Sunday, January 29, 2012

Designer Spotlight Sunday: Patty Young

Special treat today:
shares her creative process behind her latest collection:

Hello, everyone! I am thrilled to be participating in today's Designer Spotlight and since more than half of our country is frozen right now, I am here to bring a little color and sunshine into your day! My 7th collection for Michael Miller Fabrics, titled Lush, has begun shipping to fabric stores worldwide, so I thought this would be a great time to tell you a little bit about my inspiration for the line and share some images with you.

Lush came about in my head after a day trip to the Missouri Botanical Gardens in St. Louis. The flowers were so colorful and aromatic and the gardens were so green and, well, lush. I just knew I had to do something with the 152 photos I took that day! I came home and started drawing my very first print, which later on became Zinnia Garden.


Next I drew the Stargazer print, based on several different photos I took in their Lily gardens. These were a lot of fun to draw...


And sometimes, you can use a photo as your basic inspiration then just go rogue from there and add your own touches. That's the beautiful thing about art... you can make it however you want and you will never be wrong!

flower bed

From these three prints sprouted the whole collection. Then it was just a matter of coming up with different colorways and creative names.



Now that you know the story behind Lush, I want to share with you some amazing sewn pieces my testers have made to showcase Lush in our new Spring 2012 patterns, which will be in stock on our site in early February.

This is Gretchen, which, for the longest time we affectionately referred to as The German Barmaid Dress, haha. It was originally inspired by a classic dirndl design, but of course, I changed a few things here and there to give it that MODKID look. Gretchen comes in 4 views with different sleeve and hem options. Below are View A (left) and View C (right), but you can see the other two views on the pattern cover in my blog.

Left photo courtesy of Nathalie Bearden ( and right photo courtesy of Kirsten of Oli*beli.

Next is the ChloƩ pattern, a pull-on smock-style dress or tunic which features a rounded-square neckline with a contrasting ruffled yoke, a pair of oversized rounded pockets and a contrast fabric hem band. There are no set-in sleeves to sew, so it goes together in a snap. A wide drawstring cinches the dress tight at the waist for a sweet, girly look.

Left photo courtesy of Sam Provenzano ( Sewn sample by Andrea Thomas-Lambe. Right photo and sewn sample courtesy of Liz Mouse (

Next is Paige, an adorable and fully-reversible Spring jacket that can also double as a rain slicker if sewn with laminated fabrics. Sew it with a hood for those rainy days or a drawstring collar for a fun and modern look. Have fun mixing and matching designer fabric prints!

Left photo courtesy of Sam Provenzano ( Sewn sample by Andrea Thomas-Lambe. Right photo and sewn sample courtesy of Liz Mouse (

Last, but certainly not least, is our foray into baby and boy patterns, with Natalie and Nate! We've given the classic baby romper a MODKID touch and updated it with some fun details for both boys and girls. Our fully-lined romper means there are no itchy and scratchy exposed seams, plus it looks super cute when the inside fabric peeks out. The romper hits mid-thigh and three snaps in the crotch area make for quick and easy diaper changing. You will want to make this easy project again and again since it comes in infant to toddler sizes to grow with your growing child.

Test samples and photos by Nathalie Bearden (

Left photo courtesy of Angela Marino Photography ( Sewn samples by Anna Garner. Right photo and sewn sample courtesy of Kirsten of Oli*beli.

As I mentioned, all patterns will be in stock in just a few days and lots of retailers have already placed their pre-orders, so go ahead and ask your favorite retailer if they've ordered the new MODKID patterns.

Lush is already in stock at numerous fabric shops worldwide.

Thank you all for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed this little creative tour. Leave us a comment and let us know which is your favorite Lush design or your favorite new MODKID pattern. 
 Then, hop on over to Patty's blog for your chance to win a HUGE fabric bundle and a new pattern bundle. Best of luck!!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

It's a girl thing color story giveaway

drum roll please....
you're the winner!
of last week's
Retro comeback color story  
please email your name (along with your blog name if different) and street address to:

now for 
today's color story:
It's a Girl Thing

 For all you girly-girls out there;
 the young and young at heart,
lovers of all things pink,
I know you're out there,
this one's for you...

sweets for the sweet
apron and chef hat tutorials on sidebar 
by Joanna of stardust shoes

hmmmm.. is that a cocktail mommy apron?
Apron pattern by: Vanilla House designs

to check out our latest inspiration/fascination obsession
and source credits for the lusciousness above: 
visit us on:
warning:do this when you've got time, guaranteed you'll be bookmarking all kinds of new blogs to keep up with!

so now's the time to leave a comment 
and let me know your favorite inspiration sources.
one random winner will be chosen to win 
a yard each of these party favorites:
CM4604 quaint cupcakes
CX4605 doily dance
and in a fit of whimsy
we'll throw in these:
CX5002 pink elephants/charcoal 
CX3136 play dot/bloom  

winner announced next Wednesday

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Designer Spotlight Sunday: Patty Sloniger

started last May when thousands voted 
Patty Sloniger
  the Project Selvage winner
  ( a  Michael Miller Fabrics and Spoonflower collaboration)

Becoming our newest Licensed designer
meant non stop work from May till 
her October debut in Houston at the 
International Quilt Market .

It's a long process bringing fabric to fruition and inevitably the sample fabric arrives at the last minute.  Trust me what you see packed into that small space represents a lot of late sewing nights. 
Simplicity Pattern#4243 
Pattern/ New Look 6067 
 free pattern & tutorial 

Patty and her Mom 
Patty passed along some tidbits about herself saying, "it's probably way more than I'd want to include." But I love to know as many details as possible and I figured you would too. It's amazing how much we find we have in common.

Basics: I grew up in Maryland, spent my high school and college years in both ends of Tennessee and ended up moving to Houston after graduating with a BFA in Graphic Design from ETSU. I met my husband here and we live in a cute little house with two cats, Puddy and Mama. I grew up in a creative family and really can't remember a time when I wasn't drawing. In high school I had this amazing art teacher, and although at the time it seemed like all we ever did was draw, draw, draw, looking back I can see it was an incredible foundation for where I am today.

Inspirations: I love to look through magazines, I have stacks and stacks of them. I tear out pages that inspire me and either file them for future use or add them to current inspiration boards for whatever I'm working on. I also take a ton of photos when I'm out and about, especially on vacation in a new place with new sights. When we get back and start going through the pictures, more than half of them are random things like close ups of peeling tree bark or 10 shots of the same flower.

Process: My designs usually start with sketches and drawings, which I scan in and move around in Photoshop to see how they fit together before creating the final illustration. Then, using my trusty light table, I draw and redraw, each draft on top of the previous, refining each step until I'm happy with the result. Then it's back to the computer to add color, texture and layering.

Other art-related jobs I've had: I worked in an antique store in college, painting custom artwork on furniture, and also as a one-man design room for a local screen-printing company. After graduating, my first job out of the gate was for a stationery and gifts manufacturer here in Houston where I quickly realized it actually was possible to make a living as an artist. I spent 5 years illustrating, designing and absorbing as much as I could, attending trade shows and markets in New York and and Dallas. After choosing to stay in Houston when the company relocated up north, I continued working towards my goal of becoming a licensed illustrator. Enter Spoonflower and Michael Miller... Spoonflower provided the creative environment to hone my surface design skills while interacting with and learning from other amazing artists and Michael Miller provided the incredible opportunity to go pro.

Most rewarding thing so far about becoming a licensed fabric designer: Two things actually, seeing my name on the selvage, and getting to sew stuff out of my own fabric. I'm also pretty darn excited to see what other people will make with them.

Random facts about myself:  I like to sew in my slippers, I enjoy ironing freshly washed fabric (not to be confused with laundry), I like old movies and musicals especially anything with Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn in them, I love a good game of ping pong, I took piano lessons for 10 years, french for 6 and played soccer in college. My favorite art medium is a pencil and paper, but I enjoy making things in general, whether it's a piece of art, a piece of furniture or a piece of clothing. If I could convert my garage into a workshop the first things I'd add would be a kiln and a potter's wheel. 
Favorite Meal: Breakfast, at any time of the day or night
Favorite Season: Fall (it was summer until I moved to Houston)
Least Favorite Household Chore: Toss up between making the bed and unloading the dishwasher
Country I Most Want to Visit: Australia
3 things I wish I was better at: time management, talking about myself, knitting
What would I want to do if I wasn't doing this? Decorating cakes in my own bake shop!
Skill I'd most like to learn if I had more time: Calligraphy
Favorite Vacation: Christmas in Lyon, France
Favorite Fast Food Restaurant: Whataburger
Design Tools I Can't Live Without: Light Table and my TUL pens 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Retro comeback

I don't think we'll ever tire of "retro" inspiration.  
Show someone a toy, a book, anything from their childhood 
and a smile spreads across their face. 

That's why we couldn't resist these
vintage picnic fabrics
Of course retro is different to everyone
and everyone's got a favorite era;
40's? 50s? 60s? 70's? 80's?
please don't say 90's yet
and everything has a comeback.

Mom jeans are back

 7 for all mankind/ citizens of humanity / photos courtesy of  Goldsign
James Jeans/ Diesel/  photos courtesy of J Brand

But there's a saying when it comes to retro fashion:

If you wore it once, don't do it again.

the logic of the past was: 
 high waistband and bell bottom flare 
Made your legs look 
did I mention we wore them extra long covering those platform shoes? 

but when we carried it over 
from high school and college
 to our child rearing years..
 this happened

I think the lesson is :
don't get stuck in a trend 

so have a cool one
and share your thoughts on Mom jeans
one lucky winner will receive a yard each of these 
winner to be announced next Wed.
(and don't pick on mom-to-be Jessica Simpson )

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

got a question?

I kick started the new year over at
answering their thought provoking questions and you can too!
 (you'll also have the chance to win a $20 gift certificate)
Sewing Industry Reflections and Predictions Series
doing all this reflecting got me thinking.. 
What Questions Do You Have?
Not only for me but for the 
Designer Spotlight Series 
we'll be starting soon
(every week we'll shine the spotlight on one of our designers)  
Now's the time to ask ...