Designer Tidbits: Heather Bailey

Heather Bailey's creative lifestyle has inspired us for years. The beauty and boldness behind her fabric collections inspire us to make something! Lucky for you, Heather is here on the Jolly Jabber today to show off her new collection for Free Spirit Fabrics. Meet Lottie Da!

Q: Where did you find your original inspiration for Lottie Da?
A: Lottie Da, is an exploration in movement and color. I centered my print-pairings on the rhythm and motion created by each design, orchestrating the finished collection to include flowing movement as well as staccato accents, big notes and small notes. Lottie Da includes large-scale pop florals, modern geometrics, vintage-flavored mixers, and the best little butterfly polka dot.

New technology at the studio enabled me to integrate new colors into my palette, namely, turquoise, charcoal and an orchid purple. My daughter, Charlotte, is gaga for turquoise and purple. With this collection’s bright and youthful vibe, I named the collection Lottie Da as a nod to her and her preferred palette.

Q: What inspires your work?
A: I am inspired by vintage design, as well as modern pop art. My design process is more intuitive than referential in most cases. I sit down with my sketchbook and a pencil and see what comes to me. Sometimes I start with color, sometimes I start with form and motion. I’ve learned how important it is to find quiet time to develop an idea in depth, but most of my designs are begun as a quick pencil or marker sketch at church, at the park, or in the movie theater waiting for a film to begin.
Q: What are some blocks or obstacles you encounter in your creativity, and how do you get past them?
A: Sometimes a surplus of ideas can be problematic. A continuous flow of print concepts used to keep me awake at night. Over time, I’ve learned how to turn off the spigot when it’s time to work on other projects for a few weeks and turn it back on when it’s time to create new prints. I now sleep better at night and have more energy for making my designs a reality when the daylight hits. 
Q: Does your family give you input on your designs?
A: I do occasionally ask for input from friends and family as a way to crystallize my own opinion and my commitment to a design. If my sister says, “Wow! I love it,” but inside I’m thinking, “Nah, the repeat is not quite right yet,” then I know what to work on next. 
Q: What projects do you hope to see using Lottie Da? Quilts, apparel, accessories, home décor projects?
A: Lottie Da lends itself beautifully to quilts and home decor projects, as well as clothing, accessories and toys. You can take this collection in so many different directions. Combine like-palette prints for a soft, sophisticated look, or incorporate contrasting colors and values for greater pop.

Q: What is your favorite print in the collection?
A: I am loving my Featherleaf print, in charcoal, green, tangerine, and turquoise. It’s at once vintage and modern in feel. It can’t be pinned to a specific time period. And it makes such a great accent in large cuts or small ones. Great for quilt binding, by the way. 

Q: What do you plan to make using Lottie Da?
A: I have several quilts in the works, as well as pillows, toys and baby blankets for friends and family. I like to post previews of my own projects on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook and show the finished results on my blog as well.
Q: What’s next?
A: Watch for True Colors, a ‘basics’ collection designed to expand and support my Lottie Da collection to be released before the new year. Also new this fall are my hand embroidery patterns, including birds, flowers, quilt labels and more. 2014 will bring even more cotton quilting fabrics, as well as my first fashion-fabric collection, featuring fresh, graphic prints on voile and rayon.