Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Fabric Designs for Rowan, Westminster

Last year I was thrilled to be invited to design for WESTMINSTER FIBERS, an American company producing "lifestyle" printed fabrics for quilting and sewing. I am part of the ROWAN FABRICS branch of the company and have produced two collections with a third in production. 

See the Westminster Lifestyle Fabrics Spring 2011 Catalogue here

Back in 2007 Kaffe Fassett and Brandon Mabey chanced upon my studio and were inspired enough to recommend me to Westminster with whom they've collaborated since the 80's. If you don't know of these guys please look them up because they are leading ambassadors in the world of quilting, knitwear and glorious colour and pattern. Incredibly lovely chaps too! 

First Collection - out now:

5 designs in 4 colourways

Butterfly Carnival

Medusa Tree
Bug Hunt
Blossom Swirl
Fritillary Wing
This collection launched in January 2011. I called it Fairlyte Garden after my business name Fairlyte. It's an odd spelling I know and I've seen it online spelt in the oddest ways (Fairytale, Fairylyte etc).  

The 5 designs evolved from a large fresco secco painting I did in 2009 (below) when I was playing with elements of Chinoiserie and scraps of vintage fabric.

Dragonfly Tree (with detail)

The design process was a huge learning curve for me as I had to paint in a new way that could be interpreted by the engravers into fabric. That meant being able to separate the colours, put the designs into a working repeat and think on a smaller scale than I'm used to. The biggest challenge was how to keep my signature style of ageing and distressing the surface; how to incorporate cracks and worn areas. There are limitations and some of my cracking didn't translate so well into fabric, looking more like batik in print, so I had to adapt my techniques. 

Here's a shot from the workshop last year. At the bottom are my original paintings for Butterfly Carnival, Medusa Tree and Bug Hunt:

The Fairlyte Workshop - some artwork
I was thrilled to see the designs for the first time in print. I'm not a quilter myself and do very little sewing so I am keen to see how people use my fabrics and I hope to learn from feedback how I can adapt and develop my style as I work on future collections. 

2nd collection - launches August 2011

8 designs in 4 colourways

Coming soon is this larger collection of Oriental inspired designs. It was previewed at the Houston Spring Quilt Market in May as featured on the fascinating True Up blog devoted to fabric.

Here's a sneak preview of my own:

The Misaki Collection by Melissa White
3rd Collection - launches Jan 2012

I am currently working on my third collection which should come out in January if all goes well. I've started painting in gouache on paper rather than with pigments on fresco as before. Loving the colour control. Here's a sneak preview:

New work in progress
I'm really excited about this one as it's inspired by an amazing exhibition I went to in Paris in May. It was a retrospective of one of my favourite artists Odilon Redon. I adore his pastels as he uses the most gorgeous colours imaginable. Stay tuned!

Please visit the Westminster website for their Store Locator 

In the UK you can order a selection from the Fairlyte Garden Collection at FANCY MOON priced at £12.98 p/m. This online "purveyor of fine fabrics" stocks a great range including many from Westminster.


Moss said...

I TOTALLY LOVE your work and your blog!!! Perfectly lovely... =)

Dana Frigerio said...

ciao I share your pictures on my garden design blog... come to see

grazie ancora

Melissa White Interiors said...

Thank you Dana. You are lucky to live in Italy so full of beautiful frescoes.

Melissa in England