Felicity Hall grew up surrounded by artistic influences, and her interest in art and design was encouraged by her parents who introduced her to crafts through a variety of practical activities. Her father is a gardener who is he's always 'painting' with plants in his landscape designs, and her mother is always stitching, weaving or knitting. Becoming familiar with interesting textures, colours and varying mediums was part of everday life for Felicity.
After completing school, Felicity went on to college to do a foundation course in art and design where she specialized in textiles. Afterwards, she went on to university to study textiles and fine art painting. After completing her university studies, she started freelancing for a number of craft titles and worked for a hand-painted tapestry design company where her love of all things stitched really took off.
Felicity then began working for a high-end needlework company, and had customers asking where they could find needlepoint kits that feature modern designs for a more reasonable price. She felt strongly that there was a gap in the market, so she invested everything she had in starting her own business designing and manufacturing needlepoint kits with a contemporary twist. Felicity has shared her original Butterfly Brooch needlepoint pattern with us. Additional designs can be found on Felicity's website.
Felicity's Interview, continued...
When did you first start stitching needlepoint, and what inspired you to start?
I’ve always been creative, I used to make things all the time when I was younger as I grew up in the middle of the nowhere and needed to amuse myself somehow!. My parents are both very creative and my mother has always done needlepoint, I did my first design when I was 11 of a sun and moon for my bedroom (my mother stitched it for me) but I actually started stitching needlepoint myself only about five years ago, I used to do cross stitch before hand and then moved onto needlepoint as I felt that it’s a more versatile medium.
What is your main source of inspiration?
I studied textiles and then fine art painting at university so I’m inspired all the time by other art forms. I love going to exhibitions and I find the collections at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London a huge source of inspiration. I’m stimulated by colour, textures and life in general!
How many hours per day do you stitch?
I’ve recently been working on my samples for my needlepoint kit range so I’ve been stitching all day everyday! But generally I will do at least an hour every morning. I prefer to stitch in the morning as I think it gives the best working light.
How many hours per day are spent designing?
I’m constantly sketching and jotting down ideas for new designs, so I spend at least 3-4 hours every day designing.
What are some of your favorite subjects?
I love typography as I think lettering works very well in needlepoint due to the straight and diagonal lines. I always try to design with the stitcher in mind. I personally find large areas of background quite boring to stitch, so I try to fill them where possible with pattern and colour. I like to compose a design from smaller motifs, so that when stitching the design grows piece by piece and it doesn’t feel like such a daunting task, as you can accomplish a small section daily.
Is there someone whose work influenced or encouraged you to start designing?
Kaffe Fasset has been a huge inspiration. I read all of his books when I was younger as my mother is also a fan of his. I really feel he led the way in making needlepoint a true designers medium, his use of colour is so effective, he really pushes the boundaries of needlepoint design.
Do you belong to a needlework club or guild?
Luckily craft has seen a huge revival in London due to the current economic climate, so lots of craft associations have been developed. I regularly attend craft socials organized by Craft Guerilla which hosts crafting events in and around London- where I have the opportunity to discuss needlepoint and other crafts with like-minded people.
Do you teach as well?
I don’t teach at the moment, although I’m hoping to contact one of London’s larger department stores in the hope of doing some free needlepoint lessons in their haberdashery department. They currently give excellent knitting lessons but nothing for needlepoint, so I think it would be a good opportunity to introduce new people to the craft.