Being a member and working with the Muswell Hill Creatives, teaching modern quilting at the Sutton College, and working with many of London’s best fabric shops gave me an incredible foundation on which to re-launch my company as Martina Latimer in a new country.
I found the London experience highly valued here and my expertise fills a real gap in the local market for contemporary design. Many of my new customers and students are current or former expats craving the forward thinking creative approach in which London excels. The pleasant surprise has been that the slower pace of life in Brisbane means people have more time to take sewing classes, which have been supported by local craft shops, art collectives and even the Brisbane Institute of Art.
I recently launched slow stitching workshops for children called ‘Stitching Kids’ with a positive reception from the community. My youngest student Laura is 5 years old and takes private lessons in my studio. She is a very talented girl who knows what she wants, is eager to learn and try out things on her own.
I was bowled over when I heard her tell her mother that she 'wants to do what I do when she is big'. My heart officially melted.
I’ve continued to push my design and am determined to be true to myself with every piece I make - I see this as a process that, let’s face it, probably never ends. I have started working with legends like RJR Fabrics and Art Gallery Fabrics, who collaborate with me on my newest quilt designs by contributing their wonderful fabrics. I am also super proud to be in collaboration with the London based designers
Jenny Heyners from Papper Sax Sten and Helen Snell (another member of the MHC alumni) from 20th Century Cloth.
I have recently launched an instructional YouTube Channel to bring my designs and teaching together in a platform that can help sewing enthusiasts around the world. That project is definitely a challenge as I am still a ‘one woman’ show, which makes filming quite a challenge. But hey, what’s life without challenges?!
Aside from designing patterns, setting up workshops and teaching I am working on my first art textiles for gallery exhibition. I am a member of ‘Hands on Art’ in Brisbane and hope to be able to exhibit there for the first time later this year.
To find out more about my journey please visit my Instagram account @martinalatimer or my website www.martinalatimer.com where all my patterns are available for download.
I am grateful for social media allowing me to have sneak peeks at what the Muswell Hill Creatives are doing and I am glad that the collective is stronger than ever.
London, I hope to see you soon again, because as the Aussies say, I miss you heaps!