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Nature's Palette by Marjolein Bastin for FreeSpirit: Meet the Designer

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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.



Comments (26)

epr said:
epr's picture

The the colors are all beutiful and so many ideas on what to do with them.

DeAdaire said:
DeAdaire's picture

The breathtaking beauty of nature's colors are transported into the wonderful fabric by Marjolein Bastin. The flowers and critters come to life! What joy to see and what joy to work with this fabric. Thank you! 

quiltsofjoy said:
quiltsofjoy's picture

I Love the Journal, and now on the hunt for one.  Love the idea of capturing on paper.  Love the colors and I really love the soft feel that it gives me just looking at the cards etc...  Thank you so much for being a part of my life and inspiring my motivations today!

Theresa Morrison said:
Theresa Morrison's picture

I am so excited to see her art work in fabric.  I have been a big big fan of hers and have always loved buying her cards to give to others.   She really brings the outdoors and the wildlife right into your home and into your heart!   I love working in garden and now I get to bring it into my other special place, my sewing room!!!

Sharon Maroney said:
Sharon Maroney's picture

I have been a huge fan of Marjolein Bastin for years - buying sevral of her cards and items from Hallmark.  I love this fabric.   Cannot wait to get a stash of my own.  Thanks fr sharing.

Tchefunctemom said:
Tchefunctemom's picture

Wow. What lovely fabrics. I have enjoyed her greeting cards for years. Now I can use these beautiful fabircs in the quilts I'm now learning to make for my family. There is a spring time design I've been thinking about and these will be perfect. and I've alread printed direction for an apron on your sight that I will definitely make with this new fabric.

sallymred@hotmail.com said:

I have loved her artwork for such a long time and saved all the greeting cards I could just for the beauty of nature she captured on paper...and now on fabric.  Makes you want to write and letter and sew something, doesn't it!  Seriously, I can see a baby quilt and one of those stuffed birds that make realistic sounds to coordinate a wonderful gift for my granddaughter who I am teaching to love birds and the outdoors!

sallymred@hotmail.com said:

I have loved her artwork for such a long time and saved all the greeting cards I could just for the beauty of nature she captured on paper...and now on fabric.  Makes you want to write and letter and sew something, doesn't it!  Seriously, I can see a baby quilt and one of those stuffed birds that make realistic sounds to coordinate a wonderful gift for my granddaughter who I am teaching to love birds and the outdoors!

ruthshort618 said:
ruthshort618's picture

Wow! What talent! I love creating art with my sewing machine and you have provided us with such a beautiful way to do it! Thanks!

Ruth S said:
Ruth S's picture

Absolutely beautiful! What a gift! I love creating art with my sewing machine, and would love to have the gift of creating art with pen, ink, brush, and paint! Alas, I must leave that to you who have the gift and provide your art to us for our own use! Thank you!

Patricia Beaulieu said:
Patricia Beaulieu's picture

This fabric collection is absolutely beautiful and I just love the illustrations.  I do not have a "green thumb" and kill even plastic flowers (with dust).  So happens I was recently looking in my stash for some florals for a wedding quilt gift and to my dismay couldn't find anything appropriate.  After navigating to this page, I am awe inspired.  Thank you for introducing this wonderfully creative designer/artist. 

ataylor said:
ataylor's picture

Love the colors, would make a great quilt for my daughter she doesnt have long to live she can pass on to her daughters.........

ssdavis17 said:
ssdavis17's picture

Love this fabric line and the projects are great.  Really like the pillowcase edging and the dying suggestion. Haven't seen this before. 

De Roeck Christl said:
De Roeck Christl's picture

Prachtige collectie , ik kan niet wachten om met haar stoffen te beginnen werken laat ons snel weten waar we ze kunnen kopen ( Belgie)


de roeck christl said:
de roeck christl's picture

Ik wil zooooo snel mogelijk weten waar ik de stoffen van Marjolein kan kopen in Belgie aub !!Fantastisch !!!!Prachtig !


Mrs.T said:
Mrs.T's picture

What exciting news!  I love her artwork and it is so neat to see it in a fabric line.

Christi295 said:
Christi295's picture

What super news!! Can't wait to get some of these fabrics. I just love her paintings - whenever I see one of her cards I have to get it for my Mother, who now has Alzeimher's but loves to look at her cards still! So exited to see what other projects you'll come up with using these fabrics. Thanks "sew" much!!  

kathy g said:
kathy g's picture

LOVE this group! Lilacs are my very favorite flower so I will have to look for a project using these beautiful fabrics!

Buttahfield8 said:
Buttahfield8's picture

I LOVE Ms. Bastin and have several pieces of her work about my home. I also have many of her greeting cards in my stash! I had always wished for fabric. I am excited my wish is about to come true!!

Barb S. said:
Barb S.'s picture

I have followed Ms.Bastin since her Hallmark card days and have saved her calendars throught the years, it's a natural progression to design fabrics and I couldn't be happier to see her collection!

Savannagal said:
Savannagal's picture

I've loved her patterns since I was a teenager.  I think I still may have some of her cross stitch patterns around.

songbirdfeeder said:
songbirdfeeder's picture

Oh, I love her work!!  I have many things designed by her too.  Thank you for sharing this with us!

BettyGee said:
BettyGee's picture

Ms Bastin has been my favorite artist for years.  I have admired her talent to capture nature in many forms and the articles that have been produced using her art.  Now that she is a fabric line I couldn't be happier.  She is a major talent, thank you for bringing her to the attention of all of your readers.

carriep said:
carriep's picture

how exciting to see a fabric line with her designs. I love her stuff and have many things that I have bought at the Hallmark store. I have many ornaments that she has designed.