Xanthe’s creative journey began as many often do. From a young age she was encouraged by her mum to try her hand at various traditional crafts including needlework, quilting and sewing clothes for herself and friends.
Living in a small, country town in central Queensland meant that afternoons and weekends were filled up with activities around the house rather than going places.
“I have lovely memories of getting the monthly craft magazine my mum subscribed to,” recalls Xanthe. “Mum recently got them out of the cupboard and I found all the little cross-stitched bookmarks and long-stitch embroideries I had half-finished!
“Being creative was part of my life from the get-go and I studied art all the way through high school. I wanted to do graphic design at university but ended up choosing a more conservative business degree.”
Despite setting aside her creative dreams, becoming a stay-at-home mum prompted her to pick up her creative practice again.
“Although I love painting and drawing, I definitely have a natural inclination for textile-focused creativity. I think it’s the sensory element of working with fibre, as opposed to working with a brush and paint. The feel of the fabric in my hands, and then chopping things up and sewing them back together. Quilting was a natural direction for me to take. With a limited budget I was able to make things that were useful as well as beautiful. Designing patterns just happened because I was always full of my own ideas and I wanted to see if I could bring them to life.”
Xanthe has a deep appreciation for the timeless techniques of traditional textile art and crafts and this, with her love for mid-century modern design inspires her own designs.
“I try to reflect the nostalgia of yesterday’s designs through the freshness of current trends,” she says. “Modern palettes and retrospective shapes, or vice versa, make for new and interesting designs that can then be tailored to personal taste by the person making it. I love to see another person’s interpretation of my designs.”
Working with designer fabric collections is another element that Xanthe loves.
“When I’m given a collection by Nerida, I then have to figure out the best way to show off the collection's designs. I take into consideration the motifs and palette when deciding the best way to showcase it. It’s like I’ve been given a puzzle - it’s challenging and I like being challenged.”
To see more of Xanthe’s work visit www.wife-made.com and @wifemade. Read the following blog, Quilting From Scraps for a quilting tutorial from Xanthe. Make sure you post your finished quilts and tag us @hansenprintandtex, we love catching a glimpse of your end results.
Words by Xanthe Grundy