Welcome to old Hollywood! Ana Davis is bringing us back to an era of glam with her new fabric collection for Blend Fabrics, Pippa. Take a trip back in time and get inspired for your next quilting project.
Q: Where did you find your original inspiration for this collection?
A:This collection was originally inspired by Ingrid Bergman and 1940s era Hollywood. The gray color way is called Silver Screen. Some prints that did not make it into the final stage of production I call Isabella and Pia (named for two of Ingrid Bergman’s children), and Ingrid.
Q: What was your “aha” moment in designing this collection?
A:The collection percolated for a long time before finally being scheduled. Initially it included more florals, but in the end the decision was made to emphasize the geometric patterns in the group.
I received the final printouts of the colors and patterns when I was visiting my mother in Florida. We spent the evening drinking wine and pairing together the different colors and patterns. It was a really fun night!
Q: What would be your collection’s theme song?
A:I am SO glad you asked this question! The song Ingrid Bergman by Billy Bragg is one of my all-time favorites. I listened to the album Mermaid Avenue by Billy Bragg & Wilco countless times while working on the collection. It is a really beautiful album.
Q:Tell me about your sewing machine(s). What kinds do you have and how many?
A:I have two. One is a White sewing machine which my grandmother purchased for me in 1988 or so. The other is a Singer that was handed down to me through my step-mother. I loved this machine, but the spring on the pressure foot recently broke, and I don’t think it can be replaced or repaired. BIG. BUMMER.
Q:What is your favorite part of the fabric industry?
A:Everything! I love the creative people. I love the products, the prints, the colors. I love the shows I get to attend, which include quilt markets and gift shows. There are so many beautiful things to see!
Q:From what aspect of your life do you draw creativity?
A:My entire work life revolves around imagery, art and design. Not only do I spend all day working on creative projects, but I am married to an industrial designer, so in many ways our entire life is a visual process.
I am also always deeply inspired by fine art and painting. The first painter I ever loved was John Singer Sergeant. I saw a Sergeant show at the Art Institute of Chicago when I was in middle school. I was amazed. A current favorite is Mark Rothko.
Q:What is your design process?
A: My initial step is to look at a lot of imagery (magazines, art, and online searches). Then I draw and draw and draw. Then I digitize everything (which is yet another drawing stage). Then my arm feels really tired, so I leave the art alone for a little bit. Finally, I colorize. I usually make many, many versions of each color combination. I have more than 100 versions of the pattern “Bellingham.” I think you could say I go a bit overboard, but I love seeing what happens to the patterns when the colors change.
Q:What is your favorite print in the collection?
A:It changes depending on my mood. Today, I like Ikat Dot, available in green and pink, and Bellingham, available in pink and gold, which, I realize, totally reflects my dual obsessions with very classic art and very modern design.
Q:What is the most challenging part of the design process?
A:Narrowing down the patterns to the final group. I always want many more in a collection than can reasonably be manufactured.
Q:What are your favorite and least favorite colors and why?
A:I can’t really think of colors that I don’t like, but there are definitely colors that I use over and over again. Yellow is a color I use A LOT. I like it because it is both contemporary and classic. It is also a color that works as a neutral. My logo is yellow. I also have yellow shoes, shirts, a jacket, bowls, pillows, a rug, a stapler and so many other yellow things in my house.