Well here in the Fraser Valley we are on the cusp of Spring. Although today doesn’t feel like it so much as we endure the rainstorm that is currently passing through. To help break up the storm we’ve got a breath of fresh spring air to inject into this wet and soggy day.
Have you seen Spring House by Stephanie Ryan for Moda? We’ve recently received the specialty cuts in the shop here at Hamels and it is a refreshing and fun new line with pretty flowers and soothing colours.
Spring House is Stephanie’s debut fabric line and today we are lucky enough to have her for our first fabric designer Q&A.
For an extra treat on this dreary day we’ve included a link for a free downloadable pattern using Spring House at the end of this post.
So to start off we’ve asked Stephanie to tell us a little about herslef and her history.
that my journey truly started about 13 years ago with a fire. I was working
at the time for Little Souls, a small doll making company, when a terrible
fire destroyed the building and the business.Up until that point, Little Souls had been my home. I started 11 years
earlier as a doll maker and was steadily promoted to designer then buyer
then product manager, learning a lot along the way. After the fire, I found
myself, at 31 years old, faced with no job and an uncertain future. I did
what most people would in that situation. First, I panicked and then I did a
whole lot of soul searching.They say that when the Universe closes one door, another door
miraculously opens. Such was the case for me. I decided to return to school
as an adult student at Moore College of Art & Design in Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania. I spent my days immersed in graphic design, illustration, and
textile design.Fueled by a combination of hard work, persistence, luck, and a little bit of
everyday magic, the next few years were filled with amazing opportunities. I
designed everything from dinnerware to wall art to stationery for major
companies such as Lenox, Waterford/Wedgewood, and Homegoods. It was
fulfilling work and I loved designing products that people would use and
treasure. Of course, you know that my journey didn’t end there. For years I had a
secret wish to design my own products. What started as a little whisper
inside of me grew to a loud, strong voice. Finally after 20 years, I
listened to that voice, faced my fears, and made the decision to step out
from behind the scenes and launch my own brand.Stephanie Ryan, was officially launched in 2011 with the introduction of
Floral Fusion, a tabletop collection for Lenox. In 2012, I partnered with
MHS Licensing to oversee all of my licensing opportunities so that I could
concentrate on what is important to me, creating art and inspiring others.Today I spend my days creating art and designing my own products. Had
someone told me after the fire all those years ago that I’d be here today, I
would have thought that they were crazy. Now, I’m a believer and I hope that
I can inspire others to believe too; that when we listen to our hearts and
have faith in ourselves, anything is possible.
How long have you been painting/drawing/creating etc?I have been painting and drawing for as long as I can remember but, feel like I have really embraced it these last couple of years.
What is your preferred medium and why?Right now, I am loving Watercolors. There is something about painting on lush, beautiful paper that I love and the vibrant quality of the watercolors and the mark that is created by the brush feel so right to me. I like creating in other mediums as well but, watercolors are my favorite.
What inspires you to create?Oh, gosh…. I can’t explain it. I am not happy unless I am creating something and the inspiration comes from everywhere.
How did you get involved with fabric designing?When I was working at Little Souls as a doll maker, I was very involved with purchasing the fabrics and working with pattern makers and sewers to make the doll clothes. I LOVED it and when I left the company, there was a huge void in my life. It has been a dream of mine ever since to get involved with fabric again. When I started creating art for products a couple of years ago, my first goal was to find a fabric company to license my work. I was so blessed when Moda said yes to my designs!
I understand this is your first fabric line, how did you find the process and will you do it again?Yes, this is my first collection and was very happy with the process. Moda has been very supportive and we are currently working on my next collection.
On your website, you showcase some great doll projects that incorporate your fabrics. Are these your designs?My friend Carol Maguire helped me with the doll project. Carol and I worked together at Little Souls where she was the design director. Carol is a great sewer, where I am more of a perpetual beginner. I love the way the dolls turned out!
Do you plan on adding patterns to your repertoire?Yes, but I am easing my way into it. Hopefully, I will get involved in that business soon.
What are you doing when you’re not creating? What (other) hobbies do you have?I am always working and creating. When I have a spare minute from my business, I like to crochet. It is all arts & crafts related for me.
What would people be surprised to learn about you?My art is primarily flowers and happy and vibrant! I actually don’t like the summer time at all. I am a winter girl at heart and my favorite kind of day is grey and overcast. I love seeing the trees without their leaves and feel so comforted by the cold weather. Yup, crazy, I know.
What’s next?More products, more fabric, more art!