Sometimes, you come across something so gorgeous, you just have to have it or, if it’s something craft based, try and make it yourself! That’s how I felt when I discovered Jan Tillet’s work.
Jan is a textile designer and maker living and working in Devon. She creates the most exquisite things – from jumpers to handbags to embroidered bowls using amazing fabrics like organza, shrink polyester and even water soluble fabric to create her amazing textiles.
She says the inspiration for her textiles comes mainly from natural forms and textures. From the tiniest of seeds to a favourite view – Jan is inspired by the colours and textures that are all around her, often in unexpected combinations.
To make the embroidered textiles, she builds up layers of fabric that are then stitched and manipulated, sometimes with a heat gun, sometimes by cutting back into the layers and always adding more stitching until she is satisfied with the fabric she has created.
The embroidered fabric is then used to make a bag – either as a whole fabric or as a panel or decorative feature.
I just couldn’t find a free day to match up with any of her course dates so Jan came to visit me. She patiently and brilliantly taught me the basics of freestyle machine embroidery and her ability as well as her knowledge fired my enthusiasm to continue experimenting long after the day was over. When I can, I’ll hopefully be able to follow up with some more courses to add to the techniques and information she showed me – it was an amazing few hours!
She runs all sorts of courses and I can highly recommend her as a tutor. You can find out more on her website.
There are also quite a few interesting demonstrations on YouTube which are worth watching to give you inspiration.