Home to Roost, the latest collection from Whimsicals, will make you feel at home. We are welcoming the warm colors, cheerful roosters and comforting prints with open arms! Terri of Whimsicals is here to chat about Home to Roost, so stick around for a dose of country comfort!
Q: Where did you find your original inspiration for Home to Roost?
A: Home to Roost was inspired by two chickens that we had when I was young. Henry and Henrietta roamed around our yard for many years, so when Red Rooster Fabrics asked me to do a collection for their tenth anniversary, I knew that they would take center stage. The crowing rooster and the hen on her nest are my quirky interpretations of them, and my favorite part of this fabric line. I still chuckle a little when I look at them because she looks so surprised that her eggs have escaped and he is screaming the news to everyone else! This was one of those instances where the design just took on a life of its own and I love the way it turned out.
Q: What TV show or movie does your collection fit best in?
A: I do not watch much TV or many movies, but one that came to mind is Chicken Run!
Q: Tell me about your sewing machines. What kinds do you have and how many?
A: I got my first sewing machine when I graduated from college, although I can't remember the exact model number. I used that one for many years and loved the way that the dual feed was built into and integrated into the machine. And although it worked seamlessly, I gave that machine to my sister and replaced it with a Pfaff 2056 about 10 years ago, again because of the dual feed. I love that machine and still own it, along with a new Pfaff Quilt Expressions 4.0 that I purchased last year. Besides the dual feed, the other feature that has kept me with Pfaff is the automatic needle down option. I will be sewing along, ready to feed another piece of fabric under the presser foot and by simply lifting the pressure off the pedal, my machines will stop with the needle down and raise the presser foot, all without touching a button. Love, love, love this feature! I do find it a bit humorous that with both of these machines with all the fancy stitches, I still do almost everything with a plain old straight stitch. The other machine I bought last year was a low-end Janome serger. It took my engineer husband over an hour to figure out how to thread the thing! I have used it several times though, to make jersey knit skirts for the summer and hope to use it more this coming year.
Q: What is your favorite aspect of the fabric industry?
A: Oddly enough, I would have to say that I like the tremendous variety of fabric available and how it is always changing and evolving. Yes, it is hard to find a favorite fabric from 5 years ago, but there is bound to be another fabric out there that can be substituted instead. I think at some point, we all get tired of seeing the same thing, the same fabrics, the same colors... so change is good
Q: From what aspect of your life do you draw creativity?
A: I think most of my inspiration comes from just looking around and noticing things. A really cool design on a quilt in the window at an antique shop, or flipping through a Pottery Barn catalog. Sometimes it is even as simple as the pattern created by cracks in the sidewalk or a certain word that I hear. Everywhere I go, everything I do, I guess you could say that I pay attention to the details. But I also need to have my "alone" time where I can just let my brain relax and my thoughts wander.
Q: What is your design process?
A: My process for designing both quilts and fabrics has evolved over the years and now I work almost solely on the computer. Occasionally I will sketch something out on paper, but even then, I will scan it and transfer it to the computer to work from there. I use a Wacom tablet and Adobe Creative Suite to do everything. So for fabric designs, I literally "paint" digitally on my tablet. Being completely self-taught, it has taken me years to develop a style that I hope makes my digital paintings look like they are done with real paint on canvas or paper. But having them on the computer makes them so much easier to manipulate, rotate, change, and move around, I don't think I could go back to an actual paint brush on canvas! I use the same tools when designing a quilt as well. No, I don't have Electric Quilt and yes, I have tried it, but I am just more comfortable with my Adobe software. I know how it works, it does the job on my Mac computer, and it's easy for me to drop my files into InDesign when it comes time to write and lay out instructions for a project.
Q: What is your favorite print in the collection?
A: Can I only choose one?! Sigh. If I have to make a choice, I think it would be the word print. I love designing with words, and this one was just a lot of fun to put together. The monotone word print is pretty subtle, yet it still has some movement to it, where the multi-colored word print has those fun little pops of random color here and there. Now, if I could choose a second favorite, I would pick the large polka dots (in blue, light beige and red), just because I think they are fun!
We had the pleasure of chatting with Terri at Fall Quilt Market 2012 in Houston, Texas! Watch our interview for a peek inside her booth, a closer look at the Home to Roost collection and an introduction to her book!