Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Secret Life of Chickens: A Tell-All

When you see Heidi Pridemore's name after a fabric collection, it's a safe bet to expect brightly colored prints with a healthy dose of whimsy. We're happy to say that her latest line, Eggcellent Adventures, is exactly that, and so much more! Check out the swatches below and then read Heidi's take on the prints, including the inspiration you might not expect, why it's a line within a line, and the story behind the clever name!

Q. What inspired the egg-themed collection?
Heidi: It came from one of our older quilt patterns called Break Out--a pattern of chickens breaking out of their eggs. I often work backwards—I end up designing the quilt first and think it's really cute and then decide I should do a line of fabric around it. While the idea is the same, it’s kind of funny—the quilt is all dark brown and neutral fabrics.

"Break Out" by Heidi Pridemore

Q. What’s something we might not realize about the Eggcellent Adventures?
Heidi: It's a line within a line. Half of the prints have chickens on them, but half don’t. The other half are coordinates--dots, diamonds, swirls—and if you put those with the sun print and the tossed floral you have a stand-alone line that doesn't include chickens.

Q. Tell us about the color palette you chose.
Heidi: Color-wise, I was working off the floral--bright and whimsical. I really wanted to be able to use the coordinates for other projects. I like working within a group but I also like mixing it up. The brighter colors in the coordinates work with my Under the Sea collection too.

Q. How do you draw characters for your fabric collections?
Heidi: I usually do a pencil sketch of the characters and then scan into the computer. This was the first line that I did completely digitally; everything was drawn on the computer. The nice thing about that is that if you make a mistake, you can just hit the delete button and start over.

Q. Favorite print in the collection?
Heidi: The panel is definitely first. But my second one is the tossed flowers. I love how it has lots of color and movement.

Q. Favorite coordinate in the collection?
Heidi: I love the diamonds. They're directional, which can make them a little trickier to work with. But they pop. 

Q. Tell us about the panel.
Heidi: It has 12 different scenes. The idea is showing what’s really going on in the farm house or on the farm, so it’s more whimsical and not just your traditional chicken fabric. There are five indoor scenes and seven outdoor scenes.

I really like the rooster walking to work. And I really like the chicken painting the sunflowers. If you look where the chicken is reading the bedtime story, on the shelf behind them are books. I was trying to think of titles for books that's where the name Eggcellent Adventures came from. 
If you look closely at the textures and backgrounds in the panels, you’ll see I pulled those out for the coordinates. That's how I approach designing fabric--with a panel, design it first and the rest of the line sort of falls together around it. 

Q. Any other prints you’d like to talk about?
Heidi: The chicken wire with feathers was my husband Matthew's idea. Everyone does chicken wire. Matthew's idea was to have little feathers caught in the wire. In trying to design fabric that’s “us”—whimsical—this was creating a different spin on something everyone else does.

Q. Tell us about the free quilt pattern you designed. 
Heidi: This pattern is a very simple way for an advanced beginner to create a block on point look without a block on point. It’s just making quarter square triangles. I used the cooler-colored coordinates in the background and then framed the panel blocks in the hotter colors to make them pop. You could put anything in the squares of this quilt—if you didn’t want to use the chicken squares, you could use the tossed flowers instead.

"Eggcellent Adventures" designed by Heidi Pridemore

Learn more about Heidi and see her other work here.
See the entire Eggcellent Adventure collection here and ask for it at your local quilt shop.
Find the free quilt pattern for Eggcellent Adventures here.