Sue Turrill of Nuthatch Designs will be back at Design@HEART this December with her beautiful tweed bags. Here she is talking about her work:
When I was a small child I would spend weeks in the summer with my two siblings staying with our Grandmother and her two sisters. That was when I really started creating things, using embroidery, sewing and knitting. I remember spending hours with my Great Aunt Mary embroidering daisies around the edges of tray cloths, and I loved it. Even from a young age needlecraft for me has always been a way of relaxing whilst producing something unique and useful.
I’ve since wanted to combine traditional methods I’d learnt with modern ways of life. Everyone has some sort of electronic device and it seemed the obvious choice to incorporate my designs with natural fabrics to produce unique covers and cases to protect them. Shortly after starting my business a good friend of mine said “why don’t you make bags? Everyone loves bags?”. So after a bit of thinking I decided to give bags a go as well. She was right of course and I love making them too!
Natural fabrics are important to me as they combine durability with practicality meaning they will last but can also be recycled into something new in time. I love the tactile nature of wool and the properties it has for retaining shape and repelling dirt. I’m sure my love of natural fabrics is in part linked to my love of nature. I’ve always been drawn to wildlife and the countryside so the imagery I create on the smaller purses represents this part of my life,and it’s also why my shop name is Nuthatch Designs – it’s just my favourite bird.
Wherever possible I try to champion British manufactured natural fabrics, and design and handmake the bags and cases I sell. I absolutely love the heritage wool fabric Harris Tweed which is only produced under licence in the Outer Hebrides and now includes many brighter modern colourways from upcoming young weavers. In themselves they are a thing of beauty and I feel very lucky to be able to use them.