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Sonia and her family moved to Orbost in 1992 when her husband Rob accepted a work transfer. The move from semi- rural Woodend, north of Melbourne to rural Orbost in Far East Gippsland was a daunting but also an exciting prospect for the young family, (Laura - 2 1/2yrs and Andrew - 9 mths at the time).
An avid knitter and lover of cross-stitch at the time Sonia found that the birth of her children rekindled her earlier passion for sewing. Once settled in to her new home Sonia found patchwork fabrics and quilting needs were unavailable in the surrounding towns. This had lead many of the local craftspeople relying on mail order services, Sonia included.
With a love of sewing and needlecraft, and the underlying need to have supplies on hand the basis of a small business was formulated.
Sonia Melville Craftbasket began operating in 1994, from a semi-detached building at the family home in Orbost - stocking patchwork fabrics and associated supplies.
Having operated the business successfully for almost 10 years at 36B Nicholson Street, Orbost, it was decided that a change was needed. In mid November 2006 the Craftbasket relocated to a more central postiion within the Orbost shopping area, making it easily accessible for visitors and providing the much needed extra room for the expanding range of fabrics and supplies.
Being a self taught patchworker Sonia undertook the Vic. Quilters Inc., Teacher's Accreditation course in 2000. This was to reassure herself that the techniques she was teaching were correct and all encompassing.
Sonia's main efforts are focused on teaching basic techniques of patchwork, applique and quilting skills, and designing easily achievable projects for new-comers to the craft.
Her attitude to her craft is that any one can make a patchwork quilt. The main requirement is to be realistic and begin with a small project. As your confidence grows then be more adventureous with a larger project.
Sonia's love of the environment in which she lives and her desire to encourage others to sew are the main inspirations for her patterns and kits. The blanket-stitch applique collection - My Simple Life celebrates the simple things we can all cherish in our busy lives, as does the applique and stitchery piece "Along the way ..."