I adore quilts and quilting. My mother is a master quilter (you can see her work at http://appleavenuequilts.blogspot.com/) and the quilts she has made for me mean so much. Every night when I sleep under the multiple beautiful quilts she and my grandmother have made for me over the years, I feel safe and secure knowing that someone loves me enough to spend countless hours designing, cutting and sewing just for me. I have tried my hand at piecing and, though I enjoy it, I definitely have not had enough practice to become good at that skill. However, I think it is really important to at least try making a quilt if you want to design quilting fabric. It gives you a much better idea why quilt fabric lines are designed with varying scales, pattern densities and visual arrangements.
Here’s one of my attempts at making quilt blocks:
Not terrible for a beginner, but certainly not good!
Until I started researching for this blog post I never realized what kind of fabrics I like. I usually just walk into a quilt store and purchase a few things I like without really thinking about my whole fabric collection. Gathering and sorting images for this post made me realize that I tend to lean towards folksy, 1950′s and 1960′s inspired prints as well as prints either reproduced from or inspired by small early 1900′s prints. I LOVE what is happening in Japanese linen right now, particularly anything by the bran Kokka! Japanese linen currently has a way of pulling off adorable without making it saccharin sweet. If I had to describe the overarching theme of the fabrics I like it would come down to one word: CUTE.
Here’s some of my favorite Japanese linens:
Here are a few of my favorite early 1900′s inspired prints:
I also love prints with a very graphic quality. Here’s a few:
As for what fabrics I dislike, my biggest pet peeve is fabric that uses many bright, flashy colors with white accents and no true dark or defining colors. I’m also not a huge fan of fabrics featuring illustrations of people that are very realistic and detailed (I prefer a more stylized approach.) I do not care for fabrics that feature licensed characters that have simply been slapped on without much care for composition or orientation.
Where do I fit in this quilt fabric world? Honestly, I would probably say that I fit into the more ‘cute’ categories. I would like to be able to design for anyone, to be able to be a bit of chameleon based on what was needed. But I know that may not be the smartest way to start. It seems that in this blog and social networking saturated reality we live in now you have to have a signature style to gain traction. Perhaps I could start with trying to be known for cute fabrics and then design other styles under a different name? Time will tell. I figure I’ll just keep building my portfolio and see how it all shakes out….