Twelve ways of #Craftmas: The Fabric of Times Past

Born out of a loathing for the corporate exploitation of Black Friday Sales and Christmas marketing, #Craftmas aims to get word out about the artists, artisans and craftspeople making beautiful gifts. Why buy a mass produced piece of plastic when you can gift an exclusive and interesting piece made by a creator-maker looking to make a living.

Support #Craftmas by using it to Tweet about your favourite makers, by using the hashtag as a Christmas shopping directory or simply by retweeting!

I have always loved fabric – I can often be found stroking cushions,clothes and bedding in shops.”


Lampshade, pillows and quilt in vintage fabric, by Quilterdown

Nicki, of Quilterdown, is all about the material things, but not in the corporate way. Her one-woman-and-a-cat business uses vintage, recycled and upcycled fabrics to create new and unique quilts, cushions and lampshades. Her work owes a debt to the past – and not just in the retro materials she creates from.

As a child, I was surrounded by fabrics,” she explained. “I have been sewing as long as I can remember. My mother used to make all my clothes and I learned at her knee. As a new wife I made curtains, cushions and such for my first home and I have always made clothes.”

Nicki first started stitching quilts after a visit to a vintage fair around ten years ago.

She said: “I walked into the room and was suddenly surrounded by the most amazing vintage fabrics. I was gobsmacked and inspired. From that point, I knew vintage fabrics were my future.”

Starting out with a quilt as a birth-gift for her god-daughter her quilting enterprise began to grow and the hobby flourished into art which in turn grew into her own business, Quilterdown.

Drawing inspiration from the world around her – whether it be the customer, tiles on a floor, Pinterest or the fabric itself – Nicki works alone in her South East London shed, an oasis of calm amongst the birds and trees of her garden.

Quilting makes me happy,” said Nicki. “Working out a design,putting it together and seeing it work gives me pleasure!! Even a really simple design is wonderful to put together. I make a lot of baby quilts and receive a lot of pictures from parents – it’s so wonderful to see a beautiful baby lying on one of my quilts!”

She added: “Quilting will always be my world. I love the maths involved, despite never always being rubbish at maths, the cutting, the design, the fabric choices! I love working with a customer to make something utterly unique.”

Nicki’s work is available on Folksy. Follow her on Instagram and Facebook.  


Image of Nicki, standing by a poker table
Nicki, the creative force behind Quilterdown
  • Want more #Craftmas inspirations? Nicki recommends: The House of Upcycling (@thehouseofup) on Instagram; RevampedbySara – @revampedbysara (Insta & Facebook); @TheBlueberryPatch (Insta & FB); HandmadeandVintage – @handmadeandvintage (Insta & FB); @whenidecorate and @wittydawnuk

Author: lilithinfurs

Milk maker, shape thrower and drinker of Yorkshire Tea

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