EQ Ambassador, Alyce Blyth is such a talented designer. View some of her beautiful quilts below and read about how EQ gave her confidence to submit designs to magazines!
A little about Alyce:
Alyce Blyth began her quilting journey when her two children were just babies. It took a few years until they each had a quilt and in the process, she became hooked on her passion and purpose.
When her family moved from Australia to Chiba, Japan, it was there that she became truly passionate about turning her hobby into her career. With a primary school teaching background, Alyce discovered that the quilting industry was the perfect blend of the things she loved most – creativity, puzzles and teaching.
Now living back in Melbourne, Australia, she has had patterns published in magazines around the world, writes columns and articles, self-published her first book, DIY Block Design, and continues to remain passionate about helping other quilters to make what they love, with love, to love.
Alyce regularly shares projects and tutorials at Blossom Heart Quilts, where you can also find her catalogue of quilting patterns – from kawaii Japanese-inspired designs, to minis and cushions, and full multi-sized quilt patterns. Read our Q&A below to find out what else she has going on!
EQ: Can you remember your first quilt?
Alyce: I’m not sure what was my first finished quilt, but this is the oldest picture I have of a finished quilt. It’s from September 2011, and is a disappearing nine patch quilt that I finished by using flannel for batting, and bagging it out. I gave it to a friend who had just had a baby boy, and I have no idea if it was ever used!
EQ: Perfect for a baby boy! So that was 2011… tell us, when did you first start using EQ?
Alyce: I purchased EQ7 at the end of 2013, and it meant I no longer had to rely on help from a friend to digitise my foundation paper piecing patterns! It also meant that my colour pencils had a chance to take a breather from overuse in colouring my sketches in my graph book. Using EQ gave me the confidence to send in designs to quilting magazines, and Aurora is one of the first quilts I remember using EQ to submit to a magazine. I’ve since remade it in Alison Glass fabric, and this question just reminded me of a third version in Tula Pink that was forgotten about in a house move at the end of last year… I should finish that!
EQ: That’s awesome to hear that EQ gave you confidence! How many EQ project files are on your computer right now?
Alyce: I currently have 47 project files, and that’s with my method of (usually) using one project file for multiple designs based on the same inspiration/purpose (i.e. a single fabric collection, or a specific quilt magazine for submissions).
As for how many make it into fabric? Well, I mean, technically most of them do eventually… in that all of the projects started for a specific purpose will have a quilt made from one of the designs contained in it! And that’s the story I’m sticking with.
EQ: Haha, so efficient! What’s your favorite thing about EQ?
Alyce: Just one?! I’m going to break the rules and share three – the ability to print off templates, whether it’s for foundation paper piecing or regular piecing; the yardage requirements that are pretty accurate and the ability to select “fat quarters”; and, the ability to use (and quickly edit and change around) real fabric swatches of what’s in my stash or shopping basket!
EQ: Those are definitely popular features! What’s your advice to people who are thinking about buying EQ?
Alyce: Do it. And then spend some time every day to dive in and play and experiment with what EQ can do to strengthen your designing muscles and to get to know the capabilities of what EQ can do for you and your quilting needs.
EQ: Great advice! Tell us, what are you inspired by, and who do you look up to?
Alyce: I’m inspired by colour palettes, by design challenges like restricting myself to a certain cut size of fabric, and by geometric designs around me in every day life. And sometimes I am inspired by the recipient – I’m currently working on a quilt for my son with assistance from my quilting bee, and I worked with him to come up with what he would like. He chose the Autumn Chain quilt block and recoloured it in EQ8, then added the request for any science/maths/space themed fabrics that suited the colour scheme.
I am inspired by my fellow Aussie quilt designers that are out there rocking it! It can be hard sometimes, with the majority of the quilting industry and audience located in the US, but we have some of the best here, I reckon (not that I’m biased or anything!). I’m scared of forgetting someone, but the list includes Jemima from Tied With A Ribbon, Sedef from Down Grapevine Lane, Samantha from Aqua Paisley, Emma Jean Jansen, Ali from Arabesque Scissors… all fantastic women who also are still busy raising children and working hard on their dreams.
EQ: Love your EQ mock up! What else are you working on now? (Quilting-related and non-quilting related!)
Alyce: This month is mostly about the Liberty Mini QAL that I’m co-hosting with Ava & Neve and making a Cinque Terre quilt along with the Instagram community joining in.
I’m also in the midst of making final decisions and edits for my upcoming book with Lucky Spool, and plans for its release later this year! I’m so excited to be only a couple of months away from sharing more about it, so stay tuned!
Not quilting-related… that’s a thing?! Well, I’m attempting to develop a green thumb – the kids are growing peas after a successful summer of tomatoes, and I’m trying to keep two house plants alive and thriving. So far, so good! My husband and I are also getting ready to go on a trip to Bali by ourselves at the end of the month for our tenth wedding anniversary, so planning for that is currently consuming my mind out of work hours.
EQ: Your trip sounds amazing! And congrats on the book – we’ll definitely follow up in the fall! So after all that, what’s next?
Alyce: My list of quilts to make this year has filled up with quilts for family! I have two baby quilts to make, one for my in-laws using fabric she purchased in Japan, and two for my nephews who just got bunk beds. One will get this fun one I made using the Bow Tie pattern in Quilt Big by Jemima Flendt, and the other will get one from a new pattern I’ll be designing. It’s inspired by the Funky Wrench block by Happy Zombie, but I’ve redesigned it with her blessing to use yardage. The quilts will be similar in design, and colours, but still different and unique to each boy. I’m excited to get stuck into this one!
EQ: Ooh, can’t wait to see those! Where can people see more of your work?
Alyce: You can find everything on my website – www.blossomheartquilts.com – including the sign up for my fortnightly (biweekly) newsletter that shares behind-the-scenes info. Or there’s the daily bits and pieces over on Instagram – @blossomheartquilts.
Thanks to Alyce for the Q&A! Watch for another post about her new book later this year!