Have you spotted our NEW Campaign For Creativity? We aim to champion the arts and raise awareness of its current plight within the education system through our #MakeYourFuture collection, and what better way to do this than sit down with some of our favourite makers, creators, and crafters!
Over the last 20 years, our dedicated fanbase has shown their love for many, many Tatty Devine designs via the medium of delicious baked treats, the finest fan art, and eek, even tattoos! Clare O’Rourke of @selfsewn has painstakingly taken fandom to the next level: introducing the Tatty Devine quilt! Inspired by the tumbling walnut wood and Formica blocks from our Geometric Link collection way back in AW14, Clare has reworked this design into a mesmerising 40” X 44” quilt, perfect for snuggling up under whilst you watch GBSB re-runs. Let’s get started!
HI CLARE! HOW DID YOUR CRAFTING JOURNEY BEGIN?
I come from a family of dressmakers so it was inevitable that fabric would play a big part in my life. It wasn’t until a trip to America that I discovered the calmness and security of sleeping under a handmade quilt that my crafting journey began.
FROM PODCASTS TO PLAYLISTS, WHAT DO YOU LISTEN TO WHILST YOU’RE MAKING?
The portable nature of my craft means I can sew wherever I like. I’m actually a bit of a documentary downloading geek. Alice Roberts and Lucy Worsley are my favourites to listen to when I’m stitching because I’m invariably concentrating on my needle and thread so I need a captivating voice to keep me focused.
I have recently discovered a new podcast by my hero Robert Plant called Digging Deep, so I’ll definitely be stitching to that, along with my Led Zeppelin vinyl collection, which I have just resurrected.
WHAT DREW YOU TO THE GEOMETRIC NECKLACE AND HOW EASY WAS IT TO TRANSLATE INTO QUILT FORM?
The wood v acrylic attraction was instant.
I have a default colour palette in my head and the colours of the cube necklace pretty much match my preference for the high contrast.
The geometric design is a popular quilt pattern known as ‘tumbling blocks’ and is probably one of the oldest designs in the world of quilting.
The repetitive nature of the diamonds means it’s also one of the easiest blocks to sew which is why it’s my favourite.
WHAT IMPACT HAS MAKING HAD UPON YOUR LIFE/GENERAL WELLBEING?
Anything that slows the pace of life is a good thing.
When I’m quilting, nothing else matters.
There is a huge community of friendly online quilters, so there’s always someone around to lift you up when you lose your sewjo (sewing mojo)
One of our most used phrases is ‘quilting is my therapy’.
OOH, WE FANCY MAKING OUR VERY OWN QUILT! WHERE DO WE BEGIN?
English paper piecing aka EPP is the technique I used for the Tatty Devine cubes quilt, it’s a traditional hand stitching craft that continues to grow in popularity, so there are countless ways to help you get started.
The EPP method is fairly straightforward, you don’t need anything fancy, if you can cut fabric and thread a needle then you’ll be fine.
There are tutorials on the EPP basics and paper template making on my blog and my Instagram page. These days you can buy precut papers and acrylic templates, but I prefer to make my own as I believe quilting should be accessible for everyone and I enjoy the challenge.
EPP is a brilliant way of recycling favourite scraps of fabric, hopefully once you get started you’ll be in love with quilting for the rest of your life.
WHICH FELLOW CREATIVES SHOULD WE BE KEEPING AN EYE ON?
Lu Summers has a unique eye for texture and designs the most exciting hand printed fabric.
Miesje Chafer is a maker of playful hand printed embellished wall hangings with wonderfully happy colour palettes.
Mr Happy Accidents has the perfect attitude towards creativity, making whatever he wants in a completely independent way, he constantly makes me smile.
As Clare says, “it’s not what you have, it’s what you do with it.” Fancy giving quilting a go? Find Clare’s blog for English Paper Piecing here. Find out more about our Campaign For Creativity here, take a peek at our updated Geometric Link Necklace here and shop the Make Your Future collection here!