So Quilt Market has come and gone and my 2 inaugural fabric lines have launched.
With great delight, I can finally present to you, Flight Patterns.
A collection that is all about the dream of the end of Winter. Colour, fresh air, light breezes and nature coming to life … all from a decidedly feminine point of view. While designing this line I had visions of the way bright, dappled sunlight comes through leaves of trees, hitting you right in the eye; of lazy Summer days lying on one’s back on the grass, watching friendly insects floating about overhead; of happy carefree moments, where nothing else is a priority but the beauty we see around us; and definitely of the magic that is nature, the incredible detail and symmetry in a butterfly’s wings, migration patterns and such.
It is printed on Michael Miller Fabric’s gorgeously soft Cotton Couture base cloth. That means it is an heirloom quality cotton that has a luxurious silky hand, it drapes beautifully for garment making and it is a dream to piece or quilt with. And because of the range of colours I included in so many of the prints, if you are in need of a solid to work with them, it co-ordinates wonderfully with a high percentage of their vast range of Cotton Couture solids.
This collection was a departure stylistically for me. I have found a certain comfort level with computer graphics, but here I went back to my watercolour and pen and ink roots. It was a thrill for me to design this line and to have it come together as it did. I truly hope you find some inspiration herein to create something of your own that gives you the same sense of happiness and delight I have when I look at the collection.
You can see the full pdf downloadable brochure here.
I am just back from the whirlwind that was the International Quilt Market, and so I can finally tell you that I am happy as a butterfly in Summer to be a member of the wonderful Michael Miller Fabrics family. To be under contract to design for a company that is full of warm happy people who truly love what they do, have fun while they do it, and are there every step of the way to help each other out with whatever might be thrown into the daily pot of producing beautiful fabric, is a dream come true.
Their booth at Quilt Market is apparently always a must see. This season was no exception with a full size swan paddle boat plunked in the middle of it, just for the joy of giving people a laugh & great photo op. Here are a few of my fellow designers, Violet Craft and Patty Young taking a mid-afternoon break.
And in fitting fashion, the booth won the award for best multiple booths.
Being completely new to the industry meant 3 days of meeting buyers, distributers, manufacturers, sales reps, media, other designers … the list goes on. There was a steep learning curve to understanding how it all works, and where everyone fits into the equation and I tried to take every opportunity to ask every question that popped into my head so I could better understand it all.
The wealth of talent in the community is humbling, to say the least. Over the next few days I will give you a peek into just a fraction of what impressed me, that I was able to keep my wits about me and catch on camera.
I am thrilled that I made the decision to go. And at the same time, I am so happy to be back home with my family. I celebrated by making creme caramel for dessert tonight.
Amid the mad sewing rush happening around here, I just took a minute to step out on the front balcony to snap a few shots of this fabulous crabapple that graces our front yard before all the blooms fall off. They only last a few days every Spring, but they are so worth the wait.
By far the most beautiful tree on the street, it is almost as tall as our 2-storey house … and the fragrance is just as fantastic!
Was unable to remain patient this morning while I waited for a delivery of yardage … Yes, YARDAGE!, of my collections, so I set to work.
Out with the old, the dingy, the dirty, the dark (winter slush, salt and muck does wonders for an already dreary entry rug).
And in with the new! (thanks Ikea for bringing creative, bold, inexpensive & cheerful design to our lives).
And an open door for the first time in about 7 long months. Yay Spring!!!!!
I have taken the plunge and decided to participate in this Spring’s Quilt Market! I am therefor stressing myself much more than any logical person would or should as to what to make for my wee little 5 x 10 ft booth. I have to show two very different collections in this tiny space. And to complicate matters, I will not have any fabric until some time next week. Then I have to sew like crazy in order to ship everything to get all the way from Montreal to Portland, OR by May 15th. I thought writing about it might help take away the tension I am feeling.
Oh yeah … and I have to photograph finished items to include in a brochure I am designing that has to be printed the end of April. THE END OF APRIL!
I tend to think 2-dimensionally. I see the surface of things very clearly, but struggle more with imagining the 3rd dimension. I can’t tell you how many times Greg has asked me if I’d like furniture positioned a certain way & I have to ask him to move it for me to see, so that I can make a decision. I’m obviously lacking in 3-D imagination. So trying to visualize a booth space … well, there’s half a dismantled room in our home as a result with tape lines on the floor and walls. This helps with the spacial concerns. But my 3-D limitations exist also in envisioning the items I will include in said booth. It is a quilt market after all, so I will have to have a quilt or 2 (not looking forward to taking care of that part, but I’m up for the challenge). Then I would also like some clothing, perhaps an upholstered piece of furniture, some cushions, some fun playful items, etc. And we must not forget giving the whole thing context. Sure I can just throw a bunch of items into a booth, but in my mind, it would be much more effective if there is some sort of a theme or feel to it all. Think of the gorgeous Amy Butler booths:
So I have worked out the ambiance. Young, playful and Summery (fingers crossed it comes across as I imagine). Now to decide on actual items to sew. I think sewing children’s items is a good solution, as they should take less time and be easier structurally. I would like to make myself a few items as well that I could actually wear in the booth (This is probably important to avoid giving the impression that I see the fabrics as purely for a young market). I’m torn between making things easy on myself and going with simple forms vs. trying to create really special items. I guess I have to keep in mind the importance of the fabrics in all this, and not get carried away with elaborate ideas. Simple can be highly effective, right? Right!
I am making lists. Trying to be methodical and plan, plan, plan. Deep breath.
I will travel with camera in hand so that I can share the results with you.
I was thrown the quick task a few days ago of producing a logo for myself for the new website of the fabric company with which I am partnering. Thus far I had done the one on this website, but as I am not using the name “Kayajoy” as my official fabric design name, I had to get to work.
I made a list of the important elements / feelings I wanted to convey:
young, modern, fun, the colour coral, natural, and a bit bohemian.
I decided the butterfly that is in my Kayajoy logo would still be included for continuity (and the natural element). I have snuck it into many designs and love it.
So here’s where I started.
And some variations (I had to create a rectangle, square and a circle).
I wasn’t feeling it. Too conservative, a bit heavy, not youthful enough ….
And then these happened
…. and I was happy!
Last year’s decorated eggs. This year there was a bit too much going on over the past week, what with Passover and birthday parties, to get my act together.
These were a multi-stepped project that the kids enjoyed helping with. First we hard boiled the eggs. Then, while they were still quite warm, we drew on them with crayons. The heat of the egg makes the crayons melt and adhere to the shell. Then we put them in dye baths. The dye is resisted by the wax, so you can get great contrasting colour play happening. And, for the final step (some of the less persistent kids flake out a bit by the time you get here), we randomly brushed on gold leaf sizing, waited for it to become a bit tacky, and applied gold & silver leaf. Oh … and from the tool box of a 6yr old, I do believe there was a bit of star-shaped glitter glue happening as well.
I hope the Easter Bunny shared a bit of sweetness with you all today.
Emma ran into the bathroom this morning, squealing in delight, to let me know that she can now officially do sooooo much more than she could before, as today she is 7 years old, and therefore much more grownup than yesterday. The smile in my heart (as well as on my face) was only slightly tempered with the thought that she is so far removed from that tiny little girl who came into our lives seven years ago today.
I wanted her day to be as special as possible from the get-go, so I had done a wee greeting for her last night. This is the doorway to our kitchen/dining room where we spend our mornings.
I had offered to make cupcakes for her class as a special birthday treat today. Initially the plan was simple chocolate cupcakes with vanilla frosting. But no. Something more special, Mummy. I was game. I figured an hour or two was no big deal to make my daughter extra happy.
Five hours later, her class was complete.
Here she is on the right with her best buddy, Aya.
I used a really easy cupcake recipe, a yummy frosting recipe (with some cocoa powder added for darker skin tones), melted milk & dark chocolate for most hair (some are coloured crystallized sugar), m&m’s, jelly beans (halved) and other random candy for facial features. Each got a little name tag flag to avoid classroom chaos.
She was beyond thrilled with them this morning, and so excited to be able to share her special day with her class.
Happy Happy Birthday my beautiful, smart, loving, creative girl. Our life is so much fuller since you’ve come into it!
It’s been quiet on the blog front for me this past month. Lots going on, leaving little to no time to focus & write. This weekend finally offers a bit of breathing time.
I received the second go-around of Strike Offs on my first collections last week, right when I was already higher than knee deep in figuring out colours for my next two.
I am so glad we did a second set before committing and printing yardage. There are now full colourways that I am beyond happy with. There are some that are decidedly better, but still need minor tweaking, and there is one that I was prepared to say “scrap it completely” a few days ago, but I have found what I hope will be good fixes.
So, what have I learnt this time?
- Picking colours is far from being an exact science. I can send a swatch, but that doesn’t mean that that colour is what I will get. The swatch is read by a computer that produces a formula. That formula is then looked at by a pair of human eyes that makes minor adjustments to tweak it to be closer to the intended colour to print. Not being able to control that part from this end is frustrating at times, but, in the end, just has to be accepted. “Perfection” is virtually impossible. Learn to let it go.
- There is a better chance of getting an accurate colour match if a fabric swatch is sent rather than a swatch on paper. Thus far I have been sending paint chips. The head office sent a few fabric swatches to the factory for me, and this had better results.
- This time they sent strike offs with printed selvedge. My name is on them. Very exciting!!! It was a bit tough making the decision of what name I wanted to use. My last name, Serrao, is often mispronounced, so I decided to forgo the traditional route. While few people know my middle name, in the end I decided on “Tamara Kate”. I think it has the right feel for my design style.
And now I cross my fingers and send as many positive thoughts as possible as I send back my final adjustment suggestions, as next time I see them, they will be printed yardage, never to be changed again. They may even be ready for Quilt Market.
And finally, I will be able to share.
Well, perhaps not unearthed, but this poor wooden house was dragged out of a tight storage space in my parents’ house over the holidays.
It has already lived a well-travelled life, having been purchased in Ontario around 35 years ago by my Mom who was trying to fulfill a childhood dream she had. It was brought to Trinidad where we lived at the time, and after a bit of fledgling work on it, she realized that old dream had long ago fizzled out. It made the trip back to Canada with us when we returned to live here about 10 years later. All that back and forth and change of climate coupled with time have taken their toll. The poor thing needs some love & attention.
First, the structure needs a bit of help. We put glue between the layers of plywood that had separated and clamped it to dry with some cute clothespins. Next, a bit of sanding & some paint will work wonders.
We are determined, Emma & I. We have made a wish list of items to create or find, that ranges from a sofa to bunk beds, to a set of lounge chairs and a parasol (she has lofty thoughts, this 6 yr old). Wallpaper is being designed (by the 6 yr old … yes, it’s going to be a pretty funky house, indeed). We have started creating dish ware, vases and planters.
Along with the house, there were some treasures in an old box: a wooden stairway that needs assembly, some china dishes & glassware, bathroom fixtures (even a toilet paper roll & holder) and some victorian furniture. These will be mixed with decidedly more modern finds, and hopefully someday in the not-too-distant future, an eclectic, fun dollhouse will take pride of place in her bedroom.
Oh, and don’t for a minute think we forgot the family that lives therein. Here’s the beginnings of it.
Yes, until we find some larger guy peg dolls, there are 2 moms, very fancilly dressed; a Russian-looking son with cape & cozy hat; another son in striped-tshirt, but no pants; and a little girl in sunny yellow. They were a fun project we did with whatever wonderful hand-dyed wool fabrics & embroidery yarns we could find in my Mom’s craft room.