Have you met Anorina Morris at Samelia’s Mum? A designer, teacher, quilt maker and Aurifil Artisan, Anorina lives near Sydney in Australia. A wife, mum of two humans and 3 fur babies, she makes time each day to play with fabric, needle and thread. You can see her patterns published in such magazines as Homespun magazine, Quilters Companion, Make Modern, Handmade, Patchwork and Stitching. When not in her sewing room, you can find Anorina hand stitching, while waiting for her children at their after school activities.
We asked Anorina about her creative background. Let’s see what she said!
Island Batik: When did you begin sewing?
Anorina: I started sewing when pregnant with my first child. I think this is a common time for when people start sewing. I made a quilt for my son’s cot and some curtains for his room.
Who served as your sewing mentor and taught you the ropes?
I did a term of textiles (sewing) in high school and ABSOLUTELY hated it. We had to sew a garment and I just couldn’t work it out. My poor old mum had to finish the project for me.
I learned about patchwork and quilting by looking at blogs and watching YouTube videos. A lot of practice (and a few mistakes) later, and I think I’ve got it figured out. I now regularly teach sewing/quilting classes at my LQS where I work.
What were your beginner mistakes in quilting?
Using bad fabrics and mismatched seams would be my biggest mistakes when I first started.
Is there block or pattern you could you make over and over again?
I absolutely love the Churn Dash block and the Dresden plate!
Do you have a favorite quilt?
My favourite quilt is called “Bittersweet Symphony” which I made a few years ago. It has Dresden plate blocks surrounded by a border of freeform appliqué vines, leaves and flowers. It won ‘Best in Show’ at my local country show and now hangs in the classroom at my LQS.
What inspires your design process?
Beautiful fabrics inspire my projects. I generally have the fabrics before I decide what I’ll make with them.
What’s your most favorite part of quilting, and why? Least favorite?
I love big stitch quilting. It’s such a relaxing end to a project and allows me time to think about future projects. My least part of the quilting process is cutting the fabric before I start.
Is there a technique that you were hesitant about trying, only to discover that you ended up absolutely loving it?
Sewing curves! Just the thought of sewing curves used to frighten me, but after trying it and have a reasonable amount of success I actually quite enjoy sewing blocks with curves.
What do you do that you hope the “quilt police” never find out about?
I’m a very relaxed quilter and my motto is “finished is better than perfect”. Quilt police don’t scare me. LOL.
Do you enjoy watching TV, listening to music or audiobooks, or sewing in silence while you work on your projects?
Sometimes I have music playing in the background, but generally I like to listen to an audio book. Listening to audiobooks while sewing really help me reach my annual goals in Goodreads.
What is your favorite notion or gadget that you use every time you sew?
I do a lot of hand sewing and big stitch quilting. I don’t use a thimble, but I do use a finger grip on my index finger which helps pull the needle more easily through the fabric. I also love my Clover desktop needle threader – super easy to thread even the finest needle.
What are your other crafty (and non-crafty) hobbies?
I enjoy crochet and embroidery. I love to read, bake and generally spending time with my family.
Do you have a pet that “helps” you sew?
I have two dogs and a cat. They don’t necessarily help (probably more of a hindrance) but one of my dogs, Charlie, always feels the need to photobomb anything I try to photograph in the back garden. He’s lucky that he’s cute.
If you could choose an all-expenses paid trip to anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
I’d love to do a world cruise. Six months, going around the world, exploring different countries and returning to a room that’s been cleaned daily by housekeeping.
To see the whole 2023 Island Batik Ambassador team, please visit: https://islandbatik.com/2023-ambassadors/
Is there anything else you want to ask Leah? Leave us a comment below!