Designer Tidbits: SUCH Designs

Celebrate your inner artist with the arrival of Collage by Carrie Bloomston of SUCH Designs. Be creative with this collection and make your own fabric COLLAGE! Carrie is here to tell you more about Collage, so keep reading for a closer look!

Q: Where did you find your original inspiration for Collage?
A: It came from a lifetime of being an artist. Art is my default mode. I knew I wanted to use lots of newspaper. Because I am an abstract painter, I wanted to bypass the brush for my first collection and collage jumped up to take its place. I love the shapes made by cutting paper.

Q: What was your “aha” moment in designing this collection?
A: You want to know the truth? My Aha moment came from a healer who gave me permission to make it easy to design my first line. To make it effortless and fun and NOT a struggle. That is where COLLAGE comes from, a place of playfulness.

Q: What would be Collage’s theme song?
A: What an awesome question! Pondering this, I am seeing the collection in a whole new light! Hmmmm, the spirit of the whole line is in the song Mushaboom by Feist. But Boum by Charles Trenet song is also rather good for it! Ooooh, I'd love to make a COLLAGE playlist for you.

Q: What projects do you hope to see made using Collage?
A: Here is my goal for you with Collage: cut it up, stick it down, sew over it! It is that simple! You can collage it like paper, making mini-quilts or decoupage-ed art by gluing it to canvas. Or, use the line as a stack of textured papers to play with. Play! Have fun, mainly. Trust yourself, break some rules, and express something. Make garments, kids stuff, home stuff, quilts.

Q: What is your favorite part of the fabric industry?
A: The enthusiasm! Fabric is the axis of the sewing world, the epicenter, the reason. The rest of the industry swirls around that axis. Fabric gets all the glory, though. :)

Q: From what aspect of your life do you draw creativity?
A: Love. Everything I do comes from that place. My family is my source. My kids inspire me daily. Creativity is born, for me, from knowing that I am good enough– just the messy, imperfect way that I am. That is the place where I am free.

Q: What is your design process?
A: I design in my mind's eye first, but only as a starting point. Then, I assemble my materials and start working. I never know exactly where I am going until I get there, but mainly I work with my hands: paint, glue, paste, and scissors. My greatest tool? Messes–mistakes–accidents. There is a print in my line called Little Bits. That print was made from the trash left on the floor after I was finished designing the other prints. I looked down. My eyes went all starry. I scooped it all up and glued it down. You can see that the arcs are the handles of the cups from the cups print and the holes were left when I cut out the dots for my Bird Dot print. Incident. Accident. Mishap. These things bear the fruits of creativity.

Q: What is the most challenging part of the design process?
A: Being brave enough to start. It is always that first moment that feels so scary. Then we take a breath, take a step, make a mark and we are off and running. It is such an ego place, that first mark. I prefer to have a conversation between me and the things I make. They tell me something, I reply. It goes on like that. I find things as I work. But that first mark is all me…me and the blankness of the page. And I have to move in on the whiteness, on the emptiness, and start the ball rolling–I have to make something I can respond to. Then the conversation begins.

Q: What are your favorite and least favorite colors and why?
A: Favorite: saffron. Saffron like the Dalai Lama's robe. Saffron that is almost orange, but not quite. I don't necessarily work with it a lot, but I adore it. It breathes life like fire and sun and our highest self.
Least favorite: black & white. either way, they're the same. empty. too intense. too much. not enough. People think white is neutral. I think white is terribly loud and almost too perfect for its own good, almost unnatural. I'll choose off-white over white every day! It is softer, less loud. Don't get me wrong, I'm not judging! I use white for different things, just sparingly…or if I am illustrating snow. :) Black? Not so much. I learned in art school to take black out of my palette. It muddies. It darkens. It creates a mess of the vibrancy of other colors. I'll choose charcoal over black every day. It is softer, less loud. Can you tell I love color? I LOVE color. All colors. Every color. As a painter I am on very intimate terms with the language of color. But it is a language that is unique to each of us.

To see a bit more of Collage, watch our exclusive interview with Carrie of SUCH Designs at Spring Quilt Market in Portland!

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