Saturday, July 23, 2016

Get to know the QQQ's: Sarah from Issabella's Quilts

Hi there! I'm Sarah and my shop is Issabella's Quilts My shop name came about as my first Siamese cat Issabella decided every single quilt I made was for her, and in the way of cats, chose to curl up and go to sleep on them as soon as they were fact sometimes before they were even finished! 

I live in a beautiful part of Northern England with my man, daughter, 2 siamese kitties and our cavalier pup. 
We are about a 5 minute walk from the beach and, weather permitting, the North Sea makes a cameo appearance in more than one of my Etsy photos

3 Custom made quilts for 3 little ones

I've always been interested in sewing since being a little girl. Every Sunday afternoon we'd head to my Nana's house for tea and she would sit me on her knee, at her sewing machine, and help me sew up doll clothes, even now the hummmm of my sewing machine reminds me of those relaxed afternoons.

I do all of my sewing on a Janome Horizon

I take my inspiration for everywhere, colours that catch my eye, my team mates on Etsy, women I'm in quilting bee's with, beautiful fabric and of course the internet has a wealth of inspiration to delve into - Instagram & Pinterest are two of my favourites for when I have a free half hour!

My Etsy shop takes up a good portion of my day. Between making ready to buy quilts and helping customers with their custom made quilts I spend a good 4-5 hours each day working on it. That is normally a combination of sewing, ordering fabric which I mainly do online, I love finding the perfect stand out print for each and every quilt! then the "behind the scenes" part of having an online shop like the merchandising so people can find what they are looking for, replying to customers emails, marketing which I mainly do through Etsy teams, Instagram and my blog, these things all take up time - but I wouldn't have it any other way :D 

One of the questions I get asked a lot is how do I go about planning custom quilts for my customers. The answer is it varies with each one! Normally I'll be approached through Etsy and we discuss exactly what they are looking for, size, colour, if they have seen a pattern they love, what style of fabrics they would like, how detailed they want the quilting and importantly what time frame they are looking to receive the quilt in. Once those details are sorted out I get my thinking cap on and come up with a couple of ideas and send them through with a price quote. If the customer love the ideas I then get straight to the fun part...choosing fabrics! 

Ivy really likes picking out fabrics too!

If they don't fall instantly in love with the design we work together to iron out any misunderstandings about the plan and come up with something they will love! This whole consultation process can take anything from an afternoon to 2-3 weeks depending on the customer. 
When I do have free time that isn't spent "selfish sewing" I love to cook, I try to cook each evening meal from scratch without using prepackaged goods whenever possible. My current favourite cookbook is Nigellissima by Nigella Lawson, it has some really yummy recipes! I am addicted to audio books and could spend all day with a good story on my headphones :D I also crochet and embroider to relax on an evening, when I don't have some hand quilting nearby to work on. 

I can be found at my shop
 Instagram @issabellasquilts
On Facebook issabellas quilts

Pop over and say Hi! 



  1. Really pretty quilts! And how do you like your Janome Horizon? I have a 6500 and have considered looking at one of these. Kay >^..^<
    Cozy Kitten Quilts - Etsy

    1. Thank you! I love my Horizon, the only thing that bothers me about it is it will sometimes create "thread nests" when I first start sewing if I've used the auto thread cutter and haven't brought the threads up or used a starter scrap. to make up for that though it's a total workhorse and will sew through anything :D

  2. Lovely getting to know you better, Sarah! I love how your kitties help you pick out fabric :) Great post!

    1. I wouldn't be without Ivy's critical eye when choosing fabrics, she also has a knack for finding the best deals!

  3. Lovely way to get to know you better, Sarah! Your quilts are always so beautiful - they show your inner joy and love of beauty.
    Thanks for taking time to share your story with us!

  4. Sarah, thanks for sharing your story. What a lovely photo of your quilts with the North Sea for your backdrop, and I believe I can see a part of you in every quilt and as a shadow on the sea wall! Brilliant!

  5. What a fabulous 'getting to know you' Sarah, and what a busy day you have. I love my Janome Horizon too, I have an 8200QC, fabulous machines. Your backdrop photos are perfection.

  6. Great read Sarah.
    I love looking at the quilts in your shop - they have a certain style to them and the photos with the sea as a backdrop just add that little bit extra.
    Must look out for that Nigella cookbook as I also love to cook.

  7. Lovely post, Sarah! I've always loved looking at your quilts, and it is nice to know you a little better after reading about your inspirations!

  8. Great post Sarah! Beautiful quilts and I love
    your Sea view!