Hey fabric lovers!
Hope everyone is doing well and is ready for some exciting news! It's that time of year when we are getting ready to share our love for fabrics (even more than usual) as we prepare for Quilt Market. Of course this comes with new designers and many new collections. (We are as excited as you are!)
Today, we are delighted to announce our latest addition to our Limited Edition designers and the AGF family, Amy Sinibaldi! (Welcome home!) You might recognize Amy from her beautiful sewing & crafting blog Nana Company as well as the author of "Sweetly Stitched Handmades." In addition to being a creative wonder woman, Amy is a wife and mother of four kids living in sunny Southern California.
With her sweet personality, Amy tells AGF about her inspirations, creative process, and how it feels to venture into textile design. We hope you have fun getting to know Amy and her new collection. Without further ado, we present to you Amy Sinibaldi!
AGF: Why choose Art Gallery Fabrics to launch your first fabric collection?
Amy: I had been approached by many of the houses and I knew that all of them were good choices but I was most excited - and I mean that word in the truest form – my heart literally beat faster at the idea of designing with AGF. I had been a longtime admirer of AGF’s marketing and LookBooks and their very fresh and modern approach to showcasing their product. That means a lot to a designer.
AGF: How does it feel knowing your fabrics are exclusive to the Limited Edition concept, and will only be printed once?
Amy: Knowing that the line will only be printed once makes it a very exclusive line, all the more special as it is my first line, and I hope that people are drawn to it as I was when designing it. And I hope that many other lines will follow it ;)
AGF: What did you do before you started designing fabrics?
Amy: Before designing fabrics, I spent all my time working with fabric on all manner of projects, quilts, bags, clothes, zakka items, and stitcheries. I have been designing for the last several years, so it’s a natural that I would turn to designing fabric and creating the line I’ve always dreamed of working with.
AGF: How and when did you decide fabric design was something you wanted to do yourself one day?
Amy: I might not have thought it would ever happen but I dared to dream about fabric design pretty early on. Of course I only started sewing in 2006, but I learned quickly and fell in love with the possibilities fabric provides as a medium. Then, after you’ve gotten over the initial excitement of all the amazing fabrics on the market you start to look around you and you start thinking, hey, I could do this too. I think it’s a natural feeling, for a girl who works with fabric day in and day out, to want to design her own fabric line. There are plenty of beautiful fabrics out there, but what could be more thrilling than working on a project that is completely yours from start to finish – the fabric, the design, and the construction. It’s a creative dream come true!
AGF: What is the story behind your collection?
Amy: By far and away, my first love in life was books. I was always reading under the covers deep into the night as a child and exploring new worlds through books. As an adult I began to collect books as much for the stories as for the actual beauty of the book itself. So I’ve spent years and years visiting second-hand bookstores looking for beautiful hardcover copies of the books that I love. I geek out on the endpapers, the spines, the illustrations, the designs, the fonts, and the paper itself. So it was natural for me to combine my first love with my second great love ~ fabric! And because today we live in a world where books and stories can be brought to you in so many forms, I thought I’d put an emphasis on the form that I love best. Paper. Paperie!
AGF: What are you hoping to translate and offer to fabric lovers with your collection?
Amy: I’m hoping to offer fabric lovers a selection of fabrics that embody the qualities I love best ~ pretty, sweet, and modern. These three qualities always tick off the boxes for me. And with this specific collection I’m hoping to bring a bookish feeling that doesn’t knock you over the head with its theme. I always prefer a more subtle hand in my work and this line offers a book theme, but subtly, sometimes directly, and then also abstractly.
AGF: Explain your creative process when designing fabrics from start to finish?
Amy: I learned the basic how-to’s on fabric design while creating this line and I suspect my evolution as a designer will bring me to different places and processes, but I began each of these prints with some sketches, or doodles, if you will. Drawing with India ink on crisp white paper seemed like a good place to start for a line that I had intended to call Paperie from the very beginning. Once the basic sketches were made, I scanned them into my computer and played with them in Adobe Illustrator. That is really fun and my ability to manipulate with the software just started to get good by the time the line was due (so I know I’ll enjoy it even more as time goes on.) Working with color came next, and that is intense. It can be exhilarating and heartbreaking to see how color changes based on how big an object is and what it’s next to. A single color can be like a chameleon in this way. So, for this line I played with colors and more colors until I could barely see and I worked my Pantone samples til they were quite soft around the edges. And then I worked on scale and bringing in prints that would balance out the collection until it seemed to work. All I can say is, thank goodness for Pat. Honestly I couldn’t have done it without her. She is like sunshine and when you’re in the dark and the sun shines, you’re just like , “aaaah!”
AGF: If you had to choose one print, which is your favorite and why?
Amy: My favorite print is probably Happily Ever After, the heart print. I’ve never necessarily been big into hearts, but these hearts are more organic, not perfect, two-toned, soft, and the colors speak to me. I know I love this fabric because I can’t wait to use it and I can think of a hundred ways to do just that!
AGF: Which print was most challenging to create and why?
Amy: My biggest challenge in creating this line was getting away from small. I’m so used to working with small bits of fabric, that I’ve somewhat made it hard for myself to “see” things bigger as I’d mostly prefer all the design on a fabric print to take place within a 2” square. Ha ha! That’s not easy. And I know you can’t work only with small prints, because a quilt needs some larger scale prints to ease the eye and provide some balance. With Library Gardens I wanted to make a slightly larger repeat and add more variation for the eye, so that was stretching myself a little, but it was just a little “stretch”.
AGF: What other designers, makers or artists do you look up to or inspire your work?
Amy: I am inspired everywhere I look. And since I eat, sleep, and breathe in design, my artist’s eye is never shut off. It’s a challenge though, to create a look that’s truly your own and I haven’t yet established mine, so I try not to spend too much time looking at one artist’s work over another. I can tell you, however, that I’m very much in love with the aesthetics of Anna Graham, Katie Daisy, Heather Ross, Anna Bond, and everyone I follow on Instagram. There is a little (or a big) ‘something’ in their work that sends “yes” signals to my creative psyche.
AGF: How does your line differ from other collections currently in the market?
Amy: My Limited Edition line is different from those you’ll find in the market today because I don’t think you can pin point it down with just one word. There are pretty lines, modern lines, and cute lines, but I never want someone to be able to say about my fabric, it’s too saccharine. There is a strong graphic edge to some of the prints, and I believe that these balance out the sweetness of the florals to create a pretty, but modern look that doesn’t knock you over the head. I like to keep a certain reserve in my work and that includes color.
AGF: When you are not designing fabrics, what do you like to do in your free time?
Amy: If I’m not working, it’s time to focus on my family and get out of the house. The kids and I like outdoorsy activities followed by good food. My husband and I like theatre and music followed by good food. And my girlfriends and I generally like cocktails and good food. I always just follow my senses: if it smells good, looks good, feels good, or tastes good, I’m there!
AGF: Is there a specific project you envision being made with your new fabrics collection?
Amy: As it is a Limited Edition line, I absolutely must make a large quilt with this fabric, as it will serve as a memory quilt and have so much meaning for me. Aside from that, I envision bags, little girl dresses, and mostly I envision the fun I’ll have just cutting and sewing and creating whatever my heart wants at the moment with this fabric line ~ just having fun with it!
AGF: What’s your favorite thing about designing fabrics?
Amy: I absolutely love working with color combinations and working on repeats, and drawing little flowers, and honestly I love the whole process. It’s a bit addictive I think.
AGF: What is next for you in 2015?
Amy: Well, creating this line of fabrics is my dream come true and a great way to round out 2015, but there is so much else in the works, including another book, lots of fun editorial work, and I’m crossing my fingers: more fabric to come!
We hope you enjoyed the interview with Amy! Stay tuned for the full reveal of Amy's entire collection. We're super excited to see all the amazing projects you will make with Paperie. As always, stay creative and thanks for inspiring!