While the Clothworks team was attending the Spring Quilt Market in Minneapolis last weekend, we met talented up-and-coming quilter, Hilary Frye. She blew us away with her ‘mammoth-sized’ quilt designs using American Made Brand solid fabrics. Hilary’s interpretations of close-up images and geometric-inspired graphic flowers, such as the pic of this one above, entitled ‘Mammoth Sunflower’, were perfectly suited for the vibrant bright color palette offered in American Made Brand solids! Hilary was gracious enough to answer my email queries about her quilting background and what drew her to use AMB solid fabric in her bold, modern flower quilt designs.
As with many quilters and sewists, Hilary laid her ‘creative roots’ down at an early age and continued to grow & explore her talents, eventually making it into a career. Hilary recalls ‘breaking the rules’ at a very young age to execute her creations– in other words, cutting up Mom’s curtains to make clothes for her Barbie at age 5. At age 10, she learned to sew garments (denim culottes to go with her hard-earned Frye Campus Boots to wear for the First Day of school in 7th grade). In high school she worked at the local fabric shop, an emporium carrying the most beautiful fabrics and trims which inspired her to concentrate on Fiber Arts while attending Iowa State University for Art Education. During her college years, she continued to feed her passion for fabric and art- learning to dye fabric, embroider, silkscreen, and even made her first Hawaiian applique block!
Another fiber arts passion bloomed later for Hilary– it wasn’t until Hilary was in her 40s when she became hooked on quilting! She may not have known how to use a rotary cutter when she was hired at the quilt shop where she started working, but with her cheerful smile and background in art & color theory, she was an asset to the shop and quickly developed a love of quilting. Exposed to many gorgeous fabrics designed by talented textile designers in the quilt shop also made Hilary more aware of color theory, which in turn has influenced her own quilt designs.
Hilary’s draw to using American Made Brand solids was mainly the plentiful color offering, as well as bringing textile production back to the USA! She was impressed that AMB solids was launched with 50 gorgeous saturated fabric colors (like the 50 states) and took to the hand & feel of the fabric. Just knowing that the fabric is grown, woven, dyed, and finished all here in the USA makes her feel proud to be using a product that is helping fuel the local economic climate. Hilary purchased the Indigo color of AMB (nostalgic for her fabric-dyeing days in college) and was immediately hooked! From there she began designing bold, visually-impressive quilts inspired by flowers….on her iPad!
Here are a few of the quilt designs using her iPad:
from left to right: Mammoth Sunflower, Iris Isles, and Rosie’s Garden designed by Hilary Frye
Another reason Hilary chose American Made Brand solid fabric to execute these bold flowers into stunning quilts was that the solids would lend themselves to the texture created by longarm quilting. And just by happenstance, Hilary met a very talented longarm quilter, Martha Downs of Free Spirit Quilting, who she’s worked with ever since a chance meeting during lunch last year at the Minnesota Quilters Show.
This unfinished quilt version of Iris Isles is from Hilary’s instagram page. Martha’s beautiful longarm quilting compliment’s Hilary’s colorful bold flower design perfectly!
Check out more of Hilary’s work on her website here— she’s a very talented illustrator, as well!
Mammoth Sunflower and Rosie’s Garden will be on display at the Minnesota Quilters Show in Duluth, Minnesota, June 11-13, 2015 in the Modern category.
The three flower quilts will also hang in her first solo show the entire month of October 2015 at the Chaska Community Center in Minnesota.
Hilary hopes to have patterns for her flower quilts published by early fall. Keep afloat of her on her instagram, too!