Hi I'm Berene Campbell. I have a salty tongue, fire in my belly, and I find writing about myself in third person ridiculous. But I try to keep my heart in the right place, which is somewhere between being kind to others and being true to myself.
Why happy sew lucky?
I grew up in a in Cape Town, South Africa, in a large, noisy and creative family. Both my granny and my lovely mum taught me a variety of ways to keep my hands busy. After school, I studied graphic design, got married to Mr.C and we travelled the world for a few years, exposing ourselves to a wider lens on life, and learning about how incredibly lucky we were. I try to remind myself of this daily.
Early working years were spent in the ad biz working on graphics, illustration, packaging & some product design. I love design, text and colour, but the ad world is a commercial cut throat space - not always the gentlest of places. I really found my groove when I started quilting after having kids. The tactility of fabric, working with colour and designing my own projects is both calming and stimulating to me. However it's the generous & supportive quilting community that really makes my little heart sing.
Over the decades home has been South Africa, England, Dubai, Toronto and Vancouver. Today I live with my sweet family in Vancouver, BC, Canada, where I design modern, mostly Foundation Paper Piecing patterns for quilts. Some are simply aesthetic, but my recent work is more "purposeful". The negativity and news of the world troubles me, so I try to use my work to process my emotions and to put some positivity back out there. Quilting is my therapy, it calms my anxiety and takes me to my happy place. By making my patterns available to others, it has become their therapy too. Sometimes I get kind emails from people who have been touched by my work. This makes me think: "Yes!! Mission accomplished."
Making "good shit" and shit good.
A friend once told me in a thank you note that I "make good shit!" I liked that comment, but I want to do more than that in my work. I want to make shit good too. I am a strong believer that not only is giving back essential to being part of a happy community, but that it’s often most important to do it when it's least comfortable. The recent negativity in world news breeds hate and impacts our psyches with sadness and anger. This makes me anxious and fuels the fire in my belly. I know that I'm not alone in this, and I reckon that if everyone who doesn't like the hate that is going on put a little extra love out there, we'd make a lot more people in the world feel safe and secure. When people are less fearful, and feel like they are a part of the greater community of humanity, they don't need to be enraged or hateful. With this in mind I have initiated a number of community projects to rally collective positive energy and bring a bit of peace & love back into the world. They are extremely rewarding and I'm so grateful for how the quilting community has embraced these projects. If you have visited any of these installations or been a part of projects like these, you will know that feeling this collective energy is amazingly powerful. Read more on these projects here.