If you love unique, vintage inspired, colourful fabric then this week’s ‘Inspire Me’ is right up your street :)
I have been a big fan of Melody Miller for a while now, a textile designer who has also created four lines so far, for Japanese fabric company Kokka. Her print collection’s are full of images of retro telephones, portraits, typewriters and vinyl records.
Ruby Star Wrapping – Melody’s first book is out later this year…
How did your career start?
Well, I was trained as a fine artist and for several years after I had my daughter, I painted. When that just didn’t pay the bills, I worked as a graphic designer at a real estate company, then after having my son, I decided to go out on my own with a line of curtains. Those didn’t sell very well (okay, I sold one!) so one thing turned into another and I finally ended up shopping a portfolio around Quilt Market, which is how I began designing for Kokka.
Who and what inspires your work?
I have a background in industrial design, and am fascinated with the design of useful objects. For colour and pattern, I often reference vintage fashion and decor. I’ve always loved to draw and paint faces, so those appear in my work as well. I’m constantly inspired by artists, illustrators, crafters, designers, and sewists, and try to absorb as much as possible from the people around me.
What’s the best thing about your job?
I love that my job entails so many different creative endeavours. I go from the intensive designing process on my computer, to actually sewing samples with the fabrics. Then sometimes I have bursts of intense activity, like last summer when I was writing my book (it comes out this fall!), or next spring, when I was designing my booth for Quilt Market. In the meantime, I’m able to be here for my children and participate in my family. I feel very lucky to be able to do all of this :)
For anyone wanting to break into the world of design – do you have any advice?
Trust your own voice. When you lean too far in the direction of someone you admire, you can lose yourself. If your work scares you a little, that’s probably a good sign.
When will your next line of fabrics be available to buy and what can we expect?
My upcoming line was just released at Quilt Market in May, and will hit stores sometime in July. There are 3 designs in 3 separate colorways on super-wide lightweight cotton/linen fabric (it’s over 60″ wide, and so breezy! The fabric itself is a dream). One print features 9 separate blocks that are each just shy of being fat eighths. Another print features full-scale 7″ vinyl records (and a few of the labels were created by fellow fabric designers Thomas Knauer and Lucie Summers). The last print was designed with skirts, aprons, and dresses in mind, and has decorative rows of silhouettes that had been featured in my previous fabric line, Ruby Star Shining.
Such amazing designs – truly inspiring ! A big thanks To Melody, I can’t wait for the vinyl records fabric :)
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