A few years back a dear friend of mine Natalie Barnes of Beyond the Reef asked me to do a demo in her booth at Long Beach Quilt Festival -- of course, I said yes and set about creating something just for this opportunity. Being that BtR is all about Hawaii & the beach I designed Ocean Waves, but when it came to fabric selection I headed to Natalie's place. She had just received in the full line of ....
you guessed it, Marcia Derse fabrics. Wow!!
I fell in love with the colors, textures and depth that
Marcia's fabric IS,
..and to have Marcia share a bit about her process,
and how it all comes together makes me feel lucky indeed.
Hope you feel the same way and enjoy the words & pictures from Marcia.
When you begin to design a line of fabric-where do you begin?
Whenever I can find the time I devote a string of days to fabric dying. I use the fabrics I make for my own artwork but I always hold back knock out colors and patterns that I can’t bear to cut up for my design collections. I just finished a small batch of new designs and was delighted to find two pieces of fabric that simply jumped out of the pile, I know they are going to inspire me to work on a new collection.
Once I have a few inspiration pieces on hand I go back through my "library" of fabrics and start pulling fabrics in order to build a color story. There is a ton of weeding out and editing during this process and the theme develops over time.
I always find myself playing off of the seasons and the colors surrounding my home and in my garden. I spend a lot of time at home getting inspired but when I start to feel a little stir crazy I love to get out and go to the library or the art museum to find insight. Blue Tiles from the Swiss Room is a piece from my new collection Mosaic, it is inspired by a large Swiss fireplace in The Toledo Museum of Art that I have loved since I was a child reading the book Heidi.
What is your favorite part of the fabric designing process?
There are so many steps in the process. Once all the work of washing, dyeing, and ironing are done, I love the reward phase of revisiting every piece of fabric I have in my stash, opening them up and making piles of my favorites according to color and design.
When I met you, you had a sketchbook full of textures you had collected.
Do you have lots of sketchbooks filled with textures? Do you remember when you began collecting? Why did you begin & continue collecting textures?
The answer is yes, and for as long as I can remember. In my studio I have shelves of journals filled with scraps and treasures. I have a habit of pinning everything I collect on my composition wall so I can see it. More often than not, I don't have much space on my wall to work. When the walls start closing in on the artwork I take everything down and I grab a blank book and start glueing, sewing and layering all my inspiration pieces adding buttons, ribbons, papers and photos from other collections. Most of the time the book becomes a gigantic mass that hardly resembles a series of pages. I have always loved books and I find it very satisfying to have all my treasures from different eras cataloged in my studio.
click over and you will love seeing it ALL.
BUT, this weekend she will be working to put her entire new line on the site.
I will be sure to send out a reminder,
meantime I hope you enjoyed this peek into Marcia's fabric designer 'self',
as for me, I now know what I can do with all that stuff
I collect and have pinned to the walls around me!