by Christine Leech · Published by Quadrille
Meet the Author
Hey there, can you introduce yourself?
Hi I'm Christine, an author, stylist, designer, maker ... anything that involves ideas or making stuff i'm your girl.
Tell us a bit about the book?
Fresh Prints is the sixth book in the Simple Makes series of craft books published by Quadrille. The series covers all sorts of crafts including embroidery, crochet, projects using felt, papercraft and knitting. I think FP was my favourite book to work on (though I do say that about each book as it comes out!). It has over 30 projects for you to do at home using a variety of simple printing processes. You won't need any specialist equipment and all the projects are easy to do. There's a real mixture of projects from feather printed Tshirts using sweet potatoes to delicate lace printing using Broderie Anglais and a rolling pin. There are projects for stationery, cushion, roller blinds, bedlinen, tshirts and greetings cards. Once you've learnt the techniques you can take the templates from the book and use them to print on anything, wallpaper, curtains, whatever. In the book I have given suggestions for what else you could use the patterns and images for but really the uses are endless.
What was the inspiration behind it?
The print room at University was my favourite place to be, I love the hit and miss results that printing gives you and also the experimentation involved. It was lovely to be able to sit down and get really engrossed in the printing process again. Once you've set up your block or stencil creating multiple prints is speedy and fun.
Which is your favourite project?
That's really hard to choose! In the book there's a technique for make quick lino like block prints using compressed foam rather than traditional lino or wood. Instead of taking ages to cut a block you can do it in seconds and the result is really effective. I love all of the project done with this technique... The Mushroom Mayhem Cushion, the Circus Alphabet Wooden Postcards, I also love the simple button print boots; A super quick way to update some plain canvas boots or shoes.
What is your craft space like?
A mess! I'm in the middle of converting my old double garage into a summer house which eventually I hope to use as my craft room, it's getting there but till then I seem to use every possible room in my house when creating. There always seems to be a trail of destruction and detritus through the rooms when I'm working on a project. I did all the projects for Fresh Prints at my kitchen table next to my kitchen sink which goes to show you really don't need much to get creative.
Have you always been creative?
Yes, ever since i was a little girl. My whole family is creative.. mum was always sewing clothes and curtains whilst dad was busy remodling the house so i got my 'just go for it' spirit from them.
When did you first start crafting?
The first thing I can clearly remember making was a hemmed hankerchief for the local Flower and Produce show when I was 5, I was sitting with my Nan in a holiday house in Margate, sewing and unpicking the hem till it was super straight. It won first prize and 20p so thats when i was hooked.
Who are your crafty heroes?
I'm a sucker for children's authors, I love LM Montgomery and her Anne of Green gables books. I Capture the Castle and obviously Alice in Wonderland are also ones I can read over and over again. Basically any book that paint images in my my mind. The blogs Design Sponge and Social Nesting are always sources of inspiration and Joy Cho from the blog Oh Joy! has done everything I want to do ...
Where do you find inspiration?
Inspiration is everywhere! My iPhone is constantly telling me 'not enough room for any more photos' as I'm always snapping at things when I'm out. When I'm not writing books I'm a creative director for fashion magazines which is a constant source of cool imagery and ideas. I love the colours, set design and dance routines in old technicolor films I mostly watch these when I'm working and they often inform my work.
What's next for you?
Who knows!! I have lots of ideas it's just finding the time to do them ...Who knows, I have so many ideas it's just finding the time to do them! a fabric range, an interior range, more books, children's bed linen. Keep an eye on my blog sewyeah.co.uk to find out!!