Can you hear me squeal?
Can you hear my heart beating out of my chest?
I could not be more excited right now to announce....
My next collection is called 'Enchant' it's still about 6 months away from arriving in stores but I have been given the green light to share my excitement and can now begin showing you more of what is to come.
I see foxes.
I see cottages.
I even see a tea party.
Working with Riley Blake Designs is a dream come true.
They are absolutely awesome.
Come dance with me,
It's time to shut your eyes and see.
This is the inspiration behind my second fabric collection Folk Tale, it has just debuted at quilt markets around the globe...or at least in Houston -USA, Yokohama - Japan, Melbourne, Australia.
Folk Tale is due to land in stores around the globe in Feb/March 2013....yes, I wish it was here now too but the best things in life are worth waiting for.
The colors in this collection are bright, happy, addictive.
You will find pops of tangerine, raspberry, teal, fern, greystone - which color will you fall for first?
Many times I am asked about the inspiration behind my sketches and designs, I guess it’s just my imagination, I shut my eyes and see.
I find I am looking at things differently with my two little ones and often see things through their eyes, they way I looked at things when I was a child – with wonder, excitement and awe.....anything is possible, who am I to question?
Designing Folk Tale was no exception hence the name of the fabric line, it’s a tale – a simple story in my imagination.
The elfin girls with long eye lashes are back again after so many fell in love with them in Woodland, this time they are walking through an aviary collecting bird cages and letting the little feathered folk free.
The hexagon mosaic print reminds me of walking through a valley of hexagon flowers with scattered birds, both blissful & peaceful all at once.
The cuckoo clock symbolises the time, both how precious it is and how fast it moves in an ordinary and simple folk tale....much like regular life.
oh deer! & the porcupine spot...
The wee animal folk, you ask? – porcupines and deer are the friends we meet on the journey, fall in love with them & your heart will sing forever.
Folk Tale is simply my journey of imagination.
Remember, shut your eyes & see.
It's time to show you the fabrics that never saw the light of day, it's not that I didn't want them to be in the final cut....trust me it was a hard decision and one that I lost sleep over.
I have thought hard about showing you fabrics from the collection that are NOT available and never will be, after all it's like waving a lolly in your face and telling you not to eat it....but it was part of the design journey & so I will share it with you.
I have mentioned before that once the Woodland collection was designed I needed to reduce the amount of fabrics in the line - I would have to select my favorites and loose a colorway but it was hard to pick and leave those aside that you still adore but quite simply did not have the room for......easy peasy! - not :)
The picture below is from the original strike offs - (strike off's? just think small fabric samples of all designs in all colorways)....also known as maximum eye candy.
These are the ones that didn't make it...
Yes, there was a tangerine colorway
and more fabric 'babes' that were left on the shelf....eeek!
So as much as I adore the ones that didn't make it,
I still love Woodland just the way it is.
I was looking through my folio over the weekend and found the original art concept & design for my Woodland fabric collection, so I guess it's about time I shared them with you...
Actually it is great fun for me to see the transition from sketch to final fabric so I hope you enjoy looking over them, the sketches are my original artwork designs & one of the first times they were ever created on paper - this is why I love drawing, there is nothing better for the imagination than pencil & paper.
Original sketch for 'Woodland Faeries' -
became....'Woodland Faeries' in fabric
Original sketch for the 'Forrest Path'
became 'Forrest Path' in fabric
Original sketch for 'Woodland Village'
Became 'Woodland Village' in fabric
Original sketch for 'Woodland Neighbours'
became the 'Woodland Neighbours' in fabric
See....everything has a beginning,
even the fabric.
Do you hoop it or frame it before you sew?
If you have been to one of my classes in the past (or been lucky to attend one of the stitching retreats) you would have seen me stitching and demonstrating my way of sewing. I was never a hoop person...they always got in the way and (for me) awkward to use, until the day my fingers began cramping from 'excess sewing' - there had to be a better way and there was.
I found the Klip-fast frame 4 years ago and loved it (sadly I have just found out they are no longer being produced) so I went looking for a new alternative & found one.
This is the product I use now - it's 'new' to me...and called the Q-snap. It's square and easy to handle....tensions fabric quickly and simply, no little screws to adjust and no bamboo.
(Mine is the 8 inch square frame - found here)
Trust me, it helps to make your stitching neat and stops the annoying fabric 'puckering' look when your stitching is complete by using the correct tension across the fabric all the time.
The best way to get a nice flat finish on your completed project.
The bonus part - it comes apart if you need to take it travelling or for stitching on the move and squishing into small luggage spaces.
Try one if you get a chance, I think you will love it.
Here is a sweet little corner in the studio, a place I walk past a dozen times in the day. I have mentioned before how I love little displays around the house, especially in the place I work and create.
So this is a little happy place among my creative mess, with favorite issues of Mollie Makes, my artwork scattered about and three very gorgeous growing gifts sent from one of my friends.
It's little things like this that make our house a home and the studio a special place to create.
Oh and the exciting news this week is my strike off's for the next fabric line 'Folk Tale' should be arriving from the mill in the next week or so (early August, I hope!) I can't wait to see the next new designs printed on fabric.....I see deer, hedgehog, birds, elfin girls & more.
Yay for our new pattern The Toymaker, it seems you love it as much as I do!
Here are a few close up shots of the design, I hope to answer a few of your (emailed) questions regarding the stitch and design - if I miss something or you would like to know more information please send me a message via the blog or direct email / facebook.
Disclaimer: stitching is addictive once you begin...
- Yes, the little envelope is little - at only 3" x 4" complete.
- See the stamp in the corner? - it measures 1/2" square, the snowman inside the stamp is teeny tiny. It's kind of hard for you to tell when I use the macro lens.
- Yes, I love detail....eeeek!
- All the embroidery is hand stitched - just simple stitches (backstitch, chain stitch, running stitch, satin stitch)
- Chocolate has been known to make you stitch more neatly. Must be something in the cocoa :)
- I have used red 346 COSMO embroidery floss for the entire design, you will need 2 x skeins to make all three projects.
- The fabric I am using to stitch with at the moment is called Hankey Linen, it comes in an array of gorgeous colors (white, red, aqua, hesian, cerise) and is beautiful cloth to work with.
- The thread I use for 'quilting' is DMC #8 perle thread
- I love using a ZIG pen in brown to draw my designs directly onto the fabric (ultra fine tip the finer the better)....
- I always use a embroidery frame when stitching (that's a whole other story I will blog about shortly) mine is a square one not round.
- One of my favorite parts of the sketching process is giving each creature or character his/her own personality. It could be just two dots and a dash but that moment when they smile back at me is simply awesome.
Hopefully I have answered a few of your emails and questions with just one blog post...is there anything I have missed?
This is the kind of mess I love.
It's a new design in the making, I see butterflies and more....chain stitch, back stitch and a little satin stitch....oh and the colors, I adore the little splash of yellow - it adds a little yum factor.
If you are wondering, these special stitchings are the making of projetcs for the Daylesford Craft Experience being held in September at the Peppers Springs Retreat & Spa, Hepburn Springs for all the details about the weekend pop over to Threadneedle Craft to find out more! It's a huge weekend and I know you will love it x
I'm off to finish these little ones, back soon with more butterfly peeks.
I think we broke a new comment record on the blog....a billion thank you's for popping your name in the draw to win a bundle of 32 x Woodland fat quarters and a copy of Vignette magazine you have blown me away. I honestly can't wait to show you what is in store for my 2012 fabric collection....all in good time, I promise - and some things are indeed worth waiting for.
So who is the lucky person? Congratulations to Sarah Rothe (blog entry is below).....check your inbox Sarah for more details!
"Ooh thanks for the chance to win! I've never won a blog competition. Love your fabrics and vignette magazine. I am about half way through the vignette quilt!" 21st July 8.57pm
There have been a few changes in our studio space over the last month or so as we begin making room for the new addition to our Family. If you have been following my posts on Facebook you might remember that last month we had a delivery from Ikea, it was just two products or ummm..... 15 boxes.
That's a lot of boxes.
Thank goodness I wasn't in charge of building or reading the instructions, my role was planning and design (aka - making things look nice). If you are wondering which products they are pop over to the Ikea website and checkout the Besta combination unit and Bjursta table. I love both of them, they suit the area perfectly.
My studio is not just used for sewing but also for drawing and design work, the table is large enough to set out my drawing designs, laptop, Wacom tablet all at once if required. Much better work space than previously.
I *love* the loads of natural light = pure bliss
Yes it is very clean here, but to keep it real I assure you it doesn't quite look the same today. Mess in the studio equals creativity c'est la vie....such is life.
In the corner of the studio is my cutting table I have had for years, it's the place where all the sharp things are kept (away from the little fingers). The cabinet is designed at the perfect height for cutting without breaking your back - cutting mat I am using is 34" wide.
The blue table underneath was used as a prop in Cotton Floss and I picked it up at a place in town called the Mill Markets....you could get lost in that store for an entire day, I LOVE it. For now this is where my big graph pads and light box rest plus a few of my favorite 30's & 50's inspired 'picture books' a wonderful source of inspiration, both colour and style.
I need to make my studio space a place I love to be in an area that is workable and easy to get around and access. Part of making the place just right for me is making sure I have the things I love on the shelves, not hidden away. It also allows for happy gazing & day dreaming.
You will find bolts of my first fabric line 'Woodland' in the shelves. One of my framed greeting cards 'Flutterby' and a few little toadstool houses from Cotton Floss. I love that I can change the art work each time I have a new design or 'just because'.
The middle shelves are where you will find Flower Sugar, Lecien basics, old vintage buttons and a little piece of Paris.
Divine Twine, felt squares, perle thread and pre cuts I adore. The drawers below are also full of fabric, folded in colour along with sewing gadgets, and stitching supplies. Samples are tucked away in the cupboards or scattered around the studio & home.
I am still playing with the space so I have no doubt it will change and morph in time...it's still a work in progress but right now it seems to be working just right.