Sunday, September 09, 2012

Katharine's Wheel by Nel Whatmore inspired by spirals!

Editor's Note: It's September and FreeSpirit Katharine's Wheel is making a splash at your local retailers.  Nel Whatmore shares with us her musings about art, fabric and how Katharine's Wheel was brought to life.  
Picture 1

Well it’s nice to pause in my busy day to write this and say hi to all of you who like Freepirit Fabric. It’s that time of year when a few leaves start to fall and the days grow a little shorter and my next collection had to be finished September 1st!

I am a fine artist who also designs so everything stems from my original paintings. Pic 1

Nel at Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, England
It’s been a very busy month ,as I have just been to the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, as a guest designer for the reatiler Cottonpatch in the UK. We had a great time as Rowan artists Kaffe Fassett and Brandon Mably were there, as well as FreeSpirit's own Tula Pink, who I met for the first time.

I was helping launch my new range, Katharine’s Wheel and also my new dedicated pattern website. Often as a designer you spend days and days gazing at patterns and color ways trying to work out the ideal combination, so it is really very lovely to meet so many customers and also to see how much people loved the Katharine's Wheel quilt, which turned out exactly how I wanted it to. Here it is draped all over our house! 

Picture 2

So why did I call it Katharines Wheel?  The collection is inspired by things large and small. I realized, much to my surprise one day, that we have over the years filled our house with many things that have spirals on them. From ceramics, (picture 2), to the feet and tops of clocks, (picture 3) , to the shape of our garden path and so on and so on. We spent many hours making a lovely garden path with the kids, collecting shells and glass beads every year adding another section until now it is finally finished. 
Picture 3

It seems as though many people are drawn to spirals and curves and find them comforting and also pleasing. So, I started to look into spirals and evidently in many cultures they are viewed as a universally positive symbol.

I find that the feel good factor plays a very important part in my painting too. It seemed only right to design a collection around curves and spirals. The collection is called Katharine’s Wheel because my middle name is Katharine, and the firework of the same name is yet another example of the spiral! They’re everywhere!!

So we have lovely rich spirals and sparks and spots and bubbles of color. The stripe I designed so that you have a great border print which reminds me of the first sewing I did at school --a little cross stitch and running stitch samplers.

I have had so much fun making things for the Festival of Quilts. Pic 7A 7B. Including of course the collectible cat pattern for this collection ‘Dotty Cat’.

If you missed ‘Happy Go Lucky Cat’, it’s a FREE DOWNLOAD when you join The Cat Club. Pic

I also love the Katharine’s Wheel Shopper (picture 4) and also the basket (picture 5) I made sitting in front of the telly watching the Olympics! So many people have asked me how to make it, that I will be putting it on the ‘Creative Things’ part of the site shortly!

Picture 4

Picture 5
Well it was light when I started writing this and dark now so time to go. But thanks for listening and look forward to hearing what you all think of Katharine’s Wheel

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Annabella said...

It's lovely to get an insight in to Nel's inspiration for Katherine Wheel. My aunt met Nel at the FoQ and said how lovely she was and I now have a charm pack and can't wait to use it. Great post.

Amorette said...

love the bright vibrant colors- the first main print is amazing!

Carrie P. said...

She is so creative. enjoyed reading.

Unknown said...

This is fantastic! I really love what you can do with these fabrics. I really wish that I could do some projects like this! Maybe I can start something this weekend.

Fabric Manufacturers said...

These are made by high quality fabrics and creative craft made that very attractive.

John Thomas said...

Wow Katharine's.Such a good and attractive creativity.