Flurry by Kate Spain

Welcome to another fabric filled edition of Fat Quarter Shop Friday where we bring you information and insight from some of your favorite fabric designers!

Today, we’re welcoming back Moda fabric designer Kate Spain. Kate stopped by a month ago to chat with me about one of her newest releases, Flurry.

This fresh holiday collection is sure to get you in the mood for some winter sewing and is available in quilt shops now!

Flurry by Kate Spain

It’s always a pleasure to speak with you Kate! Thanks for coming back to speak with me about Flurry.

RWQ: When we last spoke with you, Central Park had just released from Moda. What exciting things have happened since we last checked in with you?

Things have zoomed ahead non-stop since January, when “Central Park” came out. It was such a long winter here in the Northeast, I think we all needed a little sunshine. Many of the projects I’ve seen with C.P. (eg, on blogs, Flickr, and Etsy) were just that! So many talented and creative people out there. It’s a joy to find them making something with my fabrics.

In February, 2 new lines of porcelain plates I designed came out at Crate and Barrel — “Delilah” and “Triana.”

Delilah is still in stores and online and features the “Canto” pattern from my fabric line Fandango. Keep your eyes out for Delilah this autumn when Crate will continue to offer them, but in beautiful new seasonal colors.

Link: Delilah plates

Triana featured a variation on the “Esplanade” pattern from Central Park and they have sold out online. They may still be available in stores, but you’d have to check to be sure.

In March, “Terrain” (my 6th line for Moda Fabrics) was shown around to shop owners. The feedback has been very positive, and shop owners seem to be (almost) as excited as I am about this collection. Terrain is set for a September release, and I can’t wait! Then in October … well, you’ll have to come to Quilt Market in Houston to see line #7! 🙂

At the end of March, to my surprise, I learned from a friend that my “Zoo” animal print from Central Park was featured in a craft segment on the Martha Stewart Show (a good thing, indeed!) Martha showed how to frame fabric to display as wall art. Such a simple and fun idea that you can change anytime for a new look. You can watch the clip here: http://www.marthastewart.com/341188/framed-fabric

In April, the “Harbor” shellfish buckets and coordinating bibs I designed came out at Crate and Barrel:

Link: Harbor

I have a friend who bought them and said that her little boys use the bucket to put crayons in and use the bibs to cover their clothes when they’re painting! So they’re not just for lobsters and clams 🙂

In May, I completed my 4th Surtex Show in NYC. My husband, Pete, graduated from the
Yale School of Public Health. And then we went on a little trip to Seattle and Portland, where we enjoyed meeting up with Monica Solario-Snow (bka, Happy Zombie), Mo Bedell, Gina who owns BOLT Fabrics in Portland, Angie who owns The Quilting Loft in Seattle, and Laurie Shifrin who works at The Quilting Loft and has authored several artistic quilt-design books. Lots of fun and in such a beautiful part of the country.

In June, we adopted 2 adorable kittens, a brother and sister that we named Franny and Lou. We love them already. They are little rascals and happen to love playing with jelly roll strips! I think there’s a sewing project in here somewhere…

Later on this summer, I’ll have a couple fun announcements too. So definitely lots going on around here!

RWQ: Wow! Congratulations on all the accomplishments Kate! I am always on the look out for your designs in every store/catalog I look through. And those cats, ADORABLE! You describe Flurry on your blog as having more traditional reds, greens and clearer blues than in your other holiday collections. How does this collection differ from your other holiday lines and what made you decide to go a more traditional route?

I always give special attention to color trends, no matter what I’m designing for. This year, the color forecast for holiday was pointing to more traditional pine greens and ribbon reds and so anticipating this, I made sure to incorporate this direction in Flurry. The crystal blue (as opposed to the aqua from 12 Days) offers a crisp accent to this seasonal theme — and what’s really fun is that Flurry will coordinate with 12 Days of Christmas very nicely.

RWQ: Your holiday collections remain some of my favorite and I am pleased to see you decided to change it up this time. Is there anything you want to tell my readers about your inspiration for Flurry?

I wish I could say the inspiration came from a trip we took to Norway! But it’s actually that we have some great friends from Norway who were visiting last summer, and somehow on a 90 degree day, we got to talking about celebrating the holidays. Go figure! Kari told us about the reindeer herds in her hometown and how much she and her family love sledding. That got me thinking about a favorite sweater I had as a little girl, which had two cute reindeer facing each other on the front, and the sleeves were mixed bands of chevrons, snowflakes, and kaleidoscopic stripes. So then I started to look at old “Fair Isle” knitting patterns… and voila! Several of the designs were inspired from these traditional Nordic sweater motifs.

RWQ: Interesting! I think the panel you created for Flurry describes your inspiration perfectly. Do you have a favorite print in the collection?

The print called Telemark would have to be my favorite. It’s Moda #27081-15 and is one of the focal prints of the line. I designed it to work like a stripe but to evoke that classic and familiar sweater.

RWQ: I always enjoy the excitement surrounding quilt market and learning how the designers create their booths. I saw you exhibited at Surtex in NYC this Spring. Did you have a theme for your booth there or a pre designed layout you followed?

I tried something different this year which required a bit of extra planning, measuring, and prep — but, it was well worth it. And yes, I do pre-design my booth layouts so I have a solid plan well in advance of set up. There is always a degree of improvisation that happens once you get to the actual space, but it generally works out — thanks to my husband Pete who has gone on emergency goose-chases around Manhattan in search of things like tape and poster hangers! I couldn’t do the show without him. In year’s past, I have shown my designs on kraft-colored boards that I hang inside the booth. But this year, I wanted more of a clean, simple, elegant “pattern garden” kind of theme. I had poster-sized prints made of the focal pattern in each collection, and surrounded them with coordinating secondary prints in smaller frames. It had more of a gallery look to it and really worked to capture people’s attention. I also made oversized white paper flowers to complement the theme, and displayed many of the most recent products featuring my designs that are out in the market now. It was a great show, and I’ve already been tossing around some ideas for next year!

RWQ: I look forward to seeing photos of next year’s booth. Your fabrics are so fun to work with and many designers choose to highlight them. Can you share links to some of the beautiful quilt patterns you or other designers created using Flurry?

Of course, Ryan! I’m not sure if people know that despite not having a pattern company of my own, I actually do design the quilts that Moda distributes as project sheets to go with each collection. I really enjoy that part of the process as well. For Flurry, I designed a quilt called “All Wrapped Up” using fat eighths plus yardage. Some shops have put together kits with it and I’ve seen it available online at some great stores, including:

Fat Quarter Shop: Click here.

Hancock’s of Paducah: Click here.

Suppose Quilt Boutique: Click here.

Quiltin’ Country: Click here.

And here are some adorable stockings made with Flurry that I spotted on Etsy:

Here & here.

RWQ: You mentioned you design patterns … are you a quilter? How would you describe your quilting “style”? If you’re not a quilter are there any forms of crafting or general creativity you enjoy?

I started quilting about 18 months ago, and I really enjoy it, but wish I had time to learn more. My “quilting style”? … uhhhh … I would say, chunky/clunky with a touch of simple and lots of fun! I’ve just started to warm up to triangles. Hexagons are somewhere on the 2012 planner. We’ll see how that goes!

I also really enjoy making things that are functional with fabric, such as, tote bags and pillows.

RWQ: What methods do you use to design your fabrics (ie: painting, photography, tablet)

I start with a pencil and paper then go from there, scanning the hand-drawn works into my computer and then using a tablet to refine the sketches. Sometimes I draw right on the tablet into Illustrator.

RWQ: It was a pleasure talking with you today, Kate. For further information, how can my readers find out more about you and your company?

My website is: www.katespain.com and that’s a really good place to start. I post current news and updates and have a fairly comprehensive listing of where you can find products featuring my designs out in the stores.

From my website, people can link to my blog, “The Drawing Board”, or sign up for my newsletter, or link to Flickr groups where there are lots of wonderful photos and ideas that have been posted by amazing quilters and crafters!

Etsy is also a fun place to search for handmade things created with fabrics I’ve designed.

Flurry Precuts

As a special thanks for hosting the chat, Kate would love to offer a charm pack giveaway of Flurry! Happy (early) Holidays! I’ve also agreed to offer 2 more charm packs from my personal collection, so that makes a total of 3 to give away!

To enter for your chance to win, please leave a comment on this post. Feel free to let us know how much you like Flurry and what you’d like to make with it! Only one entry per person. All duplicate entries will be deleted!

I will draw several winners using the Random Number Generator and announce them here on Wednesday, August 17, 2011!

Kate will return next month for a feature on Terrain, her newest collection.

Fat Quarter Shop

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Good luck!

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