• Nicola

Meet the quilter: Nicholas Ball

This week we welcome another special guest to the Shropshire Quilters' blog: speaker, tutor and author Nicholas Ball.

Nicholas Ball is an improv quilter from Cardiff, South Wales. After graduating Art School in 2006, it was some six years before the quilting bug bit. Nicholas's passion is improv quilting and he prefers to sew without the use of patterns or templates. He takes a lot of inspiration from natural world and his quilts showcase his love for liberated sewing. Nicholas has taught improv quilting both nationally and internationally, contributed to the UK leading quilting magazines and was a co-presenter of the QNNTV show Quilt Monkey, alongside fellow UK quilter Katy Jones.


How long have you been quilting and do you still have your first quilt?


I began quilting, albeit in a very traditional way, in 2012. My first quilt was a half square triangle quilt that had way too big a seam allowance! It's currently in a drawer, unfinished.


Do you have a favourite fabric style or colour?


I love bold colours and saturated prints. My favourites are hot pinks, teals and mustards. I love Tula Pink and anything that suggests texture.



What's your essential notion or tool?


Aurifil thread.


And your favourite snack (or tipple)?


Black coffee.



Do you listen to anything while you quilt?


My musical tastes are quite eclectic. I like to listen to anything that gets me into a rhythm and sewing faster!


Can you share a top tip/online resource?


Don't be afraid to take the leap into improv sewing. Even the most staunch traditionalist may find something about their creativity they weren't expecting. The easiest way to start is to rummage your scraps, pull out a few pleasing colour combinations and sew them together. Enjoy the process, rather than worrying about the end result.



Can you recommend a book?


It would be remiss of me not to mention my own book, Inspiring Improv, published by Lucky Spool. It's a technique-based book that teaches you six fundamental improv techniques you can get to grips with before tackling the larger quilt projects. There are also chapters on inspiration, fabric choice and how to adapt to a more liberated way of sewing, all designed to help you inspire your own improv quilting journey.



Where can we find you online?


Website: Quilts from the Attic

Facebook: Quilts from the Attic

Instagram: quiltsfromtheattic


Thank you Nicholas, its been lovely to get to know you. We're all really looking forward to meeting you as next June's speaker and workshop tutor!


And we'd really LOVE to get to know our talented membership too: if you'd like to share your quilting story please send an email to info@shropshirequilters.org for the Q&A sheet.


Visit again next Friday to meet another quilter...


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