Monday, June 26, 2017

Folk Art Fantasy by Amanda Murphy

If you've been waiting eagerly to learn more about Amanda's new collection, Folk Art Fantasy, ever since our Quilt Market Recap, you're in luck! Today we're featuring an interview with Amanda and plenty of eye candy--fabric photos plus her new quilt designs! Stop by the rest of the week to see what some designer friends have created using Folk Art Fantasy fabrics! 

Folk Art Fantasy by Amanda Murphy: 
where modern meets traditional in a fresh palette

What inspired you to design the Folk Art Fantasy collection?
I love folk art in general, and quilts are part of that. I wanted to do something that had the exuberance of folk art design, but not a literal interpretation. So much of the art was limited by what people could make (for example, fewer bright colors to work with). I wanted it to be about making things for the joy of making them, not necessarily the darker palette associated with folk art. It’s looser than a formalized traditional design. I definitely borrowed some folk art motifs, not just from quilting, but from cabinet making, painting and others.

Let’s talk about the palette.
When I was designing my Sewing Room collection, I was intrigued by what would happen with adding even more depth in the same shades. This collection was right for that more contrasted palette. And then I added in the deep blue/purple as well. I wanted the palette to be bright—show off the exuberance of creating folk art, making it more about the feeling. Also, the black and white prints have more prominence, and the other colors have to stand up to that combination.

What’s your favorite print?
The rug print. But I really like the medallion print as well—it offers so many opportunities for fussy cutting. 

I think the rug print makes the collection more modern. I see my designs as transitional—more modern, but grounded in traditional. The rugs are all hand drawn, with no perfect circles. They have so much contrast in them, and there’s lots of movement in the pattern.
I think in the same way the rug print makes the collection more modern, the wedding ring print harkens back to more traditional quilting as folk art.

Tell us about a few other prints in the collection.
So many folk art paintings include houses, and many of those houses have an amateur feel, as if perspective was somehow disregarded. That wonkiness was intriguing to me, so I took that style of house and put a very modern background on it. When something pulls traditional, I go modern, and vice versa. It also allows you to mix the fabrics more easily.

The star and horse print uses weathervanes, which are big in folk art, and stars. It actually functions well as a blender.

We’ve drooled over your medallion quilt in every photo of your booth from Quilt Market.
That’s my “Folk Lore” pattern. It’s the quilt that inspired the collection, and vice versa. The whole time I was designing the fabrics, I had the idea for a big medallion quilt with an appliqued border in my head. It has a modern feel because of the scale of the elements and because of how I quilted it. There are no Y seams, and you can purchase SVG files for digital cutting.

Speaking of applique, tell us about your “Folk Garden” trio.
I always like to create a freeform applique piece that isn’t too fussy in placement. And because I’d done the “Folk Lore” border applique on a white background, I used black here to show a different look. Just Another Button Company has a button pack to accompany the design. This pattern has SVG files for cutting as well.

How about your other quilt patterns?
My daughter predicted that “Folk Art Lane” would be the best seller of the bunch. It makes use of the blenders from the collection, and it’s all pieced. You can piece one row for a mini, break it up as a block of the month, or piece the entire quilt.

"Folk Art Flowers" is a one block quilt. It uses just 12 fabrics. I love the dimension in it. All the motifs there are digitized and they’re part of my traditional feathers quilting collection coming soon. The collections are digitized for both embroidery machines and long arms.

I always try to do a beginner quilt, and "All Star" is it. The design is all based off of one block, which is made from half square triangles. The quilt looks more complex because you make the block in different sizes. It’s actually a very simple block. I did it in two color stories—red/blue and periwinkle/green. If you look closely, this quilt offers a good example of the rug print being used as a blender in the star blocks—it’s so much more interesting than a traditional blender!

Alternate colorway:

Ask for Amanda's patterns at your local quilt shop or click here to order them from her website.

Amanda also designed the "Folktale" quilt pattern, which will be available soon as a free download from our website. 

Click here to see the entire Folk Art Fantasy collection. 
Click here to visit Amanda's website--see her patterns, read her blog, and follow her on other social media platforms. 
Love It? Share It! Facebook Twitter Google Pinterest Email

Friday, June 23, 2017

Rainbow Friday

Happy Friday! We're bringing a little rainbow action to celebrate the end of the week! The beauty below, Staggered Strips, is a gorgeous and easy-to-piece quilt by Melanie Greseth and Joanie Holton, and it was recently featured in Quilts and More magazine. 

 "Designed by Melanie Greseth and Joanie Holton. 
Used with permission from Quilts and More® magazine.
©2017 Meredith Corporation. All Rights Reserved.” 

 We asked Joanie to tell us about the Staggered Strips quilt. 

Tell us about working with the Zentastic fabrics.
The colors appealed to us, definitely. They’re not your typical colors—it’s a very contemporary palette, so it was a challenge to make them work together without a focal print to tie them together. We viewed the whole line as the focus and worked to put them together.  

How did you develop the design?
We wanted to keep it simple—a beginner quilt, but with a contemporary feel. As we started working with the prints, it became more about getting a cool design without a lot of piecing. We created that with the color wave concept that moves from side to side.

As the design was coming together, we decided there needed to be something to break up the rows. My son Zack, sat down with me and together we started moving colors for the horizontal bands. It was his first quilt designing experience! The bars in the center rows create a visual break.

How does the quilting enhance your design?
Our quilter, Naomi Polzin, quilted each color grouping differently. She followed the curve of the colors, changing the design in each band, which helped enhance the purposefulness of the design.

What do you like best about the quilt?
I like the way it all came together. And that it’s got a very contemporary feel to it.

Tell us about the skinny blue rectangle on the left.
It really adds a pop of color that works in the design! We originally tried the gray-blue over there (which would have continued the ordered pattern), but it just mushed—it didn’t work. The blue really pops against the greens.

p.s. Wouldn't this quilt be fabulous in some of the Bali collections we've featured on the blog this week?!?!

Click here to see the Zentastic collection.
Click here to visit Melanie and Joanie's website.
Click here to find the Summer 2017 issue of Quilts and More.

Love It? Share It! Facebook Twitter Google Pinterest Email

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Bali Week: Water Garden

Bali Week ends today!
We have one more gorgeous Bali collection to show you, Water Garden. These flora-inspired prints are paired with rich variegated stripes in a wide array of colors. Mouth-watering! 

Watch our website for the "Mystic Valley" free quilt pattern, featuring the Water Garden Balis! The pattern will be available for download in July. 

Click here to see the entire Water Garden Balis collection.

Love It? Share It! Facebook Twitter Google Pinterest Email

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Bali Week: Sunrise-Sunset

Bali Week continues! 
The Sunrise-Sunset Balis collection features all the vibrant hues seen at both the break and end of day. With the exception of the floral print, the designs created in these fabrics come from the dyeing process, creating beautiful streaks and fantastic texture.

Here's another look at the fabrics:

Watch for our "Color Ladder" free quilt pattern on the website, featuring Sunrise Sunset and Nature's Palette Balis, in July. 

Click here to see the entire Sunrise-Sunset Balis collection.
Love It? Share It! Facebook Twitter Google Pinterest Email

Monday, June 19, 2017

Bali Week: Gelato

Bali Week continues! 
The refreshing prints of the Gelato Balis collection bring to mind this sweet Italian treat--fruity, delicious, and full of summer fun!

Here's a closer look at the various prints in the collection: 
Click here to see the entire Gelato collection.
Love It? Share It! Facebook Twitter Google Pinterest Email

Friday, June 16, 2017

Bali Week: Mountain Pass and Sunset Valley

It's Bali Week! We have two collections to share with you today--one cool and one warm, but both equally gorgeous. 

First up is Mountain Pass. Cool blues, purples, greens and browns in dramatic striated designs--so much color, so much movement! 

A closer look at a few favorites: 

Look for this free quilt pattern--"Mountain Waterfall"--on our website in July!

Our warm palette fabrics today come from the aptly named Sunset Valley collection. You'll find every color of a sunset (plus a few more) in these rich balis. 

A few close-ups (you might need sunglasses to view these!)

Watch for the free "Golden Hour" pattern featuring these fabrics on our website in July.

Click here to see the entire Mountain Pass collection.
Click here to see the entire Sunset Valley collection.
Love It? Share It! Facebook Twitter Google Pinterest Email

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Bali Week: Nature's Palette

This collection is perfectly named! The colors in it are exactly what you'll find on a hike through the woods. The patterns are wood grain and marble, with a pretty floral thrown in for a little sparkle. 

Wood grain:


Click here to see the entire Nature's Palette collection. 
Love It? Share It! Facebook Twitter Google Pinterest Email