I’m Designer, Author, Talk Show host Pat Sloan.
In 2010 I created the first original Block of the month for Aurifil and it was so much fun we’ve done it ever year since! 2019 is my 9th year hosting this super fun sew along. Learn more about how it works at our intro of the 2019 team
Sedef Imer of Down the Grapevine Lane has a beautiful style of quilts. They are soft and a bit romantic. She is a Riley Blake designer and we are thrilled to have her join us this year.
Visit Sedef at www.downgrapevinelane.com/
Missed a month? CLICK FOR PRIOR DESIGNER interviews
Remember we have a Challenge portion of our Designer of the Month interview.
Each month we select one random winner to receive a 12 LARGE spool BOX of Aurifil thread for just making the challenge block and sharing it! Details at the end plus last month’s winner!
Let’s get to know Sedef!
Where do you live and what is your favorite spot there?
I’m an ex-Londoner of Turkish descent who now lives in a beautiful wine region called McLaren Vale in South Australia, 40km south from the city of Adelaide. My English husband and I emigrated here from the UK in 2009 and we haven’t looked back since. It’s a stunning part of the world – lush green hills with vineyards as far as the eye can see, gently rolling down towards the ocean and miles of pristine beaches…
We live on an 8 acre hobby farm with our two kids, three cats, and a very large number of chickens and guinea fowls! Our home is surrounded by vineyards, with the sea only 3km away. It’s our little piece of heaven on earth.
When was your FIRST quilt sighting? Did it inspire you to start quilting?
I didn’t have a quilty upbringing – I’m quite new to sewing in fact, having only bought my first sewing machine in 2012 when I was pregnant with my second child. I taught myself how to sew watching YouTube tutorials, after coming across the amazing world of sewing / quilting blogs. Three blogs specifically had a huge impact on me: Amy Sinibaldi’s Nana Company, Kristyne Czepuryk’s Pretty By Hand, and Tasha Noel’s A Little Sweetness. That’s where I saw the first quilts I fell in love with. My very first attempt at making a quilt (and, in fact, patchwork!) was the Dwell mini quilt by Thimbleblossoms. I’m still very proud of this project – not bad for a first effort!
Have you had a ‘light bulb’ moment in making
Learning Adobe Illustrator and working with vectors was a game changer for me, and set me on the path to becoming a fabric designer. I didn’t do any official courses or classes – just like my sewing I slowly taught myself over the years, learning the tools and functionality bit by bit. Before Illustrator I used to use Photoshop, but I love how much more user friendly and versatile Illustrator is when it comes to drawing art or doing any kind of design work. I now design my fabric collections and write all my patterns on Illustrator.
Do you have a favorite quilt you made or a technique that you do?
It’s so hard to pick just one, but my Blushing Blooms quilt pattern that accompanied my last fabric collection, ‘Summer Blush’ for Riley Blake Designs has a special place in my heart. It looks foundation paper pieced, but is in fact made up entirely of HSTs, so it’s very beginner friendly.
What does your studio look like, and what would you change in it?
My sewing studio is the fourth bedroom in our house – it’s a large double room that faces towards the West with glass doors so it’s flooded with natural light – great for photos! I also love my fabric cupboards, the crisp white walls and hardwood floors. I realised over the years that I work much better as a designer in a minimalist workspace – so no more mini quilts on walls or other visual distractions to detract from what I’m working on.
It was sad packing all my minis into storage but I’m loving how clean and uncluttered it feels now! The only thing I need now is a cutting table in the middle of the room with integrated shelving underneath – luckily my hubby is a good carpenter so he has just built me one, custom-made to my specifications. All it needs is another coat of white paint and my studio will be complete!
What is new in the land of Sedef?
If I had to pick three words to describe my style and design aesthetic they would have to be sweet, modern, and ‘Zakka’. My first book Quilt Petite was published in 2016 and contains mini quilts and small ‘quilty’ things. My new book Zakka Home just came out a few months ago – it’s full of pretty AND useful things for the home, which is the essence of Zakka. I love that both my books reflect my style and sewing philosophy so well. You can see my work at my website www.downgrapevinelane.com.
Other than writing books and publishing quilt patterns, I design fabric for Riley Blake Designs. My next collection Rhapsody is coming out in June and I’m currently sewing quilt market samples with it. Keep an eye out for it later this year!
What do you collect?
Books and fabric. Both my husband and I have been bookworms all our life – we both like the pleasure of reading ‘real’ books, none of that Kindle stuff for us. And we like to keep all our books so we can go back and read them again and again. Which means we have rather a large library between the two of us! I also collect fabric – in fact it might be more accurately named an addiction. Doesn’t everyone who’s really into sewing though?!
What does your garden look like?
I love a garden with flowers – especially roses. Daily upkeep of our farm keeps us so busy that I don’t have a huge ornamental garden currently but it’s something I aspire to one day. The coolest thing in our garden is our chicken coop, which my husband built from scratch – it’s called ‘Cluckingham Palace’. We have 30 chickens and 12 guinea fowls that free range on our land and we sell our excess eggs on an egg stand by the road side (honesty box). The kids are in charge of keeping it clean and replenishing the eggs and collecting the cash daily.
Are you a Dog, Cat or ‘other animal’ person?
We have two adult cats that are shy and nervous, much to my cat loving kids’ regret. So we recently adopted a ragdoll kitten that we named ‘Sugar’ and she is just the most adorable and friendly little thing – we are all totally smitten!
What is your favorite Book?
So very hard to pick just the one so I’m going to have to pick two. The first is Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier and the second is And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie. I love them both for the same reason – I got huge goosebumps and a chill down my spine when reading the last few pages of both books. Incredible writing, both of them.
What is your Favorite quote?
“I must have flowers, always and always” Claude Monet. Kindred spirit!
Are you named after anyone?
‘Sedef’ means ‘Mother of Pearl’ in Turkish. I’m not named after anyone but my daughter is named after me – her first name is Alice and her middle name is Pearl. I simply had to do it!
Where do you take out of town guests?
The beach! We have 60km of pristine white beaches serving a city with a population of just 1.2 million. So the beaches are always empty, and in true Aussie style we love a good barbie on the beach!
Where I live in Adelaide, South Australia, March is harvest time (think September for those of you from the northern hemisphere) and that’s the tradition that keeps us busy! As well as wine grapes a lot of different varieties of fruit and other crops are grown in the surrounding farmland – this region is often referred to as the ‘food bowl’ of Australia.
March is vintage time for all the vineyards surrounding us and for a couple of weeks every year the town comes to life at night with most of the grape picking taking place at night. We are talking hundreds of thousands of tons of grapes, so it’s all hands to deck time! We ourselves have a 50 tree fruit orchard on our farm where we grow lots of different types of fruit. Our fruit picking starts in March and continues through till April and May. I designed this block to represent our newly adopted tradition of joining in harvest time with the rest of our town at this time of year.
Visit Sedef at:
- Website: www.downgrapevinelane.com
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/downgrapevinelane/
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/downgrapevinelane/
- Shop: etsy.downgrapevinelane.com
- Email: email@example.com
Each year I make the Aurifil blocks in a totally different set of fabrics. This is my group for the year.
Enter your block BELOW by April 15, 2019 to be in the running to win a BOX of Aurifil
This is SUPER EASY to enter all you have to do is make ONE BLOCK.
And JOIN my fantastic online quilt group with the most incredible quilt show each day… I’d love to meet you!
******* JOIN our Aurifil Family *******
EACH MONTH we will pick one random winner that has made a block.. that person will receive a special Aurifil thread prize! Winners are all contacted email
Our RANDOM picker selects the winner, selected #18-Liz This awesome quilter has been emailed and WON a BOX of Aurifil thread! .. see all the great versions HERE