Acme Atelier’s Andrea Chappell helps planter Jane Porter win RHS Gold and Best Container Garden at the Chelsea Flower Show

Andrea’s kilt-making business is based in Forres.

A Forres KILTMAKER celebrates his part in the success of the Chelsea Flower Show.

Local businesswoman Andrea Chappell has been commissioned by landscape designer Jane Porter to complete textile work and a memorial kilt for her show garden at RHS Chelsea.

And they were delighted when ‘The (Scottish theme) Still Garden’ won an RHS Gold Medal, as well as the trophy for Best Container Garden.

Andrea's contributions helped Jane win a trophy and a gold medal.
Andrea’s contributions helped Jane win a trophy and a gold medal.

Andrea – who designed a kilt, cushions and collars for Jane – said: “It’s incredible recognition for everyone who has collaborated on The Still Garden, for the incredible work of bringing an idea to life at RHS Chelsea. I can understand, even if I played only a small part in it, why this distinction means what it does. Winning a gold medal for Jane’s first appearance at Chelsea is an incredible feat – also winning the best-in-class trophy is exceptional. Everyone is thrilled. »

Andrea, who lives behind St Margaret’s Church on Forres High Street, started her textiles business Acme Atelier in 2020. The graphic designer, who retrained at Keith Kilt School in 2018, creates bespoke kilts in styles contemporary and traditional using the traditional hand. sewn method. She also employs experienced kilt maker Helen Patterson on her own.

Andrea said: “Kiltmaking entered the Red List of Endangered Crafts in 2021. The list is compiled by the Heritage Crafts Association, highlighting traditional skills that are part of our intangible cultural heritage. but who may not survive.

Jane owns a garden design business in Bristol. She enlisted Andrea’s help with her entry into the container garden section of this year’s Chelsea Flower Show, which features first-time RHS designers and exhibitors. Container gardens show how compact outdoor spaces can be transformed into green spaces for health, well-being and the environment.

Andrea tassels hand-wound in Harris Tweed yarn to create a foam effect.
Andrea tassels hand-wound in Harris Tweed yarn to create a foam effect.

Andrea said: ‘Jane’s Garden has been designed to showcase Scottish species as part of a program that champions the reuse of heritage whiskey vessels and craftsmanship including dry stone walls, wood carving, kilt making and engraving. I created a Scottish linen memorial kilt for Jane, using hand cut stencils to screen print and hand carved lino to block print the outer fabric depicting the plants in her garden. I painted its lining on silk, which was then traditionally sewn by hand to make the kilt. In the garden, I created cushions for the barrel seats, hand-wound pom poms in Harris Tweed yarn to create a foam effect.

The Still Garden team also each wore a Chelsea collar, created for Andrea’s IV36 initiative, created last year, which remakes and redesigns existing garments and textiles that bring in 20% of sales to fund training. a youngster from Forres. .

“The IV36 Initiative is currently just over halfway through its funding goal,” Andrea said, “which will see one young person trained at the Keith Kilt School.”

Jane acknowledged her talented friend’s contribution to the success of her candidacy.

Jane's kilt.
Jane’s kilt.

She said: “My kilt is absolutely beautiful and I never want to take it off! It’s the only one like it in the world and it will always remind me of that incredible Chelsea experience. I feel so lucky to have met Andrea, she took this project and made it so much more than I could have imagined. She is amazing.

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