Friday, 30 March 2012

My Modern Muse - Hadley at Flying Blind on a Rocket Cycle

It`s the last day of the current My Modern Muse series.  I am so excited to have today`s guest with me.  She`s as sassy and fun as she is creative and talented and has a heart of gold. Last but not least, I have the inimitable Hadley from Flying Blind on a Rocket Cycle with me in Marrakech today.

I decided to take Hadley on a trek in the beautiful and verdant Ourika Valley.  Here is a photo of our trusty steeds. It was a bumpy ride at times but Hadley was good enough to share with me a little about what inspires her.

Annabella Welcome to Morocco Hadley. For those who don’t know you, how would you describe your style?
Hadley I’m not sure I have a style, I like modern fabrics, and don’t purport to do anything that a lot of modern quilters aren’t doing too; I don’t like twee, or what is probably best described as ‘old fashioned’.  I like graphic prints, I don’t like fussy, or wishy-washy; you won’t catch me making anything in pastel peach batik! 

Annabella So what inspired you to take up quilting in the first place?
Hadley It’s a story I have mentioned before, but I wanted to do something with some of the fabric samples I’d collected over the year I was completing my Interior Design City & Guilds; I wanted a souvenir and also some way to use them, so I invented modern quilting! Honestly, two years ago I had no idea this was something people aged under 70 did too! I then went to the V&A for the Quilts exhibition as part of my 40th birthday weekend in London and there was no going back.

Don’t tell anyone, but I am not a fan of ‘fancy’ quilting!  I admire anyone who can do all the feathering and other complex quilting designs, but they just aren’t my style at all.

Hadley`s Brit Bee Constellation quilt
Annabella When you are offline, what things in life inspire you to create your beautiful quilts?
Hadley I quilt and sew to keep myself sane, oh yes, and am always thinking about what I’d like to be making, especially whilst I am in meetings at work!  I love the thought that what I am making is unique; and for the quilts that I have given as gifts, I think this makes them all the more special. 
I see patterns in brickwork, and everyday objects; and unlikely things get me daydreaming; I have also reached the point when if my hands aren’t busy sewing, or maybe trying to get to grips with crochet, then I’ll more often than not have pen and paper in hand, writing lists of things to make or occasions that need a quilty touch!

Made in Cherry
Annabella Apart from your immediate family, who has been your greatest creative inspiration in your life and why?
Hadley I come from artistic stock; my father is a photographer and painter; he now makes modern stained glass too, so I have been surrounded by art and creativity all my life.  It’s not genetic though!  I can’t draw anything that doesn’t require a ruler to save my life. 

I took an O Level in Dressmaking, a long time ago when I probably needed about half the fabric I’d need now, and I also did Graphic Design, which I love.  My teachers and family were always supportive, but I took the mathematical, sociological road!

My husband is the artistic one – I am the brains (ha ha), I tend to have an idea in my head, but need him to put it on paper/screen.  We are a team!

Annabella Which blog do you find a constant source of inspiration?
Hadley The first quilting blog I followed was filminthefridge at the time Ashley was churning out so many awesome quilts; many were simple patchwork squares but the most amazing fabrics I had ever seen, I still check out every post but there are so many others that I cannot narrow it down, your good self included of course!

Annabella Can you tell me a little about the beautiful quilt you have brought with you?
Hadley I love my Happy Scrappy quilt – because it just is!!  It started as part of a QAL over at Aneela’s Comfort Stitching blog, but I just went on and did my own thing.

Happy Scrappy quilt
It’s not a huge quilt in the slightest, only about 45” square, but at the time I made it, it was full of techniques totally new to me, wonky log cabins, fussy cut centres and using up so many different fabrics.  It made me happy when I was making it, it was my first flickr Explore! and it was my first real experience of the whole modern quilting community.

Annabella  Do you have a favourite quilting book Hadley?
Hadley The first books I bought were Material Obsession I& II.  I have to admit I haven’t made anything from them but I just love the colours and potential they exude.  One day I will make one of those huge beauties!

Annabella I know you love pinterest so where can people find you?
Hadley Of course I pin, although I am not as prolific as many others.  I do get a buzz when I get the emails to say someone has re-pinned something I have pinned.  I know they are interested in the original tutorial or quilt, but I like the confirmation that I must have great taste!  I am here  It’s kind of cool when I see that someone has pinned something of mine too!  I feel flattered, not like calling a lawyer!
Annabella Is there something (a design, technique) you haven’t tried yet that you would love to do?
Hadley Well thanks to Katy at thelittlestthistlecraftshop I am honing my paper-piecing skills…

Hadley`s Circle of Geese block

I am in awe of Ayumi and Kerry and would love to be able to get my ideas onto fabric.  I have managed to break down pictures into component parts, but that’s as far as I have got; the TARDIS probably should have been paper-pieced, but I hadn’t got the skills then.


I would also like to have a go at improv, your Modern Mini quilt is a stunner – go on, show the lovely people again, I love it so much! (The people who just look at the pictures will think I made it!).
Annabella This is your interview but if you really insist...

Annabella Do you find there is a color palette you come back to again and again?
Hadley I had a bit of pink overkill when I started buying fabric, and then I avoided it for a while but I am starting to feel the love again.  I lean towards the green-turquoise-aqua side of the spectrum, along with grey and orange; I tend to run screaming from most brown and red, (there are exceptions!).

Annabella Who is a creative inspiration you would most love to have 30 minutes of their time and why?
Hadley Well it couldn’t be anyone too famous, as I would just blush, talk utter crap, forget to breathe and disgrace myself!  So now anyone I pick will think they are not A-list, bugger! So if I could pull myself together, I think it would be some of the Gee’s Bend ladies.  I think they would be infinitely more fascinating than well-to-do ladies with their white-washed lofts and multi-line fabric deals.

Annabella Who is your favorite designer?
HadleyI have way too many; every time I think I can narrow it down to 3 or 4, I think of another half a dozen.  Denyse Schmidt can do no wrong in my eyes, and that may justify why I just spent an obscene amount on the Flea Market Fancy reprint.  I am part-truly upset, and part-relieved that we do not have Joanns or Spotlight in the UK, or I would be big trouble with my husband!

Annabella  Why do you think quilting has become so popular again?
Hadley I am so not at all qualified to answer this, and maybe it is just that blogging and other modern technology has made it look popular again.  Even my village has an old-timers traditional quilting and patchwork group; I suspect those old dears were young once too!  I think the social side of quilting has exploded from the confines of the small groups, that would meet in person, to worldwide groups of like-minded people sharing their loves and makes instantly via flickr and blogs.
Some of our American friends seem to have been involved in more ‘modern quilting’ for a long time, maybe it’s just elsewhere, where we are just starting to re-kindle the desire for home-makery, quilting, sewing, knitting and cooking.  OK, not so much about the cooking round at my place!
The fact that online communities can also become real-life friends is also part of it.  Fat Quarterly Retreat is going to be the best internet dating meet-up ever!
Thank you so much for having me, I can’t wait until June xxx

Annabella I`ve loved having you here today Hadley and can`t wait to meet you again in June!

If you don`t know Hadley, do pop over to her`s and say`hi`. Thank you to all the other wonderful ladies who shared their thoughts throughout the month. If you missed any of the other interviews, here`s the list.  Just click on the link!

Jennifer at Ellison Lane quilts
Laura at Needles Pins & Baking Tins
Sarah at Fairyface Designs
Jennifer at The Enchanted Bobbin
Toni at Hoosier Toni
Susan at Canadian Abroad
Di at Random Thoughts Do or `Di`
Leanne at She Can Quilt


Mrs Flying Blind... said...

Next year we do it for real!

Thank you so much for having me and the others over to play, it was great fun xxx

Deborah said...

What a great interview! I I love Hadley and her work!

Rhonda the Rambler said...

Another great interview with a great lady!!!

Leanne said...

Lovely interview, but there she is still on about the brown!

Sarah said...

Lovely interview :-)

patchworkdelights said...

Oh what a great read, I love reading H's posts they always make me laugh she is so witty and her work is great too!

Unknown said...

Yey for Had! Heart of gold is right :-) She's a bit like an overcooked souffle really... crunchy on the outside, but gooey and warm in the middle! said...

another great interview. Way to end the series with a bang!

Judith, Belfast said...

The thought of Hadders on one of those donkeys makes me crease up!! Great interview A! Jxo

Kelly said...

Great interview!

Isisjem said...

Great post. Did riding those donkey's give Hadley a sore bum? I really did think the Tardis was paper pieced. And I'm sorry to hear this is the last modern muse cos I've really enjoyed reading them all

Lizzie Allen said...

Just the thought of Hadders on that poor donkey had me rofl! Loely interview.

Nicky said...

I was looking for Hadley in the donkey photo but I guess she has ducked out of sight! haha! Too much BROWN!

She is too awesome in her abilities - you didn't PP the TARDIS Hadley?

Canadian Abroad said...

This has been a great series, Annabella. So pleased to read Hadley's interview and love, love, love the fact that you stuck her on a donkey. Ha!

Cherie said...

What a great interview!! =D

Susan Snooks said...

I have so enjoyed reading your Modern Muse series! Hadley is a hoot! (oops!)

Katy Cameron said...

Hee hee, so glad you made her go on a donkey trek rather than pampering her by the pool ;o)

Archie the wonder dog said...

A fabulous interview with a fabulous quilter and blogger!!