Friday, July 18, 2014

Getting to know...RUSTIQUE!

Photo from Hawthorne Threads. Used with permission. 
Since RUSTIQUE is now shipping to stores all over I wanted to tell you a little about my inspiration and how I came up with the ideas for each print. 
I've been planning this post for a while and had to postpone due to a computer crash. Unfortunately I lost a lot of photos and have had to re-think how I'm going to do this post. I hope you enjoy!

Park City was one of the first prints I designed for the collection. Originally each hexagon only had one trophy in it and the animal varied in each including an Elk, Mule Deer, and Moose. While playing around with the trophies I got this snowflake design and loved it! It was decided that choosing only one animal would be best so I stuck with the trophy motif from the Trophy print. I LOVE the snowflake shape that it makes.

From the beginning of it's creation I  knew I wanted woodgrain somewhere in the Rustique collection. This fabric line was in the works for a while and by the time it was ready to go there were lots of woodgrain fabric already out there. I decided not to have a woodgrain print and instead chose to add just a touch in these prints. I really like the accent they add to Park City.

I had the idea for Trophy all along. I knew I would have deer heads with antlers evenly spaced on a background. In my head I envisioned wallpaper. What would these deer heads look like on a wall? My deer went through several drafts before deciding on the one you see here. Their antlers were a work in progress, too. Originally they were just antlers. My husband helped direct me to the specific type of deer and the best "rack". I really learned a lot about deer, specifically the difference between whitetail and mule deer. At some point, I don't remember exactly when, but I had the idea to make the collection more organic by adding flowers and branches. It was an "Ah Ha!" moment when I replaced the antlers with branches and tiny blossoms. It took some convincing to get the hubs on board but I really didn't care if he agreed or not- I loved it! Of course this changed the final look in Park City, also, both for the better.

The idea for Embossed came about from one of the original trophies in Park City. This trophy is a whitetail.   A lot of the design process is just moving images around and seeing what happens. I wanted to line them up and see what secondary design would appear. Once they were lined up I immediately saw an Aztec/tribal style design and added the little diamonds. I knew this print would be a tone-on-tone print and envisioned embossed leather where the design shows up in shadows depending on the way the light hits it. This one might be my favorite of all the designs despite the fact that my husband still wished they were mule deer instead. :o)

Crosscut was another idea that I had from the beginning, yet it took on many different forms before the final print was ready. 

I love the design that crosscut wood branches make so I used images like this as my inspiration. The disks were originally more intricate with their designs and had lots of rings. Each disk was tone-on-tone. When deciding to go more organic I had an idea for flowers. 

The flowers I envisioned were primitive as if they'd been cut from the end of a piece of wood (obviously not as intricate as the ones in the pictures above). Once I designed the flowers I knew I needed to simplify and change the wood disks to follow the feel of the flowers. I color blocked each wood disk and intermixed the woodcut flowers and the Crosscut print was born. 

The leaves for Leafpress are like my other prints in the fact that they went through many phases before the final was ready. In fact, my original leaf was the one that was used in Technicolor. Since the first leaf was very geometric and already used in another collection I revisited the leaf for a different look. I thought of leaves in a press and the image they make. I also thought of the "embossed" process of leather and the wood stamp inspiration I used in crosscut. All of those ideas helped shape the leaves for Leafpress.

Adirondack style and decor was one of the ideas that originally inspired me to do this collection. Yes, my husband was a big part but the first thought came here. I saw a page in a fashion magazine (dang I wish I still had it!) And it showed a runway model wearing what looked like a blanket from a cabin. The rest of the page had different images in a design board style of Adirondack style in both fashion and decor. This was a couple of years ago and really got the creative wheels turning in my head of how I could combine Rustic and Chic = Rustique! I absolutely love plaid and developed this plaid to accompany the rest of the print in the collection.  

When I first started this collection I sketched out and wrote down a bunch of ideas. Because I started so long about chevrons were just getting started in their fabric fame. I also wrote down feathers. I wanted to do things differently than were already being done which meant that I didn't want a print with feathers on it or a basic chevron. Simply adding a curve to the chevron lines I got a design that looked like feathers and a chevron all at once. Feathering

I love geometric designs and prints. I played around with lots of ideas and like many others was influenced by hexagons and triangles. I changed the shape a bit and developed a cool design. The altered triangles reminded me of a Sharktooth necklace one of my brothers got when he was in cub scouts as a kid. Sharks and deer obviously don't fit in the same theme, but shark teeth are used in tribal jewelry. So I managed to make it fit with the theme. :o)

Main prints are always a little bit tricky for me to design. I just think in smaller scale and tinier repeats. Open Season (named for my husband) and Yes, Deer (below) were designed almost simultaneously. In Utah we have a lot of Quaking Aspen trees up in the mountains. We call them "Quakies" and their a beautiful tree. I wanted to incorporate them into my collection somehow but their scale is difficult to work with. If I shortened their trunks they just wouldn't bee quakies anymore. 
The bird in the print is a special addition for me since it came from an actual picture I took of a vulture or hawk flying around. After designing the trophy deer head I really wanted some full deer silhouettes. I made a grazing doe and two nice bucks hiding in the trees. By staggering the trees I was able to get a print that could be a good scale to work with and still look like the forest I envisioned.
 One thing that I find amusing is the tree trunks themselves. Quakies are white with black notches and knots. This print just did not look good with a colored background so I couldn't make the trees white. I reversed the color placement on the trees for this print and they look awesome! They're just opposite of what they would normally be in nature. :o)

Yes, Deer uses the same buck silhouette from Open Season and carries the wood cut flowers over from crosscut. I don't do a lot of flowers in my design process so I struggled a bit with this print. It went through many revisions and color changes before I was happy with it. I like that my deer is hiding in the gorgeous bouquets of flowers. This print brings a softness to the collection that ties it all together.

I hope you enjoyed learning a bit about my design process for Rustique. I just love this collection and I hope you do too! 
Do you have a favorite print? What are you planning on making with Rustique? Tell me all about it!

You can purchase Rustique for your own collection from HAWTHORNE THREADS or ask for it at your local quilt shop!



Funky Kim said...

You do realize that I will need to make a quilt for the trailer my husband uses for hunting with this fabric! Flowers and antlers. Perfection!

Pam said...

This is one of my all time favorite fabrics. I plan to make a quilt like yours in the purples and oranges. I have made a baby quilt using the same pattern and love the pattern and I pln to use the fabric in a modern block exchange that I am doing with 11 of my friends.

Sarah said...

Alright, now its official. I will start my Rustique quilt this weekend. People having babies will just have wait for their kids to get quilts from me.

Yvonne said...

I love this collection Emily! Great job! I can almost hear the leaves of the Aspen when the wind is playing with them when I look at your fabric!

Tiffany said...

Wow, that was awesome. Thanks for sharing! I think I like the hexi snowflakes the best.

Allison said...

I adore your new fabric collection! thanks for sharing your process, it is very interesting to hear how each print evolved :)

p.s. - I'm finally putting the final hand stitches in the binding of a quilt made from your going coastal collection, which I love to pieces. I already have a couple of fun locations picked out for photos, so if the weather cooperates it should be up on my blog within the week

Shawn said...

Well that was fun! Loved getting a look into your head about the process. I like this line too.

kshackabq said...

Thank you, Emily for describing your design process for each print. Makes me love the collection all the more. Good job!

Margo said...

Love, love, love it! I laughed when you wrote about getting your hubby on board with the branches and leaves. I thought that was brilliant! I too am a hunting wife and have had "lessons" on white tail, mule deer, etc.! Congrats on a beautiful collection!