Throw over your bedspread, snuggle up on the sofa, hang on your sitting room wall or start a new family heirloom and give one to your niece for her 1st birthday. These quilts are totally and utterly beautiful and will complete any room in your home. Each one-of-a-kind quilt is handmade using sustainable fabrics by the talented Julius Arthur. Read on for our chat with Julius himself as we find out what goes into making each much sought-after piece…
TELL US ABOUT HOUSE OF QUINN. HOW DID IT ALL COME ABOUT?
House of Quinn was created in 2016 and represents a place where making and design come together to produce items and objects that integrate into our everyday lives.
I have always liked to create things that become part of a person’s narrative. Clothing, interior objects, my short stint in silversmithing at college, it was always focused on making objects that people can hold memory in. I have always been fascinated with collecting and building a narrative or personal story with the objects we choose to have around us, or the story within an object, especially if it is found. Maybe it comes from a car boot sale or antique shop or you buy an object as a memento of experience or remembrance of something. It has it’s own history and then by choosing it you give it a new life and carry that story on until it may leave you and start the next part of its existence.
Quilts are objects that are imbued with a history of community, memory, utility, and practicality and as an object, something I really connected with so I carried on down that path and that is where I have found myself today. Working with a blend of traditional quilting techniques and a modern approach to textile composition to create objects people can connect with but that also have a use or place in our everyday lives.
WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DAY LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?
A typical day for me is getting up and heading to the office before coming home to create, make and work on my quilts. At the moment I have a full-time day job and my design practice is an escape for me. I will wake up and head to the office for 9am and start my day at work where I manage a wonderful team of people in digital marketing and then I head home, make a cup of tea and sit down with a quilt. It sounds (and at times does feel) very full on and it is a lot of work. It would be wonderful to be working in a big open space. But that is not the reality for me and for a lot of creative design practitioners.
I work from my studio at home and I create and make in my spare time. I will pop on radio 6 or a Jonathan Van Ness Podcast episode while I get to work on a quilt or reply to some emails. Sometimes I have people come over and we make tea and chat over the quilts as we sew. So that is a really lovely part of my day if I have the opportunity and time to be able to do that.
At the weekends I do a lot of work as well but it will be broken up with a wander into Brighton’s Lanes or having coffee with friends. Now that Spring is here it is car boot season, so looking for inspiration or beautiful objects at the car boot is a happy place for me and something I really enjoy.
HOW DO YOU TAKE YOUR COFFEE?
It depends on my mood it is either very white and a latte or very black and it has one sugar in it. I know, sacrilege but there you go.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO MAKE A QUILT, FROM START TO FINISH?
It really depends, everything is pretty much done by hand apart from two machine processes and every quilt is different so the time can vary with each design. On average it can take two to four weeks or more to finish a quilt and larger pieces can take months to complete.
You start with the textiles sourcing which is a really nice part. I use sustainable and renewed textiles, so that could be beautiful Irish linens from the mills and finishers, or it could be some vintage cotton that I will re-dye with natural plant dyes or hand paint to renewed the fabrics.
Then the collection will be designed around what materials I have collected. After this, the process of putting the quilts comes together. Laying out the three layers of the quilt before the hand applique starts, where I compose the shapes and build the layers and collage together. After that, the hand quilting begins and it ends with hand finishing the binding and adding our label.
WHAT ARE YOUR MAIN SOURCES OF INSPIRATION?
I am fascinated and inspired by how people collect, what they collect, objects that have personal narratives and how they integrate into the daily rituals we make for ourselves day to day. I am also looking at things personal to me, for example, my Cornish background and references to the land and folklore within the rich history of Cornwall. I admire and love a lot of creative references and artists but I try to put first-hand experiences into my work.
FAVOURITE ITEM IN YOUR HOME RIGHT NOW?
That is a really difficult one because I am a very sentimental person. So to name one would be very very hard for me.
At the moment my most precious items in my home or on my person are a signet ring my mother gave me for my 30th birthday, a silver ring my friend hand made and I bought to celebrate new friends and connections when I was at London Design Fair last year. A framed photo of me and my sister when we were children and a handmade unmarked stoneware bowl I found in a charity shop that is so beautiful and unusual and I use it to hold threads and needles while I am quilting.
FAVOURITE PROJECT/COLLAB SO FAR?
I have two and they are both centred around the people I met while I was involved in those projects.
The first one was a project I worked on with four other makers for London Design Fair in 2018. We put together a space called ‘“The Studio” where we all created work that came together as one design concept for a living space. The people I met doing that show have become my really close friends and I adore them and thank them for allowing me to be part of that experience.
The second is the biggest project I have undertaken to date after London Design Fair and that is working with Toast. They have taken me and four other designers on board as part of their New Makers programme to mentor and support us as well as stock our products in their stores and online. It is an absolute dream situation for a young designer but the reason that it is my favourite is that again, I have made new friends and new connections with a group of unbelievable kind and lovely people.
One thing about the contemporary craft world and something I never found in fashion is that people are kind, supportive and collaborative and you will come across a community within this industry. A community is something I find very important when you are on a creative path.
House of Quinn is a design studio and at the moment quilts have struck a chord with me as a maker and with the clients and customers I have been working with. Storytelling is very important in our current social climate and storytelling in objects is something very important to me. So I would like to explore that theme and work on other objects or branch out into rooms or spaces that tell stories in some way.
GO TO: houseofquinn.co.uk
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Inspiration/Image Credits: houseofquinn.co.uk