Monday, June 26, 2017

The Artist UnSEWn Series presents Marquesas by Dena Designs

The new Marquesas collection was designed to feel tropical with a twist of bohemia.  All of these hand painted designs combine florals, geometrics, leaves, and birds.  The scale is tight on most of the patterns and when cut up for quilts will feel very textural and rich.  I love mixing and matching patterns. It has always been one of my favorite things to do and with this collection you can use one main pattern or mix and match them to create your own unique combination.  I chose three diverse color ways that could be used in any room of your home.  These patterns would also look great on clothing and accessories.  We would love to see what you come up with, that’s the best part! 

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Monday, June 19, 2017

The Artist UnSEWn Series presents Quiet Moments by Coats Designer Shell Rummel

Artist Statement
I find immense joy in the quiet moments spent seaside, meandering along the coast barefoot in early morning before the hustle of the day begins. Soft solitude allows the eye to see things in a different light. My Quiet Moments collection is directly inspired by ocean elements such as the shimmering tide, swaying ocean grasses and urchins found along the jetty. This modern coastal collection is sure to resonate with all who love the sea. My Shell Rummel fabric collections tend towards a more sophisticated design aesthetic always softened with fluid lines and a warm painterly hand. When gathering inspiration from the natural world around me, I aim to honor the edges, the delicate details, the lines and shadows and spaces in between. The soft palettes and patterns of my Quiet Moments collection layer beautifully and will add a stunning air of refined tranquility to any sewing, craft or home décor project.

One of my earliest, most vivid memories is traveling to Atlantic City for a day trip to the beach. We were so young, my sister, cousins and I, all crammed shoulder to shoulder into the back of a hot station wagon for the hour long drive to the sea. Fidgeting and loudly giggling….maybe even complaining for most of the way:) but, a change in demeanor the moment we’d begin to sense we were getting close. Excitement palpable, we’d quiet…our noses and small fingers pressed against the windows, gently maneuvering and straining necks to get that first glimpse of the ocean as we’d drive by… I can still recall seeing that glimmer of green blue at the horizon line for the very first time – and, the grasses, taller than I was, swaying slowly beyond the edge of the boardwalk – and, the sandy shoreline, speckled with treasure sharing my name. The journey there, only an hour away, always seemed impossibly far off in my young mind… but arriving, for me, always felt like coming home.

All these years later, the ocean still holds me tightly within its grasp and under its spell.  Although now I am landlocked, it’s often saltwater I crave. As an artist, watercolors are my chosen medium and no wonder… there is an inherent wild and unpredictable flow that reminds of the place I love. The transparency of pigment enhances my designs, adding subtlety and nuance. I mix my palette by hand, with a nod to the sea… blues and greens, driftwood greys, pretty corals and sands… those colors have a timeless modern coastal vibe that is universally felt and that bring many of us back to earliest memories spent seaside, a simpler, quieter time in many ways.

Artists create best from places of deep significance and resonance. My Quiet Moments collection was born from my desire to share this feeling that I hold dear. I wanted my patterns to honor coastal elements that I love to explore, like the mysterious crevices and rocks of my beloved jetty, the graceful swoop of the grasses near the boardwalk and the intricate tile work from seaside architecture that made quite an impression, catching the eye of a very young Shell. By honoring the natural and by being true and authentic to the artist within, I hope to encourage creativity on a grand scale! I hope Quiet Moments makes you feel relaxed, nostalgic and inspired at the very same time.    

Moonlight Quilt designed by Sherri Noel
Ocean Rhythm designed by Brittney Anderson

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Wednesday, June 07, 2017

The Artist UnSEWn Series presents Ghost by Nel Whatmore

The inspiration for any collection is always a gathering together of disparate images and impressions that have stayed with me over a period of time. That is what I like about the process of designing as it’s about creating from a palette of ideas and memories, and so it is with Ghost my new collection.
The palette of the collection, in fact of all my collections  evolve from and inspired by my originals paintings. I have found over the years that I tend to paint in certain palettes for a period of time and then move on, I suppose as I grow as a person my tastes and inspirations change. I am sure we all find that the colours we liked when we were younger are not the colours we would choose now. I know that is partly dictated by fashion trends but also I strongly believe by us just moving on in our lives. I work in pastel most of the time as I love the range of colours so much and also the tactile nature of the medium, which led me to textiles originally too. In the same way we create quilts, it’s all about drawing a palette of colours together.
So the rich array of blues and deep purples are a long held favourite of mine which you can see in the series of paintings below. 

The actually mixing of both pattern and painting also really fascinates as what brings everything together is the colour. Again in the same way when quilting you are always looking for a focus fabric and ones that then support and enhance it. It’s like trying to achieve a very beautiful balance.

The next colourway echoes my increasing love of greens and their calming properties and connection to nature. I find that as I now paint, my mind drifts off thinking of patterns and ways to use different palettes. There is this lovely crossing over between design and fine art, which I love, it’s rather like having two feet in two different pools with a common over flow into each.

Here are the paintings that inspired the palette of the Green Colourway of Ghost.

Finally I couldn’t not have a warm pink colourway, I am drawn a great deal to cerise pinks and find when painting that those are the colours that I often run out of  the quickest. There is something magical about a little bit of pink that can lift any painting or quilt.

Mix and matching  colours like paint on a palette is where all the fun begins.

So that is where the inspiration for the colour palettes came from. As to the forms and soft impression of levaes and feathers. I have become very obsessed recently with faint impressions of things rather than more obvious definitions of plants and flowers. So creating a collection that is full of softer lines and ghostly impressions naturally followed on.

As a child I was always fascinated by the unusual shadows or prints of leaves on pavements in the autumn that were created when a leaf had been pressed to the surface by the rain and could be peeled away later to reveal a perfect image of itself. Combined with recently getting more into printing I wanted to look at different ways of printing that left a soft edge rather than hard lines. So again this interest came to fruition in Ghost.

My daughter funnily enough is also now getting into printing even though she is doing a Fine art degree at Edinburgh College of Art. The bridging of that gap between painting and printing seems to fascinate us both.

We often share ideas and comment on each others work, we each know we can always get a very honest opinion, which is essential in order to move forward. Though you have to have a think skin!
I do hope you enjoy using Ghost. Personally I am going to make myself a dress out of the Ghost Blue main pattern, when I have a moment. Have a great time sewing and I look forward to seeing what you make!
Rope Tricks designed by Lucy Fazely

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Friday, May 26, 2017

The Artist UnSEWn Series presents Posy by Amy Reber

Crisp mornings in the Pacific Northwest with dew drops kissing the grass, majestic evergreen trees reaching for the sky, the smell of salt in the air when on a ferry in the Puget Sound and rugged, white-capped mountains that seem to hug you from every angle, are the framework for the place I am proud to call home.

Some of my fondest memories growing up in Washington are the times spent in the yard of my childhood home.  Even as a young child I can distinctly remember being aware of its beauty, and I
always felt we had the best yard around! The sheer size of the yard made it an incredible place to play. In addition to size, it had a stream, a bridge and waterfalls which added so much to the hours I played outside with my twin brother and our friends, ah the 1970s!

As an adult, looking back, it was truly a masterpiece of color, design and inspiration.  Willow trees, dogwood trees (my favorite flowering tree to this day), cherry blossoms, purple irises, azaleas, rhododendrons, roses….I could go on and on.

But what makes it so special for me is that this richly-hued landscape was entirely the handiwork of my exceptionally talented mom. Donning her rubber boots, which are a must in WA, and with her basic metal watering can, spade and shears, she’d lovingly tend to the leaves and blooms of her treasured garden nearly every day, rain or shine.  

The pride she took in cultivating such beauty and joy was really inspiring and it has very much influenced the designs I create as an artist. Though none of the designs in Posy are directly taken from the garden of my childhood, they do reflect the vibrancy and joy that mom’s garden evoked.
Color is incredibly important to me and the original palette for Posy are the Rosa colors with the bright red, yellow, green and black. The yellow is a special homage to the yellow rose bush that my mom took with her from her Mom’s garden when she and my father retired to the San Juan Islands where she has created a new garden that my children now enjoy and will  -  I hope - one day remember with fondness just as I remember the garden of my youth.

As I think about quilting and how designs are created and color schemes are formed, I think of how my mom planned her organic quilt of sorts. She took great care in considering color, placement and plant size and much like quilters love to shop for fabric, my mom gets the same joy out of shopping for the perfect flower or shrub to add to her “outdoor quilt.”

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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The Artist UnSEWn Series presents Sunny Isle by Jennifer Paganelli

So picture an Island in the Caribbean surrounded by beautiful beaches and miles of ocean to forever and sometimes the shape of another island appears on the horizon or a ships silhouette and we all get excited and stand on the balcony or our home and the one who spotted it gets all the kudos.  

What we don’t realize is that we live differently from most folks and sometimes the extraordinary vision becomes everyday common place.  Its those memories of wonder that have seared into my memory and come through every time I sit down in my studio to create a collection. Sunny Isle is no different. It was the place we went to see a movie at the local theatre or shop at Woolworths.  It was on the other side of the island and felt so far away. I have never left there. St. Croix has never left me.  Salt water patinas on everything . Faded fabrics from the sun with highlights of their originality tucked into the folds of the fabric. That’s what I try to capture that faded piece with the unseen actual color way on the underside. The one that didn’t see the sun.  I like fabrics to glow that’s where I find the best of me.

So for quilters these fabrics and their resulting quilts love to make you happy.  I start with a happy heart and add joy. These colors burst on the scene with sunshine at their backs.  These colors inspired by the islands of my early childhood will take you places its almost like “vacation was woven into the fabric”  You begin thinking bright beach chairs,sun umbrellas, swimsuits and beach towels when you see these designs, its if we took your memories of all your vacations and wove them up.  So go ahead Welcome a baby, snuggle a pet , stay warm with your loved one, let it spark happiness in your mind. Let the fabric evoke that place in you where you first felt loved.  I hope I get to be that quilt. 
Sunny Stars Quilt designed by Monique Reynolds

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