In this new showcase I’m featuring four Modern Quilters that you will love!
Hello there! I’m Christine @tessellate_textiles, an Egyptian Canadian from Southwestern Ontario who loves to play with colour, pattern, and textiles. Some years ago, following the tragic loss of our baby, my husband bought me a sewing machine. I am still not sure why he bought it as I had never before shown any interest in sewing! Eventually, however, I decided to give that little machine a try, and began to teach myself basic sewing skills using various online resources. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, I continued to work as a hospital pharmacist, but also spent an increasing amount of time at home to care for my children and found myself craving a creative outlet. It was really during this global crisis that I began to immerse myself in the world of creative textile art and design.
I love creating colourful and distinct quilts that are often inspired by my Egyptian heritage as well as traditional Western designs. I grew up spending all of my summers living with extended family in Egypt, where there was an abundance of cousins, uncles, aunts, neighbours and friends to play with and to love. Memories of Coptic and Islamic architecture, marketplaces, and textile pieces that feel like home often influence my colour choices and designs. In contrast, I am also drawn to traditional Western patchwork and love playing with tried and true traditional blocks.
I find the quilting process to be a source of real joy and restoration and look forward to years of experimentation, play, and growth within this creative community.
Although I learnt to sew when I was quite young my actual quilting journey started about 5 years ago, since then everything I know has been self taught, either through trial and error or watching youtube videos! All the quilts I have made have been my own design and after a few years of keeping all my scraps I delved into improv quilting, which, as it turns out, is where my true passion lies. I know some people are a bit scared of improv quilting, the lack of control puts them off, but for me that’s the joy of it, I love sitting down with a box of scraps and having absolutely no idea how it will turn out! It does of course have its challenges, sometimes a block you create early on (that you loved at the time) no longer fits with the direction your quilt is going in and it can be easy to get stuck in a rut until you ditch that block. Knowing when to admit something is no longer working is actually really liberating and watching your quilt evolve and grow organically is really freeing and rewarding.
When it comes to the fabrics I chose I like to use bold and geometric prints and contrasting them with either clashing or pastel solids, I also like to use quite a lot of negative space to really make the prints and solids stand out, this helps to create a bold and graphic quilted piece of art. Since starting improv quilting I have steered towards smaller wall hanging size pieces as I truly believe that quilts are works of art, and they should absolutely be considered as such!
I’m Kathleen @cowdenquiltschool and I’m a quilter, quilting teacher and quilt pattern designer from the UK. I’m also a mum to two little girls and wife to a physics teacher. We live in the countryside in the middle of England, not far from where I grew up.
I learnt to quilt about 10 years ago. I took a course that taught me how to do everything by hand with basic equipment: just fabric, a needle, thread and a pair of scissors. I made quilts that way for two years until a kind friend bought me a simple sewing machine. After that, I taught myself by trial and error and refusing to give up! I love teaching people how to shortcut all the little things that frustrated me about my first quilts.
I started teaching in 2016 in my quilting studio which is part of our family home and this year I designed my first quilt pattern: the #waterliliesquilt. I’m drawn to traditional, geometric blocks made modern with the saturated colours of solid fabrics and lots of ‘negative’ space. I’m most inspired by the endless creativity I see in the quilting community around the world that makes space for everyone and shares ideas so generously.
I’m Olivia @oliviadawsontextiles, a textile designer and 2021 graduate from Nottingham Trent University, specialising in embroidery and sustainable textiles. Having only recently taken up patchwork and improv quilting during my final year at university, I have fallen in love the idea of collaging with fabric to create large-scale compositions, and then the calming, meditative process of hand stitching. My graduate collection, The Sanctuary, is inspired by the wide, open spaces of Northern England, translating the shapes and textures of the land, and its flora, into tactile embroidery designs suited to interior soft furnishings.
Sustainability underpins all of my work, with an aim to design with the environment in mind always. Making use of organic materials and natural dyes, my work offers a soft, contemporary aesthetic, often drawing on Scandi design principles, with the aim to instil calm in the user. I am endlessly inspired by nature, and the colours, textures and forms that can be found. Responsibly foraged and grown natural dyes provide the basis for many of my colour palettes, as I am so inspired and intrigued by the slow, often unpredictable, process and the earthy, tonal colours produced. It’s such a rewarding process that lends itself so well to quilting. It’s all about paring back the process, slowing down, and letting the materials speak