“Fun and quirky.” Words designer Angela Nickeas uses to describe her style. And that must be why all of us at The Country Quilt Shop are so drawn to her fabrics. Nickeas lives in Manchester, England with her husband and three children. She tells us art and design are passions she pursued at the University level, and that passion has grown ever since. “Upon graduating I worked mainly in the home textile and furnishing market, designing patterns and styling ranges for a number of major UK retailers, manufacturers and international clients. I set up my own studio - Hiccup Studio Designs in 2010 and began to undertake various design projects in the interior, stationery and giftware industries for a variety of UK and US retailers and manufacturers. I am also represented by Pink Light Studio,” Nickeas said.
Currently, we have two fabrics created by Nickeas available in the shop. Both are from her “Home for Christmas” line designed for Paintbrush Studios. Curious minds wanted to know - what the design process is like for her. She told us, sometimes a retailer has a general idea for a new design, but what she really loves is working from a clean slate, saying “If I am feeling inspired by something then I will just go ahead and design a collection or print around it. I often find that it is these prints which are the most creative or successful. As a designer, I feel that once your ‘creative juices’ are flowing it’s hard for them to stop!“
Once those creative juices begin to flow, the design process is well underway. However, that does not mean it is a quick turn-around from design to production to launch. It can take months or even a year or more before a new design is ready for sale. Nickeas told us, once she sends her finished design in for production her work is done and the anticipation begins, saying “in most cases I won’t see the finished article until it is launched, which is always a very exciting moment! Even after 20 years in the industry it’s a great thrill to see your art in a shop or on a product!”
If you’re an aspiring designer, Nickeas offers this advice: “Try to find your own style. This may take a while as you go through the experimental process - especially if you are only just starting out or at University but on the whole I feel that the best designers are those who have a recognizable style and look. While social media is great, in many ways we are over-saturated with imagery and designs and it’s easy to feel that you should be doing something a certain way.”
Perhaps the best way to hone that style, is to look for inspiration in our everyday lives. Nickeas says it’s all around us. “Clothing and fashion prints. I love architecture and interior design - particularly art-deco and mid-century styles. Nature - flowers, plants, the colors of autumn leaves. Really everywhere and anywhere!”
As for a favorite, Nickeas told us “I love my Christmas Nostalgia collection that I created for PBS Fabrics! The color palette as pink is my favorite and I loved combining it with turquoise and the more traditional Christmas red and greens. They enjoyed creating the retro, quirky icons and characters, particularly the Nutcrackers and llamas. It’s just fun and bright and hopefully makes people smile!“
Our sincerest Thank You to Angela Nickeas for taking some time to answer our questions. And here’s a link to her “Home for Christmas” fabric available in the shop!
Enjoy and Happy Quilting!