Quilt Market: Melody Miller

Melody Miller‘s booth was my favorite at Quilt Market this time around. She always has such a nostalgic booth, and this time was no different!
Here is a mosaic I made with the new fabric line, which is called ‘Ruby Star Sparkle’:

In case you are wondering, it’s called ‘Ruby Star Sparke’ and it does indeed sparkle…the cameras in the first three prints are printed in metallic silver ink, as are the last three. Also, the floral print with the ladies has a gold metallic text overlay. METALLIC TEXT!!! In person it’s FREAKING AMAZING!!! Honestly, I’m not sure if I could choose a favorite print because I love them all so much!!

Here is a huge quilt from the booth that is made in all of the new fabrics…the prints are so big and yummy!! And there’s an Amy Butler Weekender bag!
Melody had a bunch of chairs in the booth…I heard this one is shipping to my house directly from Market (wishful thinking). Melody said that she does actually use the chairs from the booth in her home after the convention is over!

I got in an interview with Melody, and here’s what she had to say!

1. Your fabric lines all tend to deal with themes from very specific time periods. What things from real life inspire these designs? What has been inspiring you lately that might end up in future designs?

In my first fabric line, I got super-excited when looking through some vintage catalogs, and wanted to draw portraits of the ladies and then create little stories about their lives.  So, all the objects in the designs belonged to the larger story, down to the text on the view finder reels.  For the next fabric collection, I did something completely different by using the insects, but I still combined them with vintage-inspired prints and color palettes.  After that, Kokka has been pretty insistent that I put the vintage objects in my designs, and luckily I love them, so I’m happy to comply.  

I’ve been having a pretty silly and entertaining twitter exchange with Katy from Fat Quarterly Magazine and Brenda from Pink Castle Fabrics about doing metallic insects in my spring collection next year.  We’ll see what happens when I actually sit down to create the line 🙂

2. I feel like the color schemes that you use also seem to accentuate the idea of a certain place in time. How do you choose the colors that you use in your fabrics?

I feel my way through my color palettes, spending days and weeks fussing over color combinations on my computer screen.  When I get a little rush of endorphins, I know I’ve hit on a good combo. When I begin designing a new collection, I’ll pull some colors from the past, and add in new until the designs feel fresh.  I always feel that this approach helps all my collections to play together nicely.

3. You use a lot of props in your booths, which I have really not seen from any other fabric designers at Quilt Market. Why is this important to you, and what do you think it helps add to the strength of the fabrics?

I guess the display isn’t just about the fabrics, but about the nostalgia, and the sense of time and place that I emphasize in my designs.  I’m not just showing a fabric line but communicating a larger message about what is inspiring and important to me as a designer.  One of the reasons I love the objects I choose is simply aesthetic, but what I think we all respond to is the sense that these are such everyday objects that have played an important and intimate role in someone’s life. I’m so curious about who those people were and what their lives were like.  What kind of conversations did they have on that telephone?  What was the yummiest thing cooked in that casserole dish?  What sorts of children played with those toys, and what were they imagining while they played?  If only those objects could talk…

4. Majority of your lines feature a panel print. What does the panel print in your new line showcase, and why are you interested in designing panel prints for your lines?

I often have so many ideas that I just can’t fit them into a 5 or 3-print collection.  The panel print is a way for me to pull in lots of designs and objects. My favorite part is knowing that everything sewn from those prints will be completely different.  This fall is the first time I’m not doing a panel print.  The camera print with its vertical stripes and the floral text print are both touching on the idea. Maybe doing those two prints got it out of my system this time around 🙂

5. What is your favorite part about being a fabric designer?

The amount of work required to create two collections a year completely  fits my temperament as a designer.  I love the yin and yang of doing so much solitary work on a daily basis, but having a couple of huge social outlets a year where I can interact with other people in this community.  I also love that I spend a good deal of time designing on my computer, but then am able to work in my studio and actually sew with my fabrics.  And now this year, designing booths for quilt market has been the perfect challenge.  It scares me to death, but it just within my ability to pull it off. I like that.

I made a dress for the booth! This was made with Kay Whitt’s new Zoe Dress sewing pattern. It turned out great, it’s got large pleats in the skirt which really compliment the stripes of color of the fabric really well!

My favorite part of the booth was the white Christmas tree. There’s all sorts of vintage toys under the tree, like roller skates and some Fisher Price toys. Just beautiful what Melody comes up with.

And here’s a picture of me and Miss Letter M…seriously, she is the most adorable person ever! I got to meet her husband as well, and he is incredibly nice! Stay tuned for the next 2 blog posts, I’ll be showing myself wearing the Melody Miller dress, and also I have an announcement about a Melody Miller sew along that I’m participating in!! Ruby Star all around!

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