June 23, 2022
Designer Spotlight: Jen Kingwell
Jen Kingwell was not born into quilting; her love of fabric and thread seemed to spring up from her soul. There wasn’t a sewing machine in her childhood home and her mother didn’t sew. But when young Jen received pretty scraps from a family friend, she hand-stitched clothing for her dolls, and her creative spark grew into a flame that would last a lifetime.
Decades later, Jen is a talented textile designer, quilter, and teacher. She is known for hand-sewn quilts that sing with vibrant color and pattern. In 2005, Jen opened Amitié Textiles, one of Australia’s leading quilt shops.
Jen’s style is vintage, scrappy, colorful, and FUN. We’re so excited to get to know a bit more about this incredible quilter!
What is your favorite part of the quilting process?
- Hand piecing - I just find it incredibly relaxing and mindful.
What other fabric designer do you admire?
There are so many! But I love Carolyn Friedlander for bringing a very unique and different aesthetic. Her achitectural background reads strongly in her deisgns. You always know a CF fabric when you see it. As a scrap quilter who mixes many genres, I find Carolyn's fabric always plays well with others.
What notion or sewing tool are you most dependent on?
Other than our normal tools I love the chain stitch thingy that cuts the threads in between the chain. I don’t know what it’s called.
How were you introduced to sewing and quilting?
A reallly good pair of scissors.
What was the most frustrating sewing project you ever worked on?
Anything by machine!!!!!!!!
What do you do to find inspiration/encourage your creativity?
Inspiration is absolutely everywhere if you learn to keep your eyes open. I am like every other designers out there, I have moments where I have too many ideas and not enough hours in the day, and other times where I have all day without a single idea popping into my head.
What occupation would you like to try if sewing/making wasn’t an option?
I would love to try interior design, although plumming is where the money seems to be....
Who is your favorite fictional character?
Idgie Threadgood, from Fried Green Tomatoes... She is a strong, fiece woman who I admire
What fabric have you been hoarding/saving the longest?
I'm not a fabric hoarder.. I hoard a lot of other things but not fabric. I like to use what I love in my projects. And when you do that you're able to look at it a lot more often then when it's tucked away in a cupboard. I will say, there are some fabrics that I look at years later that I wish I still had a small piece of, so maybe I should start hoarding a little bit?
Describe your perfect day.
April 25th.. "not too hot, not too cold...all you need is a light jacket." - haha I love to movie Miss Congeniality, so I had to include this little joke. But realy, anyday that I get to do hand stitching.. I can feel my blood pressure lowers. Listen, if that happens to by a pool then that's even better!!!
Published by Danae M.