Guest #23 Nel from UK in Happy Go Lucky and Sleeping Beauty at our Wantobe Quilters Campaign
Hi from the North of England and thank you so much for asking me to do a guest blog Madame Samm, what a treat! I am a new designer with Freespirit. I have literally just come back from the International Quilt Show in Birmingham, where I was a guest designer for the first time, so it's been an exciting time. It's so nice to be able to share with you a little of what's been going on.
The show was attended by people from all over Europe. It was fantastic and so inspiring. I met Kaffe Fassett and Brandon Mably for the first time, as well as several other designers such as Melissa White and Tod Bennett. It was great to compare notes and meet quilters from all over Europe.
People LOVED the Happy Go Lucky Cats that are easy to make and can be doorstops or just stuffed. Here is Cool Cat/Fancy Cat and Happy Cat below. I had such fun making them! Downloadable patterns will be will be on my website soon www.nelwhatmore.com/merchandise/
There will be a new cat with every collection.
Just a little of my background before I go any further, not too much though as I don’t want anyone to start yawning!
I love colour, and flowers, and paint to try and convey emotions. My aspirations as a painter are simply, to move people on a basic emotional level and hopefully to convey all that I see that I think is beautiful. All my textile designs are inspired and come from my original paintings.
I am married to a writer and have two kids so, needless to say, I never have enough time in my day to do all I need to ( what woman does? ) and always have a list as long as my arm, of things to do!
I have been fortunate to be nominated for Best Published Artist in the UK three times and my work can be seen in many different countries in the form of limited editions prints, ceramics and on paper products. To see originals and prints
So What Got Me into Textiles and Quilting?
Well my Mum’s sister Jenny was in charge of restoration embroidery at Hampton Court Palace for 23 years and so as a child we went to visit her and saw the women dyeing threads and sewing. So from an early age I was introduced to sewing as well as through my Mum and Grandmothers . I became a professional artist in 1986 and have been a painter ever since . About seven years ago I started working with Coats producing the Maia stitch kits and tapestry kits .It was great to see my work interpreted into another form.
This is the newest design called Happy Go Lucky Tapestry as I loved the idea of bringing patchwork into the Tapestry kits
The opportunity to work with Freespirit grew out of their interest in my stitch kits. It was a very exciting new challenge to design fabric for the first time and necessitated a very steep learning curve. I am learning more and more about quilting and find it fascinating and quite addictive. I've made all sorts of things using the fabric some of which you can see here .
This is the pillowcase I did for the Million Pillowcase challenge using Happy Go Lucky/ Aqua
, and also here are some pics of a photo shoot we did of lots of items that I made with the help of friends and family. The garden we did the photoshoot in, is owned by my friend Angela and is typically English and was such a lovely location.
It has been a very busy summer for me as I have been exhibiting my paintings at several shows as well as getting on with designing my next range of fabric.
I get a lot of inspirations from these shows that I attend particularly the world famous Chelsea Flower Show. For the first time I also went to Hampton Court flower show where I had a very exciting day. On the Friday I left my stand , thanks to my good friend Rebecca who came to look after it, managed to find somewhere to get changed, into a nice dress, and then went to a private reception at Clarence House to present His Royal Highness Prince Charles with one of my paintings. This was to celebrate the 35th Anniversary of the Princes Trust, one of his charities.
I received a grant from the Princes Trust 25 years ago this year so it seemed like a very special way to celebrate that. The picture was called Devoted To You and was dedicated to all the award winning growers at Chelsea Flower Show.
My day was finished off beautifully by finding my parents on my stand at the flower show , when I returned ,later that afternoon. My Dad was 80 the other day and they had travelled a long way just to surprise me and to see me looking smart for once ! Naturally everyone shed a few tears.
If you would like to see the Flickr gallery of the whole week then here is the link to my blog Nel's.Blog . So the last few weeks have been rather exciting to say the least.
My next range for Freespirit is Sleeping Beauty and is due out in September, in the UK it will be in November I'm told.
The samples of Sleeping Beauty arrived on a rather cloudy day I came home to find a nice box in my hall , I love it when the final samples arrive as it is the culmination of a lot of hard work and then we can get onto the fun job of making things.
Sleeping Beauty is a collection inspired by the famous children’s fairy tale and originates from a series of paintings I did that take as their starting point, some of the imagery I loved from the book, that I read when I was little. Here are two of the originals.
So there are butterflies and misty stripes and magical dense carpets of flowers, that woven together ,create, hopefully, something enchanting for everyone.
With the help of Hazel Williams we are just piecing together the first Sleeping Beauty Quilt we have focused on the purple colourway predominantly, although we have drawn in some of the fabrics from the other two colourways.
Here are the fabrics we are going to use in more detail...
The Sleeping Beauty quilt pattern will be available soon.
I will be doing a blog update as we go along as we already have boxes and butterflies and origami flowers planned.
Anyway thanks for listening and when we have things made up I will perhaps pop back if it’s ok with Madame Samm to give you another sneak preview. Look forward to hearing from you all on my blog Nel's Blog or follow me on facebook Nel'sfacebook. Happy quilting! Just off to go and make tea for my kids and eat outside..which is a rarity over here so we will be making the most of it, love Nelx
Editors Note: ( and I really don't consider myself a very good one at that)
Nel, I loved your post, your colors, your collections, your paintings..all truly inspiring..
To encourage all of our new Wantobes I think it is befitting to giveaway this today: