It may have started with my Great grandmother, who was a convent trained seamstress, and incidentally a great admirer of Emmeline Pankhurst. She organised outworkers into a group, so they could receive a fair wage for their endeavours. My grandmother Alice Emmeline, a bespoke tailoress and pattern cutter was known in her time, if unofficially as the 'Duchess of Jermyn Street'. My mother carried on the tradition by making most of our clothes. This enabled us to have new outfits for everyday and special occasions.
I created Smartfrog, after finding that there appeared nowhere to obtain quality textiles and threads for both quilting and mixed media, many of the fabrics suitable for dressmaking.
The fabric side of the business grew rapidly with many customers who appreciated finding fabric solutions for their quilts. Piecing a quilt together can be fun, however the quilting itself can be daunting, especially for larger sizes. The Longarm machine fulfils this need, assisting customers to achieve their aims and ambitions.
I have experimented with many diverse textiles. This has led to sharing a growing collection of ideas and techniques through workshops with the many groups here in Kent and beyond