Friday, June 3, 2011

Top 5 Favorite Quilt/Fabric Designers (in no particular order)

Even if you're a new(ish) quilter, after a while you start to know what you like. Over and over again you'll be drawn to certain patterns and fabrics, and again and again you'll realize, "Hey! Thats whatserface!" I'm starting to find that's the case for me. Over and over again I'm drawn to designs from the usual suspects, and a couple unexpected people too! So I'll share my (current) Top 5 Favorite Quilt/Fabric Designers (in no particular order). Who knows, you may find you're a fan too and didn't even know it! :-) Oh, and each person's name is in fact a link to their respective websites.

5. Masha D'yans

Masha is my favorite designer (not who you though it was going to be, huh?). She's from St. Petersburg, Russia and her work is mostly watercolor. Her artwork is just...well, beautiful, silly, sassy, sweet. For me I think it's the unusual blend of harsh line and gentle brushstroke and powerful buildup of soft color. It's really energetic and she has got a gift of capturing the both whimsy and depth in one fell swoop. She does more than just fabric, she also does cards, gifts, and clothing. I hope she gets more into doing fabric, I only know of 3 lines from her.

4. Patrick Lose

Patrick Lose is both a fabric designer and a pattern designer. He has several books out, and his speciality is fusible applique and seasonal designs. He does dabble some in clothing (mainly vests and jackets), but I think his strongest skill is with his quick seasonal projects. His designs are big and bold, whch make them both simple for beginners and really impactful to the eye. I absolutely LOVE his Santa, Rudolph and Pumpkin patterns! Okay, fine, the Pumpkin one really is my favorite. And of course, you know my feelings on male quilters...go Patrick!

3. Barb Tourtillotte

With the unfortunate exception of Muffin Tops ,I love her artwork too.  Okay, well, that artwork itself in Muffin Tops is good, but uh, I don't need to see an older version of myself in a bikini on fabric...ick. But her artwork is really quite beautiful. She's a little more traditional than I usually go for, in terms of her fabric themes. I don't usually gravitate toward florals or garden themes, but her florals are so, so well done. They're bright but delicate at the same time. What I think I like most about her stuff is her go-withs are always strong, either within the line or with something else, which honestly, cannot be said for all designers.

2. Sue Spargo

Sue Spargo is a quilter designer, no fabric. Before I talk about her work though, I have a funny/stupid little story about her (well, not her personally). Last July I was in an accident at an amusement park in Virginia that sent me to the ER with a back injury. After being pat on the head and told it was essentially nothing, I flew back home as planned and just dealt with it. Well the pain increased after a few days so I ended up going to the doctor here to be told, yeah, you're hurt (thanks, I didn't know) here's something to help deal with the pain. Welllllll I got put on pain meds and told that I needed to stay moving so I didn't prevent my back from healing properly. So I continued working at the shop. If you know me, then you know my opinion of pain meds - no thank you sir, I'll just have an Ibuprofen and I'll rub some dirt in it. One day at work I was in a lot of pain and I kept not taking my pain meds because they made me really dingy (and nauseous), but finally Mom got fed up with me not taking the meds and bugged me, and bugged me, and bugged me until I took them. I took them there and she had me stay just so she could make sure I wouldn't react badly to them and so I wouldn't drive (which I wouldn't anyway). Well, I was dingy all right. Since I went from moderately with it to not at all with it it, she had me put away patterns - a pretty fool proof job. Apparently, as I was putting away the Sue Spargo patterns, I decided that her last name fits the suffix "-head," to be used to describe a person who likes her work...much like a Jimmy Buffet fan is referred to as a "Parrothead." I guess I decided that as a fan of Sue Spargo's, I would then, if that rule stood, be a "Sparg-head." And that, kiddies, is why I hate taking pain meds. 

Well, it stuck. I'm a Sparghead! Her designs are bright, whimsical and fun. I'd say her style is folksy but with a contemporary touch - her work is anything but the dark, antique-y, tradional primitives we think of when we think of folksy. A few of my favorite pieces of hers are Greenbrier , Folklore and the Journey Quilt. I love the look of the bright wool. It just begs to be embellished. Hers are the kind of projects that I truly wouldn't mind working on for months in little bits as I have time. I find her style very freeform even though it is very clearly and meticulously planned out. Indeed, I'm a Sparghead for life! Oh, and did you know there is a Sue Spargo Quilt and Applique Design program that is compatible with EQ7? How cool is that?!

1. Tula Pink

Tula Pink is probably who you thought I'd name as my favorite designer (if you know me that is). True, she is very, very, very close! You may know her from her line Neptune, Plume, or Parisville. Her colors, the way she hides things in her's awesome! Her work is a little more contemporary, but with a touch of the traditional. I think what draws me to her work so much is the symmetry. Even if it's full of flourishes, it really is so well balanced and it just makes sense. It's whimsical without being disorderly, and my eye really enjoys that. It's also heartening to see a young designer really making it in the industry. What an inspiration! Oh, did I mention she has SHOES WITH HER FABRIC ON THEM?!

Well, now you know some of who are some of yours?

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