UK Handmade member Alessandra Handmade Creations creates intricate quilts and homewares with a love and care that has been inherited from her family. Here she tells more about her background and her passion for fabrics and sewing...
Please tell us a little bit about yourself, how did you get started sewing?
I started sewing when I was a child. My grandmother used to be a seamstress and she made me lots of pretty dresses when I was a little girl! I loved to watch her working, with magic and music coming out of the sewing machine. I was often allowed to sit on her lap while she was sewing, and so it all began...
Do you have any formal training?
No, I did not have formal training, but my grandma was just one of the talented ladies that guided me in my learning journey.
Who or what inspires you?
All the ladies in my family had one talent or another: some were knitters, some loved to crochet, some did embroidery and some tapestry. The important thing was not to stand still or sit doing nothing. They were all clever, inspiring and joyful in their making, and their passion for sewing and all needle and thread arts just rubbed off on me.
How long does it take to make your beautiful quilts?
It takes a lot of time, passion and commitment to complete a quilt. But I love it, every single step of the way, and I take the time for each of them. I do not make for the sake of making, I just wait for the right inspiration for the part that I am working on. At the end of the day, as we say in Italy, Rome wasn’t built in a day!
Please tell us about your workspace/studio.
I work from home, where I have a small sewing room, but occasionally I take over the whole house.
What are your favourite tools of the trade?
Well, of course a good, reliable sewing machine and a sharp rotary cutter are tools I would not go without.
What does the term handmade mean to you?
Handmade to me means an item made with love, care, attention to detail, and pride. It is not an item made by the dozens; it rather means an artefact expressing the craftsmanship and love of the maker. Handmade items are a piece of art and a piece of heart, not just objects.
Who are your favourite artists/designers?
This is very difficult to say, I most definitely love Liberty Fabrics.
What advice would you give someone looking to start a creative business?
Go for it! it does not have to be perfect to start with, you just have to give yourself time to learn and LOVE what you are doing.
What was the best advice someone ever gave to you?
Finished is better than perfect!
What are the most rewarding and most frustrating aspects to what you do?
The most rewarding part is seeing an idea take form and become reality, grow in front of me, and get completed. The most frustrating aspect is not having enough time for completing all the ideas and projects I have in my mind.
Please describe your perfect day…
A perfect day starts with a sewing breakfast, and it ends with a little night sewing... and A LOT of sewing in between!
If you had the chance to learn a new creative skill, what would it be?
What are your goals for the future?
My goal, would be to have a bigger studio and be able to be more efficient and get more items done!
Where can we see your work?
My work can be seen on social media (facebook, instagram), on my website (www.AlessandraHandmade.co.uk) and at events across London and surroundings (https://alessandra-creations.co.uk/pages/events)
If you are a UK based designer maker and wish to be considered for our premium portfolio account, please apply here http://ukhandmade.co.uk/member-application.