More is MORE!

Where did the More Is MORE name come from?

In 1996 I wrote my first book for C&T titled Kaleidoscopes & Quilts.” That fall I was thrilled to be at Quilt Market in the C&T booth. I sat down with my black, fine-pointed, permanent pen (you can always trust a Lefty to have a fast-drying pen) and realized I had to quickly come up with a catchy personal phrase to sign in the book. I wrote: REMEMBER! When it comes to fabric, more is MORE! At the time I didn’t know the phrase would turn into a trademark slogan that I would continue to use for the next twenty-two years, signing over 60,000 copies of six different C&T titles. Or that the sixteenth quilt in my KALEIDOSCOPIC series, titled More is MORE, would be voted among the “100 Best American Quilts of the 20th Century” by a national panel of quilt experts in 1999. It is now in the collection of The American Museum of Folk Art.

How do you vary your kaleidoscope medallions from collection to collection?

The More is MORE Medallions have a different layout than previous collections. Instead of two sizes of Medallions, there are three sizes. Each 24” paneI yields four 10” mandalas (two each of two different designs), six 7” mandalas (three each of two different designs) and four 4” mandalas (two each of two different designs). I recommend purchasing two panels instead of a single 24” panel so you’ll have more repeats. Please note, cutting the pattern at 36” instead of 24” will cut a Medallion in half.

How does the color palette differ?

Colorwise, my intent was to include more neutral or white or what I call “seam foam” into the palette. The Sea Foam concept is one of my design strategies, a personal favorite. It’s my go-to method to brighten up and energize a design. For some universal reason, the eternal ebb and flow of white frothy swells against a dark shimmering sea is simultaneously stimulating and soothing. I think it’s because the staccato rhythm of foaming whitecaps compels the eyes tomove around in a very satisfying way, searching for the next frothy swell. I usually want to introduce this same lively quality in my quilts. Don’t assume that using a fabric with a light-colored background will animate a design. Placing a light-colored fabric next to a dark one will cause a blatant line of contrast which may stop the visual motion not increase it. If you want to shed light onto your quilt, let the fabric do it. Choose fabrics with luminous, light-colored motifs that stand out against their darker backgrounds, like these Mandalas.

How did the Rabbit Hole print get its name?

Designing this pattern was like going down the figurative rabbit hole. Each level of complexity lead to another until it became difficult to stop myself from pursuing an additional detail here, a doodle there, which led to more…and more… patterning. But in the end, this assortment of motifs doesn’t seem nonsensical or confusing. I feel like it will never cease to yield more….and more…possibilities.

How do you envision the stripe being used?

Stripe-Adelic is elegant and wacky at the same time with its strong sense of movement and playfulness. In each collection, I try to invent a pattern that fits the category I call Directionals. A Directional slides the eye from here to there, forming visual pathways that instill an element of motion. A stripe is an expressive tool because each basic direction has its own personality. Horizontal lines move the eye across the field, imparting calmness and stability, calling to mind both the horizon and our sleeping posture. Vertical lines are more visually active, suggestive of plant life that grows from the ground up. Diagonal lines, slanting from corner to corner or radiating from the center out, are energetic, implying imminent change. Keep this in mind and aim Stripe-Adelic in any direction.

What makes the Mosaic print so user-friendly?

Mosaic is an All-over print. All-overs are nondirectional designs with a forgiving temperament that look the same from any angle. There is no implicit top, bottom, left, or right. My litmus test to check for a true All-over is to randomly fold the fabric and look to see if the juncture where the end meets the rest of the fabric is noticeable or disappears. If the juncture is visible, the design might be too directional for the desired purpose. When a true All-over, like Mosaic, is randomly folded on itself, the junction where the two areas meet disappears.

What details do you like best in Fusion?

As soon as I looked up at the Prague Spanish Synagogue Ceiling, I knew I’d found a quilt idea. Here was a glut of architectural designs filled with patterns bumping into each other. I saw the ceiling in 2014 and finished the quilt in 2018, using over 80 different fabrics I’d designed with Benartex in the past 20 twenty years. Click here to see it.

For an approximately 10” x 20” area toward the quilt’s center bottom, I pieced together about 50 patches from 9 different fabrics from different collections. Of course, I’m counting in hindsight and now that’s the quilt is quilted, sometimes I can’t even find the seams.

I got the idea that this section might be the foundation for a brand-new fabric. A TIF of that section of the quilt was scanned, and, about fifty tweaks later, it turned into FUSION, which is defined as the process of joining things together to form a single entity.