Meet a Young Design Diva

LAST YEAR BLESSINGTON LAUNCHED A DESIGNER DIVA COMPETITION…  calling for crafty people between 17 and 30 years of age to enter, with the prize being two 12 month internship opportunities with this market leading company. Mandy Murray, a talented young individual, was selected and she shares her story here:

 

interview: Mindy Cook

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Into Craft: How did you find yourself with an internship at Blessington?

Mandy: Prior to working for Blessington I was a Home Economics/Hospitality teacher in Queensland. After winning the competition I decided to make the big move to NSW with my partner and of course my enormous craft collection had to come too!

 

Into Craft: What have you learnt since being a Designer Diva?

Mandy: I have been learning all aspects of the company including underpinning concepts such as customer service, warehouse procedures, accounts, sales, testing and education. I have learnt about their variety of brands, including; Pfaff, Husqvarna Viking, Singer, Handi Quilter and the newest addition Accuquilt. On the other hand I have attended numerous shows around Australia where I have learnt how to set up show displays and workshops. During my internship I have also participated in machine technical training, learning how to strip a machine, but more importantly, how to put it back together so it works! However my absolutely favourite part is of course sewing and creating new samples and projects.

 

Into Craft: Who are you inspired by?

Mandy: I am most inspired by Nancy Judd, who is an artist and environmental educator who creates couture fashion designs made from recycled materials. Her work conveys messages to promote sustainability, with artwork designed to make a difference. I love her innovation and artistic expression; it is intriguing. My wall hanging, Life’s a Beach is highly inspired by Nancy, with the artwork made using the top three types of marine litter; plastic bag, aluminium can and bubble wrap/plastic products. I am also inspired by colours, textures and the environment. It is amazing how you can gain inspiration from what is around you. Architecture and nature can influence a brand new free-motion pattern. In addition, I am also inspired by my Mum and her patience, especially when it comes to unpicking something!

 

Into Craft: Do you have five favourite handy sewing tips?

Mandy:

o Always use the right presser foot for the job.
o Test your stitch before you sew
o Always start each major project with a new needle in your machine
o Try using the wrong side of some fabrics to increase your choice of fabric
o Don’t be afraid to break the rules, try incorporating unique materials or recycled products into your projects.

Vintage Bird Bag

The bird was hand drawn with fabric pens and then the technique of thread painting was applied. The bag was made using a variety of recycled materials such as zippers, buttons, doilies, lace and recycled handles covered with pages from an old book.

Wall hanging created using recycled products, designed to encourage people to consider their environmental foot print. It also embraces recycling with materials such as; bubble wrap, aluminium cans, plastic bag and cork.

Echnida
Parrot

This wall hanging has a fully beaded 3D echidna. Using a variety of different shaped and coloured beads to represent the diversity of our land and its people. The piece mixes both natural and synthetic materials.

Wall hanging created using recycled products, designed to encourage people to consider their environmental foot print. It also embraces recycling with materials such as; bubble wrap, aluminium cans, plastic bag and cork.

Into Craft: What is your favourite tool of the trade?

Mandy: My favourite tool would have to be my Darning Free Motion Foot. I love how there are no boundaries and your creativity can explode on a blank canvas with nothing else but your imagination and thread.

 

Mandy also shared a gorgeous Bird Bag tutorial in  Into Craft.

Look out for more of her projects coming soon at Into Craft.

 

 

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