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Abigail Mill Textile Artist

Featured Maker - June 2017

Each month we will be turning the spotlight on one of our regular makers, to give you an insight into their work, and to direct you to more information about them.

Abigail Mill — Textile Artist

Abigail Mill in her workshopAbigail Mill is a Norfolk based textile artist who is inspired by her native coastlines and countryside. Abigail trained in embroidery at Cumbria College of Art and Design in 1990 following a passion for art throughout her childhood. Abigail says, "I'd made things from an early age and been nicknamed 'fiddle-fingers' as I was always creating, keeping busy and could never sit still! My father used to come home at weekends with an array of camera tape, the colours of the rainbow, and they were the first materials at my fingertips. The obvious path was for me to follow a creative career and I discovered textiles at art school as a means of incorporating texture and my big passion, colour."

Abigail's style is very distinctive and she uses a self-developed technique of layering up sheer backgrounds and hand dyed printed cottons, combined with free motion machine embroidery to create landscapes and other imagery. She leaves the fabric edges raw and frayed and more recently has been interested in creating three dimensional forms. The overall effect looks ethereal and her medium is sometimes confused with watercolour when viewed from a distance. Abigail comments, "my artwork is a little whimsical and nostalgic which makes people smile and reminds them of their holidays which can't be a bad thing!"

Abigail set up her business with a grant from the Prince's Trust and started selling her work through exhibitions and trade shows. Over the years the business grew and she moved to London and exhibited at trade shows there and with the Crafts Council in New York and San Francisco.

Abigail ran a card publishing business for 15 years, printing and hand finishing her images as greetings cards, selling them through high end gift shops, galleries and places like Liberty, John Lewis and Fortnum & Mason. She had sales agents working on the road for her and the cards were distributed worldwide. By 2012 she realised that her creativity was being drained and she took a break to concentrate on designing new embroidered artwork and to write a book on her work, "Applique Art – The Textile Artist".

Following the publication of her book, Abigail was invited to talk at Quilting and Embroiderers' guilds. With the resurgence of crafting she also started running her own creative machine embroidery courses.

Abigail Mill AldeburghOver the years she has featured in many craft and embroidery magazines. In 2005 she was invited, alongside three other artists, to take part in a community arts project at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital to create coastal images for the children's ward.

Abigail is on Facebook at Abigail Mill Embroidery and on Instagram as abigailmill_embroidery. Her website is:

Abigail and her work will be at the next Craft In Focus event being held at RHS Garden Hyde Hall over the August bank holiday weekend and at the RHS Garden Wisley Christmas event in November.

For full details of our events see our calendar to the left of the page.