Makegood June 20, 2014 00:16
We are just recovering from our pop-up shop at the Makegood Festival at the Old Selfridges Hotel a couple of weeks ago. It was organised by School for Creative-Startups which has been so instrumental in launching my business, so great to catch up with Doug, Medeia and the gang....
We gathered so much interest at the festival that we are still following up all the contacts. We will keep you posted here with all the latest news of our exciting new projects!
I even got caught on Camera by Wilkie TV, giving a sneak peak of my 2014 Autumn/Winter collection and talking about my inspirations.
Back from Pulse May 21, 2014 21:47
Well, what an amazing three days we had last week, with our debut apprearance at Pulse by Top Drawer at Earls Court from 11 to 13 May! We generated so much interest and have spent the last few days following up the amazing conversations and opportunities offered.
This is me on our cute Vintage and Floral Stand. (I had just bought a new crystal and mint stone ring so couldn't help showing it off- sorry!)
Pulse by Top Drawer 11-13 May 2014 May 08, 2014 02:03
Here at Vintage and Floral, we are all getting geared up for Pulse by Top Drawer, which opens this Sunday at Earls Court.
Three days of heaven for retailers, bloggers, interior magazine editors and anyone with a keen interest in finding unique and wonderful products for shoppers and readers.
Come and find us on stand G69, in Gifts, where we will be launching exclusively at Pulse our first Men's collection of stunning patchwork throws in bold geometric patterns in sophisticated colours.
We will also be launching our beautiful Sail boat cushions in fun and cool colours with vintage style prints. Perfect to brighten up any child's bedroom.
All of our quilts and cushions are handmade to order here in the UK and are limited editions. Only 9 will ever be made in the world. Beautiful, exclusive heirlooms to last you several lifetimes.
To receive exclusive offers for Pulse, visit us on stand G69 at Earls Court, from 11-13 May 2014. Doors open from 9.30am daily.
Christmas in April April 02, 2014 00:49
I have just received a bundle of gorgeous fabric from the lovely American textile designers Minnick and Simpson. I simply adore their fabrics and had to give them a mention in my Period Living interview last Autumn. They have collaborated with me on my next project by generously donating their exquisite fabric.
It's a bit hush hush at the moment (the project that is) but I will be spilling the beans very soon. Promise.
To hear the latest news, follow our blog on Bloglovin.
Have you spotted Jennifer Campbell Kirk in the latest issue of Craftseller? February 21, 2014 11:23
Our lovely Jen, is on page 91, in the March issue (no.34) of Crafteseller, talking about her favourite patchwork crafting tool and her Texan mother-in-law! On Sale now!
Hello, We Love Paul Smith February 14, 2014 21:44
I am so excited that I will be making Sir Paul Smith a Vintage and Floral patchwork quilt. We recently received a bundle of gorgeous quintessentially English tweed fabric from Paul Smith, which I can't wait to handcraft into a beautiful patchwork wall hanging for the man himself.
I recently popped into the Design Museum to see his exhibition, Hello, My Name is Paul Smith for inspiration and I wasn't disappointed.
The exhibition provides a unique insight into the mind of the iconic British designer and is well worth a visit.
I met Paul Smith a few months ago and was surprised how down to earth he was. He is an inspiring speaker and gave me some good advice as a new designer-maker starting out.
Follow me here on our news pages, as I document the making process and journey of making a quilt for Paul Smith
Back from Texas February 09, 2014 22:37
I had such an memorable visit recently to Dallas, Texas where I caught up with my mother-in-law and spent hours fabric buying for my next collection and sharing new patchwork and quilting ideas.
I had a particularly inspiring time when we visited my uncle-in -law, her older brother who shared his exquisite heirloom collection of vintage patchwork quilts, made by his late wife, my mother-in-law and other family members. Quilts circa 1930s-1950s
A lovely hand stitched antique quilt covered with pastel hearts, hand appliqued using the beautiful blanket stitch. It would have made a perfect gift for a loved one on Valentines Day. This quilt is so old, you can see the discolouration at the bottom of the photograph.
A beautiful Churn Dash Album quilt signed by friends
This beautiful quilt with hand embroidered birds was made by my mother-in-law
This is a classic Strip quilt, which was really popular after the second world war, as frugal women only needed strips or small pieces of fabric to make beautiful quilts to keep themselves and their family warm.
This gorgeous Sampler quilt with a stunning paisley border, inspired me to learn American patchwork, when I visited my mother-in-law a few years ago to begin my journey and love affair with patchwork and quilting. I would spend 8-9 hours a day learning from my mother-in-law how to create these beautiful blocks. It gives me goose bumps just looking at this quilt as it reminds me of such a special time.
Here's my mother-in-law's sewing room, where I learnt how to patchwork on this vintage Pfaff sewing machine
My mother-in-law, working out on her rowing machine. I can't believe she is 83 years old!
And just in case your curious..... this is me with my gorgeous hubby, standing outside my mother-in-laws home
Quilt Care: How to care for your Patchwork Quilt December 30, 2013 09:33
Here at Vintage and Floral we believe that handmade patchwork quilts are family heirlooms which if made well and are looked after, can be passed down your family for several generations. A fine quality handmade quilt is an investment and will set you back several hundred pounds, so you are probably going to want to take care of it. Whether you have purchased your quilt from us or from somewhere else, here are our top tips for keeping your heirloom quilt in mint condition.
1. Wash your quilt infrequently, two or three times a year should be enough. Try to only wash when you have to. The first wash will make your quilt look puckered if made from cotton and will give your quilt a crinkled antique look which we adore!
2. Use a vacuum to gently clean surface dust and dirt
3. Use non biological detergent
4. We recommend you do not dry clean
5. Wash at 30c or cold water
6. Use a gentle short wash cycle
7. Avoid placing your quilt in direct sunlight as this will cause the fabric to fade
8. Avoid drying on a washing line as the weight of the quilt when wet, places a strain on the stitches and fabric
9. The best place to store your patchwork quilt is on a bed. If this is not possible, then you can wrap in a pure cotton sheet or store in a pure cotton pillow protector. Ensure quilts are clean before storing to prevent moths and bugs ruining your quilt
10. Avoid storing in a plastic bag, quilts need to breath.
11. To avoid permanent creases which can damage the threads or cotton fibres in your quilt, occassionally refold your quilt a different way
Jennifer Campbell Kirk is Country Homes and Interiors magazine favourite Designer Maker! September 17, 2013 22:42We are so delighted that our founder Jennifer Campbell Kirk is featured in the current October issue of Country Homes and Interiors magazine as their favourite designer maker. Catch up with Jennifer in her home studio sharing her love of vintage fabric and American style patchwork quilts.
Learn how to make a patchwork quilt- the simple way! August 13, 2013 22:34
We are delighted to announce that due to popular demand our founder Jennifer Campbell Kirk will be running a 2 day Beginners Patchwork and Quilting course at The Old School Club in Battersea on Thursday 19th & 26 September.
This is a great class to learn how to make your very own patchwork quilt in no time! You will learn how to select fabrics, use a rotary cutter, machine piecing, pinning your quilt top, wadding and backing together and quilting with simple step by step instructions.
Limited spaces are available. To book your place now click here
See you there x
We are in Country Homes and Interiors magazine! August 13, 2013 22:07
We are so delighted that we have been featured in the September issue of Country Homes and Interiors magazine. Find us on page 69 with our gorgeous French Linen Evening Star patchwork quilt. Made with linen and hand blocked printed in France from C17th and C18th century designs.
Then turn to page 72 for our stylish Green floral check shopper and page 73 for our luxurious Bennington patchwork cushions, made with pure soft cotton wadding sandwiched between cotton fabric for superb quality.
We are in Homemade with Love magazine! August 01, 2013 19:14
Have you spotted us in Homemade With Love magazine?
Check us out in the latest Issue 3 celebrating our recent launch at Somerset House at Doug Richard's School for Creative Start-ups.
We are in Period Living magazine! July 31, 2013 23:21
Period Living magazine catches up with our founder Jennifer Campbell Kirk in the September 2013 issue were she talks about her love for all things vintage. On sale now, don't miss it! http://www.periodliving.co.uk/antiques-vintage/jennifer-campbell-kirk
We Love Portobello Market! May 27, 2013 13:18
We had such a great time with our handmade quilt stall at Portobello Road over the past two weeks. We pitched up at Portobello Green Market over the weekend and at Portobello Arts and Crafts Market on Tavistock Square the previous week. We had an amazing response to our handmade quilts and cushions and we were delighted that some many of you came over to our stall to support us. We will be continuing our 'market tour' to show our love for London markets over the next coming weeks so look out for details in our next blog.
Vintage and Floral x
Vintage and Floral Supports Love Your Local Market Campaign May 04, 2013 11:02
We are delighted to announce that Vintage and Floral will be supporting this year’s Love your Local Market Campaign. We will be pitching up at Portobello Road Market, London on Saturday 18th May 2013 on Tavistock Square and on Saturday 25th May on Portobello Green Fashion Market under the big white tent. Both markets are open from 9 to 5pm and are easy to get to from Ladbroke Grove Tube station on the Hammersmith and City.
Love your Local Market campaign, is in its second year and was established as a result of an independent report written by Mary Portas reviewing the future of our high streets. Click here to read The Portas Review.
We are so excited about supporting this worthwhile campaign, giving you the chance to meet face to face independent online boutiques such as us and have a bit of a natter.
We look forward to seeing you,
Founder, Vintage and Floral
Vintage and Floral founder Jennifer Campbell Kirk speaks to Precious Online Magazine April 14, 2013 22:11
Jennifer Campbell Kirk spoke to Precious Online Magazine about why she is inspired to make handmade American patchwork quilts and gives advice on starting your own business.
Describe your business in one paragraph
Vintage and Floral is a luxury brand that beautifully handcrafts limited edition heirloom patchwork quilts and cushions in the UK, using Vintage American design and craft with Shaker style simplicity.
Why did you decide to start your company?
My Dad died in 2011 and I was facing redundancy from my job. My mum had died suddenly three years before, so I was at a very low point in my life. I felt that my family history had evaporated.
My 81-year-old Texan mother-in-law happened to be in the UK at the time when my Dad passed away and patiently began to teach me how to make quilts. I found this very therapeutic and quilt making helped me deal with my loss. Six months later I spent a month in Dallas, Texas learning how to patch-work. I would spend 8 to 9 hours a day sewing and was completely hooked. I loved the traditional American quilt patterns, their sense of history and the idea of preserving a female heritage craft. I then realised that I wanted to start my own business making these beautiful heirloom quilts.
What was your career path prior to starting your business?
My background is in youth work and I spent several years as a manager running arts projects and events with young people. I trained as a Drama Therapist in 2004 and five years ago was awarded funding to set up a creative arts therapy charity Wise Dolls, for women and girls who had suffered domestic abuse.
Recently PR guru and feminist, Lynne Franks, has come on board as Patron. A percentage of sales from Vintage and Floral quilts are donated to the charity.
Did you always know that you would become an entrepreneur?
I didn’t define myself as an entrepreneur or even a social entrepreneur back then, but if I saw a problem and had an idea for the solution, then that would motivate me to make it happen. I find it very rewarding to make a real difference.
Tell us about the business planning stage
I didn’t have a business plan for Vintage and Floral, although I did have for my previous ventures. My business started on my kitchen table and was fairly cheap to set up. I invested in a good sewing machine and several quilting books to build on what I had learnt from my mother-in-law.
I also attended a several sewing workshops and was delighted when I got a place onDoug Richard’s School for Creative Startups, to help me with the business side.
Tell us about a typical working day
Well, I still have a day job and I run my charity part-time, so my life is very busy at the moment. I wake up at 7.30am and then work until 6pm. I spend my lunchtime making calls and answering emails and use my train ride to and from work either mediating or organising my day.
I come home and sew patchwork quilts until 11pm. I then go through my emails, do social media stuff and admin for my charity and for Vintage and Floral until around 1am. I usually watch Munsters, the Addams Family or Green Acres in bed to unwind.
What have been the highlights of running your own business?
I have recently launched my business at School for Creative Startups Showcase at Somerset House which has been very exciting for me. Having such a positive response to my quilts and the history behind quilt-making has been encouraging. I met some amazing people and as a result have a couple of projects planned for this year so watch this space!
What, or who, inspires and motivates you?
My late mum has been an inspiration to me, she was a very strong person who had her own mind and was always helping others. I am also inspired by the courage of Mexican painter Frida Kahlo and admire Oprah Winfrey for overcoming such adversity, her business attitude and her philanthropy.
How do you work on making your business grow?
Social media has been key for me. I am influenced by my psychotherapy background, so I tweet on how people can be creative and enjoy a simple life. I think it is important to be authentic and to connect with others on what one is passionate about. I am also trying to get more involved in networking and moving outside of my comfort zone.
What’s the most important business lesson you’ve learnt as an entrepreneur?
I think juggling between working ON my business and AT my business has been a valuable lesson. I am still learning how to balance how much time I spend making quilts versus marketing and promoting what I do.
What other passions do you have away from your business?
I trained as a Classical singer so I do my best to regularly practice my singing. Occasionally I still do professional gigs. I also love gardening and tend to pot around on the weekends. It is as a form of mediation and helps me maintain equilibrium.
What advice would you give to someone who wanted to start their own business?
Be passionate about your business which will sustain you during the difficult times. Keep learning and become an expert in your field so others will trust you. We buy from people we trust. I have also found having a mentor really useful. It helps me stay focused, disciplined and accountable.
We Have Launched! March 25, 2013 11:03
We had a fantastic launch over the weekend at Doug Richard's School for Creative Startups Showcase. It was so good to see so many of you. Due to high demand, following our tweets on quilting tips we will be starting a e-newsletter giving you free tips on how to make an American quilt. Sign up to our newsletter on our contact page so you don't miss out!
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