Be Sure to Treat Yourself to a Free Online Class, Compliments of Our Featured Designer Sandie Lush
Sandie Lush of Winterbourne, England
Well known for her fine hand stitching and wholecloth quilt designs, Sandie Lush grew up with a strong knitting background. Her grandfather was an engineer who designed and serviced industrial knitting machines and by the time Sandie was two, her mother had one of the first home machine knitting models out on the market.
By the age of seven, Sandie could both hand and machine knit and by her teens was designing her own fairisle patterns and garments. She also learned cross stitch at school and that love has always stayed with her. Despite such an interest in needlecrafts, Sandie had not encountered patchwork and quilting until introduced to the craft many years later by her American sister-in-law in the early 1980’s. It was nearly another ten years and two children later before Sandie attempted to make her first quilt in1990, but it has been an obsession with her ever since.
Initially attracted to the bright colours and intricate piecing of patchwork, Sandie soon found her true love lay with the more subtle effects of the quilting stitch on solid fabrics. England has a rich tradition of wholecloth quiltmaking and Sandie embraced this wholeheartedly, soon becoming an expert on the traditions and techniques involved.
Tarian Aur (86 x 86 inch)
Columbine (32 x 42 inch)
In addition to using traditional motifs in her quilts, Sandie was soon designing and using original motifs of her own. She started to enter her quilts into shows and, because of their success, was soon demonstrating her hand quilting skills to others. It was a short step from there to printing and selling her own cushion and quilt designs.
Besides her interest in the traditional side of wholecloth quiltmaking, Sandie has also been keen to experiment. The 1999 Quilters Guild of the British Isles’ national exhibition challenge ‘Under the Covers’ was held at Lord's Cricket Ground in London and led her to create a single bed-sized wholecloth quilt that closely resembled a cricket sweater.
Slip One Knit One (40 x 70 inch)
Since then she has turned this idea around and knitted a quilt to resemble an antique Welsh quilt owned by collector Jen Jones. More recently she created a series of innovative sweater quilts exploring the use of both fabric and texture. These were displayed at the 2007 Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, England; this gallery can be seen on Sandie’s website, along with her other work.
Introduced to candlewicking and Caron threads by her friend Beryl Frank of Leven Crafts, Guisborough, England, Sandie has combined Beryl’s use of colonial knots and beadwork with a new set of original quilting designs to produce a whole series of wholecloth Colonial cushion patterns. These are available from several British quilt shops and from Sandie direct.
Her double-bed sized wholecloth quilt Crystal Dreams uses the same techniques and was a major prizewinner at the 2007 Festival of Quilts in England and the 2008 UK National Patchwork Championships. It was also a finalist at the International Quilt Association exhibition in Houston Texas (where Sandie has placed first on several occasions) and at the American Quilter's Society in Paducah. In April 2008 it won the Best Workmanship award at Quilters Heritage Celebration in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Crystal Dreams (90 x 90 inch)
Sandie has found this new technique very exciting and has used it not only for traditional designs but also (as mentioned above) in several of her less traditional sweater quilts.
Seed Stitch 6 (22 x 29 inch) Knot Stitch 4 (22 x 26 inch)
Sandie also lectures and teaches. More details can be found on her website or you can e-mail her to request a brochure.
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