calypso by maude asbury

January 18, 2012

Hello from Charlotte Lyons

Hi! I'm Charlotte Lyons, one of the designers for Blend Fabrics. My new collection, shipping this month, is called Walnut Hill Farm...
Walnut Hill Farm was named after the place where I grew up in Missouri... A place that inspired my childhood creativity and my love for handmade traditions. Now I live in New York, in a small town on the lower Hudson River with my husband, Andy.  Fortunately for us, our three grown daughters and their guys all live nearby... which means lots of happy times together!! Among my other favorite things (homemade birthday cake, pink houses, the hour before sunset), I adore buttons, colorful felt, quirky collectibles and vintage textiles. You can imagine that my home studio is pretty well stocked after decades of collecting... and a lot of those bits and pieces appear in my fabric design.

A stylist by nature, I share my inspirations through designing, blogging, teaching and publishing...The Home Companion Series with Mary Engelbreit and Barbara Martin and my own books:  Mothers and Daughters at Home and Between Friends - Projects to Share. After tackling nearly all the arts and crafts...painting, drawing, embroidery, rug-hooking, collage, quilting, knitting, papercraft, etc... It's been completely delightful to step into the wonderland of fabric design. I faithfully blog about all that, the old and the new, at House Wren Studio, my six-year-old blog. There's even more to read and see on my website and at my Etsy shop!!

Working with everyone at Blend to develop my vision into a cohesive collection and then seeing it come to life at Quilt Market has been pretty dreamy! Actually, it has been better than a dream...It's real!! The color, the quality, and the design integrity of the fabric is amazing - luxurious and beautiful!  Sewing with it inspired me to create a suitcase full of samples to take to Market. Check some of them out...

My favorite was probably the apron made from Button Box trimmed out with my never-ending stash of vintage trims. Proudly wearing it all over Market, I was stopped everywhere so people could admire it!

For sewing on the Go... I made a stitched cottage that had a secret pin cushion (under the roof) and a back pocket for scissors, buttons, trims...For whatever you need on the go!

At the last minute, I stitched up a cherry Christmas stocking and embroidered over the printed Hilltop pattern design. So Pretty!! I love the way that looks and think combining embroidery and fabric design has lots of potential in quilting and crafting.

Later this month, I am headed to sunny California to CHA (Craft & Hobby Association) and I am teaching a Sailor's Valentine class there based on embroidery with my fabric! I will also be traveling around the country (and France!!) this summer to teach, and I will be using my fabrics in all my class projects and looking for more ways to create patterns for crafting, sewing, and quilting.

I am excited that another collections is in the stay tuned for Annika! This whole experience continues to be a designer's dream come true...The best kind of fun!! My deepest thanks to Anna, Joe and Kate at Blend. It is an honor to be part of the A-Team!!

~Charlotte Lyons
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January 11, 2012

Hello from Jessica Swift

Hi Blend Blog Readers!! I am Jessica Swift, one of the lucky designers to be working with Blend Fabrics. I am here to tell you a little bit about myself and what I'm up to beyond designing fabric.

I am a surface designer and painter based in Atlanta, GA, though I will be moving soon, to a yet-to-be-determined city, because my husband is about to graduate from medical school and start his residency -- new adventures are coming!! I grew up in Boulder, CO and I earned my BFA from Ithaca College in upstate New York. You can find me on my website, my Etsy shop, on Twitter and Facebook...Whew!!

I have an eponymous line of products that I am growing: from items primarily made by hand in my studio to items that are being manufactured, beginning with my first line of rain boots, which debuted just a few weeks ago!

I also license my work to a variety of companies for different products including stationery, cell phone covers, stretched canvas, fabrics (obviously!) and more! Here are some images...

Have I mentioned that I am obsessed with color?? Ever since I was a little kid I have been addicted to funky color combinations...It amazes me looking back at things I loved to do as a kid and the things that captured and held my attention because they are essentially the same things I love today! That's how I know I am on the right path! So, color is my thing and it is infused in everything I create.

When I am not creating artwork and working on business stuff, I love to spend my time outdoors and practicing yoga. I love to travel as well, but not doing enough these days! I am working on a new licensing deal that will hopefully take me to India in March...So my fingers are crossed! Oh, and I love to eat! I am an 18-year vegetarian and I love to indulge in healthy, delicious food -- I am currently obsessed with making dehydrated kale chips and raw vegan sweets!

My first fabric collection for Blend is Preeti...If you have not seen it, check it out on the Blend website. Here are a few pictures...

Isn't it pretty? The colors are a little softer than those I typically use which rounds out my aesthetic nicely, don't you think??  

My second collection, Molokai will be debuting in a couple months -- Here is a sneak peek to wet your palette and get you dreaming about a Hawaiian vacation.

It was so amazing and fun to be in Houston at Quilt Market for the Blend launch -- I have never seen so many quilts in my life!! It was so cool to see up close and personal all the fabulous designers and companies I have admired for so long. Wandering around the show was exciting and mind-numbing all at the same time!! So much fabric...So much color...It was quite the experience!! And I got to hang out with my fellow Atlanta designer pals, Sarah Watts and Jules Davis (who also design for Blend) and stay in a fancy hotel! It was terrific to meet all the other Blend designers especially my hotel-roomie Sharon Kropp...What a cool lady!!

So, that is a bit about me.  I am so happy to be part of the Blend gang...Hope you are enjoying all our collections and are excited as us to what is coming next!! Thanks Blend crew for everything (so far)!!
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