Tag Archives: interview

Dashwood Designer: Jilly P

It’s always exciting when a new collection leaves the studio and goes into production, especially when we’ve had such an overwhelming response to the sneak peaks we’ve been sharing on Instagram and Facebook. Our upcoming Mori Girls collection is one such collection which has captured the hearts of our fabric loving fans.

Mori Girls

Mori Girls is the debut collection from illustrator Jillian Phillips. Inspired by her love of Yoyogi Park in Tokyo and featuring her little dachshund Bertie, there are a mix of florals, conversationals and sweet repeats.

Jilly P Mori Girls

This week on the blog, we’re chatting with Mori Girls designer Jilly P and discovering how the collection came to life, her influences and a behind – the – scenes of creating it:

How did you start working with Dashwood?

Dashwood Studio got in touch last year after seeing my website and work online. I had been looking for a fabric company to work with for a while so I was delighted to be offered the chance to collaborate on a collection!

Mori Girls Dashwood Studio

What patterns or ideas in mind already before starting the process?

I had a vast collection of prints which I getting ready to show my clients, so I passed these on to David (our creative director) to see if there was anything he liked as a starting point. He chose a girl print which had other elements like trees, cats, dogs and flowers, and it just flowed from there really.

Bertie Jilly P Mori Girls

What was the inspiration for the collection?

I love to draw inspiration from my annual trip to Japan, and also from my own little dog Bertie. I tend to draw a lot of girl characters and florals when I doodle, definitely my favourite subject.

MORI 1147

MORI 1147

Do you have a design process you follow?

I spend some time doodling and playing around with very rough ideas. Then I move on to working on the computer, adding textures and detail where I think it’s needed. It can take about 2-3 hours to get the characters right, but some designs take a bit longer. This year is the first time in ages I’ve started using sketchbooks as a way of storing ideas. They are a lovely record of all the great things that I see and can spark an idea month’s after drawing/finding them.

MORI 1149

MORI 1149

Where do you design?

I work from home in my spare room, it’s a tiny room, I’d love to have a big studio space one day, but for now it’s the spare room for me.

MORI 1148

MORI 1148

Do you have company whilst working?

Bertie sits close by each day, we have 6music on the radio.

MORI 1151

MORI 1151

What’s a typical working day like for you?

I start work between 8 and 8.45am, depending on when I’ve come back from the morning dog walk. I have to have a cup of tea while I sit and read emails, then it’s a case of starting the first design job for the day. I try not to work too many late nights these days- I used to do 12 hour days but I don’t like doing that anymore if I can help it. If I do work late these days, I’m usually doing something like sketching ideas for new prints- away from the computer!

MORI 1146

MORI 1146

What would you like to see made with the fabric?

Childrens’ quilts, bedding and little dresses.

Will you be making anything?

I’m going to attempt(!) to make some dresses and bedding for samples to show clients… My sewing skills are a bit rusty!

MORI 1152

MORI 1152

What are you working on next?

I’m just about to start on a spring summer range for Dashwood, so I’m really looking forward to that. It’s always fun.

MORI 1150

MORI 1150

Quick Fire Questions

Who or what inspires you?

I love beautiful photography, Japanese craft and design books and scandinavian home ware.

What blogs do you love?

Fine little day and Hello Sandwich

What’s your favourite instagram account?

Too many to choose from! But check out emilymisabella, mirdinara, aikofukawa, choidecoco

Which print from Mori Girls is your fave?

Has to be the bertie print – the sausage dogs!

Tea or coffee?

TEA, all day long :)

Favourite afternoon snack?

ooh, on special occasions a chocolate biscuit is perfect.


Jilly’s website: http://jillyp.co.uk/

Find Jilly on Instagram: https://instagram.com/jillyp_studio/

Interview: Núria González of Zález

Last week we shared a fantastic drawstring bag DIY tutorial by Núria González of Zález in Spain and promised to feature an interview with the owner herself, so you could find out more about her and how she set up her business!

Her business has just turned ‘4’ so what better way to help her celebrate!

Nuria Gonzalez Zalez

Hi Nuria, thanks so much for agreeing to answer some questions for us! Let’s start with your business Zález. When did you start it and why?

I studied fashion design in Barcelona. I always liked to draw and make different types of crafts, as I’m good working with my hands. 10 years ago I moved to Seville and began creating small textile accessories. And eight years ago I created the Zález brand, which eventually evolved to today where I have my own store and shop in the centre of Seville. Currently I also sell my designs online through the nuriagonzalez.com website.

Nuria Gonzalez Zalez

What do you sell?

In my shop I sell bags, backpacks and small textile accessories in which I make the design and sew. I also sell Japanese fabrics and of course the beautiful Dashwood Studio fabrics so that each client can make their own designs. I offer to my clients the option to customize the bags, so they can choose themselves fabrics they like and make small changes that will best suit their preferences.

Nuria Gonzalez Zalez

Have you always loved fabric and sewing?

As a child I always dressed up and made my own dresses in pieces of cloth. I loved to combine fabrics, colors, etc. Currently I feel the same with different fabrics with which I work. I enjoy looking for great original combinations between different patterns. Japanese fabrics, Dashwood Studio fabrics, etc., are a source of constant inspiration.

So what else inspires you and helps you get into the creative mood?

I love illustration, furniture design, whether modern or ancient, and the same happens with the architecture. I think I absorb many ideas of shapes and silhouettes of all these elements. A very important part of my designs are the needs that I convey my clients. I talk every day with them as it is so important, all both positive and negative reviews must be taken into account when choosing materials and shapes to create a new accessory.

Nuria Gonzalez Zalez

Who are your favourite makers/designers/crafters?

I like many designers and crafters! I love jewelry of Manitas de Plata, Fauna y Flora and Laliblue that I sell in my store. Creativity in creating of Moniquilla prints, Todo Muta designs, Lady Desidia, and many others.

Nuria Gonzalez Zalez

There seems to be a rise of Spanish crafters and shops, have you noticed this and why do you think that is?

I think that the economic crisis affecting Spain in recent years has made many people have to create their own business. People become more creative, looking for other ways to enjoy their free time, either by sewing, painting, crocheting, and other crafts. All this coupled with a wealth of information on the Internet such as tutorials, beautiful photographs and easy to get any material. It is a constant source of inspiration and motivation that makes people create their own blogs, websites, etc., to show their work.

Nuria Gonzalez Zalez

What’s a typical day at Zález like?

A typical day in Zález begins in the workshop, which is integrated into the store. I start to sew custom orders for clients, and then sew bags and backpacks for my own shop. As the morning progresses clients start coming and I attend and advise them myself. Every six months I design the new collection. I manage myself all social networks (Facebook, Instagram, blog and website). And also the administrative side as well, so never stop!

Thanks Núria, it’s wonderful to get an insight into your business and your love of fabrics and craft!

If you want to follow Núria you can find her on:





Dashwood Designers: Jessica Hogarth

Name: Jessica Hogarth
Collection: Street Life
Website: http://www.jessicahogarth.com

Jessica Hogarth Headshot

How did working with Dashwood Studio come about?

David, [Dashwood’s Creative Director] and I have known each other for a while, through other licensing projects. I created a one off mini print a couple of years ago which sold for Dashwood as a one off novelty, but we both wanted to collaborate on a full collection.

Street Life by Jessica Hogarth

Did you have the collection designed already or did you create it for Dashwood from scratch?

Other than one or two designs, I created the collection for Dashwood from scratch. We used some existing artwork of mine as inspiration, but it was nice to create a range of patterns specifically for this product.


What inspired the collection?

I am a big fan of exploring cities and love architecture in general. I wanted to create a body of work that hinted towards city life but was more subtle than some of the place specific designs I have created in the past.Jessica Hogarth Mood Board

Where do you start with designing and how does it grow and develop?

I start by doing lots of drawing. I often have a vision in my head about what I want a print to look and feel like, but until I start experimenting with layout it’s all about building a strong collection of illustrations.

Were there any challenges or moments of pure joy whilst designing Street Life?

I really enjoyed creating the people print. I did it one afternoon listening to some good music, and got stuck in to the drawings. I haven’t drawn many people so it was a nice challenge and I was pleased with the finished design.

Jessica Hogarth Studio
Where do you design? 

I have a unit in a business centre in Whitby. This is where I keep all of my stock, pack orders and of course do my design work. It’s light and in a building with lots of other businesses which makes it more social than when I worked from home.

Do you have company whilst working?

No, I work alone. When I worked from home my cat used to come and sit in my garden studio so I miss having him around, but he was quite mischievous so I probably get more work done now!


What’s a typical working day look like for you?

Every day differs greatly, but it always involves some form of admin, online order sorting, and recently a lot of designing. I like the variety that comes with having my own business, and the fact that each day is truly different.

How did you get into design? Did you have specific training?

I studied Printed Textiles and Surface Pattern design at Leeds College of Art. This really prepared me for the commercial world of design, but I have learned so much working for myself the past three years.

What advice would you give to someone who would like to follow in your footsteps?

Work hard, be passionate and don’t underestimate the amount of paperwork and admin that comes with running a business!

STLF 1105

STLF 1105

What would you like to see made with your fabric?

I’d love to have some kind of chair upholstered with one of the prints. The car print is my favourite, it would be nice to have that made in to a top.

Do you sew? If so, will you be making anything using the collection?

No, I definitely don’t sew! My mum on the other hand, does. I’m hoping she is going to make me a mini quilt.

What’s coming up project-wise for you?

I am working with a couple of charities at the moment, creating artwork for use on a number of products set to launch later this year and in 2016. I am also busy developing ideas for new greetings card for my wholesale product range. I have two trade shows left this year and want to be able to offer my customers something new.

If you could design another collection for Dashwood, what would it be like?

Hm I’m not too sure! It would definitely be colourful and fun, but subject wise I am not too sure about. Suggestions welcome!

A Chat With Quilter, Paper Engineer & Artist, Michael Caputo

Michael Caputo is a quilter, paper engineer and artist who we’ve admired for a long time here at Dashwood – and when he agreed to make an exclusive quilt using our latest collection Rain or Shine – we jumped at the chance!

Today on the blog we settle in for a good chat and catch up with the man himself, and discover where his passion for textiles and quilting came from, and how he turned it into a successful career….

How did you get into quilting and how long have you been doing it for?

My quilting start was sort of a joke. My mother is a quilter and a crafter and for years she was making quilts for everyone we knew. Everyone except me! She didn’t want my dog Lily to play on all her hard work when I was out of the apartment. So one year, I was sick over the Christmas Holidays and I asked her if she would bring in her spare machine in to the city (NYC) and show me what to do. Off I went to the City Quilter in New York City to buy some fabric. This was my first experience in a proper Quilting Shop.
IMG_0513 I was overwhelmed but managed to select fabric based on what I liked. I had a copy of Denyse Schmidt’s book, Denyse Schmidt Quilts: 30 Colorful Quilt and Patchwork Projects and was working off one of her amazing quilt patterns. This was back in 2006.

What was the first quilt you ever made?

I might have bitten off a bit more than I could chew at the time. The piecing went smoothly. I made myself a card template for the gentle curves and precut all of my fabric, pinned and labeled everything so I could just sew. I wanted the top to sit a certain way so it ended up being very large. Somewhere in the neighborhood of a Super King! It sat in a plastic storage container for years, as I had no way of quilting it. About 6 years ago my mom bought a HandiQuilter Longarm and has it set up in her basement back home in New York. Last year while Victoria and I were home visiting I reached out to Denyse to see if she would mind a Studio visit. I was able to show her my first quilting project. I went home and threw it on the Longarm and for the next 2 days was in a quilting zone. It was finished by the time we made it back to London and is on the bed in our spare room.

Have you received any training or attended courses to enhance your skills?

I have no professional quilt training. Generally I try to figure things out myself but if I can’t I have a look online. Crafsty quilting classes are great. I have most of them in my account. I did also take a class when I first started with my mom years ago. It was a Log Cabin class. It was me and 8 women quilting away. Needless to say I was the only one to finish my quilt in the 2 classes. It was based on a pattern from a book which I can’t remember.

Do you use your sewing skills for making anything else?

My wife and I now have a little boy. Haydn is 11 months old and I have made him a few pairs of Overalls. I have been planning to make a few skirts for Victoria but haven’t gotten around to them yet.

You are also a paper engineer and artist, please tell us more about what that is and how you got into it?

Basically a paper engineer is someone who designs and creates the mechanical parts of pop-up books or novelty books. It can something as simple as a pull tab
IMG_0619 IMG_0620 ….or a really complex cityscape of Paris for my 75th Anniversary Pop-Up for Madeline.
IMG_0718 Basically I start out with an idea of what I am going to do and then I construct it in paper. This could take a few hours or a few days to get right. Once I have built a functioning model I dismantle it and make digital files to ensure all of my measurements are 100% correct.
IMG_0185 IMG_0216 DSC_0012 I got into Pop-ups by accident as well. I was working for HarperCollins designing Children’s books back in NYC and a friend of mine was the Art Director at Simon & Schuster. They did a lot of Pop-Up books. Robert Sabuda and Matthew Reinhart were looking for a intern to help with some projects they were working on and after meeting with them was asked if I could help them out. I worked every Saturday for lunch and got to learn from the Masters of the Pop-Up World.

How has your career developed as a paper engineer?

After I left HarperCollins, I worked at a few other place but always remained in touch with Robert and Matthew. Years later they were at a point where they needed a fulltime designer/engineer and so I was hired as the Art Director to design and help with the engineering of dozens of books and cards. I have worked on Cinderella, MegaBeasts, Sharks, Narnia, 12 Days of Christmas, Star Wars and many more.
DSC_0033 DSC_0040 Through another friend I found out that Penguin was looking for a Novelty Designer to try to revitalize an old imprint that used to do Pop-Ups. I was now able to design and engineer my own titles. I came in 2nd in the Novelty category in the 2010 NY Book Show for my book called “Everyone Says I Love You”,
DSC_0007 DSC_0048 DSC_0049 ….and 1st in 2012 for Spin.
IMG_0618 Now I do freelance for companies I like both here in London and back home in NYC.

Do you find any synergies with working with paper and fabric?

I like to use my design background when creating my quilts. It is very easy for me to brainstorm with pencil and paper and then quickly mock things up on my computer. If I have access to digital images of the fabric I can place them and make a fully rendered representation of the quilt. Takes the guess work out of it and also allows the magazines a chance to see it before it is done.

Did you have a design in mind for the Dashwood Studio quilt before hand?

David messaged me on my blog page after seeing one of my projects in Quilt Now!.
20141030_092021 2ee6f501a6569cf213987ad1c50a88aa_L He mentioned he had some strike off fabric as the final run was not complete and wanted to know if I would be interested in creating something to display the fabric for an upcoming show. Once he sent an image of the prints I had the idea.

What inspired the design of the quilt?

Because the prints are bright and playful I wanted to have them on a grey background so they would pop.
20150125_215320 As this was a piece to be on display at shows I wanted to keep the print fabric as solid as possible so they can be seen in a larger section. The idea was to have a dark sky above an umbrella and a bright blue sky below. Once I saw the fabric in person I knew the idea was spot on.

How did you pick which prints from the collection to use, and where?

I only had a small piece of a few fabrics. I used nearly everything that David sent to me including the extra dots, which I used on the binding. The bright yellow Sun print and the Dark blue Umbrella print were a perfect choice for the big umbrella. The white background prints suited the raindrops.

DSC_0223 DSC_0219 DSC_0221 DSC_0220 DSC_0229

Did you have a favourite print from the collection?

I actually like them all but as yellow is my favorite colour I am going to say the Sun print.

Please explain the process behind making the quilt – how long did it take you, what were the different stages etc?

The process was pretty straightforward. I picked out 4 grey Kona solids and 3 blue Kona solids for the base quilt. Mixing and stitching the pieces together I created a upper background and a lower background. All of the pieces of the Umbrella and the Raindrops were appliqued on using a decorative stitch. The pattern has been written up and will be in an upcoming issue of Quilt Now! Keep an eye out for the details on how to make your own….

Do you have a dedicated sewing/crafting space?

I have a separate room in our house. It is my office so it has a big iMac, a bigger printer and scanner and cutting mats on one side and the other has my Janome Horizon 7700.
DSC_0263 DSC_0265 DSC_0266 DSC_0267 It is usually a mess with both paper shavings and fabric slivers all over the table and floor. I have posters on the walls and my Pop-Up books on the shelves. Before we moved to this new house I had a Studio in Dalston which was twice the size but now I can work anytime I want and even in my pajamas. Usually I do my binding on the couch watching Law& Order reruns.

What helps you get into a project? Music? Company? 

The music is always on when I am working. I have also been known to have Netflix on in the background. When we used to foster dogs from Battersea, they would come with me to the Studio when it was outside of the house. Now that I work from home and we don’t have a foster dog I just listen to music.

How do you document your ideas?

I’m not always the best at documenting things while I am working. My goal was to take pictures so I can post them on my blog. I get so focused that on what I am doing that the camera just sits quietly in its tripod, unused. I am getting better but still not where I would like it to be. As most of the newer stuff has a digital version and templates I have been organizing them in folders on my computer.

What are you working on next?

I am currently working on project for Love Patchwork & Quilting for the April issue and also another one for Quilt Now!. I think that is an April issue as well. Just finished and cool wall hanging for the March issue Quilt Now!. I was also asked by British Patchwork & Quilting magazine to do two articles for upcoming issues.I try to keep busy when I am not looking after the baby. Here are some of my newer projects.
DSC_0212 A project I did for a blog hop by Emily Herrick.
My 2013 entry to the Festival of Quilts. James Dean done in Tula Pink’s prints.
My version of Andy Warhol’s Queen.
Jimi Hendrix at the London Modern Quilt Guild display, Festival of Quilts 2014
IMG_0044 Scrap play with some old Kate Spain prints.
Commissioned quilt for the new DK book on Quilting.

You can find out more about Michael and his work, over at his website: http://www.patchworkandpaper.com/

Stephanie Thannhauser talks to Dashwood Studio about her latest collection Rain or Shine

Today on the blog we welcome back Dashwood designer Stephanie Thannhauser – who was one of the first designer’s we worked with when we launched Dashwood Studio.


Steph is the creator of our hit collection Annali and is now back with a fun and whimsical collection depicting the Great British Weather – Rain or Shine?

stepht black and white

We caught up with Steph to find out how she was inspired to design Rain or Shine and what she’s been up to since we last talked.

Hey Steph, thanks so much for joining us on the blog. Can you tell us what inspired Rain or Shine?

I just noticed a trend towards weather related imagery so when Dashwood asked for new range ideas I pitched the good old weather. We talk about the climate soooooo much in the UK, this is a very British collection but not in a union jack and red bus way.


Absolutely! We can’t stop talking about the weather can we? It only seems right to have fabric about it too! So, was the process different to designing Annali?

No not really, I always start collecting images and colours to get a sense of the range and its direction before starting to design. I also created a Pinterest board which you can see here: https://www.pinterest.com/ricracuk/the-weather/

mood board

We love Pinterest! Thanks for sharing that with us. Were there any challenges you faced during the design process?

The biggest challenge in this range was getting the size of the patterns right. I had to keep in mind how the designs might be used and make sure the patterns would be appropriate scales for a variety of projects.


And what did you enjoy most about making the collection?

The colours. For me, it’s always the colours that inspire me first and foremost. As the range builds it’s always great to see how the colours work together in each pattern and as a range.

RNSH 1099 Puddle Grey

RNSH 1099 Puddle Grey

It’s a really colourful collection. Do you have a favourite print?

Both of the Puddle designs because they came together like magic. Whilst sketching raindrops to scan and colour up in Illustrator, I started to run out of paper so I swerved round the paper creating a kind of swirl of rain which I knew I could correct later.

RNSH 1099 Puddle Pink

RNSH 1099 Puddle Pink

My plan had been to create a decorative rain coming straight down in rods like it does. But, when I saw the scan I thought, hello this looks great. I liked the movement and realised I had stumbled on something that was more interesting than my original idea. It just goes to show sometime it’s the mistakes we make that are better than the plan! ; )

weather makes sketches

What would you most like to see made with Rain or Shine?

I’d love to see some children’s clothes made up in the range. I am really excited that the Umbrella print has been created in a oil cloth fabric as well, great for rain coats and aprons!

We can’t wait to see how people interpret it – and the oil cloth is a new experiment for us at the studio – but we have a feeling people are going to love it. Looking back to Annali, what was the response like to that collection?

It’s been great. I’ve had some great feedback and folk from a totally different discipline have seen my work which is fabulous. Thanks Dashwood!

RNSH 1097 umbrellas

RNSH 1097

Oh no, thank you! It was a real hit and people loved it. So, how has your business evolved since Annali?

It’s helped me move back into an area I actually trained in. I did a BA in printed textiles but have spent most of my career designing embellishments for fashion and paper goods.

What else are you working on at the moment, or have in the pipeline?

I always seem to be juggling lots of different things for many different products. This week I received some samples of some wrap designs I created which look great, I am working on a new range of cards and have been asked to come up with some ideas for a Christmas project for a craft magazine. Busy, busy, busy… I LOVE it!

Sounds varied and a lot of fun! (And Christmas already!) Thank you Steph – we so thrilled to have you back at Dashwood and we are really excited to see Rain or Shine hit the shops in the next few weeks!