Almonte’s Grace Noël has designed
the ultimate fabric collection for true north enthusiasts. Rendered in reds, grey, cream, and soft turquoise, “With Glowing Hearts — Celebrating 150 Years” is a 21-piece collection developed with quilters in mind. The patterns are inspired by a love for Canada and the national anthem, with maple leaves scattered throughout and such classic Canadian iconography as Canada geese, beavers, hockey sticks, and Inukshuks making an appearance.
For Noël, who graduated from the interior decorating program at Algonquin College in 2016, this latest achievement caps what has been a standout couple of years on her road to becoming an established surface pattern designer. “Anything can have a pattern on it,” explains Noël. “Fabric is what people think of right away, but you can put patterns on any surface — ceramics, stationery, furniture, walls. I want to put patterns on every surface I see!”
Noël has always been into drawing but says she really ramped it up in high school, spending her spare time designing costumes and sets for school plays. It was around that time that she discovered Spoonflower, a company that allowed her to upload her sketches and have them printed onto textiles. The hugely popular site runs contests for aspiring designers; Noël began entering, vying for prize money and garnering wider recognition for her work. In 2013, while a Grade 12 student, she won a $5,000 prize from the Dragons’ Den gang, using the funds to build her blog and create promotional materials.
In 2017, her upward trajectory continues. Canadian fabric distributor Trend-Tex has made “With Glowing Hearts” the foundation of its annual quilt challenge, with the winning designs to be featured at the 2017 International Quilt Market, a huge trade show based in Houston.
Find “With Glowing Hearts” through The Running Stitch in Kanata and Textile Traditions in Almonte. — Sarah Brown