Meet the Maker - Rachael Baralos

Monday, November 24, 2014
It's nearly time for the Made in Bristol Gift Fair!  This year we are delighted to introduce textile designer Rachael Baralos, who will be joining us for both the 29th November & 7th December dates. Rachael creates beautiful pictures, cards and jewellery using a technique called 'free machine embroidery'.  The result of which are beautiful, intricate pieces of work.  We caught up with her to find out more about her designs...
Please can you introduce yourself and tell us a little about your work? 
I’m Rachael Baralos, the maker/designer of sewn by Rachael. I create free machine embroidered cards, brooches and pictures. Quite often hot air balloons and landmarks such as the Clifton Suspension Bridge can be found in my work! 

How do you prepare in the months running up to the Gift Fair? 
Sew, sew, sew! I would say that most of my work throughout the year is commission based, but as it comes closer to Christmas I have to balance the commissions alongside stock for stalls such as the Gift Fair! As this is my first Gift Fair I’m hoping that I’ve sewn enough! 
Do you have any tips on selling at Christmas markets? 
I think it is a challenge to offer something completely unique! But offering products at a variety of price points means that if your makes are admired, everyone has the opportunity to purchase something from you! 

What special little touch do you offer your customers?
I particularly like that I can inspire people to design their own commission and ideas to create their own personalised unique piece of machine embroidery. I have a book of commissions on my stall to share and inspire ideas! 

What handmade item is high on your Christmas wish list? 
I’m really trying this year to buy all of my Christmas presents direct from makers or independent shops! Although for myself, I’d love one of Samantha Bryan’s fairies! 
What is your favourite part of Christmas? 
I love the togetherness of Christmas, having worked in a school and now having a young family, it’s lovely to spend that time with those closest to you! 

Which UK artist/maker’s Facebook page do you find most inspiring and why? 
I have recently discovered Grace Gatley Textiles, she has a great tone to her Facebook page, sharing progress of projects, engaging with likers and beautiful pictures of her creations. 

What is your favourite family Christmas tradition? 
When we were younger we used to have ‘Christmas tree presents’ which in the afternoon each member of the family would sing a song or play an instrument to entertain everyone else! When you finished your piece, you would open your Christmas tree present! When my boys are a bit bigger, it would be something I’d love to start again! 
Finally, if you could re-design a Christmas decoration, what would it be and why? 
Every year I seem to like a different style and colour scheme, so I’d love to have a new set of Christmas tree decorations that lasted until 6th January and then combust! Would save that time wrapping up everything individually and finding somewhere to store them!

Thank you Rachael, we love the idea of your family tradition.  To entertain everyone before you get to open your presents, it sounds lovely!

You will find Rachael's stall on the middle level of the Colston Hall foyer during the Christmas Gift Fair on Saturday 29th November & Sunday 7th December.  For more information about the Christmas Gift Fair please visit our Facebook page.

Made in Bristol Gift Fair
Colston Hall 

Saturday 29th November 2014
Sunday 7th December 2014
10am - 4pm

Saturday 13th December 2014 
10am - 3pm

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