Painting my very own fabric line is a dream come true. Over a year ago Anna Fishkin from Red Rooster Fabrics stopped by my booth at Quilt Market and surprised me by offering me the opportunity.
Wish I could say I was brilliant from the start but I wasn't. My first paintings were too fussy and wouldn't work for fabric. Anna had the brilliant idea of basing my first line on our hoop kits products. This gave me the chance to fully develop Fox, Hoot, So Deer, Blueberry Bear and Hedgies kit characters. Once I had a plan I broke out my Liquitex Acrylics and a handy foil pallet and got busy painting on our dining room table.
The first step was to work on the panel. The one yard length was divided into six 10" animal squares framed by a chickadee border at the top and bottom. I started with the owls from my 'Hoot' hoop kit and added papa owl to fill the frame and complete the family.
It was a given that foxes were going to feature prominently my fabric. I love this romantic pair turned out.
Some of the panel paintings went together quicker than others. I'm thrilled with the final design. It was Red Roosters idea to introduce the muslin texture from our kits into the background.
Communicating over the phone and email has its limitations. I made a trip to Red Rooster's offices in NYC to work out a plan for the coordinates. I was amazed at how many coordinates are developed. They're culled down to the favorites at the end. The best part of the trip was meeting Monika Zhu who painstakingly transforms original artwork into working textile designs. Here's my original painting for the 'all over' that was inspired by our conversations.
Here's the finished 'all over' that shows Monika's handiwork. She pulled animals from other paintings and altered the image so the repeat would work. Once all the coordinates were developed Red Rooster picked their favorites and sent them off for engraving.
The process became very real when the 'Strike Offs' (advance proofs) from Korea arrived. It was the first time the I saw the designs on fabric. Even though they were only printed on lightweight muslin the flexibility and movement was instantly engaging. The coordinates were narrowed down again and the colors were tweaked. The blue dot mushroom, green text and red wood grain in this image didn't go into the final printing.
I received an airmail package of advance yardage from Korea just in time to put together a baby quilt for the fall issue of Stitch magazine. It's a very special experience to design and sew with 'my' fabric.
The line debuted at Spring Quilt Market in Minneapolis. I overhauled my booth for the show. I switched the walls to burlap and transformed the animals to felt applique and stitched them onto the burlap. The line was overwhelmingly well received.
The fabric is finally arriving in stores this month. You can't imagine my delight when amazing Alewives offered to throw a fabric launch party. Please come to their store in Noldeboro, Maine, this Saturday the 12th of September from 10:30am -12:30pm. I cant wait to see what they've been stitching and I'd love to meet you!