You're in for a treat today as Patty Young shares the process behind her bold new line:
A method to my madness
Hello, all! It's Patty Young again! I am here today to tell you about my newest fabric collection, Heaven & Helsinki, in stores now. I often get asked how I design fabric, how I come up with the themes, the ideas, the colors and the imagery. This is a loaded question for sure, but I thought I'd give you guys a little insight into the inner workings of my brain. Fabric design is such an organic process... it's never the same and there is no easy way to turn it into an organized process. Sometimes I come up with a theme first, but sometimes it's just a color palette that drives the design, and sometimes I just have a cool word or city name or concept I want to build a whole collection around... I know, it sounds crazy!
For Heaven & Helsinki, I decided I wanted to make a collection inspired by Mid-Century Modern and Scandinavian design, two styles that often go hand-in-hand. I have always been obsessed with that design aesthetic, having grown up immersed in it, so it seemed quite fitting and fun to do. The name of the collection came first, and it was a play on words, a tongue-in-cheek sort of thing. I've had this name thought out in my head for a long, long time, just waiting to use it on something, heehee.
Then came the research. I always create mood boards for all my collections. Below I share two mood boards that sat next to my desk for weeks, as I drew the designs that made up Heaven & Helsinki. You'll see anything from clothing, to pottery to candy wrappers. I look for everything that embodies the style I am after, whether it's a funky lamp or a milk carton or a vintage rug. Anything goes because you can draw inspiration from just about everything around you.
Then came the colors. I decided I wanted to break up the collection into two main palettes: METRO and RETRO. Metro would be more like a modern-day version of the colors found in Scandinavian design, while Retro would show the original colors from the 50's, 60's and 70's.
Then comes the fun part... DESIGN! I always design in black and white, then insert colors later. Below you'll see my inspiration image for Loves Me Not, followed by my original design in black, and then the finished repeat pattern in full color.
After all designs were completed, I designed the logo, which usually ends up borrowing colors and imagery from the collection.
Then the collection goes to Michael Miller Fabrics, and after review and a few tweaks, it is off to the mill for strike-offs.
Below, see some projects we made with the fabric, once we received sample yardage, several months later. This is by far the BEST part! :)
Below, see some projects we made with the fabric, once we received sample yardage, several months later. This is by far the BEST part! :)
and here's the best part for YOU! Leave a comment and you could win a yard each of the entire collection Heaven & Helsinki! The randomly chosen winner to be announced Friday 7/13
I love this collection! It reminds me of Marimekko.
Patty, such a fun collection! I can just imagine the great projects to be made with these wonderful prints.
Oh My. Those colors just made me very happy. It would be cool to cut out individual houses and make a landscape.
Beautiful. The designs and designers from Michael Miller are my new favorite. Love, love, love everything.
The colors are great!
I already bought a few selected yards of this & love it so much! How I would love to win the rest of the collection!
And I absolutely can't wait for the knits to come out!!!
it just makes me want to go to finland! so lovely.
I see handbags and quilts in this! And aprons and skirts and bedding and, and and.....
Patty you have really out done yourself this time. Not only am I a Michael Miller fan but a Mod Kid fan and this is amazing. I love you colors and the prints. Just beautiful.
I saw this at market and absolutely fell in love. It's a great collection with really gorgeous colours and perfect design. Love it!
I love the Metro palette - purple and teal are 2 of my favourite colours ever.
The color combos are stunning. I'd love to win some!
BEAUTIFUL!!!! Love the colors and the fun glimpse into the process. Thanks! :)
I really need this! Far and away one of my favorite collections in a long time! Thanks for the chance to win :)
I love it! Pick me...pick me!
haha, friday the 13th, anyone superstitious? i am. i hope i win, it is a lovely fabric line, and it would make a good addition to my sappy sad looking stash
These are such lovely colors & designs. The metro colors are my favorite & I know the retro colors will appeal to my daughter. I do hope I win!!
This is just such a gorgeous collection! I really can't decide which palette I like the best...I guess I like them each depending on the day :-D
bring on the Helsinki! i just love these colors
That's a huge amount! I love the Scandinavian feel.
Holy generous giveaway batman! I've been looking forward to the release of this line. Especially the knots since I just picked up your book!
Wow what very awesome prints - can't wait for them to hit the shops - thanks for the chance to win
Holy Smokes!!! I LOVE this collection and also cannot wait for the knits to show up. Lovely!
Another incredible work of art! Great job!
oooo what a great new line! i love how patty uses color and would be over the moon to win this giveaway!
Love your collection!!!
I'd love to win this one! Thanks for the chance!
Such pretty fabric.
Oh yes, pretty please!
I love your fabrics, always so bright, beautiful and fun! I would love to win! Thanks for an awesome giveaway
Oh my gosh!!! These are fabulous. I can only imagine the lovely creations I can make with this collection!! Fingers crossed!!
I've been waiting for this collection patiently. It started to hit the stores, but it would be fun to win it!
Thank you for showing the process of designing these wonderful prints!
This is the best giveaway - ever!!! Thanks for a peek into your design process - fascinating!! Thanks for the chance to win! Wonder if I can keep my fingers crossed for a whole week?
I love it. I am finnish and feel so happy that so many finnish things inspire you. Even our everyday-use milk box :D Thanks again for a wonderful collection. Cant wait to start sewing.
//Maria from Oulu, Finland
Ooh! Love the metro palette!! Awesome giveaway!
This is amazing! The fabric collection and the giveaway. Thanks for sharing the design process and the giveaway! Mary
OOH, I love this! So wonderful! Thanks for the chance to win!
Oh Patty...another fantastic collection! the colors and prints are perfect for the coming fall. I would love to win this collection but of course, if I don't, I will have lots of it in my collection.
I am so excited to get busy with these new prints! I have projects all picked out :-)
LOVE it---beautiful work as always, Patty, and what fun to see the inspiration.
Oh what fun designs!
Fabulous mood board. I'm a little bit metro and a whole lotta retro! Yummy color palette. Thank you for the opportunity to win.
Oh, how I love color, this collection covers the spectrum and I love it :)
I love how you get your inspiration! It's like a pinterest board :)
I'm especially excited about the new knit substrate. Congratulations on a very fun collection!
WOW! What a great giveaway! Thanks!!!
What a beautful and fun collection! I would love to win this!
Love this collection, love the colors! I love everything about it!
I love that the whole line is inspired ny the mood boards rather than the same as. And I also love that it's different than anything out there right now
I absolutely adore this fabric line that Patty's created this time around. Great design and the colors are just amazing.
Thank you for such a wonderful givewaway and chance to win.
I have to say--I'm not one who can settle in with limey greens or chartreuses easily, but the wireframe print in citron just blows me away! Thanks for sharing your process--it helps me to think about how I'd like to use color in my quilts.
Awesome giveaway, I would love to win this fantasti fabric.
I love the designs, but I think I love the colors of this collection even more!
i just love your patterns and fabric designs. i would love to make the buck with the antlers how cool!!!! I love the desighns and the styles !!
I love the Metro palette... I'd love to win some!
WOW! What a great giveaway!
beautiful and fun collection! I would love to win this!
This is beautiful! And a great giveaway!
What a great collection! I love the colours and the prints look amazing =D
Love the zig zag in the collection - along with everything else!
LOVE the colours in this collection! Patty Young always impresses me with her fabric lines!
Wow! Thanks for sharing how you designed this- interesting! and it is just lovely, beautiful! And great to see the moodboard as well! WOW for the giveaway too! Now off to the onlineshop....
What a great collection and such fun colors. I'm really am drawn to the Love Me Not. Great Job.
Fabulous colours - I love the Scandinavian inspiration xx
I love your fabric!
Thanks for the giveaway!
Patty I love your new fabric line! I so hope I win this. Also - I would pay good money for Lars the mascot!
I love your metro color palette! And the little tulips :)
Love the bright, fun designs!
I was just ogling this online earlier today! It's so amazing!
Love this collection, especially the metro palette!
I love them all - my granddaughter is the best-dressed kid on the block, thanks to Patty Young patterns and fabrics!
Thank you for the background on your collection. It is so interesting to see how you work. Kudos to another great collection. My daughter is rocking her Mod Kids Yoga Shorts right now!
Heaven and Helsinki is my favorite of your collections! I love every bit of it--and my daughter loves wearing your patterns, too! Thank you!
I love hearing about the process of design. Would love to be similarly creative but I have to live through others and get creative with the finished article. Thanks for all the hard work patty
It is nice to learn about your process and the colors !are gorgeous
I love all of your prints and patterns. I love learning about the processes that goes into making things and I definitely gives me a new appreciation for what you guys do :)
Fun information! Love everything about the line!
Gorgeous collection! Thanks for the chance to win.
This is a fabulous collection. I've been coveting it. Thank you for offering it.
What a great collection! Thank you Patty for sharing some of your method with us, it makes fabrics even more fun to work with when you know something about the designer.
jmojmo24 [at] gmail [dot] com
Both colorways are wonderful - I'm seeing late '70's in there somehow!
So so pretty! I love both palettes and so cool to see you design first in black and white. So hoping I win :)
Love this fabric and can't wait to get my hands on it. The girls dress with the building fabric for the skirt is darling.
Yikes! Bthis is too good to be true! I love the theme and both colerways...thank you!
Best post I have ever read explaining process! Thank you and congratulations on an awesome collection!
Another beautiful fabric collection, would love to win it! :)
Great collection! Can't wait for it to be in the stores!!!
My wife is so excited for these to be in the stores!
I love the colors! They make me happy!
ginger c at gmail dot com
I am loving the designs and colours of this collection!
Love love love seeing the inspiration behind the collection. Definitely a little bit of heaven!
I love these fabrics! I've been thinking of things to make with them since I first saw them.
Are you kidding? This is the most awesome fantastic fabric and I'd love to win the collection! I have several other Patty Young fabrics so this collection would feel right at home in my sewing room.
Such gorgeous designs! Thanks for sharing your process with us!
Congrats on a lovely line!
Such a triumph! Great design and colors!
So fun! Thanks for giving us a glimpse into your process!
Thank you Patty for sharing how you create your amazing designs! I love Heaven and Helsinki! It is on my wish list!
It's always cool to see the process someone uses in their design work, thanks for that! More importantly I need to say, "Holy Heaven and Helsinki Batman" awesome fabrics I cannot wait to own!
great inspiration, and i love the recovered chair...yardage could cover a lot of my ugly furniture! thanks for sharing it with us.
Beautiful!!! Thanks for the insight on how a collection comes to be.
Love this fabric! thanks for the giveaway!
Loving this collection. The colors are great and I love the snowflake pattern that reminds me of sweaters.
I love this collection. The colours are delicious; the design wonderful. Thanks for sharing your process (love your mosaic!). Thanks for the chance to win.
STUNNING~that's what came to my mind when I first saw your Heaven & Helsinki design and colors. Makes my mouth water.
We are going to Helsinki in August. I was drawn to your name of the fabric collection immediately. It would be so special to have some of the fabric! I have been learning about fabric design. It is harder than it seems! I am glad you showed us some of what you did. Thanks again! K-
I wish, I wish, I wish...what an amazing give-away.
This is such a fun collection! It makes me smile ear to ear!
Patti always creates the most lovely, rich and bright fabric lines!
Wonderful color selection!
I just love .... sigh ... at first glance .... and then I was enchanted. It is a great giveaway! Now I keep my fingers crossed!
Wow! Please pick me! This would be like heaven on earth! Fantavstic fabric collection, as allways, Patty!
Gorgeous fabric range, thank you for sharing the process you go by to create the new designs.
Lovely! Adore the retro scandi theme.
The colors are so pretty!!
Thanks for sharing part of your design process! The colors and patterns are so very cheerful a great sight after the excessive heat of summer. Keep designing...looking forward to what comes next!!!! :D
sowingstitches [at] yahoo [dot] com
These fabrics are filled with vitality and movement -- and they're just so darn much fun! Thanks for the chance to win.
Love the collections, awesome color palette!! Great giveaway, thanks for an opportunity!!
Loved hearing about the design process! so pretty.
someyarns at yahoo dot com
Love your designs and colors. Your collections are so much fun. I've got three girls that I sew for, so this would be perfect for me. Thanks for sharing your design process. I was a fashion design major and I think my favorite part of design was the mood boards. mstaker7 at gmail dot com.
Just lovely Patty! Very inspirational. email@example.com
love these fabrics!
Thanks for the chance to win! Love this fabric collection!
Just wow wow wow!!! Love hearing about your design process. I am in definitely in awe of your creativity!
nice! very colorful
Love it! :)
THANK YOU FOR SHARING!
Those colours and patterns make me smile and want to sew and make pretty things! What a wonderful collection.
Beautiful collection. Absolutely beautiful.
I just love it, it is so summery and here where I live the summer seems to need some more cajoling to show up. Maybe these prints would do? Thank you!
Love the new fabric..can't wait to get busy making new pillows!
Love, love, love these colors!! The Retro line really reminds me of vintage pyrex and tupperware -- two of my favorite things!!
I love your Metro colors and I am a big fan of Scandinavian design! I also enjoyed your tale of working on these and how your develop and design. Thanks for sharing.
Thank you for sharing the inspiration board! It is amazing how it all comes together in beautiful fabric and colors!
Oh my, to win this would be heaven and hopefully keep me out of the fabric store and spare my pocketbook for a while! melissanewmyer at gmail dot com
I love this new collection...and the color! Devine!
I love this collection - I'm a huge fan of the Scandinavian influence.
This is amazing! I love the insights into the design process!
Wow! It is so fun to see finnish design affect to fabric design. I have to buy these fabrics because they are beautiful and I live in Finland :-) and Helsinki used to be my hometown!
Love the Metro palette of this collection. Looking forward to the knits in this line.
My mother And grandmother always loved Scandinavian designs and motifs. This collection is fantastic!
I love this collection. The knits are going to be especially fun.
this is a gorgeous collection!!
Gorgeous! I can't wait to work with these prints.
Greetings from Helsinki! Nice collection – I'd love to win and work with the fabrics.
I cannot begin to say how much I love this!!!!! I am crossing my fingers, crossing my toes, and crossing my eyes in hope that I will win! Thanks for hosting the giveaway!
Lovely fabrics! What a great chance to play. Nyla-Jean, Kingston, Ontario firstname.lastname@example.org
What a beautiful collection! I love the insight into how you design.
I love the colors! I also love how you went through the process of how you created the design! How neat!
I have always liked Patty's fabrics and this collection is no different. Fantastic giveaway!
I have so many cute projects I'd love to make with this line of fabrics!!
I'm not exaggerating when I say that this is the best prize ever! I've been looking forward to this collection since I first saw pictures of the fabrics a couple of months ago!
What a beautiful collection of colors and prints!
Thanks for the chance to win!
ehystead (at) gmail (dot) com
Thank you for detailing out the process of fabric design - I've always been intrigued by it!
This is such a cheerful collection - love the colors and patterns. Especially the zig zag!
Patty, you design such gorgeous fabrics! I love the colour palettes you choose. So happy and full of energy. I love Heaven and Helenski.
Thanks so much for sharing how you come up with designs. Very cool.
Thanks too, for this super generous giveaway. My mind is whirling with ideas of what I would sew with it. ;o)
Such gorgeous colors in this collection! Count me in.
It's always fun to see the mood boards used for inspiration!
What a gorgeous collection! I absolutely love your designs and would love to get my hands on these prints. Thank you for sharing your creative process!
Since my parents were born in Finland, I think it's only appropriate -- required! -- that I have some of this fabric! Yes, please! Love it.
Those designs are so great!
I LOVE that you're starting to incorporate knits into your lines! I would be thrilled to win this line. Woot!
Facinating-thanks for sharing the creative process. I love this line, the metro colors are my favorite.
I actually like the description of your design process used to create Heaven and Helsinki. It is really helpful for aspiring designers. I like the wireframe Moorish circles and the city block print as well.
Love this collection, can't wait to make some dresses and skirts for my daughter with it.
Wow! What a giveaway! I would have soooo much fun sewing some awesome outfits for me and my girls with these beautiful fabrics. This is the motherload of all giveaways!
Whether Metro or Retro, both colorways are spectacular!
I love scandinavian style - the collection is so juicy, yummi!
This collection would also make a fantastic quilt!
I love the colors!
love the metro palette! I'm enamored of all Scandinavian designs lately...sigh!
I love this fabric and Patty's design inspiration!!!
Oh I love getting a peek into designers' process, and the palette for this collection just slays me!!! Thank for the opportunity to win!
I love the retro palette! These fabrics are amazing, thanks for the chance to win!
Those are the most beautiful fabrics I've seen in a long time! The colors are so rich and happy!!!
Thank you for this, it's nice seeing some of the moodboards behind the collection. I love them! And I love the collection she created from them. Thank you for the giveaway!
If its not too late to enter I'd love this collection!!
So gorgeous! Hope I'm not too late...
am so glad I found your blog! I used to live in Helsinki and love Finnish design... love your first palette with blues, whites, pinks, etc.. and love the name you chose!.... Heaven and Helsinki! Would be so blessed to have a few yards to work with and review!
pbprojecthope at yahoo dot com
Thanks for sharing how the design process works, I have always wondered how ideas turn into fabrics. I can't wait to get a hold of some of this and start many projects.
Love the bright colors would definitely make a bright quilt out of it!!!
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