Robyn is the face behind The Strawberry Thief. Today we sat down and chatted about her background, what inspires her and how The Strawberry Thief came to be…
Tell us a little about your background and your love for making?
I grew up in a family of makers. My first memory is sitting on my Oumas lap in front of the sewing machine.
Both my Ouma and Granny loved to stitch, both in their own way. Oma was a very talented dressmaker, and Granny was an extraordinary embroiderer, and all round stitcher.
All my dolls, and myself were always turned out in the cutest clothes! I am sure I started stitching before I could talk.
What do you love about Liberty?
Coming from South Africa, I had never come across Liberty before. A good friend of mine went on a trip to London, and came back with a little piece of Liberty Tana Lawn, and I remember our quilting group fawning over it like it was, well.. Liberty!
It was so hard to come by, and we (our quilt group) would save up for ages before one of our friends would go on an overseas trip with a wishlist of Liberty for us. It was a dream to one day make a quilt using only Liberty.
The soft delicate feel, but with the tight weave makes it so perfect for any craft, quilt or clothing. The wonderful designs and colours are very hard to beat. I have to say I am completely addicted, and get very excited when a new range is released
How did The Strawberry Thief come about?
Well its been a long and difficult journey. My dream when moving to Australia was to have my own quilt shop, stocking only the best fabrics and products.
My husband is a chef, and when we first arrived we opened a cafe together (all the couches were patchworked, the lampshades and tea cosies crocheted, and aprons all stitched by me. It was a very successful business, but we both wanted to change direction – me to find my own quilt store and him to carry on studying.
After trying to buy a quilt store, and it not going to plan, I decided to go on my own. I really had to work out what it was that I wanted, and the answer was always Liberty! Remembering how hard it was for me to get my hands on Liberty, I wanted to make it accessible to everybody, and to have a well priced online store.
What inspires you?
I find inspiration in so many different places, but most often I find it in the wonderful people that surround me. How I feel is what inspires my work. (and instagram and pinterest…hahaha)
Which are your favourite Liberty designs?
To choose one design is very difficult! Each time I cut into a design, that becomes my favourite, until 10min later, I cut into the next one, and that is my favourite!
What are some of the things you have created using Liberty Tana Lawn?
I have made skirts, dresses, and blouses using Liberty, and my husband and son will not wear any other shirts. They are very spoilt, but have excellent taste. I have also made a few quilts, of course – hexies are my favourites. Sitting at the end of the day doing a quiet bit of handstitching is my meditation.