Selvedge Fair: Wholecloth Studioby Polly Leonard
This March, Selvedge is hosting one of our popular artisan fairs in the beautiful city of Bath. Today, Jessica Edney speaks to Elinor from Wholecloth Studio, who will be exhibiting at the fair.
What is the story behind Wholecloth Studio?
I had been making quilts for over six years when in September 2017 I decided to give my work a new focus with the launch of Wholecloth Studio. Now I produce a range of quilts and quilted goods using high quality repurposed and waste textiles, including offcuts from garment makers and interior designers. Quilt making has a long and rich history of make do and mend and now more than ever we need to do everything we can to prevent usable textiles, produced at a great environmental cost, from ending up in the landfill. The feel and texture of each piece are really important though, so I use only natural fibres. Linen, wool, silk and cotton for the outer layers and wool, cotton or bamboo for the wadding. I’ve also recently started adding some naturally dyed textiles to my pieces, dyed with kitchen waste.
What do you love most about quilt-making?
I love the endless play of shape, colour and texture involved in making each quilt, cushion or wall hanging. Each piece is unique, created using freeform and improvisational piecing techniques until I reach the desired size. There’s not much planning involved beyond the initial choice of colours so it’s a wonderfully freeing creative process that gives me enormous joy!
What is your idea of an ideal Sunday?
I’m a homely sort of person so the perfect Sunday would always start with good coffee, a delicious breakfast of french toast or pancakes and the weekend papers. Eventually I’d drag the family out for a bracing walk somewhere (or more like a stroll to the park here in London) then we’d head home so I could fit in a few hours stitching before dinner.
If you could travel anywhere, where is the first place you would go?
As an all-around textile enthusiast, Japan is top of the travel bucket list. To see incredible indigo dyed, stitched and patched Boro textiles in person would be a truly humbling experience - they really knew about how to love and preserve precious textiles.