May 9, 2011

Romantic Quilts of Rabbits’ Haven

Posted in People of Satin Moon, Special Events, Techniques and Materials tagged , , , at 12:36 am by satinmoon

Arlene Neely,

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.

Arlene and her three sisters, now often mistaken as quadruplets

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

English shabby chic.

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 .



  1. Dawn Danay said,

    Wow, I have never seen so many lovely soft bunnies and flowers in one place before. Her designs are magnificent!

  2. Brandice Connolly said,

    L-O-V-E the hockey quilts! Where (if at all) am I able to purchase the pattern for the large quilt with the player?


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