Wake up and smell the flowers! Kate Spain's newest collection for Moda Fabrics, Honey Honey, is packed full of those ocean side blossoms that are too sweet to resist. Grab a fabric bouquet and get started on your next project!
Where did you find your original inspiration for this collection?
At the end of the summer of 2011, Pete and I snuck away for a few days to Block
Island (off the coast of Rhode Island) for a little break. We biked around the island and passed by so many beautiful ocean side coastal gardens that were
overflowing with masses of bright, happy flowers in a spectrum of colors. It was
hard not to be inspired by them, and I pretty much knew then that I could
design a whole collection around this idea. When we stopped to look more carefully
at a few of the gardens, it didn't take long to notice all the honey bees that were at
work buzzing from flower to flower so I also knew they needed a place in the line as
What was your “aha” moment in designing this collection?
It seems that no matter what it is that I'm designing, the more time I'm able to
spend on it, the more "aha" moments I have. The ideas keep flowing and sometimes
it's hard to stop and edit! With Honey Honey, I designed the main pattern called
Wayside Garden first and then the overarching "theme" grew from there. I could
more or less finalize the direction once the main print was completed. It's funny
though, because even as I'm writing this, I realize it's really hard for me to use the
word "finalize" because even when something is considered "finished" i always feel
like there is so much more i could continue to explore!
What movie does your collection fit best in?
Definitely Mama Mia. I *may* have been listening to it over and over while
designing this collection, and the name from from a certain Abba
Tell me about your sewing machines. What kinds do you have and how many?
I actually have two. The first is this old Singer that was left behind by the owner of
the previous house we lived in. It was so weird in a Twilight Zone kind of way to
have this sewing machine come into my life -- especially because when we moved
into that house, I wasn't even designing fabric yet!
As for my other sewing machine, I really didn't know what to buy when I started
looking for a good machine. I "test drove" a bunch at a local store and then
smartened up and turned to Twitter and all the people I've gotten to know in the
quilting community. You know, people who use their beloved sewing machines every
day. I took a survey to find out which machines people liked and why. There were
so many options that it only confused me more! But then one day, I got an email
from Sherri over at A Quilting Life. I have been an admirer of hers for quite some
time and am always so impressed by her prolific talents. She told me what kind of
machine she uses, and I figured, "if it's good enough for Sherri, it's good enough for
me!" So my other machine is a Janome Memory Craft 6600. I love it.
What is your favorite part of the fabric industry?
By far, it's the people. I love the creative spirit of the community and the enthusiasm
people bring to whatever it is they're making. It gets me excited too, and makes me
better at what I do.
From what aspect of your life do you draw creativity?
Just about everything, really; drawing, cooking, gardening, decorating, looking at
architecture, paintings, modern furniture design, South American textiles...you name
it! I think you can train yourself to see creatively so that even when you're walking
down the street you can look at colors, shapes, proportions and can develop a visual
library to pull from. Instagram has made this process even easier and can definitely
be used as a tool for filtering your field of vision — or for me, taking too many
pictures of my cats.
What is your design process?
I generally start with my sketchbook and a pen/pencil and then scan the drawing in
to my computer and use it as a starting point for a pattern. I use Adobe Illustrator
to continue adding to the design and to work it into a repeat pattern. I do this
organically rather than relying on the computer program to realize the repeat
because I think it adds a wonderful hand-drawn and somewhat less static feeling to
the pattern. Here is an example that grew from a doodle in my sketchbook...to the
Lace pattern in Honey Honey. I had so much fun designing this one and enjoyed the
challenge of fitting it together to work in repeat.
What is your favorite print in the collection?
There are a few, but I love Wayside Garden...in every colorway, but mostly the
Ocean version. The colors pop off the dark background and it really captures the
happy feeling I had hoped to convey in this collection.
What is the most challenging part of the design process?
It's a pretty technical thing, but getting the colors from my computer screen to
match the colors of my printouts is very time-consuming and difficult. Though my
workflow is color-calibrated, it's always a challenge to get the colors "just right". My
desk usually looks like this as i'm working through this part!
What are your favorite and least favorite colors and why?
I adore cool hues like blues, greens and purples. Shades of these colors work so
beautifully and harmoniously in almost any combination. On the other hand, I also
love orange. A whole lot. In fact for a couple collections like Terrain and Cuzco I
started out intending to use red in those lines. But for me, in the end, red always
gradually turns to orange! I guess that says something with regard to how i feel
about red, but I'll keep trying to use it and hope one of these times it will work!
I also just wanted to add that if anyone is looking for some quilt inspiration
(quiltspiration?), Moda is offering a free pattern project sheet that i designed using
Honey Honey. It's called Apiary and is available to download from the *newly
designed* United Notions website, or if you'd prefer a printed hard-copy, you can
buy one at Fat Quarter Shop.
To see Honey Honey in action at Fall Quilt Market, watch our little interview with Kate!
Labels: Designer Tidbits, moda