She is a quilter with a passion for fashion and home-decor. Her joy for quilting started in 2008, but her love for fabric began as a child. Katy currently hosts an entertaining quilting series on QNNtv.com. The show is a combination of teaching traditional and modern quilting design techniques. Katy's yearning for teaching has led her to author two books with Martingale and contributed to many others, as well as working on the editorial team of a UK based quilting magazine.
In today's interview, she tells us about her journey as a designer, and where her inspiration for Priory Square stemmed from. We hope you enjoy getting to know the Katy behind the scenes.
1). Why choose Art Gallery Fabrics to launch your first fabric collection?
I hadn’t especially thought about designing fabric before Pat asked me if I’d be interested. However it was a complete no-brainer, I love Art Gallery Fabrics, the fabric is unlike any other and I love the family that Pat and Walter have created within the company.
2). How does it feel knowing your fabrics are exclusive to the Limited Edition concept, and will only be printed once?
I don’t think it’s quite sunk in yet. Once I have everything in my hands, and I see them in stores I think it will, but until then it will just feel like a dream. I do feel incredibly honored to be part of the Art Gallery Limited Edition team.
3). How and when did you decide fabric design was something you wanted to do yourself one day?
In my fantasies I’d (of course) dreamed about fabric, but I hadn’t really ever thought I’d design some of my own. I love fabric, I love design, but I didn’t believe I’d be the designer. I can’t imagine anything much more amazing within this industry than to make a quilt from fabric I’ve designed myself. I can actually do this now – it’s a crazy feeling!
4) . If you had to choose one print from Priory Square, which is your favorite and why?
Oh my gosh – that’s such a tricky question. Well, I have 2 favorites for different reasons. The first is You Are Here, because it’s a map print and I am a sucker for anything with text. Plus, it’s a map of where I first lived when I moved to Yorkshire to go to college. I think this is going to be such a useful print for people. My other favorite is my big collage print, Sunday Clippings. I had so much fun with this print, finding images and creating this collage. This is also going to a voile and I am really looking forward to making dresses from it (and probably some PJ bottoms too).
5) . What are you hoping to translate and offer to fabric lovers with your collection?
I am hoping Priory Square will give people a little taste of England. For those that have never visited, a chance to experience the beautiful countryside, the rich emerald greens, the flowers that bloom everywhere. It’s not all about London buses and red post boxes, this is my England.
6) . Which print was most challenging to create and why?
The most challenging print, strangely wasn’t in the creation as such, but in deciding what to have as the final print. That was the challenge, and it’s Thru the Wire. I had a total of 9 prints, and 1 had to go, so that was the tricky part. I had to decide which would be the most useful, and Thru the Wire made the grade. It’s a great blender and background print, an alternative to a checkered or gingham. I think it’ll also make a really cool binding.
7). Explain your creative process when designing fabrics from start to finish.
I spent a lot of time looking for images of botanical drawings, of British flowers. I must have picked up every gardening catalog and seed packet. It was a little bit crazy how I became so obsessed with finding the perfect blooms. I did the same with old maps, and visited my local library to look at maps in the area. All of the images were made from photographs or images that were scanned into illustrator and re-drawn, or (in the case of Sunday Clippings) created as a collage by cutting and pasting onto the background. That was the most fun of all the prints to make, it took forever to get everything to sit just right, but I love the scrap book page effect. I had found a colour palette early on that I liked on Pinterest, it was a bunch of flowers and picked out the navy, emerald green and bright pink – those were my starting points and the other colours came in around those. Plus a little gold to make everything look luxe. I love a metallic print. In illustrator the images were re-coloured and re-sized. Some (like clover fields) were enhanced a little, and the shapes played around with to make them more stylized.
8). What other designers, makers or artists do you look up to or inspire your work?
I admire Pat and the way she has created this amazing company with so many talented designers. I love all of the Art Gallery designers, they’re all such talented people and so unique. Outside of AGF my true love is Anna Maria Horner, I adore her aesthetic and her style.
9). How does your line differ from other collections currently in the market?
My collection is mine, it’s my own story and my own life so it’s a reflection of me and me alone. That is what makes it different to the other collections on the market. I’ve tried to think a little outside the box with the designs for the blenders. Like the wire fence print (which is a reminder of the chickens I had as a child at my grandmother’s house), and the rainbow rain print – because rain isn’t all bad, it creates the beautiful lush green landscape of England.
10). What is next for you in 2014?
Quite honestly – I have no clue. I would like a vacation with my family, because we’ve had a pretty roller coaster year. It’s going really great at the minute but we’ve had a few scary bits so, I’m not planning anything new, I’ll take one day at a time. Although 2015 I will be at QuiltCon, I am teaching classes and hanging out and having fun. I can’t wait for that!
Thank you for stopping by, we hope you enjoyed Katy's interview!