Cat Noonan’s fascination with fabric may be fairly new, but she is steadily gaining influence on Instagram with her dainty sewing projects and quilt inspiration. On our Janome Maker series today, Cat tells us about enjoying quiet time being creative, making original (and often useful) items and making pretty things that stay made at the end of the day!
How did your sewing journey begin?
My Mum taught me how to use a sewing machine when I was in my early teens. My first memory of using a sewing machine was making an Edwardian Dress costume for my Barbie dolls in primary school when I was about 12. I don’t think it worked out very well, which may be why I never pursued dressmaking!
I’ve only been quilting for about five years when my Mum sent me to a quilting class for my birthday, and ever since I’ve been sewing like crazy and enjoying every minute.
Tell us more about the projects you’re currently working on…
Gosh, where do I start! I adore making quilts. Patchwork is my favourite. I have quilts all over the house and I love making baby quilts for friends. I also love quick fix patchwork projects like mug rugs, small bags and mini quilts.
Currently I have traditional pieced quilts, foundation pieced projects, English paper pieced projects, embroidery, cross-stitch, knitting and handquilting projects on the go. I don’t stress about having so many unfinished projects because my enjoyment is often from the process rather that the end result.
How does your family feel about your hobby?
My family is slightly perplexed by my hobby. They don’t understand what drives me to keep sewing like mad but they are happy to see me happy. The community of crafters I’ve met on Instagram totally get it and it is nice to have met so many like-minded people.
What inspires your craft?
I am continuously inspired by the talented, creative people I’ve connected with on Instagram. I am also inspired by necessity. If I need something around the house my first thought is whether I can make it. I am also inspired by vintage and modern craft books.
Tell us more about your sewing room…
I’m very lucky to have an outdoor detached room that is largely dedicated to sewing. It holds a large dining table that houses my machine, a kitchen island for my cutting mats, a linen press for my fabric stash and it is full of natural light. I love not having to clean up halfway through a project. I really enjoy heading down to my studio, putting on some music and getting lost in a project.
Do you sell what you make?
Sewing for me is purely a hobby. I don’t sell the things I make and I think if I did it would take the shine off it. I do lots of swaps with other crafty people and I give away a lot of the things that I make. I get a lot of joy sharing my love of handmade with my family and friends.
What does a typical day for you involve?
My everyday life is a flurry of kid-wrangling, play, cooking, cleaning (hmmm sometimes!) and laughter. It’s exhausting. I recharge by finding snippets of time to sew. I sew every day and always have a hand sewing project on the go.
Any future plans?
My crafty goals this year are to continue to improve both my hand and machine quilting technique. I would also like to start creating patterns for my original work. The design process and quilty maths are some of my favourite parts of the quilting process.
Your best sewing advice is…
Be organized. I often spend a few minutes in the evening collecting the materials for my projects so the next day I can jump straight in and be productive if I find some time to sew. It is incredibly frustrating to spend 20 minutes trying to locate your rotary cutter and that elusive piece of interfacing only to be interrupted and not managing to sew a stitch.
Share something people don’t know about you…
I like to listen to 90s pop music when I exercise and wish that step aerobics would come back into fashion. I’ll pass on the leotard though!
Follow Cat on Instagram.