Friday, February 7, 2014

Designer Focus | Kathy Schmitz

We are thrilled to have Kathy Schmitz on The Shabby today to tell you a little more about herself! Her newest collection, Piecemakers, is available at Shabby Fabrics, as well as her table mat series, All Stitched Up.

Kathy in front of Patchworks, a quilt she designed with her latest fabric collection.

I am a lifelong Pacific Northwest girl. Currently I call Portland, Oregon home. I have always wanted to live in an older house and I finally got that when we moved here 5 years ago. Walking through my neighborhood I'm inspired by the huge tress, the early 30's architecture and a peaceful sense of "Mayberry" life.

Inspiration is a must for me when coming up with a new design concept. Sitting down with a blank piece of white paper can be intimidating. I usually am inspired by something I've seen in nature or read in an old poem. Having some sort of theme or "story" really helps too. All of my drawings start with pencil and a LOT of erasing. Vacuuming is a must after this process! It's really interesting how some days the ideas just flow and other days I'm lucky to draw a stick figure. I've learned to stop and do something else if I'm not having a creative day and just come back to it later.

Hippity! - April's Table Mat from All Stitched Up

When I designed the All Stitched Up series of table mats, I initially had the center square be the embroidery piece. Then I rethought that because if you set anything on the mat it would cover the embroidery. Then I designed it as a square with all four corners embroidered. I actually stitched up all four corners for all 12 mats before I pieced one together and decided it didn't work for me. There is a lot of trial and error in designing! I have a drawer just for "errors". Once I stitched it up with its final shape, I was pleased with how it turned out. It appeals to me when things are a little off of "normal" in shape and this fits the bill.

May Blooms - May's Table Mat from All Stitched Up

Although I love to draw and paint there is nothing quite as peaceful as hand stitching for me. I love having a small portable project to work on. If my hands are idle I tend to eat, so I always try to have something to work on. Besides embroidery, I like to crochet and knit. I've hooked rugs and dabbled in cross-stitch. I like to do appliqué, but I currently I only use fusible web. It reminds me of playing with Colorforms® when I was a kid! Someday I will conquer needle turn appliqué; after all, I have a great teacher in my mom, Marjorie McCanse. She's been my greatest supporter through the years (besides my hubby!).

When I started designing fabric for Moda in 2003, I was pretty new in the quilting industry. Moda has been such a great company to work for, always encouraging and supportive. It's still amazing to me to paint a picture, send it to Moda and see it replicated on cloth. I love the UPS man when those boxes of fabric arrive! In the last couple of years I have started piecing more and am feeling more confident in that arena. For me, finishing a quilt is when the whole process really comes full circle—from the first pencil drawing to the last stitch in the binding of a quilt.

My most recent line with Moda is called Piecemakers and it is now available at Shabby Fabrics. The inspiration for this line was from old French script, text and labels. For the script and text I used the names of quilt guilds and quilting terms. For the labels I designed old looking sewing notion labels. All the coordinates are quilt and sewing related as well, but in a very subtle way. The panel has "appliqué" blocks which I used in the Piecemakers quilt pattern.

Piecemakers is a quilt designed by Kathy Schmitz
featuring fabrics from her collection by the same name.

Thanks for letting me share my story!

 Kathy's Patchworks and Piecemakers quilt patterns and more are available in our Featured Designer category. You can also sign up for the All Stitched Up table mat club.  Piecemakers is available as yardage and in Layer Cakes, Jelly Rolls, Charm Packs and Mini Charm Packs. We also have Fat Quarter Sets in Blue, Chocolate and Cream.

You can also find the Piecemakers fabric collection on Pinterest here.

1 comment:

  1. I love these fabrics. Not only are they pretty, but Piecemaker is my gmail handle :-)