May 9, 2011
Romantic Quilts of Rabbits’ Haven
paid us an enchanting visit last week, on her way to Quilt Market
with a suitcases of new quilts for the big show in Salt Lake city,
and a suitcase full of quilts and patterns to leave with us!
Thanks to Jan P. , who needed “Tea in the Garden” to accompany her on a cruise,
I had contacted Arlene and was invited into her world,
of watercolour soft fabrics and
the delicate stitchery motifs of hand drawn rabbits.
live in sight of each other on Mayne Island
next to the Mayne Island Light house .
The sisters have quilted together for over 30 years .
For five years from 1996-2001 , they filled Arlene’s cottage gift shop
with their handmade goods – specializing in vintage chenille jackets, pillows
and wooden painted rabbits.
Now they continue to support Arlene and Rabbit Haven Designs year round.
Arlene’s design company came about in 2002
after she created a quilt from one of her original watercolour paintings, embroidery and traditional patchwork .
She continues to draw inspiration from her sizable collection of memory laden sketches and watercolours.
The French publisher Les Editions De Saxe has collected her
poetic and charming universe of designs into Quilts and Stitcheries , a gorgeous soft cover book , in French.
Last year Arlene premiered her Nana’s Garden fabric collection.
Last week we saw her second collection of fabrics , Always Believe , as it made its way to Market .
You can see it in Mark Lipinski’s Fabric Trends
and soon at Satin Moon.
Arlene finds that embroidery stitches, particularly back stitch, capture the detail she desires.
Fine quality Japanese Lecien threads ( available at Satin Moon) are her first choice .
She loves the whimsy of fluffy raw edges, which she accomplishes
by cutting straight line like stems on the bias, which fray without long thread strands.
Arlene is inspired by the colours of her gardens,
vintage chenille and
She likes to wake at sunrise to write down her dozens of new ideas before sketching new designs ,
working on ongoing projects ,
and pausing to take tea in the garden with her three sisters,
while they cherish their moments together.
Do stop by this summer to enjoy the Rabbits’ Haven show, and get to know Arlene’s delightful work .