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  1. BethanJanine_photo

    Since buying the 'Into The Blue' collection, we have seen a massive love for these fabrics with all of  you lovely sewers snapping it up, so we thought why not chat with the lady that created such a beautiful depiction of the underwater world! Introducing Bethan Janine, an illustrator and textile designer from Sheffield, who designed the Into The Blue collection for Dashwood Studios... We asked Bethan a few questions on what inspires her, and the inspiration behind her beautiful patterns and this is what she said!

     

    1) WHAT IS IT ABOUT BEING A SURFACE PATTERN DESIGNER & ILLUSTRATOR THAT YOU LOVE SO MUCH & WHY DID YOU BECOME ONE? 

     I originally studied fashion design and had a passion for drawing, pattern and colour which meant textile design was a natural progression, my first job was as a surface pattern designer which I fell in love with, I remember being so excited the first time I saw someone wearing one of my designs.

    Also I find drawing really therapeutic so it’s amazing that I get to do it as my job and the flexibility of working from home has given me a better work life balance.

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    2) WHERE DOES YOUR LOVE FOR BEING CREATIVE COME FROM / START? 

    I wanted to be an artist from an early age and my family were really encouraging and creative so I got lots of art materials as presents and spent my time making art and learning new skills. My grandparents were keen gardeners and kept a wonderful wild garden with lots to explore and they taught me about flowers and nature. 

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    3) HOW DID YOU GO ABOUT DESIGNING THE UNDERWATER PRINTS FOR 'INTO THE BLUE' COLLECTION, WAS THERE ANY PARTICULAR SOURCE MATERIAL THAT INSPIRED YOU, TO INTERPRET THE PRINTS THIS WAY? 

     I was thinking a lot about the increasing environmental concerns for ocean life and I wanted to explore the beauty and magic beneath the waters, with majestic whales, turtles, jellyfish and cute seahorses hiding amongst the coral with lots of added detail and patterns.

    I like to watch lots of nature programmes as well as being in the outdoors as much as possible, the recent Our Planet series on Netflix was amazing.

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    4) WHERE DO YOU GENERALLY LOOK FOR INSPIRATION FOR YOUR DESIGNS? 

     A good walk in the countryside with my camera, sketchbook and Border Terrier, where I can spot wildlife, collect feathers, leaves and flowers to study at home. 

    Scandinavian, Japanese and mid century design have always interested me so visiting art galleries and museums are really important, the V&A is my favourite place.

    But I’m also a huge movie fan and love films about the natural world, beautiful scenery and animals. Anything by Wes Anderson!

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    5) WHAT IS YOUR PROCESS WHEN DESIGNING A COLLECTION OF PRINTS AND WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE THING TO DRAW? 

     I start design collections with a theme and colour palette, sometimes I’ll make a mood board on Pinterest.

    I’ll usually focus on the main print then work on complimentary prints to go with it.

    My favourite things to draw are birds! I love the detail in the feathers.

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    (WE WILL BE GETTING THIS COTTON FABRIC IN AUGUST - EMAIL US IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE NOTIFIED)

     

    6) WHAT MEDIA DO YOU LIKE TO DRAW OR PAINT WITH, AND WHY? 

    I draw everything by hand before colouring digitally, layering bold shapes of colour with line work on top, I like to use lots of detail and geometric patterns. Working on my iPad with Procreate app is great for getting my ideas down quickly and good to use on the go.

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    7) IS THERE A CRAFT OTHER THAN DRAWING THAT YOU ENJOY AND WHY?

    Yes I like to hand sew bears and also find weaving really relaxing and satisfying, it’s another nice way to experiment with colour, pattern and texture.

     

    Feeling inspired then check out our collection of Bethan Janine for Dashwood Studios here: 

    SHOP DASHWOOD STUDIOS

    Check her out via

    WEBSITE: www.bethanjanine.com

    INSTAGRAM: @bethanjanine

  2. headshot1 (1)fraction_main_pic_1024x1024@2x

    We had the pleasure of chatting with Lou Orth, creator of self titled 'Lou Orth Designs', which showcases Lou's patterns and love of modern quilting. We asked Lou a few questions on what inspires her, and the inspiration behind her beautiful patterns that she designs.... this is what she said!

     

     1. WHAT IS IT ABOUT PATCHWORK & QUILTING THAT YOU LOVE THE MOST? HOW DID YOU FIRST GET STARTED?

    I first started sewing about 8 years ago now. I had just had my first child and my mother in law decided to teach me how to sew. Having not enjoyed sewing at school, I wasn’t holding out much hope for this taking hold as a new hobby!! 

    Wow, was I wrong! I loved that feeling of accomplishment in making something with your own hands. My first make was a simple fold over cushion cover made using some Cath Kidston spot canvas fabric. I felt like I was a sewing genius and was just hooked from there on! A few months later, I stumbled up Katy Jones’ blog and my eyes were opened to this amazing world of modern quilts and modern, designer fabric. Let’s just say I never looked back.

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     2. WHAT IS IT ABOUT MODERN QUILTING THAT YOU PRFER?

    The modern quilt aesthetic can come in so many forms. Negative space and giving a design room to breathe really appeals to me and seems to be common theme in a lot of modern quilts.

    I love quilts that use solids to display a bold geometric design, I feel that they really give a strong design a bit more impact.  

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    (Picture courtesy of Love Patchwork and Quilting magazine)

     

    3. WHERE DOES YOUR INSPIRATION COME FROM WHEN CREATING YOUR QUILT DESIGNS?

    I think inspiration comes from everywhere.

    When designing quilts, I usually just start playing around with shapes (I use the EQ software) with no firm design in mind. I then keep editing until I get to a final design that I love. My final designs have always evolved from an unrecognisable start!  

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    4. WHAT IS THE HARDEST AND MOST REWARDING PART OF DESIGNING YOUR OWN PATTERNS?

    The most rewarding part, without a doubt, is seeing other people making the patterns. It's such a joy and honor to have someone spend their time sewing up a pattern I've made. I love seeing how different one design can look depending on the fabric chosen by the maker. 
     
    The hardest part? I think that's probably when you can't quite make a design work, which can be frustrating. I spend a lot of time working on designs, but not all of them make the cut so to speak. I have soo many designs that arent quite right, but its good to keep them and look over them from time to time. You never know when inspiration might strike and that old design might be the starting point of something fun!
     
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    5. WHAT IS YOUR PERSONAL PERFECT COLOUR COMBINATION?

    What a tough question! I love so many colour combos. I love saturated colours but also pastels. I generally include pinks, blues and mustards in my quilt designs though!  

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    6. WHEN DID YOU FIRST START YOUR BUSINESS AND WHY?

    I actually started off making items to sell at craft fairs, I then began a blog to share my makes and then tutorials. This then developed into writing sewing and quilting projects for magazines in 2014. In Spring 2018, I launched my first paper pattern, Fraction.

    This then continued and I now have my own website, www.louorthdesigns.com where I have a collection of paper and PDF patterns. 

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    7. WHAT IS YOUR BEST TIP FOR SEWERS & QUILTERS?

    Don’t be afraid to try something new. Nervous about curves, foundation paper piecing, zips? Just try it! What’s the worst that can happen? (Feeling like an old Dr. Pepper advert there!) Maybe don’t use your most precious fabric, but don’t let anything intimidate you! I believe in you!

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    Feeling inspired then check out our collection of Lou Orths Patterns & Kits here: SHOP LOUTH ORTH DESIGNS

    Kona cotton fabrics here: SHOP KONA COTTONS

    Check her out via

    WEBSITE: www.louorthdesigns.com

    INSTAGRAM: @louorthdesigns