A Chat with New Clothworks Designer, Tony Fernandes

Say hello to one of our newest fabric designers, Tony Fernandes!  Long before I knew anything about Tony, I fell in love with his curious little creatures in his first collection with us, Mayfly Mischief.  Tony is from Northern England, and got his start as an artist at the ripe young age of 10, when he sent his cartoons to the Saturday morning childrens’ shows.

TonyFCartoonAs Tony blossomed as an artist, he had the privilege of having his work presented by the British Government as a gift to the Australian Government during the Bicentennial Celebrations of 1988.

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I had a little Q & A to get to know Tony a little better…I hope you chuckle as I did reading his answers to my question–what a character!

Brandi: What inspires your artwork?

Tony: the freedom and quirky randomness of everything in nature.  its just lovely to be able to sit and observe a whole world by ones doorstep

Brandi: What inspires you to create?

Tony: everything from shapes and forms to tones and hues of base colours.  from light falling across the moon to the shadow thrown by a bug on a leaf.

Brandi: What is your creative process?

Tony: sketchbook! sketchbook! sketchbook! – never go anywhere without one, just to jot down quick drawing or funny idea, then back to studio to get my hands on my nibs and inks and brushes and splosh color onto the finished designs – i never like to plan things as randomness and oddlines and design shapes are fun to evolve and never work if you try too hard.

Brandi: How did the artist in you evolve?

Tony: when i was a child my ma and pa always made sure that there was plenty of crayons and paper to doodle on not much time was spent indoors as i was up trees and hiding in bushes drawing wildlife – it was a wonderful time.  to be creative and make mistakes and start over again and again – the freedom was the essential thing – no barriers and always another piece of paper to scribble on – it’s such a shame tv has such a strong hold on the young – there is so much more in one’s imagination.

Brandi: Describe your creative space or studio?

Tony: hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm…..probably best described as a mess…. a working mess.  bits of art hanging from the ceiling to the floor – proofs ready to sign/ posters/ prints/ originals hanging about/ long lost sandwiches and pots of cold coffee lost forever- mountains of books and forlorn bookcases buckling under their weight, heaps of brushes and lakes of inks and paints – it should probably be condemned but i like it as it is and it is a wonderful place to create.

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Brandi: What is your favorite color?

Tony: i like greens and autumn colors

Brandi: food?

Tony: most fresh products locally farm sourced

Brandi: place?

Tony: the countryside and bits of new york and conneticut

Brandi: song?

Tony: too diverse and many to mention, everything from medieval chants through groucho marx to pop stuff

Brandi: artist?

Tony: i like picasso and rembrandt

Brandi: season?

Tony: autumn – the colors in the garden are more extreme and i like to leave the sedums and teazel etc to gather frost

Brandi: animal?

Tony: i have kept many animals but goats are the funniest. dogs most loyal and my parrott has learned how to swear…i can’t figure out how !

TonyFStudio2Check out Tony’s collection Mayfly Mischief, and be sure to check out your local quilt shop in May 2010 to get your hands on this great fabric!

Cozy Elephant Quilt!

A week ago I was so excited for spring, and felt it’s presence all around me as the sun shone and little blades of baby grass seemed to creep up everywhere.  My chickens were out frolicking and sunning themselves, and I began to thumb through my seed catalogs and dream of my garden.

Then I woke up today to a full on blizzard!  It looks like winter is back and here to stay for awhile.  I am not going to get too down, though.  I am going to throw on a couple layers of quilts, drink my coffee, and get cozy.  Spring can wait while I enjoy my little winter wonderland.

If you need a nice cozy quilt to keep you warm until spring, check out this Jungle Soul Flannel quilt in the February/March 2010 issue of McCall’s Quick Quilts.  Cathy Conley and Joann Kliewer from Bear Paw Quilting are the designers of this fun quilt.  Bear Paw Quilting is the kit source for this quilt, so contact them to order your kit now, and cozy up!

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I hope to be blogging about some spring projects soon…for now I am embracing winter under my layers of quilts!  Happy Quilting!

A case of the Mondays.

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I give up! For the past month I have been trying to find a 2-3 year old little girl to take photos of in this adorable dress (made from our Claire De Lune collection by Joyce, our design coordinator).

No Luck.

I hope you can still get a good sense of  how adorable it really is.  I can’t find the pattern that it was made from, but rest assured, when Joyce comes back from her trip to the Tokyo International Quilt festival I will pass it along to those of you interested..

Sorry for being so unprepared today, I will be much improved next entry.

-September

Join the 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge with us!

Chances are if you’ve been into your local quilt shop or reading American Patchwork & Quilting (AP&Q) lately, you’ve heard about the 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge.  It’s all part of AP&Q’s program to donate 1 million pillowcases to local charities near you in 2010.  Each participating quilt shop will have free patterns (or you can download the patterns online here), fabric kits, and serve as a drop off location for your finished pillowcases.  The shops will donate to local charities, so click here to find a participating shop near you.

We are participating by sponsoring the challenge, and making up three pillowcases in our fabrics each quarter.  The first three of twelve pillowcases are on the AP&Q website now.

cloth1Above is Pattern 1 in Dancing Horses by Laurel Burch.  I love the little ruffles!

cloth2And here is Pattern 3 in Rose Whispers by Cedar West.  Don’t you love green and pink together–one of my favorite color combos.

cloth3And finally, here is Pattern 2 in Blue Bouquet by Skipping Stones Studios.  Who knew that a simple pillowcase could be so lovely!

So take the challenge today, and be sure to explore the AP&Q website.  You can upload photos of your pillowcases, get ideas, and connect with others–lots of fun!

Easy Quilts Spring 2011!

UPDATE! I was thumbing through this one again this morning and missed the adorable little color option they did with Dinos on Parade! Isn’t it cute?
Dinos_EQ

You will soon find the lovely and fun Spring 2011 Easy Quilts on newsstands with two gorgeous Clothworks collections featured! The first one is a quilt designed by Stephanie Sims using the Celestial Dreams collection by Laurel Burch.
Celestial-Dreams_EQ
The second quilt you will find is a quilt designed by Susan Mayer using the Ruby’s collection by Skipping Stones Studio.
Rubys_EQ
You can purchase the quilt kits for these projects at www.shopfonsandporter.com. I am giving you a sneak preview, so they are not yet on their website, but will be in the coming weeks. Thanks for looking and Happy Quilting!

Go Green with ReUsies, Reusable Sandwich baggies!

One of the things that has been so fun about starting our blog has been getting to know some of the small businesses who create and sell interesting things with our fabrics.  One particular company that really got me excited is ReUsies, a small company that makes fabric sandwich bags.  I found them on Twitter, and when I went to their website I just fell in love with them!  I just had to buy these three Reusies below, they are soooo adorable!

sandwichbags

I thought it would be interesting to talk with the gals behind this creative company, so we had a little Q & A…

Brandi:  Where did the idea for ReUsies come from?

Karen:  The idea for ReUsies came at the start of the school year when I realized my family of 4 was throwing away approximately 10 plastic baggies a day.  It seemed  like everything else in our school and work lunches were multi-use:  lunch box, cloth napkin, water bottle, but there wasn’t a reusable baggie to hold the food contained.  There was the option of storage containers but it seemed too cumbersome, especially for smaller children.

reusies-mug-shot-025Brandi:  How did the idea evolve into a business?

Karen:  I approached my friend, Becky Harper (that I met when our children were in kindergarden together) because I knew she was a seamstress and also had a very entrepreneurial spirit.  With her help we were able to create a solution to all of the waste, a ReUsie, which is a cotton bag lined with leak resistant nylon and sealed with Velcro.  We gave them to our friends to use and give us feedback on and when we couldn’t sew enough to keep up with demand we realized we had a viable business on our hands.

Brandi:  What is your selection process for new fabrics?

Karen:  My partner and I try to select cotton prints that appeal to different demographics.  Just because we love it doesn’t mean the rest of the world will!  It has been great to find a wide variety to choose from at Clothworks and love the fact that it is a located right in our backyard.  At Clothworks we have been able to find prints that will appeal to men and women as well as some great juvenile patterns.

S-RACE-REUSIE

Brandi:  What do you envision for the future of ReUsies?

Karen:  This first year in our business we learned a ton and next year we hope to focus on growth.  Our goal is to  increase our wholesale accounts and continue forming partnerships with schools.  We really enjoyed working with schools across the country this Fall that wanted to use ReUsies as a fundraiser, we hope to do more of that this year.

If you’d like to get your own stash of ReUsies, just go to http://www.ReUsies.com, and enjoy their slick online ordering.  Thanks, ReUsies Gals for inspiring me to be just a bit greener!

December Project of the Month Winner

Congratulations to Jean of Snohomish, WA. for winning our project of the month for December!  Jean’s project is a great sewing organizer from a pattern she purchased from Back Porch Quilts and Designs.  You can get the pattern here.  They look super handy, I might just have to get one so that I can stick with my new year’s resolution of keeping a clean and organized quilting studio!!  And it’s even a small enough project to use up some old scraps that have been hanging around too long…

DSC_6049The fabric is from Laurel Burch’s Fanciful Felines collection.  How cute!  Thanks, Jean, for sharing your project with us!  Jean will be receiving fat quarters from the Dancing Horses collection as a prize.

If you’d like to enter our monthly contest, send your project photos to us at blog@clothworkstextiles.com.  We will announce the next winner on February 1st.