I am thrilled to be with you today on the Michael Miller
blog to give you a glimpse into the inspiration for and the thought process
behind the creation of my latest fabric collection, Birds & the Bees. I
also have a few project inspiration images, including free quilt patterns and
finally, a FABRIC GIVEAWAY!
As a fabric designer, I am often asked where I get the
inspiration for my work. Honestly, it can come from a wide variety of places…
my children’s musings, a nature walk, my Mom’s garden… but in this case, I
started with my recollection of a large ceramic bird that my Mom had when I was
growing up, by Chilean artist Pablo Zabal.
Examples of PabloZabal’s work. The one on the left is my Mom’s.
I did not want to create a literal rendering of it, but
rather be influenced by my memory of the feeling and whimsy of it. So, after
much playing with pattern, form and color, adding some playful feathers, strewn
flowers and the occasional fancy-flying ladybugs, this, Feathered Flock is what emerged.
Seeing that insects were creeping into the work again as
they so often do with me, I then made the decision to just go for it and make
the collection be all about flying creatures. This print, All the Wee Beasts came next.
Take a closer look at the smallest insects in the above
image, those little bees. Their abdomen reminded me of a beehive. Honey Honey thus emerged as a geometric
blender print, as did Eye Candy,
which started as a stripped down, modern flower center. I was thinking about an
insect’s attraction to the bright colors, hence the print’s name (along with
its similarity to Life Saver candy).
Love Bug simply
evolved from looking at the ladybugs in Feathered Flock a little differently,
seeing the similarity in their shape to that of a heart. I was remembering
growing up in the Caribbean, having winged creatures flittering around at
night, so Baby the Stars Shine Bright
was born more from memories of tropical nights (without the invasion of big
city lights) than anything else.
Sometimes patterns are created more from a need for
something to balance a collection. After all those smaller scale prints, Blossoming was all about a large-scale
And the need for something more linear came in Loop-di-Loop (my take on insects’
flight paths) and Toutes les Plumes,
which, while it was the final print created for the collection, also ended up
being one of my favorites.
A few other color versions of certain designs were added to
balance the group, called Ladybug.
Once the prints all worked together as a whole, it was time
to play with an alternate color scheme. I started playing with magentas and
indigo and the Bluejay color story emerged.
Achieving the colors that are finally printed on the fabric
is a fine balance and a team effort, for sure. I hand my work over to the
talented Karen Jarrar at Michael Miller who, in turn, interprets that for the
mill. She and I work closely together, both giving input to try and end up with
a cohesive collection that works for you, the sewer. Whether you are making
clothing, a quilt or some other project, I hope you are inspired by the result
of what we have created.
Here are a few items I have put together thus far:
And now for the Giveaway!
To celebrate the release of Birds &
the Bees, Michael Miller is generously offering two fabric bundles, one in the Ladybug
group and one in Bluejay, to two lucky winners. These are half-yard bundles, so
lots of fabric for you to sew all kinds of amazing creations.
To enter, let us know below which fabric
group you would prefer to win and what you would sew with it. We will randomly
choose a winner for each.
~comments are closed~
And, the winners are...
Best of luck,