Monday, January 23, 2017

The Artist UnSEWn - FreeSpirit presents Amy Butler's Splendor

Premiering a new fabric collection is always exciting for me because it’s the first time I get to share the story with my friends in my creative community. Up until now, I’ve been living with the ideas, inspirations and creations behind the scenes for months so it’s a bit surreal & wonderful to get to share my journey out loud. My inspirations are always a mixing of real life experience and some fantastical imaginings because this is the place to do that as an artist. The story unfolds from my early collage pages and sketches to the time I work with Sheila and friends in my studio to bring the ideas to life in sewn projects and then in Dave’s photography, and ultimately in the experiences my friends have in sewing with the material. I think it’s the collaborative energy in it all that makes me super happy! Splendor is primarily a quilting collection so when I began musing about my pattern ideas and stories, I wove together a combination of some of my exotic travel experiences over the past few years with my love of Mother Nature. The best creations come from what I love, and it’s the beauty in the world that I try to capture through elements, textures, conversational images and flowers that weaves it all together for me. When thinking about a quilting collection, I like to combine a balance of designs that work well together in a quilt story. I often have one or two more dramatic show stopper prints with a mix of textures, scales and complimentary designs that give a quilter the ability to mix it up and still have their quilt be cohesive. That’s how I think when I select fabrics for my projects. Some collections I will have 3 color ways or color stories, but for Splendor I opted to have just two so I could enrich the mix of prints to offer more options for someone creating with the fabrics. 

My first color way is called Mystic with highlights of coral and strawberry red and undertones of grey and charcoal with some tell tale pops of magenta and turquoise of course! 
My garden is always a muse for me and I took these palette shots to illustrate how I weave in the colors around me into my color stories. This is a good place to note my juxtaposition of prints.. not only do I want there to be a lot of interest within each print but I want the quilter to have many options for creating powerful flowing block layouts. The organic edges of a flower are striking against the geometry of directional arrows and small linear textures.. all working together to create interest and balance. 

And my Celestial color way celebrates that same design balance with indigos, blush and goldenrod highlights. When I land on my final color ways, my goal in mind is to be able to share two distinctly different color stories that are strong on their own but also can compliment each other. 

The Clematis Quilt below, created by Stacey Day, is a great example of color play between 2 different palettes. For me, I want the projects I feature and highlight in my photo shoots to celebrate the best use of my vision for the collection and to give quilters and sewists creative confidence to explore and stretch beyond their comfort zones.  Which is why I love collaboration with friends to see what they would create with my prints to expand on what I can offer in inspirations. It's super important for me that people connect with the line and feel inspired and empowered. I definitely have a way of relating to what I create but I know there are millions of options and to explore as many ideas as possible is not only fun but it stretches me too. 

And every collection is blessed with fur baby love! This is Tutu our little female. Our cats adopt everything that comes into our house.. quilts and people. If you visit me there is not a shortage of love from either one. 

My friend Sujata Shah from The Root Connection and author of Cultural Fusion Quilts graciously quilted this beautiful small quilt top using much of Splendor and some nice
dusty solids and some older Amy prints. She has a great eye for design and I love the depth she creates with the combos of solids, textures and florals. I also think she
did an amazing job celebrating that big juicy floral called Double Fault Flora

My friends Heather Jones { 2nd from top } and Suzy Williams { 3rd from top } created these fabulous blocks after inviting them to create with Splendor! I love Heather’s minimal use of two prints and a solid and featuring her Fly Away quilt pattern. She downsized her master quilt into this mighty powerful block. And Suzy’s confident, whimsical use of solids with a mix of Splendor is playful and fun! 

Another big focus for me when I create a collection is to think of the multiples uses for a print. For myself, I love to both quilt and make garments and accessories. And I know there are many schools of sewists with many needs stitching with my fabrics because of their beauty but also because the inherent quietly of our FreeSpirit fabrics makes it super versatile. There is enough sheen and drape to make some striking bags and garments and of course the finished hand on a home made quilt cannot be matched. You can see my Native Folk print is used successfully here at a quilt backing.. I often create designs that can be cut up or featured in a variety of ways and this one crosses over nicely.

Here is the same print in a new color way detailed out with machine quilting on my Newly updated Gypsy Sling PDF pattern. Again, you can see how successful this print is as an accessory design. 

And then used here as a perfect border print for my Bohemian Wrap

My buddy and fellow FreeSpirit designer Tina Givens created with my Native Folk print in her Meri Tunic dress pattern. Another completely fresh approach to stitching with the same design. This really excites me! 

And Native Folk used in my " work in progress” loosely inspired from my free Hapi Quilt pattern . Sheila and I are making good use of my Splendor scraps in the studio and stealing every moment we can to build out this fun wonky design! This is a satisfying project to work on because it’s so organic yet the colorist in me likes to play within the harmonies of a color way. The strips are foundation pieced and mistakes are welcomed because the design just gets more and more interesting. That’s how I like to quilt.. organically, like making a painting. 

In the end the launch of a collection is a HUGE celebration of creation and collaboration. I am always proud of the end product that I work hard to make the best it can be with my power team at FreeSpirit and Susan, Dave, Sheila and my local sewing friends. These are the many hands behind the scenes bringing a line to life.  I want to invite you to come play with Splendor and join my fun Pinterest Splendor Contest! You can learn more about it here. And join me on my social media pages and share your favorite Splendor experiences. I’m most excited to see what you create! Enjoy and much love! 

XO Amy FB/IN - @amybutlerdesign TW - @AmyButlerDesig1

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1 comment:

Rosa said...

Wow,love these colorful fabrics!