Meet the Maker: Sizzix Designer Angela Southey
Meet Angela Southey, a Creative Quilting Specialist for Sizzix, who enjoys spending her time crafting, baking and spending quality time with her precious family and friends. Angela has worked with the Sizzix team for the last three years and describes her style as traditional, however she is gathering inspiration from a range of different places including her flower garden and exciting holiday photos to experiment with her creations!
Sizzix Designer Angela Southey
Tell us a bit about your crafting passions.
Nearly all of my crafting passions revolve around fabrics and yarns, I have a long history in dressmaking and teaching. I love knitting – especially with beautiful fine lace weight yarns, but I also enjoy crochet, and beadwork. I’ve tried lacemaking and tatting but it takes too long to see a result so that didn’t last long! I’ve done quite a lot of cross-stitch and embroidery too. I enjoy cooking and baking as well.
I can’t manage without tone-on-tone fabrics – a bit more interesting than plain fabrics but a brilliant foil against the bright prints that I love
What is the best piece of crafting advice that you’ve ever been given?
I think the best advice has been to give it a go, for example the first quilt I made was a king size one for a friend – I was advised to start on something bigger but I might not have finished that because it would have been a compromise. So if you do attempt something which you’ve never done before make sure you choose a project you really want to make and with materials that you really like – you’ll be more likely to complete it!
How would you describe your craft style?
I’ve tended to be quite traditional but there are so many new ideas and ways to work now that I’m trying to branch out and try new colours and shape combinations.
What does a typical week look like for you?
A typical week beginning on a Monday starts with looking after two of my grand-daughters, aged one and three, so not a lot gets done – apart from playing and laughing which is great! In the school holidays I also have my five year old grand-daughter and we try to get a little bit of time sewing (she can already use a sewing machine with supervision.)
Tuesdays to Thursdays are my work days; which vary quite a lot, I can be preparing for shows and workshops, or designing and writing projects for some of the patchwork and craft magazines. I also have to make projects showcasing all of our different dies and that is a never-ending job – which is very exciting! Another privilege is to recommend and even sometimes design some dies to be added to the Sizzix range. I certainly don’t have time to become bored!
Fridays see me taking my mother in law shopping and maybe catching up on some housework. The weekends are usually my own, and I try to make some of my own projects, and catch up with family and friends, but sometimes there is a show to go to demonstrate or run workshops at.
Where do you usually make your projects?
I would love to be able to say to you that I work in a beautiful workroom with everything tidy and in order. However the truth is that since we converted a bedroom into my sewing room it has become obvious that I have far too much fabric, too many books and just not enough time. So I tend to cut out and stitch in my dining room, which has the advantage of looking out into the garden. I do still have a dream (or maybe a delusion) that I will manage to bring my room and its contents into order so that I can properly use it, but I’m not holding my breath yet!
What’s always in your craft stash?
I can’t manage without tone-on-tone fabrics – a bit more interesting than plain fabrics but a brilliant foil against the bright prints that I love.
Where do you find your inspiration?
Inspiration comes from several places like the garden; I love the colour mixes in the flowers, which can sometimes be outrageous, or it can be in something like a rock formation seen on holiday. It can also come from a new range of fabrics that just need to be used! Sometimes they just have to wait for a while until the right project comes along! (I’ve only just decided what I can make with a selection of fat quarters that have been on my mind for about 15 – 18 months!) Also it can come from a new die shape, or an old one that I want to play with to see just what I can do with it.
Who is your favourite artist or maker?
My favourite artists and makers are quite varied! I really like the colours and paintings of Monet, but I also love the work of Rennie Mackintosh. I like the work of Issey Miyake, and Georgio Armani. As for patchwork artists, I love looking through the new magazines and then following new designers to see what they are doing.
What one tip would you give to someone just starting out in craft about Sizzix?
The Sizzix machines are so simple to use, for patchwork they will give you the precision that you need to be able to create wonderful projects and for appliqué they will enable you to make things that you would never have the patience to cut by hand. But mainly I would say enjoy it and play with whatever medium you want to work with.
Share your biggest crafting achievement.
It’s difficult to select one thing! Initially it would have been the first quilt I made, but more recently I’ve been very pleased with a small hand pieced hexagon quilt – I’m not really into hand piecing so it was quite a challenge and it was fantastic to not only finish it but to have it featured in a magazine as well.
What are your favourite textile trends for winter 2014?
Textile trends I think will still have a focus on animals. There are also a lot of new young designers appearing bringing a new vibrancy and energy to the fabrics available. I also think that organic fabrics are becoming more popular and more readily available.
Textile trends I think will still have a focus on animals. There are also a lot of new young designers appearing bringing a new vibrancy and energy to the fabrics available
We’re very much looking forward to you blogging for Hobbycraft! What kind of thing can our readers’ expect?
Some of the projects that I create will be short quick items that can be made easily by anyone, but there will also be other projects that are developed over a period – maybe a whole quilt, for those who want something a bit more advanced. I hope there will be something for most people.
And for the future? What’s next for you?
My colleagues at work will laugh when I say that I want to develop my computer skills, they don’t come naturally or easily to me, and I want to be able to design more on the computer and play with shapes and colours.