Welcome to Year number 7 of our Monthly Designer Challenge & Interview!
I’m Designer, Author, Talk Show host Pat Sloan. We are starting the new year right with our wonderfully talented friend Janet Clare. She is a Moda fabric designer and I personally hoard all her fabric lines!
This year we are celebrating the rainbow of colors in our color wheel. Each designer is assigned a certain color to create their block in.
You can listen to Janet chat with me on my Talk Show about her design work.
And the Challenge part continues as each month we select one random winner to receive a 12 spool BOX of Aurifil thread for just making the challenge block and sharing it at my website! (details at the end plus last month’s winner!)
Let’s get to know Janet!
Where do you live and what is your favorite spot there?
I live about thirty miles outside London in England, in an ordinary commuter town.
If we hop in the car we can be walking in a wood in ten minutes, in open countryside in half an hour, and on the beach in an hour.
When was your FIRST quilt sighting? Did it inspire you to start quilting?
My Mum is a quilter, so I guess the first quilt I saw must have been one of hers. I made my first quilt for our first house. The quilt is English paper pieced and has shirts, tea towels and my Aunt Norah’s old curtains in it. The quilt is riddled with mistakes but is much loved and cherished nonetheless.
Did you have a career prior this, what was it?
I have a degree in Textiles and fashion from Winchester School of Art and was a knitwear designer for many years. Knitting was work and sewing was my hobby. When I gave up work to have the boys I had more time to sew and quilt and haven’t looked back! Now, sewing is work so knitting is my hobby.
Have you had a ‘light bulb’ moment in making
About ten years ago I bought a fancy sewing machine that you could free motion quilt on. I was trying this feature out one day when I suddenly realized that I could draw with my sewing machine! This is still my very favourite thing to do!
What does your studio look like, and what would you change in it?
We are between studios at the moment! I used to have a little studio just off the kitchen at home which was perfect when the boys and my business were small.
I’m pleased to say that my business has been slowly growing alongside my boys and now my husband Tony (the Chief of Everything) works with me too it was time to be brave and rent a studio! We are slowly turning it into an inspiring and creative space to work in. There is still much work to be done but we love it already!
Do you have a GREAT tip on either storage, organization, sewing, stitching, find a tip that works for you.
I am so not organized. I buy the de- cluttering books, all the containers and make lists but I just can’t get a system to stick. So I create, stitch and make as much of a creative mess as I need to and then I tidy up. I tidy up all the time. All the time.
And I have a yearly purge of my studio (usually over the Christmas holidays) – all my art, craft, fabric and sewing supplies are sorted through and I ruthlessly only keep those things I still find inspiring. It’s not clutter if it’s inspiring!
What are your 3 favorite colors of Aurifil thread?
I love indigo, rich blue and cream above all else. Aurifil shades_ 2785, 1310, and 2312
What is coming out in the near future?
My next Moda fabric line ‘Aubade: a song to the dawn’ should be in a quilt shop near you very shortly. I hope you like it!
I send original paintings to Moda and I’m always impressed by how true to my original the fabric is.
I’m just about to start my mystery quilt a long for this year too. It’s a free block of the month quilt that all members of my email club receive. This year’s theme is ‘Home’ and I’ve made a little Pinterest board to hopefully inspire and encourage you all to stitch along with me!
You can join my email club list here: http://eepurl.com/GBs4D
And I am also writing my fifth book which will be inspired by gardens and gardening. We are lucky to have a nice sized garden but neither of us have green fingers. I would love an English country garden just outside my back door! All I need is to become a gardener and my wish will come true. I’m hoping writing this book will encourage and inspire me!
Your color is Blue Janet, what inspired your block of blue?
I grew up at the seaside about half an hour away from the famous white cliffs of Dover. We used to go to the beach in all weathers, but my favourite time to be there is in the winter when the waves are wild, the air is bracing and you come home with rosy cheeks and windswept hair. The beach in winter is all rich deep blues, greys, creams and sandy shades- this is my colour palette.
I really enjoy appliqué and love to draw with my sewing machine so knew my block would include those techniques. The idea of the cat came to me because so many quilters are cat lovers and their cats really love quilts!
It was really fun to draw and stitch a cat for you!
Visit Janet for all her work, rest of links below!
A few more things about Janet:
What’s the most interesting thing you see out of your office or kitchen window? We have a short avenue of Sycamore trees outside our new studio window. Their leaves were such a stunning vivid yellow in the Autumn.
Are you a Dog or Cat person? or maybe something else? – Dog! We have a six year old Spaniel/ Flat Coat retriever called Betty who we all adore.
What is your Favorite book you have ever read? The first novel I loved was ‘Anne of Green Gables’. I have read it so many times, but it’s probably time to read it all over again.
Follow Janet at:
- Website: www.janetclare.co.uk
- Instagram: @janeteclare
- Facebook: https://en-gb.facebook.com/JanetClareDesign/
- Pinterest: https://uk.pinterest.com/janetclare/
- Email club: http://eepurl.com/GBs4D
FIRST – for those who did our 2016 Challenge, I will have a setting for the 12 blocks in a few weeks when the quilt comes back from being quilted.
For 2017 I am making all the blocks with French General fabric. At my website I have a tutorial on how I keep the dark burgundy from showing behind the kitty fabric. And see the whole collection I’ll be using this year (and I might add a few things!)
I will create a setting for the 12 blocks sometime in January. You can always use a prior setting we did .. the previous 5 years of Designer blocks are HERE, where we have 2 settings for 12″ blocks
Are you on Facebook? I have a fantastic quilt group with the most incredible show and tell going on! You should see it! JOIN me HERE … I’d love to meet you!
******* JOIN our Aurifil Family *******
EACH MONTH we will pick one random winner that has made a block.. that person will receive a special Aurifil thread prize! Winners are all contacted email
Our RANDOM picker this month selected Lu! She has WON a BOX of Aurifil thread! Such gorgeous blocks entered .. see all the great versions HERE
REMEMBER – The Photo entry is moved to my website where more people can enter, right HERE
- Sign up for the Aurifil Newsletter… scroll to the NEWSLETTER box
- Become a member of the AURlfil fan page on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/aurifil.quilt.thread
- For more Aurifil project photos visit our FLICKR PAGE HERE
- See more quilts using Aurifil thread at our Flickr page