Artist and self proclaimed doodler Suzy Ultman is here today to spread a colorful helping of fabric cheer! Hailing from central Pennsylvania and currently living in Ohio, Suzy is new to the fabric design business and has found a happy home creating prints to be released through Robert Kaufman.
Putting her signature style on some of the collective line known as Metro Cafe and sharing the spotlight with a hand full of designers like Monaluna, we were first introduced to Suzy's work in these coffee themed prints below. Remember these lovelies?
Suzy is breaking out on her own AGAIN with a new mini collection named Appleville. Consisting of 1 panel and 5 coordinating prints, this tiny collection packs a big colorful punch. Covered in smiling apples and acorn houses, Suzy's Dutch inspired design really shines through.
RWQ: Hi Suzy! Thanks for being here with me to talk about Appleville! This line is adorable beyond words and I'm excited to explore the inspiration behind it, but first can you tell me a little about your design background?
Hi Ryan! Thanks for having me. I attended Penn State University as a graphic design undergrad and then CalArts for graduate work. My graphic design background helps me create concepts & organize patterns.
I give my mom credit for my craft education. There was always a project happening in our house: painting, baking, sewing and/or gardening. My mom made clothes, wall-hangings, bedspreads, and more. My favorite frock was a prairie-style dress that she made from a ditzy floral fabric. (And yes, my sisters had matching dresses). While my mom sewed, I would route through her treasure trove of odd buttons, assorted notions and fabric swatches.
While my mom sewed, I would route through her treasure trove of odd buttons, assorted notions and fabric swatches. At a young age, I was intrigued by the materials and process behind a sewing project.
I am a newbie when it comes to fabric design, working with Robert Kaufman for almost a year. But, As part of the Lilla Rogers Studio gang, I have been focusing specifically on print & pattern work for the past 3 years. I have also created art for Chronicle Books, Land of Nod, Crate&Barrel, K&Company, Madison Park Greetings, Oopsy Daisy & more.
My creations grace the shelves of Target, Archiver’s, Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters and Crate&Barrel. The products range from holiday ornaments to bathroom decor pieces to scrapbook essentials to the fresh, colorful Robert Kaufman fabric collections.
RWQ: Oh WOW, Suzy! So you're saying I may have seen some of your work out there at places like Target and not even realized it?! I better take a closer look when I'm there next time. Where would you say your every day design inspiration comes from?
My inspiration comes from a combination of childhood experiences, travel, and my connection to the nature.
RWQ: Interesting! And your inspiration for Appleville?
I’ve lived in Portland, Oregon and Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Appleville combines the spirit of both towns and the friends I’ve met along the way. The Pacific NW is quirky and environmentally conscious with a wonderful sense of community. Living there, I appreciated every sunny day and felt dwarfed by the huge conifer trees & the Cascade Mountains.
The Netherlands is colorful & peaceful. The landscape is full of flowers, windmills, water, cows, chickens & bikes. So inspiring!!!
RWQ: I've never been to Portland or Amsterdam, but your descriptions make them sound like fun places I should visit someday. You've released several lines with Robert Kaufman right? Can you briefly tell us about them?
Metro Café – I am going to sound like a Folger’s commercial, but there is nothing like that first morning cup of joe. I wanted to create mugs that expressed that feeling.
Kiss Kiss – Kiss Kiss is a busy print chock full of so my favorite critters.
RWQ: Those owls in Kiss Kiss are too cute! Are you a quilter or are there any forms of crafting or general creativity you enjoy?
I am not a quilter but would love to take a class.
I love working with my hands. Give me some felt, fabric & needlepoint floss and I’m a happy camper.
For holiday gifts, my mom & I collaborate on an annual stuffie project. I create the pattern & cut the fabric. She sews & stuffs.
RWQ: Do you have a hard time picking names for your fabrics?
All of the critters and characters live in a world inside my head, so the names come naturally.
RWQ: Have you had the opportunity design patterns for your fabrics?
RWQ: Please let us know when you do, OK? I bet they'll be just as cute as your fabrics!! What creative methods do you use to design your fabrics?
I draw everything by hand and then import the sketches into the computer.
RWQ: Where should my readers look if they want to find more information about you?
My Portfolio: www.lillarogers.com/artists/suzy-ultman
I'm on Twitter! www.twitter.com/#!/suzyultman
My Etsy Shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/suzyultman
Thanks again for visiting with me today Suzy! I look forward to hearing what everyone thinks of Appleville!
The folks at Robert Kaufman have generously provided fabrics to give away!
To enter for your chance to win some, please leave a comment on this post. Feel free to let us know how much you like Appleville! Only one entry per person. All duplicate entries will be deleted!
I will draw one winner using the Random Number Generator and announce them here on Wednesday, July 6, 2011!
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