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 


Jen B said...

Such lovely collections. I am so glad to see some great boy fabrics on the market. Thanks for sharing your story!

Mini-@-Tuur said...

What a lovely collection.

Becky said...

I was lucky enough to meet Patty at Quilt Market in October. She is a super nice person, and I love her fabrics. Her design stood out to me when I first looked at the Project Selvage entries, and I was excited when she won.

Angela Thee said...

Such a lovely and fresh collection of fabrics. I really enjoyed your story, it's so inspirational for me. You gave me hope in re-inventing myself.

Anonymous said...

You should give some away, it's delightful! :)

אורלי דהן חרמש said...

where can i find the dress pattern?? i love it!


Joanna said...

The baby quilts made me "Ahh!" So pretty. But the pink elephants are so sweet. I need to get ahold of some of that fabric.