I first met Keera via a charm square swap we were both involved in. I love the freshness and symmetry of her designs, and that they have big blocks to showcase gorgeous fabrics.
In preparation for this interview, I decided it was time to finally make one of her patterns as they’ve been on my to-do list for quite some time! I’ve bought both Quatro and Morocco and wasn’t sure which to do first. I had a layer cake in mind for Quatro but recently I was lucky enough to find a Ruby layer cake so I put it out to my Instagram friends as to whether I should use the Ruby LC for Quatro and it was a resounding yes!! I have to tell you, I’m so glad I did because it looks perfect.
Keera’s patterns are very well written and are easy enough to follow for a confident beginner as well as catering to advanced quilters who are looking for a great geometric design to show off their favourite fabric. They come with cutting diagrams as well as instructions, which is something I really appreciate in a pattern. Also, she provides check boxes so you can mark the fabric off as you cut it – another feature I found very helpful.
The layout and design of the patterns are elegant and clear and as well as lots of diagrams there are tips for beginners to help them with their technique.
I’ve cut out all the layer cake pieces and made three full blocks – they are very quick to make up so you can see your quilt progressing nice and fast.
Below are the three blocks I’ve made so far:
The only slight thing I would say about this pattern is that there’s not enough room for directional fabrics to be facing all the same direction – the two side panels will face sideways but I got over that. 😉
Keera has just launched her patterns in paper form and to celebrate, there’s a special gift for my readers at the end of this post.
Let’s meet Keera, then shall we?
- Tell us a bit about you? Tell us a little about life on your farm – have you always lived on the land?
I am wife to a cattle breeder and very proud mummy to Lilla and Poppy; we live and work on a cattle station in South-West Queensland. It truly is one of the most beautiful places to be, we love sharing what we do and feel so blessed to be able to bring our girls up here.
I haven’t always lived on the land, but have always had a love for a rural lifestyle. I grew up the eldest of four, in Dubbo, NSW. My parents and siblings still live there, and it will always be home for me. My grandparents lived on a small property on the outskirts of town, and we spent so much of our childhood there – I loved Grandma and Kel’s place and spent many afternoons after school and weekends preparing show heifers and steers for school competitions.
My love for cattle grew while outside, and my passion for sewing and quilting was ignited inside. Grandma had started quilting when I was in my early teens – she took a class with a close friend of hers and had taught me a few techniques she learnt. After watching her enjoyment and the beautiful quilts she made I became hooked and started my own projects!
- When did you start quilting?
I have been quilting on and off since I was 14; though I consider myself having really become serious about quilting, my designing and our business since I had my first daughter three years ago. Handmade quilts became a go-to gift, and baby quilts were a special way to share something I had made – many of these quilts are still with their owners and have been loved beyond their years.
- Tells us about your first quilt?
My first quilt was made on the floor of Grandma’s sewing room; We made a Crazy Patchwork throw with fabrics we’d found in the mending basket – there were old work shirts, pyjama pants and curtain fabric used – it’s not perfect, but it’s mine and I’m still so proud of it. I love that so many memories can be evoked simply by looking at this quilt – there are so many stories it tells and places it takes me. I still use this quilt to this day, and love that my girls get to share in some of those times.
- What’s your favourite part of the quilt-making process?
I love the whole process of quilting, but deciding on the final quilt layout always puts a smile on my face. I cut and prep and chain-piece like a crazy lady, but seeing that quilt top come together from all those finished blocks is definitely a favourite. So many of my quilts use pre-cut fabric pieces, and the techniques I use and teach helping to reduce the time spent making those beautiful quilts! As a busy mum to two, and working part-time I know the value of quality quilting time – so it makes more sense to offer time-saving techniques! I am usually working on two or three quilts at a time; most of the time I have them all cut and prepped, and then the chain-piecing begins. I love free-motion quilting, but also love the finished look of a quilt delivered from the long-armer – and basting really isn’t my favourite pastime!
- Tell us about your pattern designing business? How did it come about?
I guess one would say I’ve always been a bit of an entrepreneur – I never do things in halves and when it comes to creative pursuits have motivation and drive that sometimes surprises myself. After making baby quilts and handmade gifts I started looking at quilt design a bit differently; I found myself drawing up quilt designs in my sketchbook, and finding a block pattern in nearly everything I saw.
I have a background in education, so love nothing more than sharing my knowledge, skills and passion for quilting. My primary aim is to help others make something truly beautiful – I love nothing more than seeing something I have drawn up come together in fabric. LIVE.LOVE.SEW has become known for its fresh aesthetic, and I for my love of traditional design. My designs work at combining the two; I use gorgeous, contemporary fabrics and showcase them in bold blocks. I love colour and enjoy working to give a quilt that ‘bit of something extra’.
- What do you love about designing quilts?
I draw inspiration from the place and space around me, and our gorgeous home in rural QLD. I truly believe that every quilt tells a story; whether it be made for someone special, the fabrics used or a moment in time it was made. I love realising and creating to tell these stories, and love hearing feedback from my readers and followers with their own versions, and their own stories. My Grandma B quilt is one I designed in tribute to my gorgeous Grandma – the woman who helped me fall in love with quilting. American Honey was made while pregnant with my second daughter Poppy. I crawled around pin basting this quilt at 38 weeks pregnant and waiting her arrival! I receive emails almost every week sharing stories about someone’s quilting grandmother, or the gift of a quilt for a new baby or marriage. I love that I get to be a part of this process and these stories.
- What project are you currently working on?
I always have several projects on the go at once – I have an unfinished pile of quilts that are screaming at me to be finished and so many designs sitting in the sketchbook to have samples made up!
We have recently launched our Wholesale business, with so many hours on the computer finalising artworks and speaking to Stockists – it’s been hard work with a few tears thrown in the mix, but so worth it and I’m so proud of what we’ve been able to achieve. I have a few features coming up over the next few months and some new pattern releases before Christmas.
I am also (slowly!) working on a Swoon quilt for our bedroom, and have purchased a few new patterns from April Rosenthal (Prairie Grass Patterns) and Allison Harris (Cluck Cluck Sew) that I am completely crushing at the moment. With Christmas fast approaching, some gift sewing of tote bags and pouches is planned as is a few Christmas dresses for the girls. I always have big plans and never enough time to do them in, but that’s a given as a quilter right?!
- What’s next for you – where do you see yourself in two/five/ten years’ time (whichever you feel like answering)?
I had always dreaded the question of where I see myself in so many years; my creative life and my career has taken a huge leap over the past twelve months and I’m loving the direction it’s taking me. I know I will still be quilting and sharing our story with my readers and followers. I am working towards my ultimate dream of designing my own fabric; and I hope to gain enough skill and confidence to submit my design portfolio to a major fabric company. I will continue to grow and support the Australian quilting community in whatever way I can, as it has me. “Creativity is contagious – pass it on” is a quote I live by every day; if I can inspire others to try quilting and to fall in love with the medium of fabric then my job is complete! I can only hope my love for quilting shows through everything I do and that my designs guide quilters of all skill levels to create something they are proud of and loved making.
- Where can we find you?
The LIVE.LOVE.SEW blog (www.livelovesew.com.au/blog) is where I share and journal my quilt making, it also hosts our online store (www.livelovesew.com.au/shop) as well as being the official platform for new pattern launches, our Block of the Month program and any giveaways and tutorials. I don’t blog nearly as regularly as I would like to, but try to stop by and share a little of what’s happening in our world as much as I can.
Instagram (@livelovesew) has very quickly become my favourite social media platform. I love the simplicity of Instagram, the immediate inspiration you gain with a simple scroll of your feed, and the wonderful people I’ve been able to communicate and work with.
We can also be found at:
Keera has generously offered readers a 15% discount on all purchases from her store (PDF or paper) made between now and Sunday 28 September. To take advantage of this offer, simply go to www.livelovesew.com.au/shop and enter QUIZ15 at the checkout.
I’ve really enjoyed getting to know Keera a little more; I’m off to make some more Ruby Quatro blocks now!
Happy Quilting 🙂