Thursday, February 13, 2014

Memory Lane by Nel Whatmore

Well, I am excited to have been asked to post on the Freespirit Blog! 


My new collection is Memory Lane, which I have just been designing a quilt for -- yesterday actually. I am lucky that I had three grandparents that lived until they were 103, 101 and 98, and so their influence on me and reflecting on times spent with them has given me many fond memories. I like looking back as well as forward as I feel older things have more soul and newer things fire my imagination. So Memory Lane was designed to be slightly retro and to be a collection of memories, from sitting in my Grandma's breakfast room, to visiting William Morris's house, Wightwick Manor, near my Mum’s, to doodling as a child and remembering the joy that brought me.

So many things can remind us of friends and family, from colour, smells, sounds to even sweets we haven't eaten for years. I love the fact that quilts remind people of the person who kindly spent hours making them. They are made and given with love and in effect say 'I thought of you'. This may be rather sentimental but I think it's true.

My daughter Polly is just 18 and will soon be leaving us and so I am already thinking of which quilt I will give her when she goes to college (hopefully if she gets, there I should add!). Although even when I was thinking about designing the Memory Lane quilt yesterday my thoughts immediately turned to her and what she may like. I guess in the same way that I carry memories of my grandparents and parents with me, I hope that little things like a handmade quilt will remind her of her family too.

When designing, as a painter, I always produce the initial idea in pastels, the medium I like the best. It is vibrant, messy and spontaneous and suits me just fine. I have to then do the repeats on the computer as to do it in pastel would be virtually impossible. So much of balancing a collection feels like balancing a painting. You always have to make it work as a whole rather like doing the perfect jigsaw puzzle! I've come to the conclusion that it's a lifelong challenge, as whenever I finish a collection and then start sewing and designing things using it I learn something more and realise how to improve the next collection.


These are two lovely Memory Lane Cushions I designed that have just arrived . They look great at the end of our bed!

Recently I’ve got into English Paper Piecing. I looovvve it. I’ve been making 8 point stars using Secret Garden my last collection. So I couldn’t resist making a star this time with more points so it makes a 3d star using Memory Lane. I think they’d make great and unusual bunting Or I just like this one hung on my wall as it makes me smile every time I see it. I’d really love to see what you do with Memory Lane. So find me on facebook and come and say hi!
Thank you for reading my ramblings on this rather grey damp day in Northern England. It's now time to get back to finishing my next collection and then play my music loud and do a bit of painting, I think! I hope you enjoy Memory Lane. It would be lovely to see what you make with it. I'd love you to let me know!

Warm wishes and happy sewing Nel x Best Blogger TipsShare/Bookmark

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