Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Sponsor Introduction: Eclectic Maker


I'm really excited to introduce my newest sponsor, Eclectic Maker, as they have some wonderfully unusual fabrics that, brought together in one place, instantly drew my mind back to my favourite book of quilts (more on that later). The stack of fabrics pictured above is the latest range from the Victoria & Albert museum. They are reprints from the archive of Édouard Bénédictus's work, who died in 1930 having not only left the world with a catalogue of his beautiful designs, but also with the invention of laminated safety glass (he was a chemist as well as a designer). I adore the colours and the prints and, as a collection for quilting, they encompass a wonderful mix of large prints, small prints and contrasting colours.


We've recently completed re-landscaping our garden (a project which my husband began on Boxing day) and the only thing remaining is the addition of a quilt to on which to lie on the lawn. I'm seriously considering this collection as the basis for the quilt. It has enough dark shades in it to make me not worry over it being used outdoors or being the site of picnics and I imagine the greens and blues blending in chameleon style, adding, rather than detracting from the calm, but vibrant colours outside.

From Jane Brocket's The Gentle Art of Quilt-Making

It's these fabrics and the range of Martha Negley, Philip Jacobs and Kaffe Fassett that the Eclectic Maker have chosen to stock that drew my mind to thoughts of the aforementioned favourite quilting book, Jane Brocket's The Gentle Art of Quilt-Making. Before being given this book as a gift by my sister-in-law I'd been ignorant to the appeal of Kaffe Fassett fabrics, finding his prints out-dated, sometimes garish and frequently lacking in subtlety. Jane Brocket's book changed my view of them completely and the way in which she uses the fabrics of Martha Negley, Philip Jacobs and Kaffe made me appreciate this trio of designers' work in a whole new light. Jane Brocket's skill doesn't lie in fancy piecing or intricate designs (which I think she'd freely admit to), it comes in a unique ability to combine colour and print unexpectedly and deliciously. Her quilts don't look new, or cutting edge. But they do look breath-taking, stunning, inspiring and everything that I'd ever aspire to pour into a quilt.  

From Jane Brocket's The Gentle Art of Quilt-Making

It is the book that has taught me much about colour and this book is now the spirit level which I keep in my mind when I dream up imaginary quilts in my head. Faced by creating a quilt for the garden, rather than for the house where I'm tied to thinking about how it would blend with the existing decor, I feel happy to indulge in a 'what-would-Jane-do?' strokey beard moment. I often do this when I feel I lack the skills to deal with a situation: faced alone with a mouse that a cat has brought in, I pretend I am my matter-of-fact rodent-fearless friend; in a situation when I feel suddenly gripped with such panic that my instinct is to close my eyes until the crisis has subsided of its own accord (occasionally this approach could result in death), I pretend I am my husband or mother who are always calm in a crisis. Sometimes, it really helps to try and imagine something through the eyes of someone who you know to naturally possess a better capability for dealing with a certain something, because it's amazing what you find lives inside yourself, without it being an intrinsic part of your personality.

From Jane Brocket's The Gentle Art of Quilt-Making

I adore these Martha Negley prints which the Eclectic Maker stocks - they are more painterly than anything I would ever usually be drawn to, but when I look at Jane's quilts I have more of a sense of how I can imagine using them.

But lest you think that the Eclectic Maker has confined itself to the styles I've talked about above, I feel I should run through some of my favourite collections that they stock, as they offer a vast number of ranges.


This collection by Patty Sloniger isn't new, but I find it no less lovely each time I look it at. I think its bug jars and insect-mottled trees make it a perfect choice for a young boy and it makes me smile at how it celebrates the best parts of my own little boy's childhood (the collection does include lots of pinks too, but it's the greens, blues and greys that I adore).


For even younger children, you may remember in this post how I fell in love with Ed Emberley's collection for Cloud 9 when I saw it pre-release several months ago. I think the Eclectic Maker have the whole collection.

You wish to go and have a root around and winkle out your own favourites though, so click here for a general overview of the ranges they stock. Like many places, they've also stock quilt batting and haberdashery, making it a one-stop shop. Hurrah.

Finally, a winner for the beautiful dress patterns offered up by Christine Haynes in my last post. Congratulations to dear Pipany. I'm so pleased the magic finger stopped with her as I do believe she is often intending to make something just for herself, but never quite finds the time - I will pass on your email address to Christine and she'll post your Derby dress pattern to you very soon.

Florence x

1 comment:

  1. Oh my goodness, it's me! I won!!! Thank you, thank you dear Florence. You are so right; I never make the time for me to have something but now I will!! I am thrilled :) xx

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Florence x