Modern quiltingModern Quilting Blog

In this new showcase I’m featuring four Modern Quilters that you will love!

Sophie Standing 

I am a self taught textile embroidered artistAs a child growing up, I never stopped creating. I was always sewing, painting, knitting, crocheting, doing hand embroidery, papier-mâché, making bags, clothes or dolls. Often making it all up as I went along..I was never much good at reading or following patterns! Far easier to make my own patterns and learn and adapt them from mistakes made along the way. It’s all about experimenting and just having a go….

Because I was such an allrounder with arts and crafts I decided to study a Bachelor of Designs at Liverpool Hope university in 1995 I think it was working in the areas of wood, metal, ceramics and textiles. It was a 3 year degree. No time for slacking, we were in the studios and workshops all day, everyday, a full on practical degree. We also had lessons in life drawing every Wednesday afternoon for the whole 3years, which I am ever grateful for as it constantly kept up our hand eye coordination and those so important drawing skills. 

After completing my degree I was truly honoured to land my dream job and work as part of the display team at Fortnum and Mason, Piccadilly, London. We were responsible for the interior displays and visual merchandising on all sales floors and most importantly the dressing of the department stores famous window displays. It was the most incredible job and I have such happy memories from working there.

In 2001 I moved to South Africa. Then in 2010 I moved to Kenya.I have lived in Africa for over 20yrs now with my husband Andre and our two boys Fynn and Samuel.It was in South Africa that I first created artworks in textiles. They were for the walls of my friends shop, Misfit in Cape Town. I had been making jewellery and clothes and selling them at the before this.I had my grandmothers Bernina 830 record. I found that if I dropped the feed dogs and used one of my hand embroidery hoops to make the fabric taught I could draw with the machine needle.It all snowballed from these 3 first pieces I created in Cape Town.

Once I moved to Kenya I made a couple more artworks of African mammals and I was then asked if I wanted to have an exhibition at a local restaurant in Karen, Nairobi. I spent three months creating artworks for a solo show. I was so nervous on the opening night. I had never exhibited before and I was still teaching myself and learning new techniques with this medium. I sold out in the first three days of the one month show,
And that was it…I was utterly amazed at how much people liked my bright colourful animal artworks, I guess I still am really! Back then I was so sure it would be seen as a ‘craft’ and not taken seriously. 

I had always collected and coveted fabrics, notably Liberty cotton floral prints and the vast gorgeousness of the fabrics created by the Kaffe Fassett Collective (Kaffe Fassett, Brandon Mably and Philip Jacobs)
So for 13years or so now I have been creating and experimenting with this form of textile art…appliqué and then thread painting the details. I suppose the first step of applying the appliqué fabrics are like the first blobs of paint on a canvas…and then I dive in and paint all the details with thread. 

5 years ago I was put in contact with Aurifil thread, I am hugely grateful to Liza Lucy for connecting us. I have been sponsored by them ever since. It is 100% cotton and they have a staggering 270 colours.
I still have my two Berninas, 830 and 1008. But 2years ago I bought myself a Janome HD9 professional which is proving to be sensational to use…the space, the speed, the lights, the way it cuts through so many layers of fabric and thread.
I am first and foremost a wildlife artist but in the last four years I have been teaching other creatives my techniques, which I throughly enjoy. This used to be person pre covid! But now in the last two years I have been teaching online, which is working brilliantly, collaborating with fabric shops in the US and Australia.


Brandon Wulff

My name is Brandon Wulff and I live in Toronto Canada. I grew up in London Ontario in a multi-generation fibre family. 

I am a commercial quilter who works with interior designers and real estate agents to created luxury contemporary quilts.  I developed a process called the Biscotti process to create neutral pallet  quilts that have lots of small pieces, have high impact with multiple layers of interest, are super fast to construct and work well in contemporary homes.  


Mirjam Gielen

The women in my mother’s family were never without some textile project in their hands. I learned knitting, sewing, crochet, embroidery but also things like tatting, macramé and silk painting from my mother, grandmother and aunts. I loved acquiring new skills, but wasn’t able to execute them as neatly as they did. I wasn’t any good in following patterns either. I considered myself to be bad at textile work and for years I restricted myself to small projects like the occasional baby sweater or some Christmas decorations.

Textile work came back in my life while I was writing books for children and young adults. Making ‘wordless’ art with threads and fabrics in a free way, without expectations about the result, turned out to be the ideal way to refresh my brain in between chapters. Over the years this practice grew into something more serious. A new, intuitive way of being creative developed and became an essential part of my life.

My inspiration comes from nature, its patterns, colours and textures. I use eco printed and eco dyed fabrics as a natural environment for my stitches to feel at home. Natural colours have a depth and richness that I find very inspirational. It’s not only enjoyment in the beauty of nature that is important to me, but I also want to express my respect for nature and create a sense of connectivity. It’s a process that strengthens itself. Recreating natural phenomena with stitch deepens my understanding of nature and that understanding in turn nurtures my creativity.

Sharing my process, knowledge and experience with others, is what makes me happy. I have
found Instagram an ideal stage to get in touch with fellow creators from all over the world. I love
to get inspired and in turn inspire others. Whether someone picks up a needle for the first time in
her/his life or is an established textile artist does not matter very much to me. It’s the joy of
creating that binds us and that joy exists at all levels.


Francisca Robles

My name is Francisca Robles , visual artist from Santiago de Chile.  For fifteen years I have been working in textiles, deepening on its narrative and pedagogical potential. I have created textile illustrations that have been published in different publishing houses in my country and in publishing projects abroad.

Since I was little, sewing was present in my house since my grandmother and her sister spent the whole year making beautiful dolls of recycled fabrics to give to all the cousins at Christmas. Each doll was a unique character, made with beautiful details and dedication. From that tradition I inherited the love for this profession and the desire to share it with other people. 

I deeply admire the textile history of the territory in which I was born, my reference is the Arpilleristas of the Metropolitan Region and their important visual legacy. Their arpilleras narrate with fabrics and embroidering the history of the country in years of strong censorship and repression, when the official press did not allow to tell everything that was happening.

As I am an urban textile artist, I like to reuse and take advantage of textile waste to create my work. The color palette that I use depends on the project that I must illustrate, I do a lot of research on each character or place that I will represent and according to that I look for the colors and textures of the fabrics to use.

I make sketches on paper before I start sewing, then I transfer that sketch onto the fabric with chalk or some easily erasable pencil. I machine-sew the lines of the initial sketch and then I cut the fabric to work with a reverse appliqué system (similar to the one used in making Molas); I take out a piece of the fabric and add patches of color on the reverse side. I make and undo the textile many times until I am satisfied with the shapes and the color. I am not afraid of error!

Once the general features of the composition are ready, I begin to embroider details by hand, to draw or add touches of color and texture. I like to use textiles to narrate and I also really like teaching how to create with textiles so that other people can tell their stories. I am fortunate to have collaborated teaching with groups of arpillerists, embroiderers and textile activists, which is why I feel part of this South American movement in which textile is not only visuality but also history, rescue and pride.