Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Mr. February, Parson Gray

Editor's Note: This is the second installment of our Designer Guest Blog series.  Each month in 2012 we will feature an artist, followed by a tutorial and then a giveaway. Mr. February is Parson Gray introduced at October Quilt Market. His fabrics offer a masculine edge yet appeal to anyone looking for a modern touch. Curious Nature by Parson Gray in 24 cotton and 12 cotton sateen fabrics will hit the stores this month.  Let the creativity, and man cave decorating, begin!

Hello all! Getting excited as the Curious Nature fabric (for FreeSpirit) line ships out this month. Much to do! I have some models lined up and I'm getting prepped for a photo shoot that will be taking place in mid-February. When I'm not working on my prints, graphic design or photography for Amy Butler (by the way, in case you did not know I am Amy's husband), I am busy with my band - Black Owls. We're planning some touring dates for 2012 and the release of a new double album as well. Phew.

As this is my first fabric line, it's been pretty exciting to develop ideas to "show it off." I'm not a fantastic sewer, I must admit. I'm fair. But I love coming up with ideas from the edges of craft. I knew I wanted to do some 'guy friendly' projects. I'm heavy into music and the great outdoors, so I'm always thinking from that perspective.
I went to my local army surplus store and I found the coolest hardware and cording, grommets, bags, straps and duffles. This kind of set me to thinking about how I could integrate my fabrics with some of these heavier canvases and hardware to make some great gifts for guys. My prints are not "dude specific" by any means, and I've heard from a lot of women who are excited to have this new kind of palette and print in their quiver.

But I am a guy, and I think like a guy. So I made up a few laundry duffles for my nephews in college, and am working on some simple throws, ties and other cool and easy projects like bandannas, scarves and pillows. Tons of people came up to me at Fall Quilt Market and requested laminates, which are coming out this year (available in May)! I can see messenger bags, ditty bags, cases for phones and glasses, that kind of thing.

I think it's a bit interesting for a lot of folks, that I would come out from behind the curtain (working with the amazing Amy Butler!) and create this line. Amy's always been so great about thinking way outside the lines, and it's served us both very well. Curiosity. Never lose it! We're both always trying new ideas and directions and we're not afraid to take some risks. Fresh perspective feeds our soul, and it's that constant thirst for knowledge and experimentation that keeps us motivated to get out there and make our art. We have different styles that work very, very well together.

Make this Curious Nature Quilt
If you're reading this then you're aware of how FreeSpirit really gives creative wing to its artists. We get to create the visions that we hold close. I look at it like I'm simply making a big box of crayons for YOU to color with. I'm creating the 'raw materials' for a much greater vision - YOURS. So dig in! Cheers,
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