Corinna is a talented and generous quilter who has been using her gifts to help overseas women in need. She's also one of the founders of the Simple Six Inch Sampler on Instagram. She's one of the IG friends I came across last year and I immediately found that I loved her clean, fresh style. We also share a love of Bonnie and Camille fabrics.
Let's find out more about this lovely lady.
- Tell us a bit about you?
My name is Corinna Burrows and I am a Kiwi who has lived in Australia for the last 8 years. I love my husband, my family, the beach, sports, singing, scrapbooking and of course sewing.
I have been a Stay At Home Mum for the last 12 years raising my five crazy, boisterous, awesome boys.
Before kids I was a Primary School Teacher.
- When did you start quilting?
I had previously been an avid Scrapbooker so loved putting together colour and pattern combos for layouts. But with the arrival of the twins at the end of 2011 all that fell by the wayside and I was too overwhelmed and exhausted to do anything creative.
Then I reluctantly started quilting three years ago in 2012. I say reluctantly because the only quilts I had ever seen were very country style, traditional quilts that weren’t really my style. One day my in-home carer (who helped with the twins), who also happened to be a Patchwork Teacher, handed me a huge bag of scrappy squares and said, “you’re going to make a quilt!” I had no idea what to do and didn’t even own a sewing machine! However, she loaned me her old Janome that had bits falling off it, and gave me a crash course on how to make an hour glass block, how to “press to the dark side”, and what a ¼” seam was and away I went.
Looking back at that quilt, I don’t like any of the fabrics in it, but I loved the process. This was something I could do that wasn’t going to get “undone” by the boys in five minutes.
- Tells us about your first quilt?
After I made that scrappy hour glass quilt, I caught the sewing bug. I also discovered online quilting shops. Oh. My. Word!!!! What a mistake that was! Just kidding. Suddenly my eyes were opened to modern quilting and the huge range of amazing fabrics that are available. I fell in love with “Vintage Modern” by Bonnie and Camille and bought two layer cakes and made my first quilt. I call this one my first quilt because I made it entirely by myself from beginning to end. This is when my love for Bonnie and Camille fabrics started. I just love the fresh colours and the gorgeous “Vintage Modern” designs, and I guess that’s what I would call my style.
- Tell us about the Simple Six Inch Sampler – where did the idea for that come from?
The Simple Six Inch Sampler evolved from chatting on Instagram with Anna @spanzy, Samantha @aqua_paisley and Peta @shequiltsalot. We were all wanting to make some kind of six inch sampler quilt like the “Farmer’s Wife” ones but wanted to keep it simple, open to blocks from anywhere and rotary cut rather than cut from templates. From there the four of us continued brainstorming all the details, came up with a name (thanks to Anna), and the “Simple Six Inch Sampler” was born. It’s been so wonderful to have able to have a virtual sew-along with so many lovely people from all over the world.
- What’s your favourite part of the quilting process?
My favourite part of the quilting process would have to be putting together fabric combos and then completing that very first block. I also love hand sewing on the binding. So I guess that means the beginning and the end are my favourite parts. My least favourite parts are cutting and basting. During my very first cutting lesson I sliced open my finger, so cutting and I have never been friends.
- What project are you currently working on?
I currently have a pile of 11 quilts that need to be quilted!!! I’m also working on Thimbleblossom’s new “Nantucket” quilt as well as finishing up my “Fancy Foxes” and “Painted Ladies” quilts. Plus I always have a stitching project on the go to keep me sane in waiting rooms.
- Tell us about your orphan blocks project? How can we support you in that?
My friend Sue, from church, has been supporting and raising money to buy Birthing and Infant Care Kits for the desperately poor mothers and babies in the Philippines. Each kit costs $7 to put together and has sterile supplies in it like, a birth mat, a scalpel or scissors, a piece of string or cord clamp, alcohol wipes and a blanket to wrap baby in, as well as other supplies. With a 40% infant mortality rate, God really laid it on my heart to help. I went ahead and made a bunch of pouches to sell, but then thought we could do so much more with a bit of help. I saw a few posts on IG where people were making blocks but because they had turned out too small they couldn’t use them. That’s when I thought “but I could use them!” I realised most of us have an orphan block or two left over from quilts or test blocks. So I put out a post on IG asking people to send me their orphan blocks so I could turn them into something to sell. The response has been overwhelming. Blocks, fabric, thread and zippers started arriving from all over the world. To date I’ve been able to make 30 pouches, 45 pot holders, four quilts and 18 apple and pear pincushions. Also some beautiful friends have also made things to sell and so far we have raised over $500 to purchase 71 birth kits. As this is an ongoing project, if anyone has some orphan blocks or fabric I would love to adopt them from you.
- What’s next for you – where do you see yourself in the next two years?
Wow, I have so many things I want to try. I really want to try my hand at paper piecing. I also love embroidery and hoop art and have a million ideas that I want to design and try. I’ve had a Cathedral Window Quilt on my “to make” list forever too.
In the next two years I want to learn how to make clothing. Vintage style dresses and tops are my love. But in the meantime I want to improve my free-motion quilting and sew a little bit everyday. With our busy lifestyles we need to remember to refuel ourselves and for me sewing and creating is my happy place.
- Where can we find you?
You can find me on Instagram @corinna_maycreations. You may also see a few pictures of the crazy antics that my boys get up to because sometimes they are just too funny not to share.
Please consider supporting Corinna's Orphan Block Campaign, and until next time, Happy Quilting!