Friday, May 1, 2009

Sheri Berry on Trick or Treat Street

Today we get to feature one of the most adorable Halloween lines that's ever sat on our Fat Quarter Shop shelves. We drooled at Market last year when we first saw it, and now it's finally here! Trick or Treat Street, by Sheri Berry for Northcott Fabrics, is all sorts of cute ghoulish fun! Little cartoons costumed as devils, ghosts and cats, look a little spooked themselves on these prints, and cool spiders and bats join the party. The usual Halloween hues of black, lime, red and tangerine are jazzed up with pops of teal and fuschia on stripes, medallions, webs, and more, for a modern-retro vibe. And check out the PANEL--irresistible!! Thanks to Sheri Berry for being our guest today!

I grew up all over the country, because my dad was an art professor who moved every few years (something about "witness protection," he used to say--just kidding). But we often spent summers in Oklahoma, where my grandparents farmed, so I got a unique blend of the collegiate environment and rural Americana. I earned degrees in photography and art in California, but now I live in Kansas City with my husband and two kids. We're in one of the older suburbs, an area that used to be orchards, and we recently built a detached garage/studio that matches our 1939 home. After years of sharing a cramped home office with my husband, I'm so excited to go to work every day because I have a bright, airy place with the decor I love and plenty of room to spread out. We furnished the studio completely with thrift-store furniture that I repainted and reupholstered. I was even able to use a collection of beautiful vintage glass light fixture shades that I'd been saving for just the right place. You can see pictures on my blog.

I grew up thinking of Halloween more as an occasion to put together a fun costume than a time to scare people. I always enjoyed "Casper, the Friendly Ghost," and liked the idea of a Halloween theme that played up the dress-up angle instead of "real" ghosts and spirits. In fact, even though Northcott Fabrics promotes their collection of my designs under the name "Trick or Treat Street," I still market this series to manufacturers as "Costume Club." Beyond the innocence of the characters, I really tried to capture that exotic feeling you get as a kid going from house to house on a cool October night--the lighting, the romance, the touch of mystery--without making it too scary.

On Trick or Treat Street, this Halloween theme is one of many that started as a few outlines in my sketch book (or, more likely, the top sheet of a plain white memo pad), but ended up as a fully developed line. There's not much to explain about the technical aspects of how the art was created, because I work almost exclusively in Adobe Illustrator. The development of ideas that turn into actual art is a somewhat mysterious process that I'm not sure any artist can fully explain, but what has been interesting about working on fabrics with Northcott is how valuable a good art director (like Bevery Stillwell) can be. An art director can't do the artist's job, but the line development ideas they provide and the actual market needs that they feed back to the artist are essential to creating a cohesive, complementary line of products that gives quilters a lot of options.

I'll be exhibiting at another show in New York while Northcott will be at Spring Market debuting two new fabric lines I worked on with them: Tiki Paradise and Chinese Takeout. Currently, I'm preparing displays for the seven new design collections I've traditionally created every year. One of the themes I'm showing in New York is an extension to Costume Club, a.k.a. Trick or Treat Street, with some new cute little Halloween kids, who--if we're lucky--might just wander over to Trick or Treat Street in Northcott-ville. Here's a look at a few of the themes I've mentioned, Organic Fruitations, Sprout, and Tiki Tykes. You can find out more about them on my blog! The best way to ensure that more design themes like these eventually turn into fabric is to buy the current Sheri Berry fabrics and let your quilt shop know how much you like them.

Thanks for your support!
Sheri Berry

Sheri Berry Designs
Sheri Berry Designs Blog

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