Meet Grace from Beyond Measure.
Grace is sponsoring a prize on my Tumbling Spools Quiltalong. Grace is the owner of Beyond Measure, an award winning, online shop selling exquisite items aimed at makers like us! Items are personally sourced by Grace with quality and sustainability being top of her priority list. I had the pleasure of meeting Grace last year at The Thread House Retreat and we became sewing neighbours for the weekend!
Now she tells us a little bit more about herself.
Q. Tell us a bit about your business
Beyond Measure focuses on beautiful gifts, tools and materials for craft enthusiasts but with a focus on textiles. I work hard to source quality products and if I can't find them, I'll try and find someone to make them!
Q. What prompted you to set up your business within the quilting industry? What's the biggest challenge you have in the industry right now?
I couldn't find the kind of things I liked in one place, so decided to put together a collection of lovely and desirable things. Luckily other people liked them too!
I think the biggest challenge is not knowing how the current economic and political situation will affect us all. It's a time of uncertainty!
Q. What's new with you? What does 2019 have in store for your business?
I'm going to focus on my website this year and am having a little break from doing lots of events. I think it is time to regroup and focus. My business has grown quickly and it will be nice to slow down a bit and be more creative. I'd like to look into developing a workshop programme locally so that will be exciting and a new challenge.
Q. Where in the world do you live and what do you love about it?
I live on the Lancashire/Yorkshire border - a land of moss, stone walls and sheep! I can be at the top of our steep valley in about five minutes when I get chance to escape. It's incredibly beautiful and peaceful.
Q Tell us about the first patchwork or quilted item you made
I made a panel of hexies using EPP (all hand cut and tacked) and made into into a bag which I wore threadbare during my art student days.
Q. How did you get into quilting?
My mum was always making stuff (and still is!). She did embroidery, beadwork, lacemaking and all sorts. My aunt and grandma lived with us too and they did knitting, so I got to try all the crafts! I was always doing some sort of making, and once I got my sewing machine, there was no stopping me!
Q. Tell us about where you sew? Are you a neat freak or a messy maker?
Messy all the way! I cannot help myself I'm afraid. I drive myself and others mad.
Q. What is your best accomplishment so far with patchwork & quilting?
I made a huge quilt when I was about 20. It was a mix of Liberty scraps (from the mill shop in Burnley), furnishing fabrics, velvet and wool. I had no idea what I was doing and I machine quilted it on my tiny machine. It was a huge labour of love, literally - it ended up about 3m square and I used the thickest wadding. I'd never attempt it again but I still have it. Despite the imperfections, I love it and it brings back many memories of that time.
Q. Tell us about your funniest, scariest or oddest quilting memory?
My worst sewing memory is from age 16, standing on a needle that was hidden in my bedroom carpet (I was always a bit careless with needles). It broke off deep inside my foot and I ended up having it surgically removed at Bury General and being on crutches for a good while.
Q. What's the favourite item you ever made?
It is the Crockery Quilt by Jo Avery - cut out but yet to be made - but I'm very excited about how it looks in my head!
Q. What was the last item you made?
It was some blocks for the Siblings Together Threadhouse Bee. I love doing these every month and it has really helped develop my very basic skills.
Q. What was your biggest sewing mistake? Did you fix it or chuck it?
I always make mistakes! I make lots of clothes which can be harder to fix if you make a big mistake but I rarely abandon things - I am quite tenacious! Total disasters usually get a reincarnation somewhere else which is satisfying.
Q. What's your best sewing/quilting tip?
Stop when you get tired or you'll always regret it.
Q. Tell us what your favourite tool is?
I have a 5" pair of Ernest Wright Swiss Embroidery scissors - they are sharp and pointy and brilliant for all those in between kind of jobs.
Q. Tell us your favourite fabric range?
I like anything bold and geometric - I love Karen Lewis' designs and Lu Summers' work. Apart from that I don't usually go for collections - I like to work through my fabric pieces and scraps to to find things that work together. I cannot resist a stripe and love textures like linen and bark cloth. I also have a thing for lurex.
Q. What do you listen to/watch whilst sewing?
If I'm with friends we often listen to the radio or songs from our misspent youth. But on my own, I like silence. It's a treat to have some peace and quiet - a time to be absorbed in making - the ultimate luxury!
Oh Grace, I’m sat here scrunching up my foot at the thought of that needle! Ouch!! I’m super excited about your upcoming workshops, that sounds really interesting! And can’t wait to see your Crockery Quilt. I totally concur about being in the Bee. I’ve recently had to give it up due to work commitments but it was brilliant for me to visit some of the more traditional blocks.
Be sure to check out the beautiful Beyond Measure online.
This is part of a series of my interviews with people behind the British Quilting Industry. You can read them all here. These are the people coming up with fun ideas, patterns and products for you to use in your quilting endeavours! I think we should celebrate and support the quilting talent we have here in Britain, don’t you? If you know someone who I should interview, or you would like to be interviewed yourself, either pop a comment in the comment box at the end of this post or drop me an email.