We’ve been chatting with Pat Holly, maker of the prizewinning Paisley Peacock. Our discussion turned to sources of inspiration.
TQL: Where did you come up with the idea of embroidering your background fabric before you stitch the appliqué?
PH: The first time I used this idea was in 2000 on a small quilt. As usual, I was looking through some of my world textile books and I noticed something about many of the fabrics. Often there was something subtle happening in the background (maybe behind the embroidery). I also had just bought a new, fancy sewing machine with lots of decorative stitches. I wanted to use this feature of my machine, but whatever I did needed to have a purpose. I didn’t just want to add fancy stitches; I wanted them to have a reason to be there. So, looking at those old textiles gave me the idea to use the decorative stitches to create a background with texture. This has opened up a whole world of ideas – using different threads, different colors, different stitches (from a simple straight stitch or a small zigzag up to lovely complex designs) – there are so many variations possible. Try it –you create your own unique fabric!