Greeting cards, ornaments, stationery, journals, children’s books, bedding, dinnerware, calendars, cross stitch, home accessories… and now fabric! Marjolein Bastin is a talented and prolific designer who is entranced by the natural world. FreeSpirit Fabrics is thrilled to be bringing her talent to the world of fabric with the debut collection, Nature’s Palette. Although her work is recognized and loved by millions around the world, Marjolein’s focus remains simple and true: to spend each day behind her desk painting, capturing the floral and fauna the rest of us encounter – yet overlook – every day, transforming it into something wistful and beautiful. “It’s the details in nature I want others to appreciate.” We’re pleased to introduce you to Marjolein today, and then to bring you eight lovely projects made in the beautiful colors and motifs of her new Nature’s Palette collection

A native of Holland, Marjolein Bastin’s detailed illustrations have charmed nature lovers in Europe and the US for decades. Pure happiness for Marjolein is now, as it always has been, a walk through the woods or meadows, bird watching in the dunes or searching for shells on the beach. 

This fascination with nature’s immediate surroundings started when she was only a few years old. In the garden of her patents John and Pia Uit den Bogaard in Loenenaan de Vecht, Marjolein would often lay on her stomach in the grass, enjoying every living thing around her. Even as a toddler, she quickly realized the closer you look, the more things you see. “Those who look with their heart as well as their eyes discover there is so much natural beauty around us to enjoy and admire.”

When Margolein was nine years old her family moved to the Veluwe, a forest-rich area in the province of Gelderland in the Netherlands. Suddenly there was a whole new and different natural world for her to explore. The urge to share everything she discovered started young as well. Her early drawings were to show her mother what was happening in their own backyard: the bunny peeking out from under a bush along the bike-path, the pimpernel blooming in a meadow, the raccoon visiting in the middle of the night to steal the contents of the bird-feeder.

Her artistic skills took her to the Academy for Visual Arts, where she met her husband, Gaston. Following her studies, she spent a very busy period working at a variety of advertising agencies and publishers. Although the work was exciting, it left her little time to paint. In 1974, Marjolein and the Dutch women’s magazine, Libelle started a relationship that continues to this day. Her enthusiasm for nature is translated into a weekly column designed to show others how to pause and appreciate the amazing world around them. 

Since the early nineties, Marjolein has worked with several companies in the US. For her, it was a similar eye-opening experience to her childhood move to the Veluwe. She began painting American nature in her unique way, looking not at the vast landscapes but at the small, fascinating treasures. “Unknown birds, new flowers, unfamiliar butterflies – I had to start all over, I had to look up everything! I love to share the beauty of American nature.”

Marjolein’s passion for the natural world has a universal quality that appeals to people the world over. She has a connection to and passion for everything that blooms, crawls and flies; whether in the garden of her current home in Missouri, the nearby prairies or the richness of her imagination. 

The Nature’s Palette collection for FreeSpirit captures Marjolein’s spirit and translates it to gorgeous cottons you can use to bring the beauty of nature indoors. 

Our thanks to all our friends at FreeSpirit for selecting us to create the debut project collection for their new Marjolein Bastin collection. Nature’s Palette ships this month to in-store and online retailers. Click here for a complete FreeSpirit Dealer Locator. Not all dealers receive and/or display fabrics at the same time. And remember, if your favorite retailer doesn’t carry Nature’s Palette you can always request a special order.

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