An interview with Sarah Watson
I just love introducing you to new designers! Sarah Watson is one of Art Gallery Fabrics‘ newest licensed designers and she is on fire! Her first collection, Luxe in Bloom, arrives this week and her second is already set to hit shops in April. We love her gorgeous designs and her fabulous energy! Read on to find out more about Sarah, then pop to the shop for Luxe in Bloom.
The Village Haberdashery: Your first fabric collection, Luxe in Bloom, just hit shops. Tell us about it!
Sarah Watson: Well, honestly, and I hope this doesn’t sound really vain, I’ve been googling ‘Luxe in Bloom’ about twice a day. I’ve been working with the fabric since International Quilt Market in October, and I am SO excited to see what other people do with it. I really can’t wait to see other people’s projects.
TVH: What is your background, and how did you get your start in fabric design?
SW: In college I studied Fibers, and concentrated on computer aided textile design. My school’s program was really in depth with the foundation courses, so I learned quilting, weaving, felting, natural and chemical dying, screenprinting, more or less any traditional textile process. I also studied Accessory Design, so I have a little schooling in fashion design. After college I worked for Carter’s children’s clothing for three years, first as a textile designer, and at the end as a designer for their home product line. It was an incredible experience, but I think I new I wanted to do other things. After I left I read a lot of books on art licensing, drew for about a year straight, and started submitting collections to fabric companies!
TVH: What is your design process – how do you get an idea from your head onto the fabric?
SW: Lots of things can spur an idea. For me, I take a look at my surroundings, design magazines, historical reference books, and then draw! My process nearly always starts with regular old pen on paper drawing. Sometimes it’s just doodling, sometimes I actually have an idea that I’m trying to get out of my brain.
TVH: Before designing Luxe in Bloom, did you like to sew? What have been your favourite things to make with your fabric?
SW: I do like to sew! In high school my Mom taught me to sew and I think pajama pants were my specialty. In fact, they’re probably the only thing I sewed for about 4 years. Then in college I did a lot of accessory sewing, purses and hats, and lots of random things. Up until now, my sewing has been pretty random, but I’m really getting into this quilting. I’ve just ordered a rotary cutter and ruler, so hopefully that makes my process a little smoother!
TVH: Tell us about your other projects, from illustrating childrens’ books to designing embroidery patterns!
SW: Well, when you quit a “real” job, sometimes you end up doing all sorts of other jobs. I illustrated my first kid’s book last year, Sweet Coco, with a friend of mine from Atlanta. We’re currently working on the second one, so stay tuned! For other work, I used to do wedding calligraphy, graphic design, I have my embroidery patterns… All small bits of work to put food on the table, right?
TVH: Your second collection, Indian Summer, is already due to hit stores in April and it’s very different to Luxe in Bloom. What was your inspiration for the collection?
SW: OOooOoh, yeah, it’s a bit more juvenile, yes? I do have that background in kid’s design, so I was excited to design that one! I also have a brand new nephew, so maybe I had something for him in mind while designing, wink, wink. I had a definite inspiration for this, it was something like this: tiny leather mocassins, woods and hills, a backpack filled with a slingshot, pop-gun and a rock collection. I wanted it to be something sweet and outdoorsy for little boys and girls.
TVH: What else do you have planned for 2013?
SW: Sheesh, I have no idea! Is planning important? I have 5 clipboards that I keep “working projects” on, and I think I need more clipboards. Let’s start with a basic, I’d like to make a whole quilt myself. I think that’s one thing I have planned for certain. After that, who knows!
Thank you Sarah!