• Posts Tagged ‘textiles’

    Love embroidered lampshades

    by  • 11/03/2015 • Country business, Country style • 0 Comments

    Marna Lunt | Country Days | Country Homes and Interiors

    Expert embroidery artist, Marna Lunt, chats to us about her beautiful hand-sewn lampshades and exciting online workshops…

    What inspires you?
    I’m inspired by textures and colours, particularly how they work together. I was brought up on the North Yorkshire Moors and that landscape has become incredibly special to me. It defines me in many ways and is the main inspiration for all my work.

    Describe the making process.
    I am trained as a painter rather than in textiles, so I approach things in a painterly way. I sketch my ideas before laying the fabrics down and stitching haphazardly over the top. I aim for it to look ‘wonky’ as I want people to know I did it by hand rather than machine!

    How do your surroundings influence your work?
    They make such a big difference to me. As I am no longer in the middle of my glorious Moors, I need to bring beauty and inspiration into my workspace. I surround myself with things I find beautiful, from buttons and sequins to ribbon and bottles.

    Tell us about your workshops.
    I have just launched a fabulous new online sewing course called Illuminating Embroidery and I teach people from beginner up to professionals. It’s proving to be a huge success and is tapping into a wonderful community that is so supportive and welcoming.

    Describe your creative style in three words.
    Quirky, detailed and passionate.

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    Toasty layers

    by  • 22/11/2014 • Country style • 0 Comments

    Mourne Textiles on Country DaysAs temperatures drop our thoughts turn to spending nights in snuggled under cosy layers! The perfect excuse to indulge our overwhelming fondness for luxurious throws & blankets; our hearts feel a little warmer at the mere sight of this beautiful woven range by Mourne Textiles.

    The collection features premium throws made from the softest Pure Merino wool and Mohair yarns. These are handwoven on a traditional Donegal Loom at the foot of the Mourne mountains, the idyllic location of the family-run workshop.

    To ensure a totally toasty home why not add a selection of the complementary cushions and rugs.

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    Say hello to Cherith Harrison…

    by  • 08/10/2014 • Country business, Country style • 0 Comments

    Style setter Cherith Harrison | Country Days | Country Homes and Interiors

    Graphic designer and print maker Cherith Harrison grew up in the picturesque border town of Peebles in Scotland before moving to Edinburgh thirteen years ago. Both country and city life  have shaped her creatively, and her rural-inspired designs have a quirky contemporary feel. She produces all sorts of lovely products, from kitchen textiles to totes and stationery.

    Tell us a little bit about what you do.
    All my designs begin with a single pencil drawing on a plain piece of paper. I start my drawings by looking for patterns within the subject matter, usually wildlife, which I deliberately exaggerate through scale and colour. As well as supplying my home and gift accessories to key retailers, I also sell through my own website and  Notonthehighstreet.

    What inspires your designs?
    Well, I’m obsessed with animals, so they tend to be my main focus! I love watching them, studying their characteristics and admiring their beauty. I try hard to capture their qualities and like to think my designs add a contemporary twist to fairly traditional themes.

    What’s your favourite country moment?
    It would have to be driving through Glencoe, Scotland’s most famous and most scenic glen! I love the sheer scale and grandeur of its mountains – the colours in the Autumn are just fantastic.

    What’s your creative style in three words?
    More is more!

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    Celebrate the beauty of rustic Welsh design

    by  • 17/09/2014 • Uncategorized • 0 Comments

    Blodwen Style Setter | Country Days | Country Homes and Interiors

    Denise Lewis set up Blodwen in 2010 with an aim to showcase the best of Welsh design. From the pretty seaside village of Aberporth in Cardigan Bay,  Blodwen works with local artisans, providing an online platform for their hand-crafted homewares, furniture and textiles.

    What’s a normal day like? 
    To be honest, there doesn’t appear to be a normal day at Blodwen HQ! We’re either dashing around visiting artisans, up in London pitching to stores like Liberty and The Conran Shop or visiting stockists around the UK. At the moment, we’re getting ready to show our Heritage Blanket Collection at Tent, part of the London Design Festival.The double-cloth textiles have been resurrected from a weaver’s pattern book dating from 1760.

    What makes Blodwen special? 
    Each Blodwen piece is handmade and unique, using only the finest local materials and talent. We’re extremely passionate about Wales and about preserving country ways and traditions. By  nurturing local artisans, we hope to provide rural communities with an opportunity to maintain their rustic way of life.

    What inspires you?
    We take our inspiration from the heritage and historical hinterland of rural Wales – we’re dedicated to celebrating the countryside and country ways, the beauty of our surroundings and the rural way of life and work. Blodwen was founded on the desire to preserve and revive rural skills, so with this in mind, I design exclusive collections which fuse together traditional craftsmanship with contemporary style and utility.

    Describe Blodwen’s creative style in three words.
    Rustic, utilitarian and modern.

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    We chat to designer maker Helen Round

    by  • 03/09/2014 • Country business, Country style • 0 Comments

    Style Setter Helen Round | Country Days | Country Homes and Interiors magazine

    Helen Round combines state of the art digital printing with traditional hand printing techniques to turn her drawings into vibrant textiles and homewares including cushions, lampshades and tea towels.

    What inspires your designs?
    Living and working in Cornwall is a continuous source of inspiration. My studio is perched on the top of a hill, with views down through the village to the River Tamar. This timeless view is one I constantly revisit when considering new designs.

    What’s your business ethos?
    I am passionate about keeping things local…. from the careful sourcing of materials and the use of environmentally friendly inks, to the small busy team in the village who help me to create the collections.

    What’s your working space like?
    My purpose built studio, where I hand print all of my linen, is at the top of my garden. It’s a large bright airy space, with floor to ceiling glass on two sides,  cedar paneling and a tin roof. The wood burner keeps it toasty in winter!

    What’s your life outside of work like?
    When I have time off, I nip down to the beach. If it’s warm enough, I enjoy a swim or paddle my kayak around the bay. Alternatively, on cooler days, the coastal paths are a place I love to wander, taking photos for my sketch book along the way.

    Describe your creative style in three words.
    Natural, calm and simplistic.

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    Love Laura Fletcher’s woven home textiles

    by  • 27/08/2014 • Country business, Country style • 1 Comment

    Laura Fletcher style setter | Country Days | Country Homes and Interiors

    Laura, of Laura Fletcher Textiles, developed a passion for weaving during her time at Chelsea College of Art. She loves to experiment with texture and colour, using mixtures of linen, wool and cotton to create beautifully unique homewares from cushions to lamp shades.

    Tell us a little bit about what you do.
    I create small woven samples in my studio. It’s crammed with designs and yarns but in an orderly way – I can’t bear mess! I then work with a traditional silk mill in Suffolk to develop them into lengths of fabric.  I love stripes so my designs tend to feature a lot of these in varying colours and sizes.

    What inspires your designs?
    I find beauty in the most subtle things, such as tree bark or weathered rope found on the beach.

    What do you love about the countryside?
    I love the wonderfully fresh air you get on wind-swept English beaches, there’s nothing else like it. I find it very calming to stand and take in the lovely colours around me. I have been brought up in the countryside and it is where I feel most content.

    Describe your creative style in three words.
    Calming, tactile and natural.

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    Meet Stephanie Cole

    by  • 13/08/2014 • Country business, Country style • 0 Comments


    Designer-illustrator Stephanie Cole creates quirky home textiles and art prints inspired by her love of the British countryside. She splits her time between the flat she shares with her partner in Helsinki, Finland and her family home in the Cotswolds.

    Tell us a little bit about what you do.
    My designs all start from hand drawings. If I want to screen print I will paint the design in black ink, otherwise I’ll paint in gouache and watercolours. A little tweaking on my laptop and it’s then sent off to small UK manufacturers. It’s important to me that it’s all made here in the UK – I like to support companies and have more control over the quality and work conditions.

    What inspires your designs?
    A real mix of ‘happy places’ ­– the British countryside and coast, an interesting proverb or quote, unexpected colour combinations and pattern.

    What do you love about the countryside?
    I love the seasons the most; each has its own beauty. Living in Helsinki, I’m starved of country fields, animals and hedgerows, so I love to go for long walks when I’m home.

    Describe your creative style in three words.
    Whimsical, illustrative and cheery.

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    Country style setter: Hinchcliffe & Barber

    by  • 09/07/2014 • Country business, Country style • 1 Comment


    True Blue mugs, £18, jug, £30. Dorset Delft cockerel jug, £27.50; all Hinchcliffe & Barber.

    We talk to the designers who are defining the latest looks for our country homes

    We chat to Georgia Hinchcliffe whose father, John, and mother, Wendy, set up design brand Hinchcliffe & Barber in the 1980s. After the untimely death of her father, Georgia joined the family business and now works alongside her mother, splitting her time between their two studios in Dorset and Wiltshire. Having made the change, she feels she’s finally found what she was always meant to do.

    What techniques do you use in your work?

    Every piece is created using a variety of traditional craft techniques. For example, our new range of printed cushions was made using a block print, and our new ceramic ranges involve a mix of potato print, paper cut and wax resist designs. It’s important to continue using original techniques, otherwise everything will look too computer generated – there’s definitely a balance to be had.

     How does the countryside influence your designs?

    My late father was a real countryman. He walked every day, loved his garden and observed the seasons carefully. This is reflected in his glorious designs that focus around the sea, flowers and animals. In many ways, I’ve inherited his appreciation of nature and feel soothed by open, empty spaces and long views.

     What’s your working space like?

    My husband and I have just bought a new house, nestled in the Wiltshire countryside, with an old chapel for me to convert into a studio and showroom. My mother and I need lots of space to work – we’ve folders and folders of work from the 1980s, so much of the time we play around with older designs, updating and reworking them for today.

     What’s next?

    It’s an exciting time for us. Our new range featuring mugs, jugs, aprons and other kitchen textiles, in four new designs, launches this month at Harrogate Homes & Gifts Show in association with our licensee MyGiftsTrade. Working with another family business has been fantastic. With their input we’re in a position for the first time in 10 years to supply our products to retailers however small or large. We’re already working on our next collections so watch this space!

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    Country style setter: Sarah Watkins

    by  • 25/06/2014 • Country business, Country style • 0 Comments


    Embroidered linen cushions, £45 each from Salt and Buoy.

    We talk to the designers who are defining the latest looks for today’s country homes
    A prison manager by day, Sarah Watkins initially launched Salt and Buoy as a creative release. Each cushion design is hand-sketched and then translated into embroidery, resulting in two nostalgic collections inspired by Sarah’s love of all things coastal. She lives with her boyfriend and two chinchillas in Kent.

    What seaside memories inspire your designs?
    My ship collection is based upon Christopher Columbus’ ship, the Santa Maria. I would sit by the sea when I was little and watch the ships sail by, imagining all the adventures they were having. My promenade collection is inspired by what I see on my Sunday afternoon walks along the coast in Whitstable and Herne Bay.

    What sparked your passion for textiles and sewing?
    After a particularly stressful day at work, I decided to bring my mum’s old mustard sewing machine down from the loft. Not knowing the first thing about sewing machines at the time, there was an awful lot of trial and error! I became hooked on immersing myself into a world filled with beautiful fabrics and happy memories.

    What do your products say about you as a designer?
    I always make sure I love what I do – if a design doesn’t make me feel happy it doesn’t make the cut. I’m all about experimenting with colour and love to have a bit of fun with my ideas. I definitely don’t take myself too seriously!

    Sum up your creative style in three words…
    Colourful, intricate and nostalgic.

    By Tara King.

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    Country look: bright kitchen textiles

    by  • 13/06/2014 • Country style • 0 Comments

    Sophie Conran has teamed up with Norfolk Kitchen for a second time to create this bright and beautiful new range of kitchen textiles. The Norfolk-made range of soft linen and cotton accessories now comes in the new shades of sunny yellow, classic navy and sophisticated grey – to join the exisiting pink, white and blue!

    Which colour would you choose?


    Linen aprons, £32.95 each, Sophie Conran for Norfolk Kitchen.

    The new colour-ways mix seamlessly with those in the previous collection; the chic grey looks particularly pretty teamed with pink, the blues perfectly compliment one another and the yellow becomes it’s most vibrant when paired with classic white. All are sure to make you smile and add a little ray of sunshine to your kitchen.


    Linen double oven gloves, £19.95 each, Sophie Conran for Norfolk Kitchen.


    Cotton placemats, £12.95 each; Napkins, from £14.95, all Sophie Conran for Norfolk Kitchen.

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