Karen Lewis’s debut collection for Robert Kaufman features her signature screen printing overprinted onto Kona® cotton solids. Blueberry Park is an excellent representation of her passion for textiles, pattern, and color, featuring a wide array of bold and bright colors with uniquely printed patterns. We’ve been fans of Karen’s work for quite some time and were so incredibly thrilled by the opportunity to create a coordinating thread collection. We had a chance to chat with her a bit about her process and what she loves most about this collection. Read on for a sneak peek into Karen’s world, and don’t miss out on the AMAZING giveaway!
THREAD COLLECTION DETAILS
Karen Lewis Textiles
100% Aurifil Cotton, 50wt
Large – 1422yds each, 12 Colors, Large Spools
Small – 220 yds each, 10 Colors, Small Spools
For purchasing, please contact your local Aurifil Dealer.
Tell us a bit about yourself and how you first came into this amazing world of textiles?
I have always been a crafter thanks to my very creative Grandma but it was always a hobby that I drifted in and out of. After I became a Mum of 3, I took a break from my career as a teacher and went back to sewing on a more regular basis. This was around the time that the internet took off along with social media and it was very easy to see what crafters and communities all around the globe were up to. I was very drawn to discovering screen printed fabrics and bought them from designers and makers in Australia and South Africa to use in my sewing.
When did you first start screen-printing and was there a particular ‘aha’ moment that you just knew it was what you wanted to do?
I started screen printing about 5 years ago. I loved sourcing and using printed textiles. As my now formed textile business was developing I knew I wanted to design and use my own fabrics to make my work more identifiable as me. I booked onto a screen printing course at my local studio and literally from the first minute I was completely and utterly hooked! I loved the whole process and haven’t looked back since.
You’ve been working with your own screen-printed fabrics for quite some time… how did the partnership with Robert Kaufman first come about and what has that process been like for you?
I was using a lot of Kona cottons in my work, printing directly over the top of them. One day it came to the attention of the peeps at Kaufman who loved what I was doing. It really was a dream come true having my designs put onto yardage. RK made the whole process a really positive one and I just love the result we have created together. Right from the beginning, RK focused on the fact that I am a hand printer and wanted to recreate the same technique but on a larger scale. I just love the fact that my fabrics are an overprint, just like they are when I personally print them by hand. It feels like a natural and true reflection of my work.
What is your favorite thing about ‘Blueberry Park’? Do you have a favorite print or colorway?
What a hard question! I think my favourite print wold have to be Allotments because of it’s versatility. It is really about 9 prints in 1! I also have a big soft spot for Scruffy Daisy as it was my very first print that I ever designed. As for colours, by the fact that I struggled to narrow down Kona’s 330 colours to just 70 for the collection tells you how hard that was!
Are you still running screen-printing workshops and what is your favorite thing about sharing your passion with a classroom full of eager students?
Yes, I am very busy with running workshops. It seems everyone wants to learn to screen print and I am certainly a big advocate of spreading the love! I am a teacher by training so I have always been passionate about passing on skills. The thing I love most about teaching is seeing the students’ enthusiasm as they succeed in turning a design into a print. The whole experience is infectious.
What is one piece of advice that you give students who are just starting out?
Give yourself time to develop your skills and style. Screen printing itself isn’t a difficult process but putting everything together and progressing doesn’t happen over night. Enjoy the journey!
What first drew you to Aurifil threads?
To me, Kona and Aurifil go hand in hand. Aurifil, like Kona, offers such diversity whilst being the best quality you can buy. I love that about Aurifil, that you have so much choice without compromising on quality.
How did you go about selecting colors for your first Aurifil thread box and what was that experience like for you? Do you have a favorite colour?
I had to have a silver in there as that is my go to colour when I don’t want a colour per se. As for the rest I wanted to pick colours across the rainbow spectrum that most compliment the fabrics from the collection that I use the most. The collection came together pretty easily really, although it was hard to leave 2 out for the small box! I had so much fun picking the colours and like the Kaufman fabric collection it is such a thrill for me to have my own box. I can’t thank you guys enough!
Thank YOU Karen:)
To enter-to-win, simply click here to head to the Rafflecopter entry page, or simply click on the image above. You do not have to complete all the options to be entered but the more options you choose, the more entries you have! Entries will be accepted from now through 11:59pm Eastern Time on April 27th! Winner will be randomly selected and announced on Thursday, April 28th. Good luck!
UPDATE: This giveaway is now CLOSED. Congratulations to our winner, Roxanne Hartwig!
LEARN MORE ABOUT KAREN
Website — Blog — Instagram — Facebook — RK Designer Page
Karen was born and brought up in Leeds, West Yorkshire in the UK where she learned to sew and knit with her grandmother. It was several years later, after turning her back on her formal education and teaching career, that she came back to her crafting roots.
While living and teaching in London, Karen met her husband and together they brought up their 3 children there, but when they moved back to Leeds in 2004, she left her teaching career behind and started her crafting business Blueberry Park. Karen always had a passion for textiles, pattern and color and after a brief silkscreen printing course in 2011, she set about teaching herself more about this technique in order to design her own fabric.
Karen’s obsession with screen printing set in and soon she was printing and designing all day, every day perfecting her skills. She was using her fabrics in her own work as well as selling it to other quilters and crafters.
With her passion for screen printing and her skills as a teacher, she started to run screen printing workshops, passing on her skills and teaching others how to design fabric and screen print, particularly at home with little specialist equipment and space. In 2014 Karen brought out her first book Screen Printing at home, teaching the reader all they need to know and what to do to produce great screen prints from the kitchen table.
Karen is also a prolific quilter and her work is regularly seen in Love Patchwork and Quilting as well as Quilt Now magazines. As well as running workshops in her home in Leeds, she has taught at the Fat Quarterly Retreat and around the UK. Blueberry Park is her first collection with Robert Kaufman. — text via Robert Kaufman