Hi I’m Pat Sloan the Aurifil Designer of the Month coordinator. June’s Designer of the month is the ultra talented Norwegian designer Wencke Wolff Hatling. If you have not yet heard of Wencke you are in for a REAL treat my friends. She is an experienced designer, a very enthusiastic shop owner (who does videos for her customers) and her designs are beyond delightful! I’m been happy to call Wencke my friend and you are going to adore her designs.
I interviewed Wenke on my Radio show on March 5, 2012. To Listen CLICK HERE. then scroll down until you see the Green “Disco” ball. Once the shows load.. scroll the radio player and listen!
She did a video as she toured the Aurifil plant.. CLICK TO see her video and CLICK HERE to her Youtube channel. Some videos are in English, like her interview of me, and some in Norwegian! She also has one of all her new designs in her booth at market.
EACH MONTH we will pick one random winner that has made a block from our designers and that random person receives a FULL BOX of my Aurifil thread as the prize! Winners are all contacted via Flickr email and posted at our Flickr page in the winner topics.
Let’s meet Wencke! (pronounced Ven-Key)
When was your FIRST quilt sighting? Did it inspire you to start quilting?
I have always loved hand crafting. Knitting, weaving, crochet, sewing clothes, wood working… I did them all, at school, in the local 4H-club and at home. My mother always knitted, but I had Aunts who started patchwork and quilting in the mid 1990s. I saw their work, and wanted to give it a try, and bought a quilt magazine and discovered that I couldn’t and didn’t want to follow the instructions, I wanted to make my own patterns! And so, my Aunt came to me, saw what I had been working on and said “Do you have a pattern for that? I want to make it!”… so I started making patterns and called my company “Northern Quilts”!
Do you still have your first project you ever made?
I think my first project were used for a cat bed! I started out sewing a lot of blocks, using home dec cottons, old curtains and craft cottons before I discovered quilting quality cottons. I remember paper piecing was big when I started, so some of my first quilts featured paper pieced blocks. This is photo from 2002, with me and my baby daughter sitting on the lawn with a lot of quilts and a lot of unfinished quilt tops around us. Not every project should be finished you know, sometimes you just have to move on!
We all have parts of the process we ‘prefer’ more than others. What part of quilt making do you ‘Prefer’ most and why? And which the least.. and why?
I especially like the planning process! I love to sketch my ideas and make a fabric pile with all the fabrics for the project! This is the fun part, to bring an idea to life… to make it happen with colors, textures and shapes. The actual piecing is more like a “chore”- something that has to be done. And hand stitching the binding to the back- love that one- because when it’s done, you get the reward by having a complete and finished project!
Did you have a career prior to making art, and what was it?
I’m an architect by profession, and I have worked as an architect for many years, doing public planning, designing houses and urban spaces. My quilt design business Northern Quilts, which is a big quilt shop and web shop (www.northernquilts.no) in Norway, grew bigger and in 2010 I quit my architect job to work full time as a designer and quilt shop owner. I have 4 kids and a house full of unfinished projects & plans… and I came to a point when I couldn’t do both architecture business and quilting business- I was exhausted and had to choose. But I love my work as an entrepreneur now- I’m growing my business and finally, all my work to get my designs “out there”, seem to start to pay off!
When you want to ‘recharge your batteries’ what do you do?
Recharging in Norway is easy… you just walk straight out of your house and into great nature! I have a overgrown, old and lovely garden, and garden work is always relaxing for me. I’m not a sporty girl, so I love sleeping!And I love fishing in small lakes by the mountains, to be close to northern nature. I love to be with my husband for 21 years, and my kids- I have 4 of them, my youngest is 9 and my oldest is 19- and I’m so happy when we’re able to do something together.
We have a family hobby; we dress up as Norwegian Vikings, and attend Viking Festivals, demonstrating Viking handcraft like tablet weaving (me) and wood pole lathe turning (my husband). Very fun!
Do you have a tip or trick to make your quilt making easier?
I love using the Aurifil12 wt for stitchery, and have been using this thread for many years. We have a Northern Quilts Stitchery Club, and small spools with superb Aurifil 12wt is always used for my stitchery designs.
To give the motifs more shape and dimension, my tip is to do some coloring. I use children’s wax crayons, which can be fixated with a hot iron. Draw the motif using a water soluble pen. Lay the color slightly to the contour line to give some dimension to the motif. Don’t fill the whole area with color. Color in thin layers, and fixate with an iron for each layer. Stitch the motif with Aurifil 12wt, and when you’re finished, rinse the stitchery in lukewarm water to get rid of drawn line.
Do you have a process you go through to get your ideas started?
Inspiration comes from art, books and my garden. I do a lot of garden photos, and the colors could be the starting point of a quilt. I sketch a lot, and these small drawings often become stitchery motifs. By visiting trendy interior blogs and web sites, I also get a lot of inspiration!
What are your 3 favorite colors of Aurifil thread?
That’s a easy question! First, the loveliest Red ever created; the 2260. Deep, warm, excellent Christmasy red! And so, the fresh lime green, the 1147, sweet and acidic! And last, the trusty neutral companion, the steel grey 1158, which is a great color for accenting lines. I’ve used this for adding an embroidery touch to my latest Block- of the Month project, the True Love & Happiness Quilt BOM; which was presented now at International Quilt Market in Portland in May.
What does your studio look like?
My studio looks like a mess! I do my quilting in the quilt shop, but I work mostly with my designs from my home studio, which doubles as my office, the family library and a spare guest room! Fabrics are kept in plastic bins, and my sewing table is constantly flowing with project piles! That’s piles with the sketches underneath, then fabrics in a pile, and then the thread on top of the pile! The view from my sewing table is great though, I can see straight into my garden, and in the winter, when there are no leaves on the trees, I can see the snow covered mountains on the border between Norway and Sweden, far far away!
Do you have an interesting tutorial to share?
This tutorial creates a “Star from a Hexagon”, super easy and fun, plus shows off your Aurifil thread! CLICK HERE
Anything else you’d like to share?
I’m not a quilt “artist”. My designs are not ART. My quilt designs should be fun! If I can put a smile on somebody’s face when they see my quilts and patterns, I’ve succeeded! Quilting should be relaxing, enjoyable and easy to accomplish, and give the quilt maker a good feeling!
What is the Rock and Roll Song that Inspired your Quilt Block (and it’s name)
As a child of the 80’s, I love the dead sexy Sting and the Police! The song “Everything she does is magic” is a great song and a absolute favorite of mine. Please see the youtube-video of the Berlin Concert- I love it when the conductor makes a little jump! And of course, it’s also my reminder to you: Everything you do with your hands, is truly magic!
CLICK HERE to download the Magic Star Block Pattern by Wencke Wolff Hatling
- The Book you are currently reading
Like thousands of people all over the world, I’ve just finished Dan Browns “Inferno” on my Kindle… so now I’m back to some easy, laidback classics; the Jeeves novels by P.G.Woodehouse!
- The Color you have always LOVED…..
Favorite colors: I love every color, but classics like red and blue are especially nice! And I love lime green and chocolate browns!
All the links that you want to share.
www.northernquilts.no (the shop)
www.northernquilts.blogspot.com (the blog)
and I’m on Instagram as well, as “Northernquilts”
My block! Go to my blog for a little color placement discussion. Now that I have 5 blocks done, I’m really working the color placement each month.. see the different options I had to get to the final block CLICK HERE TO MY BLOG
and I hope you join me, Pat Sloan, at my facebook FUN PAGE
And read my daily blog http://blog.patsloan.com
Sign up for my Newsletter CLICK HERE
or join my quilt group! http://www.quiltmashup.com
Looking for Aurifil? CLICK HERE to our shop finder!
We also would love you to ask your local quilt shop to carry our thread if they do not do so already. If they do carry our thread, yippee!
If your local shop carries our thread and is not on the shop finder list, write to me email@example.com and I’ll be sure they are added!
EACH MONTH we will pick one random winner that has made a block.. that person will receive a special Aurifil thread prize! Winners are all contacted via Flickr email and posted at our Flickr page in the winner topics.
You can make ANY of the 2013 blocks to be in the running (and we hope you make them all!). Share your photos at our Flickr Folder… we can’t WAIT to see what you do!
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Your work is awesome and inspiring.
Beautiful block and a great interview!
Love your Rock and Roll block and it’s inspiration. The video was fun to watch–the orchestra seemed to be enjoying themselves too!
Love the Rock and Roll block! Interesting to read the interview about your life and your quilting. Thanks!
I was very fortunate to me Wencke at Market in Portland last month. Love her designs!! Thanks for sharing this great interview. 🙂
Spelling of name? Wenche or Wencke? 🙂