Long ago, people moved across the sea seeking freedom and a new way of life. Although there were hardships eventually they found their way in a land of opportunity. Open land, clean water, uncharted roads led to possibilities. The legacy is recorded in folksy paintings, carved wood and drawings representing a naive and wonderfully uncomplicated aesthetic. My grandmother was a folk art painter and although I didn't appreciate it then, she left a lifetime love of the art in me.
Folk Art Revolution is my latest fabric range with Free Spirit Fabrics. When I design a range of fabrics I think about how I design quilts. I consider the important elements of structure like medallions, feature prints, sashing, borders, backgrounds. I also consider what I think is most important in fabric and that is the path of the imagination. When we look at fabric we find a connection to our inner soul. Sometimes we make a conscious connection and sometimes it just connects and we know not why. For me, I want fabric to make me jump into action.
Last weekend at the Hunters Hill Quilt Show I was in my element. Surrounded by quilts and quilters. What made it extra special was the opportunity to see quilters react to my fabric in the same spirit that it was created.
For example, here is Folk Art Wedding, one of the supporting patterns for the range. The feature print is Settlers. We see the cast of characters...landed gentry, town people, country folk and patriots. They are settling to live in simple structures having just arrived on the boat. The wedding ring block seemed appropriate as a way of symbolizing their new commitments. The circles of the wedding ring are created using the colorful dense prints of Liberation and Wagon Wheels. I lie that the fabric stands up when fussy cut or when cut randomly. The wedding ring blocks sit on a background of Line Dancers! These are my spots. I couldn't settle for another plain spot...just had to make them dance!!!
The border is my favourite. The Wedding Ring print has lots of purpose. The large open area created by the pattern is great for quilting, applique or block borders. The intricacy of the leaves makes for great fussy cutting. The colors link in to many existing lines on the shelves and in my stash so it acts as a unifying print.
When I am considering color for my ranges I like to make three categories that are contemporary, pretty and traditional. So here we see the range in the three colors. Contemporary has electric blue as a base, the pretty has a bit of pastel influence and the traditional works from a gold platform. What is really exciting is that the colors in the fabrics fit in with so many other collections both new and old so it is easy to use them as stash activators.
Here is Folk Art Baby made by Megan Manwarrng. Megan chose to play with the Stars and Stripes pattern and to make a coin style quilt using lots of strip scraps from other ranges. The trailing string pieced vine inspired by Susan McCord works beautifully with so many fabrics and the result is fantastic. I so often hear people say they need a quick baby quilt and this one hits the mark on so many levels.
Cath on the other hand, chose to pull out the details of the print and has embarked on a medallion quilt using the feature prints fussy cut. More on this one but suffice to say it is getting some attention!
Emerging Stars features the fabric on a more modern level. The stars appear to be layered from the back to the front. This quilt is made using one of my favourite tools, a 12" sixty degree triangle. I used the Folk Art Bird in pretty and cut six triangles out to make the hexagon and then used the remaining background to make it into a star. The quilt is mainly composed of straight line seams in blocks and then a few very large Y seams bring it all together with ease for something just a little different!
One of my favorite ideas is using the Wedding Ring print as a base for quilting. I used Sue Spargo's gorgeous Eleganza to quilt this littel beauty with just a bit of Broderie perse style applique. The wadding is a non scrim wool which is heavenly to quilt so all in all this was a pleasure to make.
Sometimes its just fun to use a shape to play with the fabric so in this case I used the Uzbek Patches template from Making Quilts. Instead of using the half sides I used only the full shape and then put the borders on using Stars and Stripes again. The photo is shocking but still working out moving photos around from ipads to computers! The other thing I like about this little quilt is that using the background from Folk Art Birds creates a wacky but cohesive neutral!
Folk Art Revolution is a fabric designed by an obsessive quilter for all quilters. My goal is to offer up prints that make quilters fingers itch to cut it up. Big prints, small prints, dense or airy...I hope that when you see it you are inspired to take action...cause your own little textile revolution. I am but an email away if you have questions about how to use it!
Where can you get Folk Art Revolution??? Well, first stop should be to ask your local quilt shop. It is available around the world so ask for it. If you can't find it locally it is also available in on line shops and we have it of course! I am anxiously waiting to see what you do with it so send me photos!
So...what do you think? Talk to me...enjoy...k