Friday, 3 September 2010

Fabric Friday - Amy Butler

It has been a short week here in the UK as we had a bank holiday on Monday and life is fairly manic as the children in most parts of England have returned to school this week. Of course it is Friday and that means it's time for some fabric eye candy for all of us fabric addicts! For todays Fabric Friday I have choosen to feature Amy Butler.  I know that I feaured her new wallpaper collection a couple of weeks ago but I realised I had not written a full profile about this fab designer for Fabric Friday.

Amy Butler has become a global household name, especially with people who desire bold patterns that don't shy away from a pale colour palette.  However this did not happen overnight and her success has taken time and alot of energy.  Amy Butler started creating small passport sized bags in the late 80's whilst living in Kansas City, which were well received by small boutiques across the country.  The boutiques were handpicked by Amy herself and her bags were only sold in boutiques that she had choosen and built up a rapport by making personal introductions to each store.

In 1992 Amy Butler returned to Ohio with her husband, David, renting a 150 year old cabin/house in 190 acres of rural farmland. From this home they started their Art of the Midwest studio with approximately $1200.  Amy created surface designs for her friend who became a design rep in New York City, often designing and creating into the night. 

After fixing up two houses and being a contributing editor for Country Living magazine, a fact I was unaware of, with thoughts of her little bags that she had made previously, Amy decided to design sewing patterns. And thank goodness she did, I have several Amy Butler patterns, incuding the Anna Tunic above and two books with plans of adding her new book, Style Stitches:12 Easy Ways to 26 Wonderful Bags, to my collection very soon. I am also going to have to buy the raincoat pattern, as I love coats!

Amy Butler also designs for Rowan Fabrics, having produced several collections, the latest being Love
and a new collection, Soul Blossoms, is due for release in December, including Twilight Peony that is pictured below.

And also incudes the Passion Lily design below

It is visible in this new collection and in previous collections that Amy Butler is inspired by vintage fabrics and she happily admits that she loves flea markets and the hunt for treasure at these markets.  Amy Butler's inspiration comes from the rich texture of everyday life and avoids sticking to trends.

Yet Amy Butler does not take all the credit for making her brand so successful. Aswell as her husband she lists many people instrumental in her brands success.  And what a brand - fabric, wallpaper, sewing patterns, books, wool and knitting projects, papercraft products, towels, bedding and rugs, amongst others. There really is a bit of Amy Butler design magic for everyone, whether you are a crafter, designer or just want fabulous things for your home.


Suzy said...

Great article, thank you!! Amy Butler is indeed very creative and no doubt a very clever lady too. Nowadays you need more than creativity to succeed.

diannajessie said...

Wow, Lots about Amy Butler that I didn't know, all very inspiring. I like the coat pattern too and would love to make a coat for my little girl sometime soon.

Mermaid said...

Suzy - I agree, creativity alone will not get you very far, business acumen is also required.

diannajessie - The coat pattern is also available for girls!

Thea said...

Wow, she's an inspiration! I had no idea she also designs towels, etc.

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