Aurifil is pleased to introduce Foxglove by Aneela Hoey. This stunning collection features a mix of 50wt, 28wt, and 12wt threads in a darling array of colors. It was created to coordinate with her second collection for Cloud9 Fabrics. Foxglove is inspired by the English countryside and some of the striking wild flowers – foxgloves, cowslips and primroses – that grow there in abundance. We get a little giddy thinking about the wonderful things we could create with these beauties and hope that this post leaves you feeling inspired to create something of your own.
THREAD COLLECTION DETAILS
100% Aurifil Cotton, 12 Large Spools
2785 – 2277 – 6730 – 2021 (50 WT)
2420 – 2830 – 1133 – 6730 (28 WT)
1133 – 2830 – 2420 – 2277 (12 WT)
Can you tell us a bit about your background and how you got into this wonderful world of textiles?
I studied printed textile design at Winchester School of Art. When I finished my degree I worked in a couple of different studios and also freelance. In those days, I created actual artwork using paint, ink and collage. Whilst taking a few years out to have my children, I picked up a some hobbies including quilting and through this found myself falling in love with fabric and design all over again. I decided to try creating some new designs and had them printed digitally using Spoonflower. I put some up for sale in my small etsy shop and they sold super fast. I had more printed up but couldn’t keep up with demand so I decided to approach a fabric company. I emailed Moda one day in early 2010 and they decided to take me on as a new designer. It was a steep learning curve, I’d decided to try creating my designs digitally but had no clue how to use illustrator. I taught myself and learned as I designed my first line ‘Sherbet Pips’. It took me two weeks to design and I still have no idea how I managed to get from zero experience to that in such a short time.
What inspired Foxglove, both in terms of color and pattern?
The initial idea behind Foxglove was to get more of the flowers I loved onto quilting fabric. A lot of the time fabric flowers tend to be the same old roses or chrysanthemums. I wanted something unusual but beautiful so I looked at drawings I’ve done over the years of flowers like foxgloves, cowslips, dianthus and so on. I knew that I wanted them to look very clean and graphic not painterly or overdone and also that movement was very important. I drew up my designs digitally in illustrator making sure that there was plenty of movement and also incorporating light/shade and colour. It’s kind of an odd process because I feel like I am making up this picture in my head then trying to create that picture digitally. One day I was doing some housework and thinking about where else I could take the designs. I suddenly had this brainwave to throw some foxes in there dashing through the foxgloves. I had that mental image in my head, so all I had to do was to recreate it. Initially there were a lot more colours in the designs but this wasn’t making the patterns work well as a group. The combination of colours used in the Fox In The Foxgloves print were some of the strongest so we started to narrow the colours down to those and that helped things click into place.
I know that this is your second collection with Cloud9. How did you first connect with them and what was the fabric design process like for you?
A couple of years ago my friend Pennie and I went to a talk given by Gina Pantastico of Cloud 9 on the subject of organic fabric at The Village Haberdashery in London. What I loved most about Gina’s talk was that she was highly informative and passionate about her subject but never preachy. I had been working on some new designs and a few months later submitted them to Cloud 9 through their online site to see if they would be interested in us working together. They liked what I sent in and we began developing the collection a little. In some patterns we altered the layout, in others we played around with scale and so on. I love working with Michelle (the design director). I always feel like she helps me move my design thinking forward whilst retaining my original vision for my design work.
How did you work through selecting colors for your coordinating thread collection?
I took it very seriously indeed as only a thread and fabric loving girl can! I set up my Aurifil color card, my Foxglove strike offs and my various spools of Aurifil thread and floss. I spent a lot of time thinking which colours and threads would work for different sewing situations – piecing or quilting a quilt, making a bag, sewing up a dress. I thought about topstitching and hand quilting too. I knew that I wanted a variety of different thread weights included and spent a lot of time draping threads across the fabrics to see which colours would work best across all these scenarios. The thread box is basically a box of answers to all these questions! Plus it looks kind of pretty too.
Do you have a favorite Aurifil thread color/weight?
I love everything Aurifil but if I had to narrow down to just one it would be the light pink 2420 in the 28 wt. This colour is super pretty and blends or contrasts well with a large number of colours so it works really well when quilting a top pieced from different fabrics. The 28wt is that little bit thicker so creates a really strong seam, excellent for when making bags and pouches and also gives a beautiful finish when topstitching. A great all rounder.
You just finished a fantastic collection showcase over on your blog. What was it like to work with such a wonderful collection of designers, all eager to create with your fabrics?
All the makers featured in the showcase were people I’ve been following for a while. In many cases they’ve made something from my fabric or patterns at some point or something else which has caught my attention. They are all artists who always know instinctively how to use a particular fabric or print. They just have that eye and imagination to take the fabric somewhere else altogether. I’m so grateful for getting the chance to collaborate with such a talented team, I learned so much myself, things that it would never have occurred to me to try!
[editor note: see below for showcase project gallery]
What is next on your own project list? What can your fans look forward to next?
I’ve been working away on new patterns and designs most of this year, it’s a continuing process. Hopefully things will be finished enough to show very soon.
ANEELA’S FOXGLOVE SHOWCASE
Aneela just finished up a tremendous collection showcase both on her blog and through a group of incredibly talented designers. Aneela’s posts are listed below for easy reference. Click through for free projects and added insight into the inspiration behind Foxglove. See below for a gallery of additional projects.
5/26: Foxglove Thread Set
5/30: Foxglove Showcase
6/1: Foxgloves and Foxes
6/2: Stem Dot
6/4: Evening Primrose
6/6: Foxglove Nesting Boxes
6/8: Foxglove Colourways
6/9: Foxglove Selvedge
6/10: Foxglove Showcase Gallery
To enter-to-win, click here to head to the Rafflecopter entry page, or simply click on the image above. You do not have to complete all the options to be entered but the more options you choose, the more entries you have! Entries will be accepted from now through 11:59pm Eastern Time on Tuesday, June 21! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Wednesday, June 22. Good luck!
UPDATE (6/23): This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to our winner, Chiska!!
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Aneela Hoey is a textile designer and pattern writer. She designs fabric lines with Cloud 9 fabrics and also previously designed for Moda Fabrics. Her sewing and embroidery patterns are available in her online shop whilst her embroidery book Little Stitches (published by Stash Books) is widely available in Bookshops.
** Images by Aneela Hoey & Showcase Designers (as listed)