It’s nearly time for the Beyond Measure Open Weekend.  I am busy clearing the space and making room as I am sharing the studio with artist and illustrator Louise Lockhart, the Printed Peanut. It’s been almost a year now since I introduced the SEW panels, designed by Louise, to my shop.  I loved Louise’s work the first time I saw it at Hebden Bridge Open Studios.  After meeting up and discussing some ideas, we decided to develop a sewing based design printed on fabric that could be framed up straight away or embroidered, stitched, stuffed and hacked.   Since then the original red and black panel has been sent all over the world!
I am now really pleased to finally make the new colourways available on the website.  They have been printed in a delicious apple green, neutral warm grey/taupe, happy mustard and vibrant teal, so hopefully There is something for everyone!
I am going to be posting some images of panel hacks very soon (some provided by you, some by me) but if you have a panel and have it framed in your sewing room or have done something more creative with it, please e-mail me a pic or post it on FB, Instagram or Twitter with the #sewprintedpeanut. There will be a competition coming this autumn!
I love what Katie at http://whatkate-emdidnext.blogspot.co.uk/ has done with hers!
In the meantime, here is an interview with Louise that sheds some light on her design influences and process:
 
How did you start to establish yourself as an illustrator?  Has it happened organically or did you have a master plan?
I studied illustration at Art School and I have worked on an off as a freelance illustrator since graduating in 2009 and I’ve been doing it full time since 2013. I decided to start a small business selling illustrated products as a way of supplementing my income but now it’s become my first love! I like thinking of a product, such as soap, and setting myself the challenge of designing an illustrated package for it.
Do you prefer working on your own ideas and designs or in collaboration on a specific brief?
I love working to a brief, whether I have been set it by someone else or myself. I might take a lot longer if I’m doing work for myself! I believe that restriction is a great help to creativity. I like working in one or two colours, often on flat shapes that I can rearrange to create patterns. It’s best when the client knows what they want and there’s a clear path to take. Sometimes that can be something as simple as a picture they’ve seen on Pinterest but it really helps to have a starting point.
 
  A screen printed Tea Towel by The Printed Peanut
Where did you start with the Beyond Measure commission?  Do you ever do any sewing or was it a new subject for you?
Coming up with the design for Beyond Measure was a dream job because Grace knew what she had in mind and could communicate it well, giving me examples of other designs she has seen and objects that she knew had to be included, which was really helpful. I had just finished a similar job for a hairdressers where I drew the objects associated with the salon and made a pattern for their window. I must confess I am absolutely hopeless at sewing, but my mum is brilliant and I’ve always grown up around sewing machines and old jars of buttons and things. We created a Pinterest board featuring the sorts of items that Grace knew she wanted to include. There were things I’ve never heard of before so it was great to have that to work from. I loved drawing the objects that had interesting shapes and features such as the thimble and the pin cushion.
How do you feel about your work (potentially) being chopped, hacked and changed? 
This design will lend itself well to being chopped and changed and I think it will benefit from being transformed into a functional item such as a little bag or a cushion cover. I can’t wait to see what creative new lease of life it will get!
Nanettes, a children’s outfitters taken from the book Up My Street
I hope you have fun with your SEW panels!
Grace x
Header image by Harry Atkinson.