April 28, 2022
Nothing says springtime quite like flowers. For many, flowers announce the long-awaited arrival of warmer weather, and the ability to spend more time outdoors in nature. Whether you are a gardener, a garden lover, or perhaps simply a quilter who loves floral fabrics, there are many spring-inspired prints available to help you celebrate and create during this blooming time of year.
One especially fresh floral collection comes from Lisa Audit for Wilmington Prints. In Fields of Gold, Audit paints daisies, daffodils, sunflowers, chrysanthemums and lilies across her fabrics. The soft spectrum of yellow and grey throughout this collection is reminiscent of a dewy spring morning in a field of wildflowers. The palette evokes joy through its sunny yellow tones, but also brings a calmness through its muted greys, making the fabric a great choice for both quilting and home decor projects. Brightening up a kitchen space with new curtains or sewing up a few accent pillows for your living room would be an excellent use of any of the prints from the Fields of Gold collection. Lisa Audit is a Canadian native who has been sharing her art with the world for over twenty years. After studying graphic design, she first began her artistic career by designing wallpaper. Audit later expanded her reach by licensing her work, which allowed her to branch out into the creative world of fabric manufacturing. She uses her talent to share her love of nature, often through her soft and colourful floral designs like those featured in her Fields of Gold collection.
The intentional use of yellow throughout her work is due to her belief that “yellow is the colour of radiant sunshine and pure happiness.” In her blog, she also explains that the sunny colour is full of hope and positivity, and “has a warming effect on our emotions.” It’s difficult to argue her point when admiring her affectionate use of the colour, or how a bouquet of yellow flowers (whether they are freshly cut in a kitchen vase or displayed in this collection) can instantly improve almost anyone’s mood. In addition to her lovely watercolor flowers and floral silhouette motifs on yellow and grey backgrounds, the Fields of Gold collection also includes complementary yellow plaid and grey gingham fabrics. After a long and chilling winter, Lisa Audit’s cheerful designs could be just the boost you need in your spring fabric stash.
And what would spring be without its helpful pollinator friends? Although many may not be welcomed, bugs and critters of all sorts help to make the garden bloom. When it comes to encouraging flowers to grow in the spring, there is no insect as iconic (or possibly as important) as the honey bee. Because these fuzzy-bodied insects do all the hard work of carrying pollen from flower to flower, we are able to enjoy the beauty and fruits of their labor every year. As if that’s not enough to earn bees notoriety, they also make honey! The adorable Bee Kind print from Paintbrush Studios displays these little buzzing beauties in all their glory, flying about their hive on a honeycomb background that comes in either tan or dark grey and black.
Honey bees are widely considered to be the most crucial pollinators of food systems, and as such, they certainly deserve to be featured on their own beautiful fabric, and possibly considered when planning your springtime quilting projects.
Speaking of garden critters, a rabbit is another (more cuddly-looking) animal friend you might find in your garden come springtime. The Peter Rabbit Flowers and Dreams fat quarter bundle celebrates this famous little storybook bunny, with five different designs of quality quilting cotton from Visage Textiles. Both the light and dark pink cottons in this set show Peter dashing about in his smart blue jacket, but he can also be found snoozing lazily in the soft spring blooms. The lighter prints in the bundle feature Peter hopping along while surrounded by bright yellow, pink, and green flowers that pop beautifully against the pale yellow and white backdrops. Visage Textiles has been based in England since 1943, coincidentally in the same country where the tales of Peter Rabbit were born. They're warehouse holds over one million meters of fabric, including hundreds of exclusive prints. Although well-known for their costume and dance fabrics, they are also a major supplier of licensed cotton fabrics like the ones in this Peter Rabbit collection.
Beatrix Potter first introduced her loveable, albeit often mischievous, bunny in The Tale of Peter Rabbit in 1902. Potter not only wrote but also lovingly illustrated Peter’s tale herself, in addition to twenty-two other children’s tales featuring a variety of garden and farm animals. She spent many hours outside studying and sketching nature as a child, often encouraged to do so by her parents and governesses, who noticed that she had remarkable talent at a young age. As an adult, she purchased and lived at Hill Top Farm in Lancashire, where she continued to spend time among her flowers and furry friends. It was there that she was inspired to write several more stories like The Tale of Tom Kitten and The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck. Beatrix Potter herself began licensing her designs in 1903, realizing that by doing so, her work and love of nature could be more widely spread and enjoyed.
Because Beatrix Potter so highly valued the conservation of nature, she left fifteen farms and over 4,000 acres to the National Trust. This way, the land would not be developed and wildlife could continue to bloom every year, undisturbed. Potter’s deep admiration of nature and careful attention to detail largely influenced her long and successful literary career, so much so that audiences continue to love her characters today in many mediums, such as the beautiful Peter Rabbit Flowers and Dreams fabrics. This whimsical collection would be perfectly suited for projects like tablecloths (possibly for a garden party or baby shower), children’s clothing, and a wide variety of quilting patterns.
By Alicia Foreman for Mad Dog Fabrics