Friday, February 28, 2014

Annik Miller's Craftsman Baby Quilt

What a pleasure it was working with Annik on this project! We live in the same Minneapolis neighborhood and met thru the HandmadeMN Etsy team and at The Linden Tree Shop. I was excited she said yes to working together on this project.
Annik Miller

We met early on about creating a baby quilt in a Craftsman style to launch with my Amelia Harper fabric line for Modern Yardage.  Annik knew right away what I envisioned when she shared her first drawings with me showing the strong graphic lines inspired by architectural details like windows and woodwork from Craftsman styled homes. We met again when I got my strike offs from Modern Yardage and chose the scales and decided amounts to order. Wow, I was thrilled when she brought over the final quilt for a photo shoot with Amelia.
Quilt front

Quilt back

She chose to feature all the main prints of the collection on the front using the Butterfly, Lambzie, Flowers, Dragonfly, Stripes and Boxes.  I requested she use the Monarch color way because the warm oranges and earth tones worked well with Amelia's crib and gender neutral theme.

The back of the quilt uses the large and medium scales of the Dragonfly print which is unique to Modern Yardage. Annik used Robert Kaufman's Kona Solid Parchment for the sashing, pulling all my prints together to create a soft and sophisticated quilt.  The gentle wavy line quilting pattern, similar to a butterfly in flight, were sewn using the free-motion quilting technique on a home sewing machine.  Occasional pairs of leaves are in harmony with my Flower print. It's just a beautiful interpretation by Annik.  The finishing touch is the binding, small Boxes in Turquoise cut on the bias, which provides a lovely contrast to the many oranges in the quilt.

Stitching detail with leaf shapes and flowing line work
I feel this fits my vision for modern Craftsman style quilt design. Annik plans to offer the pattern some time in the future.  I hope to collaborate with her again! You can get to know Annik thru her blog here and her Etsy shop, Mini Mushrooms  here.  

Back stitching detail
Amelia checks out Annik's work!
Front side
Back side

Monday, February 24, 2014

Nursery Design ABC's

Christine Sutphen, ASID
How do you start to design a nursery space and where do the fabrics come in to the plan? I designed my Amelia Harper fabrics with a nursery in mind for projects and decor and wanted to get some expert advice. Christine Sutphen, ASID is a Senior Interior Designer with Gabberts Design Studio and Fine Furnishings in Edina, Minnesota. I was thrilled when she agreed to do a Q&A on the ABC's of nursery design. You are welcome to contact her yourself thru her contact information at the end of the blog.

What's the first decision when planning to decorate a nursery? Where do we start?

Most of my clients start with the crib because it is the first thing they think of for a nursery.  Secondly, we address a comfortable chair like a rocker and a good piece of furniture for changing the baby and/or storage solutions.  I try to zero in on a color palette by reviewing upholstery options and fabrics for the crib bedding.  Some people know if they are expecting a girl or a boy and decorate accordingly.  Others do a more gender neutral room.  My advice is to determine the textiles first and then determine the paint color.  Secondly, consider fabrics that are more timeless so the room can mature as the baby gets older.

How do you work with expectant parents?

As a professional interior designer, I help my clients to get a full vision for a nursery.  I suggest flooring, bedding, window treatments, lighting, and flexible furniture that makes sense with the rest of the style of the home.  Some of my clients start by sharing photos with me that they have gathered from magazines or online so that I know what appeals to them. Design is in the details and many of those details can mean a lot when parents are operating on little sleep! Washable fabrics, room darkening window treatments, and lighting on a dimmer offer a lot of flexibility when infants need so much from their parents.

So once they have the furnishings, how do they pick a theme and extend it to the room?

Thankfully, nursery themes have gotten more sophisticated over the years.  The best room designs are created when I get to know my clients well so I can truly suggest materials that support the life style of the parents.  Interior designers have so many fantastic resources to utilize that go far beyond what is available in the ready-made world.  I can design spaces that are truly one-of-a-kind originals and the nursery meets the needs and budgets of the expectant parents.  For example, customized bedding, lamp shades, diaper caddy, and window treatments can really make a room sing!  Any expectant parent can buy a line of bedding off of a shelf.  It's like buying your dinner from the freezer section and simply warming it up in the microwave.  However, a truly custom designed space feels as good to the senses as a home cooked meal. It may take a little bit more prep to create but the final result is more fulfilling to the soul.

How can you see my Amelia Harper fabrics being used? 

Your Amelia Harper fabrics are like candy to interior designers because they can be used in so many combinations and they are all yummy!  I was drawn toward the cherry color line.  The berry red and blue green colors can be utilized in either a boys or girls room.  That fabric grouping can be customized even further if the lamb fabric is brought in because it features more of the rosy pick color that would be appropriate for a baby girl's room.  Having fabric groupings like this make it easy to make an adorable space.  It's like having all the right, fresh spices at your finger tips as you prepare a meal!

Amelia Harper Collection, Cherry color way, Modern Yardage
Thank you so much, Christine, for sharing your interior design insight with us! Contact Christine for other interior design challenges you may have; she is truly a wonderful person to work with.

Christine Suphen, ASID
Senior Interior Designer
Gabberts Design Studio and Fine Furnishings
3501 Galleria
Edina, MN  55435
Office: 952-927-1538
Fax: 952.927.1581

You can see more of my Amelia Harper fabrics at Modern Yardage here.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Counting Sheep

Counting sheep to go to sleep. This was one of my first designs in the Amelia Harper Collection, creating  a Z.Z.Z. pattern in the background of heart shaped faced lambs. My thought was its a way to encourage sweet dreams for the little ones in a fun style appropriate for girls or boys.

This print comes in four colorways: orange, turquoise, mint and coral. Each color also comes in 3 different scales so it works for different types and sizes of projects.  I hope you enjoy these pictures of Emily modeling the lounge pants. She told her Grandma that she liked these the best.  A special thanks to Melissa at The Linden Tree for making these out of my fabric.  She also helped me sew the blanket back with the softest fabric I've ever felt. Her shop has many colors of the Cuddle.

Here are some more pics of our project. Again, the Lambzie fabric can be purchased from Modern Yardage at this link. I hope you will try some out on your next project.

Medium scale turquoise Lambzie from the Skye color way on the front.

Super soft Cuddle fabric on the back.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Amelia Harper All Dressed Up

Such a sweet dress for a sweet little lady.  When I received my swatches from Modern Yardage for my Amelia Harper Collection, I really liked how the flowers and boxes print in Skye worked together and decided early on that would be used for Amelia's dress.  My very talented friend Carole chose the pattern and discussed what to use for lining and the buttons.

First Carole made a dress out of muslin to see how it fit Amelia. We met at The Linden Tree for a fitting and once Amelia got past the clothing change, she was very patient with having her inseams checked. Carole decided on a slightly larger size so Amelia could wear her dress longer.

Amelia's fitting with her Mom and Carole at The Linden Tree
Here are pictures of Amelia's dress up close. The dress is lined with voile. The lining is cut shorter than the outer fabric to pull the hem into a bubble shape. It is just beautiful! Carole did a fantastic job with her attention to detail. I can't thank her enough.

Add caption

Elastic gathered hem with lining

Here are a couple of yo yo headbands Liz made out of the flower print in a smaller scale. The stretchy elastic band was so comfortable for a baby to wear. Thanks to Liz for making these cute accessories that just add that final touch to the dress. 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Butterfly wing dress

How fun to see projects being made from my new Amelia Harper fabric for Modern Yardage. My friends at The Linden Tree have been so helpful sewing up beautiful dresses, yo-yo headbands, blankets and lounge pants this past week. We'll start with this dress Melissa made using my Butterfly print in Skye, medium scale on the outside and Flowers print in Skye, small scale on the inside.  This young lady's Grandma works next door to the Linden Tree at Brown & Greene Floral, a fantastic shop for flowers, gifts and plants.
You can order this fabric at Modern Yardage here.
Below are some more close up pics of the dress:
No zippers! The dress ties at the shoulders.

Rick rack edging at the bottom is just the right touch.
The dress is reversible with small flowers on the inside
The reverse side

The rick rack works for both sides
Liz made a yo yo head band to match. 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Meet Amelia Harper

4 generations: Amelia Harper, my niece Jessie, my sister Cathy & my Mom Carol.It was a peacock theme birthday party for my Mom last October and everyone dressed accordingly!  
Meet Amelia Harper, the namesake for my latest Modern Yardage Collection.  I knew last year when my niece Jessie and her husband Matt announced they were going to have a baby, that I wanted to design a line of fabric for their nursery and their baby.

Amelia Harper born in August
Jessie and Matt were looking for gender neutral imagery and color.  They saw their friends receive pink and blue items only to have their next baby be a different gender. So I kept that in mind while developing oranges, greens, taupes, turquoise and mint green palettes.  Jessie and I both share a love of Craftsman style and have gone on many Frank Lloyd Wright home tours with my sister (her Mom) so part of the collection needed to represent that as well.

So while they put the nursery together, I was developing the fabric designs.  They knew they were having a girl but didn't disclose the name they chose, so I would have to wait to know what my collection would be called.

Amelia Harper was born in August in Minneapolis. I'm the closest relative in town so I rushed over as soon as possible to meet her.  Such a wonderful sweet baby! Aren't we all biased when it comes to the babies in our family?
Jessie, Matt and Amelia at Christmas

So now my collection had a name. It would take a few more months for my collection to be born at Modern Yardage.  I have been working with very talented friends and bloggers to create wonderful items out of the fabric. We will be sharing nursery items, a specially designed quilt, clothes and much more this month.

I am so lucky to live so close to Amelia and be a part of her life. You can purchase Amelia Harper fabric online at  Modern Yardage here.