Q: Tell us about the Priory Square Collection. What were you inspired by?
A: My inspiration came from a classic English Country Garden. I grew up with keen gardeners as parents and spent a lot of my childhood with my even more keen gardening grandparents. I was a nature nerd - obsessed with birds, flowers, and plants. I wanted my fabrics to remind me of my childhood and to be a more true representation of England than most 'English' inspired collections. Usually they have red buses and scenes of London but that's as relevant to me as the Empire State Building is to a Texan! Kind of familiar but not where my English heart lives! We all have a universal love of flowers too, whether you live in the UK or US and having something that didn't alienate others because they just weren't familiar with elements of my line was important.
Q: What is your design process when beginning a new collection?
A: I started with a color palette, which was taken from a bunch of flowers. Sunday clippings was the main print, and that was where I started because I felt that it was much easier to begin with the focal print and then put in other elements around that. I don't draw so I trawled through catalogs, books, and images of flowers and gardens to find the perfect floral elements. I then created a collage on paper, and this was transferred to illustrator and manipulated until I was happy with the layout and colors.
From there, the other prints were created around this central print. Because I'm a quilter, it was important to have prints that played well together but also on their own. I like eclectic mixes so I also wanted the collection to have that feel too. I did a lot of printing onto paper and making mock up quilt blocks to see how the prints behaved together. I found that was the best way for me to get a feel of how things would work when they were fabric. A few designs were scrapped because they weren't quite right and in others, the colors were changed.
Q: We know that you love quilting and sewing, but what is the best part about being a fabric designer?
A: The selvage! Hands down the best part! It's a weird feeling knowing you are sewing from fabric that came from your own head. I don't think that can be beat!
Q: Do you have a favorite print from the Priory Square collection?
A: Sunday Clippings is my favorite print partly because it was the first print and where the rest of the collection evolved from, but also because it's a big bold floral and I am a sucker for big bold florals!
A: My regular job as editor of Quilt Now Magazine keeps me crazy busy and I love it. So there'll be more of that, and I'm hoping that at some point in 2015, I can convince my bosses that we need to get international distribution for the magazine. I'll be at Quilt Con teaching in February and at Glamp Stitchalot in November also teaching. Maybe there'll be more fabric eventually, but that's not something I'm thinking about right now - I need to get my first Quilt Market booth ready before I can think about all that.