1st prize!
My favourite bag is quite simple. Once my sister sent to me some lovely linen patches and I made a patchwork with them and solid natural canvas. I quilted them with circles and made ‘My Favourite Bag’, shoulder bag with lots of pockets inside.
Generally I love all kind of fabrics! There are so many fantastic fabric lines and amazing designers! One all-time favourite is Kaffe Fassett. First I was a fan of his knittings and yarns and now I enjoy watching his beautiful designs on quilts and fabrics. His colours are always fantastic! I like to use many kind of materials and upcycled fabrics. Men’s shirts are great for quilts and lining in the bags.
Any sewing secrets you would like to share with us?
Enjoy sewing and don’t worry about small ‘mistakes’. It’s handmade and should show. Take time for your sewing because it’s important to make something we enjoy, even short moments. How lucky we are being able to do something we love.
What sewing machine/s do you have?
My first sewing machine was Husqvarna and it was wonderful. Now I have simple Singer and I can work with it, even I miss many things. I dream about a new Husqvarna with all the quilter’s goodies.
Do you have any sewing goals?
Usually I don’t set goals. I sew what I feel and like and what inspiration and idea comes to me. I’m very happy that I have tried and learnt many techniques like paper piecing, foundation piecing, applique, embroidery etc. I just received amazing present from a friend and it made me want to learn more about the quilting generally. Also I want to make more variable quilt designs, surprising and fun. Absolutely I want to make more tutorials and patterns to encourage and help new sewers and quilters.
The second quilt top I made is still ufo. I made it with soft men’s shirt fabrics in many blue and white colours (my favourites). I used ‘disappearing 9 patch’ pattern which I like very much. I basted the quilt but then without knowing enough, started to quilt it too difficult. Now I’m just waiting to find enough energy to rip the quilting I have stitched and start again.
When do you find the time to sew & quilt?
This could be my sewing secret as well - we just have to take the time! When there is something you desperately want to do, you find time. Fortunately I had lot of time when I started quilting. Now even I’m sometimes very busy, I take the time because I know how important it is to me to feel well. There is always something else to do but if you wait to finish first all the house works, gardening etc. you never have time to sew.
Do you have a dedicated sewing space or room?
Our small attic is my creative space. I have all my materials around me. There is not very much space and I miss the big room with big tables I used to have, but this works well enough and shows that it’s not the place and tools but the enjoy and need to make something.
Do you have any other hobbies?
Quilting drove over most of my other hobbies.
But still I love to knit, crochet, read and paint.
Blogging is also my favourite hobby! When I began my blog, I thought it was great idea to write with my dog Nero - if there was nothing to show about my sewings, he could tell his stories. Unfortunately Nero doesn’t very often get a chance to write because I have always so much to show and tell. Nero is famous and loved by his readers and our tradition is that he always picks the giveaway winners. If he just could write on his own, when I don’t have time to write!
Christine, thank you for inviting me to join your exciting series of sewists!
Sunny wishes from Crete!
Find more on Teje here:
Thank you for sharing your fabulous work with us Teje....very inspiring indeed! :)
Next week we have someone who has been sewing since she was a little kid and her grandma made sure she had a good sewing machine....how lovely to have such an encouraging grandma......