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In the Hot Seat – Anna Sanders

An expert sewer for Alice Caroline, Anna Sanders reveals a bit about herself…

Q1. Have you always been creative?

I have loved crafting since childhood – my parents are both really creative and they taught me how to make and do lots of things including sewing. I used to make Christmas presents for my whole family – some were much better than others! I use every spare minute in the evenings crafting – my two favourite things are sewing and knitting although I love experimenting with lots of other things too.

Q2. What is the first thing you can recall making as a child and who was it for?

I remember making my school friend Ben a Liberty waistcoat – I’m not sure it was the first thing I remember making but it was quite memorable. We had a Liberty of London fabric shop in the town where I grew up and going there as a child with my mum was a special treat. I made Ben a waistcoat out of paisley Liberty fabric for his 18th birthday – I spent so much time on it and was very proud. He seemed to love it and wore it for his party.

Q3. What did you want to be when you ‘grew up’?

I went through quite a wide variety of dreams of being various things such as a ballet dancer and musician to a speech therapist. In the end I did an archaeology degree because I thought it sounded interesting (my parents were very understanding!) and then ended up working in marketing and then crafting. Quite a selection!

Q4. Why/when did you decide you could make a living out of crafting?

I have only been working for Alice Caroline for a year – and what a fantastic year it has been. I started working for this wonderful company and close friend of mine when my youngest went to school and to be honest, it’s a dream job. If I’d have known that such a job existed when I was a child then that is what I would have dreamed of. Working with the beautiful feel and imagery of Liberty fabrics coupled with Alice’s designs make it such a fantastic way to craft. It’s really hard to be surrounded by that much gorgeous fabric every day mind you – so tempting!

Q5. Do you have any other hobbies?

I’m not sure I have much more time for other things apart from sewing and knitting and looking after my wonderful family keeps me really busy too. I absolutely love reading, walking out in the fresh air and generally getting outdoors.

Q6. What craft item can you not live without?

My Bernina sewing machine – I absolutely love it! It’s like a best sewing friend. I also use my stitch ripper quite a lot!

Q7. If you were stranded on a desert island and could only take 5 items, what would they be – and why?

Do my children and hubby count as items? I’m not sure I could live without them! Other than that I think I would have to take my sewing machine and a stash of fabric and thread. Lastly – the complete works of Shakespeare – figure it would keep me going for a while and there’s so much I haven’t read!

Q8. What’s your biggest ambition in life?

My current biggest ambition is to bring my kids up to be gorgeous, lovely human beings but I would love to travel the world when they have flown the nest.

Q9. What’s been the highlight of your crafting life so far?

I think the Liberty Sweet Sixteen quilt I am making at the moment is a real highlight – it looks so pretty and I can’t wait to get into the actual technical quilting. I’m not sure I can answer the question without mentioning Create & Craft TV mind you – it was a huge highlight coming on as a new demonstrator last month and I’m really excited to be showing C&C viewers more of our wonderful Alice Caroline products in the future.

Q10. Any advice for beginners?

Just enjoy yourself, don’t be scared to try new things and don’t worry if you go wrong – it’s good to always have a stitch ripper handy in case you do though. Try whatever you fancy – there are so many website tutorials to teach you how to make things, anything you dream of making.