We have a wonderful interview today with author Michele Hill, best known for her William Morris–inspired appliqué designs (check out More William Morris Appliqué). Her new book, Stitching with Beatrix Potter, will be out soon.
Who has inspired your creativity?
It is my quilting friends and students who constantly inspire and encourage me to create new designs. Of course William Morris and now Beatrix Potter have been my biggest inspirations!
What is something we might not know about you?
I won airplane tickets to the United Kingdom in a raffle in 1997 while I was working part-time as an RN, and it was on that winning trip that I first saw William Morris designs in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. If it wasn’t for my passion for William Morris, I would never have met Helen Bertram (previous chairman of the Beatrix Potter Society), who encouraged me to write this latest Beatrix Potter book. I often wonder what I would be doing if I hadn’t won those tickets! (And to think I told them to redraw the raffle as I didn’t have the time to go to the UK! The woman who phoned me told me to go and have a cup of tea and think about what I said and she would call back in ten minutes to see if I had changed my mind about a redraw—it was a life changing stroke of fate!)
What are you working on right now?
I am hand stitching an interactive children's bed runner made from Japanese fabrics and wool felt. It tells the story of Peter Rabbit in Mr. MacGregor's garden and children can play with a wool felt Peter and various pieces that have studs on the back. It turns into a carry bag with pockets to store books and the interactive pieces. And of course I am working on a new series of William Morris pieces with a modern and bright twist reflecting the 1970s. These works will be entirely free-motion stitched—a new thing for me!
Can you share with us one quilting tip?
To enjoy every stitch and not aim for perfection. Life is too short, and this is supposed to be fun!