Saturday, July 19, 2014

Designer Tidbits: Rustique by Emily Herrick

Hello everyone and happy Saturday! We're so thrilled to have Emily Herrick of Crazy Old Ladies here on the Jolly Jabber to talk about her Rustique Collection for Michael Miller Fabrics. This collection mixes rustic charm with bright colors to create a modern twist! Keep on reading to find out more on the collection. 

Q: Tell us a little about the Rustique collection. What were you inspired by?
A: Rustique has been a work in progress for some time. The idea started over 2 years ago and evolved into the collection that is out today. I grew up in the Bay Area suburbs in California where I didn't see a whole lot of wildlife. My husband on the other hand grew up in Idaho where they camped, hiked and hunting was a family tradition. His passion for all things outdoors has been quite an adjustment for me. He's all about the mountains and wildlife and all things camo (blech!), while my vacations include restaurants, hotels and shopping.

At some point I started to entertain the idea of creating a fabric collection that would include common rustic themes yet appeal to me with color and patterns. I knew from the beginning that I would include silhouette of deer and antlers. Another motif I wanted to include was the crosscut wood rings. I love plaid, so designing a cabin-esque plaid was a no-brainer. Utah has lots of Quaking Aspens in the mountains so I had to include those in a print. I tried to stay away from cliche type images and give my motifs an artistic feel. My favorite thing about Rustique is that I designed it with my husband in mind but it's totally and completely Me. The images and design elements are rustic in nature but with the vibrant colors it gives it a completely different twist 

Q: What is your design process when beginning a new collection?
A: My process for this collection was somewhat different from my others because of the length of time I took to develop Rustique. I had a name -Rustique- but didn't have clear images in my head of what I wanted like I had done with previous collections. With Rustique I knew how I wanted it to feel, even though I couldn't quite explain it. Each print came from an idea: deer, trees, leaves, antlers, etc. There were certain designs that I knew I would include (plaids and geometric) and other motifs that I knew I wanted to stay away from. I would play and sketch and let things evolve. There were many periods of frustration when I would work on an idea for hours and when it was finished it just didn't have that "feel" I was going for. 

Part of my struggle to get it right was with the color palette. With my other collections the colors were the first things I determined. With Rustique, color came last. It was difficult to design without a clear color palette to work with but it helped push me as a designer. When the collection finally got to a point where I couldn't finalize it without a palette I auditioned a variety of hues. There was lots of trial and error in this area too but when I finally tried the rich jewel tones I just knew i was there. 

Tuacahn and Big Game Quilt 
Q: What design trends are you currently exploring?
A: I love the whole Adirondack/Aztec inspiration that is trending right now. I didn't know two years ago when I started Rustique that this is where things were headed, but I sure am glad they are. A trend in fabric and design has been coined "The Year of the Deer" and I'm excited to be a part of it.

My quilt patterns follow the same Adirondack/Aztec design style. There are a lot of triangles in design right now and I loved incorporating them into my quilts. My quilt patterns were clear ideas I wanted to explore and so I went for it. My interpretation of the trendy medallion quilt, Jackson Hole, was a fun project. It's written in sections and can easily be broken down into a block-of-the-month/week if you wanted. Tuacahn was one of those crazy ideas that I just couldn't shake. Once I sketched it out and realized how easy it would be I couldn't stop until it was finished. I'm inspired by architecture, flooring,  home decor and fashion trends so my designs are always evolving. 

Promise Ring Quilt
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: I have a hard time with this question. I just don't think I fit into a single mold. If you look at each of my new quilt patterns you can see modern elements and traditional elements and also elements that can't be classified into either of those titles. For the most part I like to design quick and easy projects but sometimes I get an idea like Promise Ring and just have to go for it. My fabric collections are the same way. I look at all of them together and they're pretty eclectic. I think part of the reason is that I'm still evolving as a designer and an artist. I won't have a "style" until I quit evolving and I don't know when that will be. I guess I really am just a "Crazy Old Lady."

Q: What projects do you hope to see made with Rustique?
A: EVERYTHING! Of course I hope to see many quilts made with Rustique because that's where my passion is. But I would love to see gorgeous bags made with it too. There are so many amazing bags out there and I can't make one to save my life. Believe me, I've tried. With social media and seeing all the fun little projects I hope people enjoy using Rustique for their pincushions, small bags, minis and more. And if anyone is brave enough to tackle clothing construction (because I'm no good at that either) I would LOVE to see a pencil skirt out of the plaid or chevron prints. Cute, right!? Ok, now GO SEW!!!