Saturday, 20 August 2016

Royal Yacht Brittania

I recently had an email from a lovely lady who is working on the Netflix production of The Crown.
As my mother designed the embroidery which hangs above the Queens bed on the Royal Yacht Britannia back in 1953, they have asked for permission to use the design in the film, and plan to make a replica. I actually have the original watercolour she did, I knew it was somewhere safe ... but the trouble with putting something away in a safe place means it then gets muddled in the brain filing cabinet ... so ensued a turning upside down of all the archiving of my mothers extensive works I have been doing, and of course it was not where it should have been! So it meant an upturning of almost the whole cottage ... But I now have a very organised studio ... but this morning I suddenly remembered where it was, went straight to the right drawer and there it was ...

Watercolour of the design for the embroidered panel which hangs above the Queen's bed

Though she was commissioned to do the design, it was then given to the Royal School of Needlework to embroider, very finely in silks.

Quoted from here
"The silk embroidered panels were designed and created in 1953 and were the inspiration of Joan Nicholson, a young British designer, chosen by Sir Hugh Casson (HM The Queen’s chosen designer for Britannia’sState Apartments)."

Detail of side panel
Detail of side panel
Quoted from here  "The Queen wanted the embroidery to remind her of home when she was traveling abroad, with hedgerows, wild flowers and butterflies. Ivory silk from France was chosen for the background and it took several skilled workers many months to complete at the Royal School of Needlework in London. "

I am very proud of her ... a young mother with two small children, I was not around but so glad I still have this precious document, though very delicate and fragile and somewhat faded. It will now be filed in the correct place! Look out for The Crown when it is out (not sure when)

Detail of side panelDetail of side panel


Centre of circular panel
Centre of circular panel

Central panel detail
Central panel detail


The embroidery in situ
The embroidery in situ

The embroidery in situ
The embroidery in situ

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Modern Folk Embroidery

Modern Folk Embroidery by Nancy Nicholson pub by David and Charles
At Last it's done!
It has taken a few months but at last the book is in production and will be out November 16th this year. Thanks to all at David and Charles for being so patient with me! You can pre-order the book NOW here to get your copy as soon as it is available.

I have also been designing some new cards to add to the collection I have done for The Art Group, (below) available here ... The 5 new designs include these two, which may also become kits in the near future! I am already finding myself thinking bizarrely about Christmas, which is like brushing my hair the wrong way, while the dog is panting in the heat and the sun beckons me to come into the garden and hack down the brambles ... so we can venture to the jungle at the back of the garden.
We recently also began supplying John Lewis for Autumn Winter so yesterday stuck on 800 barcodes to the kits they have ordered.
But some new kits are on the way!
Fish Shoal Card for The Art Group
FISH SHOAL

MULTI CAT Card for The Art Group
MULTI CAT card




Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Embroidered Felt Cat Family

It has been a very busy few months here ... I have been working on a book for David and Charles, which will be coming out in November. It is called Modern Folk Embroidery, by me. And I think soon you can pre-order it through Amazon but will post details when I know. Soon I can promote it too with taster photos of the projects. 

But while doing projects for the book I designed this Felt Cat Family as a download. It all began with a folk doll made for the book and then I found I just had to try the same (ish) shape for a cat toy too. Muma came first then as the pattern can just be scaled up and down at will ... came Papa and Kitten ... I could have gone on and on and may well do when I have more time. A white one next with hot pink and reds and oranges (my default colour setting) ...

So you can download this Cat Family HERE which is a very simple felt toy to make, and uses a few simple hand embroidery stitches to great effect. The great thing is it is open to your own creativity regarding the stitch combinations, you could go stripy, spotty, zigzaggy ... endless possibilities!

While you are on the WEBSITE have a look at the other downloads we have.

Easy to make felt cat family
The Whole Cat Family, a group shot








Easy to make felt cat family
Muma and Kitten


Easy to make felt cat family
Papa cat

Easy to make felt cat family
Muma Cat

Easy to make felt cat family
Kitten cat




Saturday, 20 February 2016

New Owl download!

Here is our new download for the SPRING. An A4 sampler with two rather surprised owls. I get asked so many times to do owls ... so I gave in. You can download HERE

And there's a special bonus thank you for ordering the first of our new owl downloads ― an exclusive download pattern of the robin design that makes up the Nancy Nicholson logo! The pattern is on p6 of this PDF, with the stitch guide on p5. Just follow the general instructions given for the owl on pp1-2.
This is a special commemoration celebrating the beginning of our fifth year in business, and a thank you for being part of it.
I’ve been working with textiles for most of my adult life, as a maker and teacher. Four years ago I launched my first range of designs, initially as press out card models, and then as the Cat and Bird embroidery kits (all of these products are still available on my website today).
I wanted everyone to be able to learn hand embroidery, and to inspire them to do so with contemporary designs. So the Cat and Bird were swiftly followed by Lovebirds and the Teapot, and then the Birdie group of four smaller kits for children and beginners. We’ve also extended the range with five new cushion kits including the very popular BirdDance.
Not least, if you’re reading this you’ll know we’ve created an exciting range of instant downloads from our Etsy shop: designs you can print out and transfer onto lightweight fabric and stitch for rapid gratification!
This is an exciting time for the business. In the coming year there will be a new range of cushion kits, and I am working on a book with publishers David and Charles! We’re getting more and more interest from shops, including large retailers, which means the design style is going to get seen by more and more people.
I hope you can feel some pride in being an early enthusiast for this work. Thank you for all your support and for helping me grow this business to become so special.







How to print onto fabric using freezer paper


Here is a little guide on how to print onto fabric using your home inkjet printer. It is surprisingly simple once you get used to it. You can buy Reynolds Freezer paper from Amazon HERE ... and all our downloadable patterns are HERE so you can confidently have a go!


1. Using a sheet of A4 paper as a guide, 
cut out the same size 
in freezer paper. Also cut an A4 sized 
piece of lightweight fabric. 


2. Now, place the shiny side down 
onto the fabric. 


3. Iron the two together. 







4. Trim the edges to exactly A4 and any 
stray fibres or threads from the edge as 
these could get caught in the printer rollers. 
Set your printer to print the design 
and place the fabric/paper in the feed tray
so it will print on the fabric side. 
Press PRINT.
Once printed you will need to remove 
the backing paper.



Monday, 26 October 2015

CHRISTMAS 2015 BAUBLES TO DOWNLOAD!

Here are my 2015 Christmas Baubles! Go to the website for instant download! They will also be in the Country Living feature I believe ... They are very addictive to make and the variations are endless. In the download there is a pattern and, stitch library, and stitchmap to show you where to place the stitches, I am quite proud of it. I just love doing the downloads, it is hugely satisfying and appeals to my sense of order, though I am in truth constantly struggling with organisation!

Anyway I hope you will enjoy them!
















Thursday, 22 October 2015

NEW KITS!

Bird Dance Cushion made up into a cushion 40 x 40 cm square
BIRD DANCE CUSHION made up into a cushion 40 x 40 cm square 

I have finally finished the long process of designing, experimenting, having prototypes printed, and embroidering three new kits. There are two more coming but time is running out to complete other things, (like the new website) before the craziness that is Christmas is upon us again. 

So here we have Bird Dance, Cuckoo, Bluebird, and  ... all can be either made into cushions or framed and admired once you have embroidered them. Or if you are not an embroiderer then they make great pictures anyway! 

We had a great time at Thread in Farnham Maltings at the end of September and loved meeting so many like minded people, the bacon butties, and danish pastries which kept us going for two days!
The Bird Dance cushion proved a wonderful success and it was so good to show after so long in development ...

Now we are getting ready for Christmas and a piece in Country Living Christmas Issue. (out end of October) ...

Please do follow me on INSTAGRAM as there are sneaky peaks at work and ideas in the raw plus many things which inspire me and also Biddy of course... 

Bird Dance Cushion flat panel 40 x 40 cm square
BIRD DANCE flat panel

The great thing with Bird Dance is it is so achievable, as all the birds are simple and quick to do in an evening so before you know it it is completed!
BLUEBIRD CUSHION made into panel 30 x 50 cm
BLUEBIRD CUSHION made into panel 30 x 50 cm
BLUEBIRD CUSHION flat panel
BLUEBIRD CUSHION flat panel

 
BLUEBIRD CUSHION Detail
BLUEBIRD CUSHION Detail

CUCKOO new embroidery kit from http://www.nancynicholson.co.uk/
CUCKOO CUSHION PANEL


Detail CUCKOO new embroidery kit from http://www.nancynicholson.co.uk/
CUCKOO CUSHION PANEL Detail

The New cushion design featured at Thread
The New cushion design featured at Thread
Our stand at Thread 2015
Our stand at Thread 2015

Our stand at Thread 2015
Our stand at Thread 2015


Friday, 21 August 2015

Moda (Museum of Design and Architecture) and Roger Nicholson


 A couple of weeks ago I had a very exciting and emotional day visiting Moda, Museum of Domestic Design and Architecture which is part of Middlesex University. They have a fantastic archive and amongst that are many wallpaper designs by my father Roger and uncle Robert Nicholson... along with many of their contemporaries of that time ... 1956 - late 1960s.

This body of work was made for Palladio Wallpapers and I remember a lot of the designs being worked on in his studio as a very young child. Some of them were used to cover the walls of our house in Sissinghurst, Kent and when I came across one which I had in my bedroom it was like coming across an old and dear friend, every tendril and break in the ink was familiar, every secret face hidden in amongst the design, we all look so intently at our bedroom walls as children, a sort of half dreamlike place where the wallpaper design takes on a life of it's own full of monsters and faces, movements, and secret places. You can see the design below ... of an intertwining clematis.

The designs were all in old wallpaper sample books kindly brought out by the lady who had got in touch with me from the museum, together with articles of the time from Architectural Reviews, with adverts for the wallpapers drawn by my father ...
Every page turned was thrilling and I found I was able to spot many of his and also of a dear family friend Ted Hughes (not the poet!), Eric Thomas and of my uncle Robert Nicholson.

But a surprise was finding papers designed by my father which I had not seen before! Such a delight to see them and together with the archive I have at home and also the collection at the V&A, I realise that I must do something about bringing his work to the public eye. I am going with Moda to see the collection at the V&A very soon and I am really excited to go into the inner sanctum ... I will report back of course.

I hope to gather more information over the next few weeks and add to this article ... Forgive the iphoneness of the photos!
Roger Nicholson. Design for Palladio Wallpapers
I am pretty sure this is one of my fathers ... the faces are so like those he drew ....
Roger Nicholson. Design for Palladio Wallpapers

Roger Nicholson. Design for Palladio Wallpapers
Detail
Roger Nicholson. Design for Palladio Wallpapers

Roger Nicholson. Design for Palladio Wallpapers

Roger Nicholson. Design for Palladio Wallpapers

Robert Nicholson. Design for Palladio Wallpapers
Robert Nicholson design

Roger Nicholson. Design for Palladio Wallpapers


Roger Nicholson. Design for Palladio Wallpapers

Roger Nicholson. Design for Palladio Wallpapers

Roger Nicholson. Design for Palladio Wallpapers
One I had not seen ...
Roger Nicholson. Design for Palladio Wallpapers




Roger Nicholson. Design for Palladio Wallpapers
This was my bedroom wallpaper!

Roger Nicholson. Design for Palladio Wallpapers

Robert Nicholson. Design for Palladio Wallpapers
Robert Nicholson


Ad for Architectural Review drawn by Roger Nicholson
Add caption
Ad for Architectural Review drawn by Roger Nicholson
Add caption
Ad for Architectural Review drawn by Roger Nicholson