One of the best gifts to receive (or give) is a gift that keeps on giving. This special and unique gift really is something I have never thought of doing for someone because it seems so difficult to do myself. Alas, I have found a very talented person to do it for me and do it with love and sincerity. These unique quilts and heirlooms are made by hands that hold passion, drive and their own motivational story. Beautifully designed and sometimes hand sewed, they tailor to your needs and desires. Tayb Design is in Mowbray-Cape Town. Read more about the maker… Kareema Jamie.
Tell us about you?
My name is Kareema Jamie. I’m 38 years old, from Cape Town and the owner of Tayb Design. I’m also a media strategist in advertising.
How did Tayb Design start?
I’ve always wanted to quilt and I made my first quilt in 2008, a wedding gift for a friend. I made one more soon after and started to get enquiries from people who were willing to pay for it. That was a great feeling because you sort of know you’re on the right track with what you’re doing. This year I decided to formalise my work and create a brand name for it. Choosing the name was not easy! But my work is about heirlooms and heritage passed down from one generation to the next. My father was a big influence in my love of and appreciation for craft. He was a tailor and brilliant at all kinds of handwork. His name was M. Tayb Jamie and that was where the name came from. It is a tribute to him and what I learnt from him. (me:I Love that)
What has been your most recent work?
My most recent work was a cot quilt. My client was a new aunt to a little boy named Alek and wanted to give him a very special gift. Alek was born in Belgium to a South African mum and Belgian dad. Together with Alek’s aunt, we decided that the quilt would have 12 squares, each depicting a month of the year. And so that Alek would remember his family in Cape Town, it would be based on the South African seasons or months. The finished quilt measures 90cm x 130cm. It is entirely hand-appliqued in white, turquoise and yellow with touches of grey. I absolutely love it and it is one of my favourite pieces.
Do you have a favourite piece?
“A” favourite piece? No, I have several! (me: thought so!) The cot quilts are my favourites because they are made for such special little people. On a personal note, I quite enjoyed making baby Jesse’s quilt because it was the first one that I hand-quilted. I was very happy with the result.
I get inspired by whomever I’m making the quilt for. The quilt always has a story – a love that has blossomed into marriage or a new baby that a family had waited for years and years to arrive. And that story always inspires me.
Is there other creative forms you enjoy?
Yes, I’m a dressmaker too. I blog about my dressmaking at The Sewing Room . I enjoy baking and my day job can be very creative too, but in a more cerebral kind of way.
Tell us what a normal day is like for you designing and crafting?
When I’m about to start working on a new project, I sit for a while with the all the fabrics I’m going to use and see how they can work together. Sometimes I will sketch the design, or sometimes I have no idea how the result is going to look and I just start sewing. I’ll spend much of the day in front of the sewing machine and if there’s hand-sewing to do, I will park off in front of the TV and sew.
Where about do you stock your work? Where can people see your work and order?
How long does it take you to finish a quilt? How long must people give you to make a birthday or occasion?
It varies. A larger quilt would need about a month’s lead time, smaller ones, maybe 2 weeks or so.
Family and friends are so important and memories are always there. How do you make sure you get all the information from your clients to create the special item?
That’s a very interesting question! People always speak with so much love about the person they’re having the piece made for, or about their families or their hopes and dreams. There’s always an overflow of information and lots of enthusiasm so I listen very carefully and absorb it all. And when I start working, it just all seems to come together, quite effortlessly.
Do you find your work rewarding? And why?
Yes absolutely. I’m always amazed that little bits of fabric that others may throw away can all come together to make something as beautiful as a quilt. I’m creating work that has meaning for people, they keep it and will hopefully also pass on to others. That’s very rewarding to me.
A little about Kareema Jamie…
Today is perfect.
My bedroom is a place I go to relax.
Sewing hahahaha is my how I spend my Sundays.
To create is to be at one with God.
Listen to music is what I do when I need to get inspired.
If I can have coffee with one person, it would be 2 people? Bono & Edge. Not to talk about saving the world but to talk about the music of U2. It’s had a huge influence on my life.
Quilts are interesting. They take you on a journey, the destination of which you’re never of when you start out.
If you would like to know more about what Kareema can do, please contact her via Twitter. You can also check out her blog for some inspiring crafting and sewing. To view her website, click here and Facebook here.
Kareema was also featured in Lelanie’s blog Of Beauty and Love here if you want to read more about her and what she loves doing.
Next year is an exciting time for Tayb Design as they will be launching two brands. Tayb Handmade and TabyBaby. So I will update you as soon as its up and running, don’t you worry!
Kareema, you are talented and lovely! Thank you for your passion, it touches many people because you care about their lives and their memories.