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?