Meet a quilter
Kayleigh Excell from Kindred Quilting Co.
Welcome back to ‘meet a quilter’: a series of blog posts introducing you to other British quilters. Find out how they learned to quilt and why, what they’re making right now, their top tips and favourite resources for inspiration.
This time, we’re off to London where quilter, mum and creative business owner Kayleigh Excell lives and works. Kayleigh has a distinctively minimal style which she pairs with quilting techniques to create modern family heirlooms. Her quilting story is especially inspiring as it began only a year ago….
Tell us a little bit about yourself
I'm Kayleigh. I live in London with my partner and our two children, both aged under three. I used to work in the television industry but left when I had my first child to become a full-time mum. I needed a hobby to keep me motivated so I started sewing and have never looked back!
When, how and why did you learn to quilt?
I’ve been quilting for less than a year. I started after the birth of my son in June 2018. He was lying on the floor and the idea came to me to make a modern style blanket. I didn’t know anything about how to quilt so I followed YouTube tutorials to make my first. I kept dreaming up new designs and knew it was something I wanted to keep doing.
What are you making at the moment?
I’m working on a couple of patterns which I'm really excited about. I enjoy simple, quick, and minimal designs so these patterns will reflect my style and I hope that other quilters will enjoy them. I’m also working on my new range of patchwork pennant style flags. They are decorative wall hangings inspired by travel and adventure.
What’s your sewing space like?
I sew in my tiny back room which is also my son's bedroom. His cot is in one corner and my sewing table is in the other! There really isn't enough space for quilting but I manage. I don't think I'll be making a queen-sized quilt anytime soon though!
Where do you like to shop for fabric and supplies?
I use Art Gallery Solids which I buy from Hantex (a wholesale distributor) who are great, I also get my wadding from them. I love Stoff & Stil for thread and accessories. My favourite non-quilting cotton is from the Organic Textile Company which sells the most gorgeous cross-weave cotton.
What do you wish you had known about making patchwork quilts when you first started?
I’d like to have known more about the vast history and community around quilting. I have felt imposter syndrome more than once and have worried about whether I am doing things the 'right' way. I don't want these feelings to hold me back from having fun with it. I was a bit unprepared for it all, but I don't think I'll ever stop learning.
Where do you find inspiration for your quilts?
All sorts of places! I love Pinterest and am always pinning inspiring images and colour palettes. I also like to reference things I see out and about, maybe a pattern on a rug or on the tube. My latest collection is inspired by scenic photos from my travels.
I love Kayleigh’s fresh palette and crisp angles, don’t you? It’s so inspiring to see other makers bringing quilting to a broader audience. I like to think that it's my mission to make sure that more quilts are handmade for British family homes. I’m so glad that Kayleigh and others have a similar mission. Even if learning to make quilts is not for you, you can still appreciate the craftmanship, design and comfort of a beautiful quilt made by someone who loves what they do.
Thank you so much, Kayleigh, for sharing your quilting story with us!