The last post introduced you to two textile artists and here is another who recycles, this time, some very old textiles.
Mandy Pattullo trained as a surface pattern designer and was encouraged by her college to look at old fabrics to get inspiration. This sparked an interest that led to Mandy to start collecting old pieces. Eventually she realised that rather than storing these things it would be far better to use them.
She works from a lovely studio from ‘The Hearth,’ Horsley, Northumberland where she creates beautiful collages using her collection of fabrics. Mandy does not buy any new fabrics but searches out items that will have been discarded as being worn out, stained, torn. She particularly likes old quilts (not easy to find). She will actually take an old damaged quilt apart, yielding a collection of old fabric pieces. In the past she has even managed to find an old Victorian quilt being used as wadding in a younger quilt!!
I first saw Mandy’s work at the Festival of Quilts where she has a solo show. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw her small studio space with collaged pieces and clothing on the walls. I loved it and took lots of photos. I searched them out for this article and discovered that the year was 2013 and that my camera was pretty rubbish, so apologies for this.
A couple of years later I came across her again, this time at Knit and Stitch in Harrogate and this time I bought a little piece of her work with a collaged bird sitting on piece of a Victorian log cabin quilt.
Since then Mandy’s book; ‘Textile Collage’ has been published which is full of information, tips on how to source fabric and some projects to think about. It is bulging with gorgeous photos, lots of eye candy if you like vintage fabric. Check it out.
At the Quilters Guild AGM in 2018 in Newcastle I was lucky enough to attend a Mandy Pattullo workshop. It was to create a collaged bird. I was very excited about it before hand, but got a bit nervous when I discovered we were to make an accurate picture of a particular bird rather than a made up one. I didn’t think I could draw an actual bird so making one with fabric – aaaaah!!
I needn’t have worried. We were all given a small piece of an old domestic whole cloth quilt with sheep wool wadding for our backgrounds. Mandy brought lots of bird pictures and was a great teacher, helping us to choose fabrics of the right colour, cut, scrunch, fold and hand stitch. I chose a picture of a sparrow, a small dull brown garden bird so I thought. Not so!! As with many things, when you take a proper look, the garden sparrow has lots of different colours. I was really thrilled with the end result if I say so myself 🙂
I loved working on the piece of someone else’s quilt in the background, adding to their stitches. This is how Mandy feels too, making a piece that is her own design but incorporating layers of fabric with a history of its own.
I bought another piece of Mandy’s work whilst at the AGM.
It is made up of so many little pieces of fabric, braid, some tapestry and the wadding is on show, emerging from the worn disintegrating background. It has been finished off with some old Liberty print on the back which is showing a little at the front.
For lots more information and photos go to http://www.mandypattullo.co.uk