Hello everyone! Please welcome Melissa Mortenson of the Polka Dot Chair to the Jolly Jabber! We're so excited to show you her first fabric collection for Riley Blake Designs, Derby Style! Want to learn more about her inspiration? Then keep on reading!
Q: Tell us about the Derby Style collection. What was your inspiration?
Melissa: Even though I grew up in Salt Lake City, I consider Louisville, Kentucky, to be my home. I've lived here for over 20 years now and have come to love the city. When I moved to Kentucky, I left all of my immediate family behind and decided that if I was going to live here, I was going to enjoy it. The whole "bloom" where you're planted thing... Over the years, I've truly embraced the many special things that Kentucky has to offer, especially the Kentucky Derby.
|Oliver & S Roller Skate Dress|
Over the years, I started to notice all of the colors and patterns associated with Derby. Bow ties, seersucker suits, big colorful hats, smartly dressed men, and beautiful dresses. Attending the Derby (or the Oaks) is like stepping into a beautifully styled magazine shoot. As much as I love to watch the horses race, watching the people is even more fun. After I attended the Oaks this year, I had a major burst of inspiration and sat down in one weekend and made the bow tie print from the Derby Style collection. After that, the rest of the line came together quickly. If you look at my dress from that day I think you can see where the inspiration came from.
Q: What is the best part about being a designer?
Melissa: I'm pretty new to it, but I'd have to say that being able to design a project to look JUST how you want it. I designed the Derby Style collection because I want to sew with those fabrics.
Q: What is your favorite project you made with the Derby Style collection?
Melissa: I'd have to say the Prize Ribbons Quilt. It's a "coming soon" pattern that was inspired by some prize ribbons I made out of paper a few years ago. I love how the Dresden block mimics the look of a horse prize ribbon.
|Prize Ribbon Quilt|
Melissa: That's a big question. I've never been great at planning ahead. I just seem to take things as they come. I do know that #1 on my list is to get my PDF patterns printed! Then #2 would be to complete more quilts this year.