My friend Carrie Bloomston of SUCH Designs has just sent her first fabric collection, Collage (for Windham Fabrics), out into the world, and lucky me, I get to share it with you!
I met Carrie at the Long Beach Quilt Festival in 2011. Her debut booth was a spark of bright and cheerful in an otherwise black-draped sea of business-as-usual. I was immediately drawn to her Wonky Little Houses pattern, and she and I ended up having a wonderful gab.
At the time, I was barely a year out of grad school, and still utterly exhausted and somewhat shell-shocked by the experience of surviving an MFA program. Carrie shared that she was still recovering from a demanding program at RISD, but that playing with fabric was moving her back into her old skin, and that painting was once again calling to her. We ended up bonding over being refugees from art school.
Fast forward to last year… Carrie and I ended up in adjacent booths at Long Beach 2012. It was my first big show as Hunter’s Design Studio, and we again shared a bunch of important conversations about navigating this crazy quilt world. She left me with a story about the danger of wearing layers of other people’s coats (as in allowing yourself to be weighed down with other people’s ideas of how your business should be run) and truly, it was just the conversation I needed to hear that day! So that’s the story of how we met – like many quilting stories… two women find a common thread, and as we pass it back and forth, we weave a friendship. I can’t think of a better way to make new friends.
Anyhow – back to the important task at hand… introducing the fabric! Collage is sweet evidence that Carrie made it back to her paints, and obviously had some fun. Carrie sent fabric to all her blog tour folks, and asked us to just make something from it. If you’ve been following the tour, you’ll see that we all found something in the line that spoke to our own way of seeing the world, and some great projects have ensued.
For me, the fabrics have a sense of wonder, play and delight – all things I know that Carrie (and I) have worked hard to regain after formal education. Being a Word Girl, I love the text fabrics the best, and adore the many encouraging sayings that Carrie purposely built into them.
I really enjoy using spots and stripes in things, and Collage offers a bunch of both. The border Birdie print is spectacular, and really usable. The “solids” have subtle tone variations and lines that create depth beyond a flat, monochromatic field. There really isn’t a piece in the group that can’t stand on its own, or play well with others.
I chose to make one of my latest patterns with the fabric, a chunky little messenger-style bag (the pattern is making its debut here!). While the text fabrics called to me the most, I thought the Birdies made for a better lead role on the flap, with the teal cups and scrappy newspaper stripes as wonderful supporting players. Because I couldn’t find a comfortable way to put ORANGE on the bag, I instead used the deep orange-red scrappy stripes to whip up a little tissue holder to go with it. I had to get my ORANGE in there somehow!
The lovely folks at Windham Fabrics have offered each blog host a layer-cake pack of all the Collage fabrics as a giveaway! So leave me (and Carrie!) a comment below to enter in the drawing for the layer cake, and I’ll use the random number site to choose a winner. I’ll leave the comments on for a couple of days (let’s say the end of my Tuesday), but don’t wait too long to throw your hat in the ring!
And in case you’ve missed them, here’s the blog tour roster – stop in and see all the things Collage can do:
April 22 –Karen Le Page (One Girl Circus)