Meet Clara Jean!

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Meet Shauna Little and Afton Harding, the mother-daughter duo behind Clara Jean Design! Shauna’s background is in clothing design and Afton is a talented artist. We’re thrilled to welcome them both to Dear Stella!

Continue on to get to know Shauna and Afton, and take a peek at their first collection, Artistic Garden. Look for it in stores and online this December!

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• How did you get started as a design team?
We just asked ourselves one day, “Why don’t we team up and see what happens?” My daughter, Afton started painting and using Adobe Photoshop, and I (Shauna) taught myself Adobe Illustrator and began to paint. We printed our favorite designs through Spoonflower and used them to make clothing, pillows, tote bags, and other test items to see what worked best. Our style evolved naturally into a more definitive vision. We love designing with an upbeat mood!

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• Where are you from, and where are you currently based?
We’re both originally from the California Bay Area, and are currently based in Highland, Utah.

• Tell us a little about your creative process. Do you have a process? What are your sources for inspiration?
We start by painting or sometimes drawing a design. When we’re happy with the results, the design is then scanned and dropped into Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop. We manipulate it into a pleasing pattern and then load it into Spoonflower, a website where you can design and print your own custom fabric. The fabric is ordered, and when received, carefully inspected to make sure the print is flawless!

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• What is your favorite medium to work with?
Watercolor is by far our favorite medium. The way the colors blend and shape the design makes for the most stunning prints. We also play around with ink and acrylic.

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• How did you find your style? Has it changed since you started?
I love Monet; impressionism definitely informs my artistic style. Afton studied Art History in college and uses many of the masters’ works for design inspiration. Both of us are avid shoppers and love trend-spotting to keep our designs fresh and current.

• What colors are you drawn to right now?
We are both passionate about color and exploring new palettes. So it really depends on the day and the mood!

• When you’re not creating designs, what can you be found doing?
Afton has three children, so when we’re not working, we focus on family. Both of us also love home decoration, shopping, traveling, and on rare occasion, sleeping in!

•Do you have a morning ritual?
Our morning rituals differ. First thing in the morning, I reach for my laptop, where I might be working on anywhere between one and five designs at a time. Afton’s mornings are kids and kids! They get together during Afton’s two year old’s nap and go over new designs, organization, etc. but their favorite activity is painting together.

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• How do you take your coffee?
Our coffee is Diet Coke!

• We can’t wait for your fabric collection to debut! What sorts of projects do you hope to see made?
We love to make clothing, pillows and bags — so of course these items, but also super excited to see all the other unique projects that come out of this creative community!


Speaking of projects, it’s never too early to start planning! Check out these amazing quilts you can make with Artistic Garden.

Artistic-Garden-Coming-OutComing Out by Hanna Bourque, Miss Winnie Designs

Artistic-Garden-Perfect-TenPerfect Ten by Swirly Girls Design

Artistic-Garden-Pretty-in-FloralFREE PATTERN (Coming Soon) // Pretty in Floral by Denniele Bohannon

Clara Jean Hummingbird Logo for Website

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Hygge 101

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Summer just started, but Rae Ritchie’s new Hygge collection starts shipping to stores next week so we’re already planning our coziest Fall projects! Autumn is the ultimate season for hygge, which was the inspiration behind this festive collection.

What is hygge? If you’ve ever done the following things, you probably already know…

• lit a candle after tidying up your favorite room
• sipped homemade hot chocolate out of that mug you really love
• taken a walk or bike ride not to get anywhere, but just to be outside
• perfected your succulent garden with just the right planters
• worn your favorite vintage outfit to a friend’s birthday party, while carrying a perfectly-wrapped gift
• shared a song over headphones with a friend
• put on your coziest woolly socks *and* slippers
• relaxed in front of the fireplace wrapped in your favorite quilt
• worked on your latest crafty project while catching up on a podcast
• wrapped your hands in the sleeves of your snuggliest oversized sweater
• spruced up your dining room with fresh flowers from the local market

hyg·ge (pronounced hue-guh or hoo-guh):
a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being (regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture).

Want to capture the feeling yourself, but can’t make it to Denmark? Try planning a trip to one of these top ten hygge cities in the US!

We think Rae’s new fabrics sum up the feeling perfectly!

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Quilts are essential ingredients in the recipe for cozy. Up your hygge game with the patterns below. Two of them are FREE!

Starflight by Elisabeth Hardy (download)
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Shattered by Missy Shepler (download)
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Square Peg by Miss Winnie Designs (more info)
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Tell us your favorite moments of hygge in the comments below.

<3,
Your friends at Dear Stella

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Spring 2019 Quilt Market Sneak Peek!

Hello springtime! Lots of exciting things are just around the corner, and we’re not just talking about cookouts with friends, beach season, and blooming gardens. We’re also getting ready for Quilt Market!

Quilt Market is a biannual event for businesses in the fabric industry, where the newest fabric collections and patterns are showcased. We’re heading to Kansas City, MO next week, where the show will be taking place Friday through Sunday, May 17-19.

If you’ll be at Quilt Market, be sure to visit us in *BOOTH #624*. We can’t wait to share all the new and upcoming collections we’ve been working on!

If you won’t be attending Quilt Market, don’t worry! As always, we’ll keep you in the loop via InstagramFacebook, and Twitter. We’ll have beautiful quilts on display featuring Fat Cat, May the Forest be With You, Nailed It, Dash Flow Basic by Rae Ritchie, Among the Wildflowers by Caitlin Wallace Rowland, and Blue Crush by August Wren.

Here’s a sneak peek of the NEW releases we’ll be introducing at the show! We’re only revealing one fabric from each collection here to avoid spoiling the fun…  😉

You’ll be able to see the full collections on our website in a couple weeks, and fabric in stores later this year!

Stella-1385-WhiteMeet Me at the Barre

Stella-SRR1343-OatmealSheepish by Rae Ritchie

Stella-DAW1391-WhiteTokyo Dreams by August Wren

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Stella-DAW1398-MultiZen Kitty by August Wren

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Meet our Newest Designer // Caitlin Wallace Rowland

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We’re super excited to welcome Caitlin Wallace Rowland to the Dear Stella family! Her first collection, Among the Wildflowers, features gorgeous hand-painted blooms that remind us of that first picture-perfect spring day in the park. Continue reading to get to know more about Caitlin and her amazing work!

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Watch this video for a behind the scenes peek at Caitlin’s process:

 

Q: How did you get started as a designer and illustrator?

A: I had a really creative childhood that helped foster my artistic path. I spent a lot of time at my grandparent’s house, painting at their kitchen table overlooking my grandpa’s huge garden. Even though my grandma wasn’t an artist herself, she saw my love of painting and always kept paints, brushes, and paper stocked up and ready for me to use on a daily basis. My mom is also really creative in the fiber arts — sewing, embroidery, smocking, quilting, cross-stitch, tailoring, upholstery, knitting, crochet, basket weaving (she can do it all!) — so I also grew up watching and learning from her (and surrounded by beautiful fabric!)

All that eventually translated to digital design as I got older, finding my painting roots again in college, working in graphic design for a while, and then going to grad school at the Savannah College of Art and Design for Fibers/Textile Design. At the same time, I was always crafting, quilting, crocheting or doing some other creative/DIY project. What I do now perfectly brings together my love of fibers, painting, and design!

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Q: Where are you from, and where are you currently based?

A: I’m originally from a small, rural town in Southern Illinois (fun fact: I was actually born in Paducah, KY (quilting capital of the Midwest!) because it was the closest hospital to where my parents lived that would deliver babies!) and moved to New Orleans, LA for undergrad. Other than a short stint in Savannah, GA for grad school and a summer in Pennsylvania to work at Lilly Pulitzer’s headquarters, I’ve lived in New Orleans since then — almost 10 years!

Q: Tell us a little about your creative process. Do you have a process? What are your sources for inspiration?

A: My process varies a bit depending on what medium I’m working in (painting, block printing, digital illustration/patterning, etc) but my favorite and most consistent working process is something I started in grad school and I refer to as my “field guide” sketchbook process. I love taking walks around my neighborhood (or wherever I am!) and either painting en plein air (which I do less of now that I have a baby!) or taking photos of nature, color combinations, architectural details (whatever inspires me!) and then returning to my studio and referencing those photos to paint in my sketchbook with whatever colors I’m currently feeling. My work always looks the best when there is at least some element of it that is based in real life — from something I’ve seen or experienced. It always feels more true and resonates with me because it has a memory embedded in it.

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Q: What is your favorite medium to work with?

A: Forever and always PAINT! I’ve painted since I was really young and ended up getting a Bachelor’s degree in Painting. I use mostly gouache and acrylic.

Q: How did you find your style? Has it changed since you started?

A: Years and years of practice, letting go, and listening to what really moves me! When I studied painting in undergrad, most of my work was abstract, but still very colorful. I look back at those paintings and I see them almost as color studies for the work I do now. Even though I grew up in the country, surrounded by nature, for the longest time I think I told myself I couldn’t paint florals because they were already everywhere, they were already being done. I remember one of my professors in grad school made a comment one day that ninety-something percent of all patterns sold were floral, and hearing that was the permission I needed to worry less about what others were doing and focus on what I really loved! When I finally let go and started painting the work I wanted to paint, that’s when I really found my stride.

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Q: What colors are you drawn to right now?

A: I always have a soft spot for jewel tones and will always love teal, raspberry, mint, coral, and olive/chartreuse. For years, I stayed away from yellow, but I’m really loving mustard right now. Also loving several blue shades — a rich almost-purple royal, cornflower, navy, and peacock. Maybe it’s the painter in me, but color is such an important and inspiring part of my process. Living in New Orleans, there is never a shortage of interesting color combinations — people are so bold with color choices here and I love that!

Q: When you’re not creating designs, what can you be found doing?

A: Currently, trying to figure out motherhood! My daughter, Laurel, is ten months old and since I work from home and also take care of her, I feel like life is a never ending juggle of trying to figure out how to do literally anything other than hold a baby all day! Other than painting and parenting, I love cooking, DIY home projects, and spending time outside. In my pre-parent life, I also made time for reading, quilting, and wheel-throwing ceramics.

(Flip through Caitlin’s sketchbook in the video below!)

 

Q: Do you have a morning ritual?

A: My life lately is mostly defined by my daughter’s schedule! I need my sleep, so my mornings start whenever Laurel wakes up. She’s always so bright eyed and happy in the mornings and our current morning ritual is to start the day slowly — getting us both dressed and ready and playing with her before she takes her morning nap (when I can start working!).

Q: How do you take your coffee?

A: I don’t! I know I must be crazy for not drinking coffee, especially as a new mom, but caffeine gives me headaches! I mostly stick to water, or juice or a green smoothie in the mornings, and hot chocolate with almond milk or occasionally herbal teas for an afternoon treat.

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Q: We can’t wait for your fabric collection to debut! What sorts of projects do you hope to see made?

A: EVERYTHING! I have a soft spot for quilts, and now that I have a daughter, I love seeing cute children’s wear. Of course, I also love home goods, pillows, zip pouches —really you can’t go wrong with adding a little color and pattern anywhere! I can’t wait to see what amazing things people create!

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9 Quilts to Make with Spring Theory by August Wren!

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We’re SO excited that Spring Theory, the first collection by our newest designer August Wren, is hitting stores! If you’ve already stashed some yardage of this colorful collection but aren’t quite sure of your plans for it yet, we’ve got you covered. Go ahead and change that rotary cutter blade and sewing needle now… because there are nine different quilts to choose from.

The first two quilts shown are *FREE* downloadable patterns!

Spring-Theory-Memory-Lane_550pxMemory Lane by Denniele Bohannon, 60.5×57.5″. Click here to download FREE PATTERN!

Spring-Theory-Dolly_550pxDolly by Denise Russell, 74.5×86.5″. Click here to download FREE PATTERN!

Spring-Theory-Daisy-Chain_550pxDaisy Chain by Stacey Day, 48×60″. Click here to download PDF info page.

Spring-Theory-Whirligigs-2_550pxWhirligigs 2 by Tammy Silvers, 51×60″. Click here to download PDF info page.

Spring-Theory-Pinwheels-with-Attitude_550pxPinwheels with Attitude by Leigh Headington, 78×78″. Click here to download PDF info page.

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Pie Crust by Karen Bialik, 66.5×88.5″. Click here to download PDF info page.

Spring-Theory-Picking-Flowers_550pxPicking Flowers by Stacey Day, 51×51″. Click here to download PDF info page.

Spring-Theory-Flower-Patch_550pxFlower Patch by Heidi Pridemore, 57×69.75″. Click here to download PDF info page.

Spring-Theory-Precious-Jars_550pxPrecious Jars by Diane McGregor, 44×66″. Click here to download PDF info page.

Get to know each eye-catching fabric in Spring Theory by checking out the photos below, and click here to view style numbers on our collection page. Did you know they are all digitally printed for maximum color impact? Every tone of the original watercolor paintings is vividly reproduced with this method, which allows us to print an unlimited number of colors. Which fabric is your favorite?

To learn more about Jennifer Orkin Lewis, the talented artist behind August Wren, check out our introduction post here.

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spring theory 3-blogHappy stitching!

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