Design Challenge Two: Kate Austin

Eau Jardin 10x10

Eau Jardin 10″x 10″

Eau Jardin- detail

Eau Jardin- 2.5″x 2.5″detail

Solid Coordinates: citron, turquoise, aqua

Solid Coordinates: citron, turquoise, aqua

Austin headshotHow exciting to be presenting my second design for Repeat(ed)! I’m so happy to be here. I really loved the feedback from the judges and mentors in the first round-  so helpful as I am a newcomer to the world of quilting fabric. It was also really useful to explore what’s out there right now. It’s thrilling to see all the enthusiasm and activity going on in the world of pattern design and quilting. I have been pinning like mad- check out my quilt and pattern boards!
My background and training is in interior and fashion fabrics where the pattern is usually experienced  in a big huge swath. It is a revelation to me and super FUN to design fabric that will be cut into pieces and made into quilts!! Now I am itching to get sewing!!!
Once again I was influenced by the weather for this assignment (to choose an occupation and its tools). This winter has been a LOOOONG one and a snowy one, so the beginning of March and the slightest hint of life in the soil led me to my dream occupation- gardener!  The key tools in my toolbox- both real and imagined- are sprinklers, hoses, and watering cans. I am in reality a very amateur gardener with a small city garden which I have been slowly trying to pack full of flowers (and the occasional berry). Here in Toronto it gets pretty scorching in the summer and our gardens need hydration or they wither up FAST. I am talking about responsible watering, as water is one of our most precious (and wasted) resources. Rain barrels, early morning drinks before the sun evaporates it all, planting close together so the moisture stays in, mulching, mulching, mulching… it’s all good!
I love gardens of all kinds- from formal arrangements to rambling cottage gardens. I wanted to bring both elements to this design- some order and some chaos. This is the essence of any garden, come to think of it.  I started by sketching water droplets, irrigation hoses, fountains and sprinklers interspersed with flowers of course.  This is one inspiring motif and I have developed a couple of other patterns around it too- you can see them here! My colour inspiration is SPRING- I want a clear, crisp, fresh, bright pattern to celebrate the season which i hope will hurry up and happen! I love the combo of red and pink, with a hit of aqua to mellow it a bit. I am also loving the primaries right now- red, yellow and blue- (plus hot pink of course)! This palette- especially in neon and sorbetto shades- is having a serious moment in the world of design and I love it!  Here’s my mood board about this colour story…

spring bikes from here, flowers from my garden, liberty floral dress s/s 2013, lego cakes found here, my latest knit and crochet projects with s/s13 yarns, a colourful brick in Mexico, my hammock and a vintage book cover!

spring bikes from here, flowers from my garden (my pix), liberty floral dress s/s 2013, lego cakes found here, my latest knit and crochet projects with s/s 2013 yarns, a colourful brick in Mexico, my hammock and a vintage flower book cover (my pix)

Here are some other examples I’ve come across lately… here and here and here too!

A dear friend of mine is having a baby any minute now and I hope to be there for the birth- how exciting- so I designed a wee baby quilt with her and the sprout in mind…

Hooray for new beginnings and bright, fresh days! Happy Spring!

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4 comments on “Design Challenge Two: Kate Austin

  1. Janel Maske on said:

    I love the colors you chose! What a cheerful, pretty design!

  2. Your design and colors are beautiful Kate! I feel all Springy when I look at your design and it gives me the itch to go dig in my garden! I love your interpretation of the challenge! Nicely done!

  3. Really thoughtful design–great job on clipping each of your sprinkler designs differently–makes the repeat so much more interesting. Colors a little too neon for me but great design.

  4. Such a pretty design and perfect after a long winter. Definitely love these cheerful colours and hopefully you get around to making your baby quilt.

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