Hello. Nice to be with you for this next round! To be honest, I know only the basics about quilting and sewing. So far, I’ve successfully sewn curtains and pillowcases— straight lines, please! So to my wonderfully talented seamstress friends I sometimes refer the art of sewing as “inside-out and backwards making.” I would love to learn to quilt… and will quite possibly do so at my local fabric store, The Quilted Angel… just as soon as I get to those other 101 things on my learning list.
I have been a fabric COLLECTOR forever. When I lived in San Francisco I wore only 40’s vintage clothing and if I found something I loved, but it was the wrong size, I would usually buy it anyway, just to own the print. My stash includes many a rayon robe, which also makes a cute dress with big boots— but I digress. I tend to assign personalities to fabrics… so some of the rolled up remnants just speak to me and I can’t leave them to sit waiting for someone to give them a good home!
Although I know many of the most successful fabric designers come from a sewing and pattern background, some of my favorite fabric designers began their careers in design or illustration so that gives me hope. I’m currently taking Michelle Fifis’ online course called The Sellable Sketch Workshop and this week an assignment for the class really helped me to better define the specifics of what I like in my own and others’ work. For style, it’s more + more + MORE! I’m drawn to detailed, swirling, sophisticated yet imperfect lines; lacy textures, fictional plant life; a painterly quality and puzzle-like hidden pictures and/or meaning. I’m also obsessed by STORIES— fully formed collections with lots to say in each print, and if they relate back to the main pattern in some clever way, even better! Many of these are youth-oriented and sweet like Heather Ross’ collections which can now be found on Spoonflower.
I would like to find my niche in designing for quilters and craftspeople who are inspired to sew other things too, maybe because that’s what I can imagine sewing. I adore some of the children’s clothes I’ve seen made with Rashida Coleman Hale’s Washi Tape and the home decor use of Amy Butler’s work is stunning. I’m also a dedicated fan of Bari J and last fall I followed her preparation for the Houston Quilt Market via twitter which turned out to be a very insightful view of what goes into a show like that. Her collections have a wonderful mix of styles that surprise and inspire.
I follow A LOT of designers but everything I’m posting today are those that rise to the top in the quilt market for me. These are just a taste of a few of my favorite designers and their collections that I feel represent the above description of what I like. Not necessarily their newest work but they fit the look that I’m captivated by. Some are color masters or subject stylists but all have a strong identifiable brand and look.
I believe my work would fit into this genre of design for the quilt market. I bring an inky, playful and spontaneous illustration style. Organized yet organic, charming yet not cutesy. I would like to learn more about scale and often I’m torn about how to show my designs because if they are too small you miss the uniqueness of the pen and ink line.
I CRAVE assignments and have so many ideas waiting to be worked up into full designs. The Printed Bolt is especially great because the challenge topics really help me focus on designing beyond a general or purely decorative theme. Many thanks to Madeline, Ellen, TBP judges, and all the friendly designers and bloggers who have been encouraging and helpful to me via social media or direct contact.
This year I will approach companies I would most like to work with but as the contest moves along I’d be thrilled to get noticed by a fabric manufacturer who feels my style would compliment their offerings. Um, greetings: Robert Kaufman, Art Gallery Fabrics, Free Spirit, Blend, P&B Textiles. (My manufacturer favorites list is pretty long… I literally chose at random here!)
As for quilt designs, my favorite styles are, or look, vintage: very busy blocks or hand-stitched and pieced-together wavy scraps. This is a good looking e-book of historical quilts that I found on True Up. Below are details of fabric from my own favorite quilts. These are simple treasures that tell the stories of who we are and the love and talent that keeps us safe and warm.