The July/August issue of Quiltmaker features an easy but oh-so-attractive throw quilt pattern called Garden Spot.
I had a chance to chat with Amanda on email and I asked for her thoughts on a variety of topics. I wanted to share them with you today.
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Tell me about the process of designing fabric. What are the steps?
Well, first comes the idea for the collection. I usually think about that for a couple months before even putting pencil to paper. I do sketch – but my sketches are very rough – more notes to myself than anything else.
I begin with the feature prints because they are what the rest of the collection is centered upon. I might design three or four feature prints before settling on one. I do take my initial sketches and scan them in but most of the real design is done on a graphics tablet.
When designing fabric I am constantly going back and forth between fabric design and quilt design to ensure that I have a wide variety of scale and value in the fabric.
The medium scale Topiary print below inspired “Lovebirds,” shown above.
Sometimes the quilt designs influence the fabrics and vice versa.
The blender shown below has motifs borrowed from “Forever,” above.
The next thing I do is to experiment with color. A lot of shops are looking for really tight collections so they can afford to buy the entire set, so I like to make sure that my color stories coordinate with each other.
My final step is putting the fabrics into repeat. I send the designs to Blend and they give me their feedback. Anna and the design director, Kate, have great editing eyes!
Often the end result varies a lot from my original sketches, but the initial inspiration is still there. A main theme in my work is contrasting the modern and traditional – the old and the new. This came through particularly well in my Modern Lace feature print so I’m really excited about the quilts I’m designing for this collection.
What is your sewing/quilting background?
I have sewn since I was a little girl. I made my mother a pink lace dress as a surprise when I was about ten – which she recently admitted she wore “only once.” Haha. I also made an angel tree skirt and decorated the angels’ faces with real makeup. I didn’t get into quilting until later – after I had kids. Quilting is great because it marries my love of graphic design with my love of sewing! I love quilting and quilters – they are the best!
Please visit Amanda’s website: amandamurphydesign.com
And have a peek at Amanda’s blog, too: amandamurphydesign.blogspot.com
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Now it’s giveaway time. This giveaway is for U.S. readers only. Amanda is providing (generous lady!) a fat quarter bundle of Topiary plus the Forever and Lovebirds patterns shown above. She’s having a giveaway on her blog too, so you’ll want to follow the instructions in both spots.
For your chance to win here, please leave a comment by midnight Saturday, June 14. We’ll choose a random winner and announce it here next week.
Sylvia E. Anderson is the winner of the Amanda Murphy Garden Spot Giveaway! Sylvia had been notified by email.
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Buy just the pattern for Garden Spot, an easy throw quilt, for $7.99.
Get the July/August issue of Quiltmaker in print or digital format (includes Garden Spot pattern).