Story by Carrie Bloomston

Carrie Bloomston‘s Story Collection for Windham Fabrics hit shops in September of last year and we were proud to offer a coordinating thread box. Carrie’s collections are always rich and vibrant. They carry an innate beauty and do always seem to tell a story of their own, making this collection’s title particularly poignant. We loved talking with Carrie, to hear more the thought process behind her creations and to gain some insight into how a collection comes together. Read on for some creative inspiration and a fabulous giveaway!

Story-Lookbook-Cover2[Click on the image above to view the Story lookbook]

THREAD COLLECTION DETAILS
Carrie Bloomston, Story
100% Aurifil Cotton, 50wt
Large – 1422yds each, 12 Colors, Large Spools

For purchasing, please contact your local Aurifil Dealer.

StoryThreadCollection1

THE INTERVIEW
You introduced the collection in an incredibly collaborative way, bringing together friends and loved ones within the sewing community and challenging them to use your designs to create their own story. How did this process come about and what did you love most about pulling it all together?
I loved the effortlessness of designing Story. I filled the collection with archetypes such as home, family, garden, nature, stars, moon, sun, etc. in hopes that people would use the prints to tell their own story.

StoryFabricline

I have a sewing tribe. There are about 15 people around the world who sew my samples for the launch of each collection for me. I can’t tell you how grateful I am to this community of willing, passionate sewists who sew for me simply out of love. I am honored to feel their support around me. The thing is, I’m the least controlling designer you might meet. I don’t tell them what to do, I just send them images of the fabric and ask them to mull it over and be inspired by it, then to tell me what they want to do. For some it is garments, others quilts and others home dec. It always works our beautifully. I send them their yardage and they play.

Story by Carrie Bloomston

L – Night Flight Quilt by Tia Curtis, R – Cartwheels Quilt by Jules Golden

For this collection, I asked them, “What is your story? What is essential to you? What is your native tongue? Your family–your community–your country–your tribe–your village? What is your color story? Your personal mythology? The legacy of generations? Use this collection to tell it. Make it your own.” They created stunning pieces about their family, passions, desires, etc.

StoryCollection_022

I’ve noticed that many of the projects made with your fabrics are incredibly creative, each one a small piece of art. What do you think it is about your designs that inspires people to explore their creativity and challenge themselves?
I design fabric that is meant to be cut up! As a creativity enabler, I intend to help people tap into their innate spark of creativity. I teach about this topic in workshops and in my book, The Little Spark–30 Ways to Ignite Your Creativity. I encourage people to explore, fail, make a mess, try again, and play. Craft and technique are extremely important for sewinistas–but not at the expense of the desire to play and explore. Curiosity can take us to some amazing places if we are willing to make a mess and enjoy the journey. In our normal lives, whether we are parenting or working at our job, the stakes are fairly high and we really can’t afford to fail or make a mess too often in those areas. But, if we let our creative life be a laboratory for self-discovery, play, curiosity, and wonder, then we uncover the sleeping part of the self that is about…maybe six years old. Or nine. Twelve. And we become free again to play–to feel our way through things as opposed to thinking our way through everything–to listen to the whispers of the heart and to our intuition and passion. In so doing, we make meaning and we make magic. And we get to tell our story.

You have a strong and deep artistic background — how did you make the shift to fabric design?
I’ve been an artist my whole life and studied painting at Rhode Island School of Design (BFA, Painting,1994). Art is my love language. It is my reference point, my temple, my lens, my scaffolding. I didn’t start sewing and join this vibrant modern sewing movement until seven years ago when I was pregnant with my baby girl. She urged me to sew from the womb! I’m so glad I listened to her. Then I started designing sewing patterns and I was asked to design fabric for Windham Fabrics. I’m on my fourth collection with them now and it will release in October, 2016. (I’m in LOVE with it! Cant wait to share.) To be honest, I have no skills or training in the area of textile design. I can’t put a pattern into repeat and I don’t really need to. Windham does all that and I get to be me. The artist. Making stuff in my studio with glue sticks and paint and paper. It really is dreamy. Windham is a lovely company filled with fine people. Just splendid. I am grateful for the world they have opened to me.

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How did you decide upon the colors for your coordinating Aurifil Thread collection and how do they add to the story?
I just pulled out my palette and started playing. I tend to keep a neutral putty colored thread in my machine at all times. So I was keen on getting several great neutrals in the collection. And as a painter, I just kind of feel into colors and come up with balance. It is very unscientific. I don’t think, “I need to balance this warm coral red with a cool aqua.” My mind is way behind my body and my senses. My body already knows so I just sit back and let it do its work and try to keep my mind out of it. I chose my favorite colors and shades of indigo.

quilts-800x534

What is your favorite Aurifil thread weight and color and why?
My Bernina always has an orange Aurifil spool in it!!! It is light but strong–delicate but durable.

What advice would you share with those just getting started on how to tap into their own creativity to make something special, something that will be a defining part of their own story?
Stop worrying. Stop perfecting. Stop trying. Stop editing. Stop judging. Stop doubting. Stop trying to prove to the world how awesome you are and just allow yourself instead to express, to feel, to play, to be. Just be.

Carrie_06

Do a meditation before you create. As you sit down to sew or make something, close your eyes. Breathe in. Breathe out. For some that might be prayer, for others yoga or a visualization. But ask something bigger than you or your highest self to help guide you in your creative process. Ask what work you were put here to do in this moment. Ask for guidance–whether in subject matter, color choices, whatever! Try to side step your ego and your routine. Be OK with exploration and making a mess. Eat some dark chocolate. Dance. Let your creativity pour through you like water from a pitcher. And let the spirit of your work be filled with love. That’s all we have to do.

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THE GIVEAWAY
StoryGiveaway

To enter-to-win, simply click here to head to the Rafflecopter entry page, or simply click on the image above. You do not have to complete all the options to be entered but the more options you choose, the more entries you have!  Entries will be accepted from now through 11:59pm Eastern Time on April 7th! Winner will be randomly selected and announced on Friday, April 8th. Good luck!

LEARN MORE ABOUT CARRIE
carrie-bloomstrom-201x300WebsiteBlogFacebookPinterestInstagramTwitter — BookShop

Carrie Bloomston is an artist, author, textile designer and creativity enabler. She aims to inspire creativity in all forms.Through fun, interactive and inspiring words and images, we help you get inspired and step into the creative life you want.

Story Collection — Story Lookbook

[Photography by Jill McNamara]

 

146 thoughts on “Story by Carrie Bloomston

  1. I love the whole story collection. Newsprint is one of my go to fabrics. I would love to create a quilt that shows the brightness and vibrancy of the fabrics.

  2. Thanks for the interesting interview. I love the combination of the neutrals and the brights in this collection. I am growing to love orange and would challenge myself to make a quilt featuring this color and to use orange thread!

  3. I love Carrie’s fabric line. There hasn’t been many items created that I haven’t loved. I think I might have to go for a bag or duffle. I’d be tempted to use this fabric on something I would use a lot.

  4. Really like this story. The collection is awesome. The designer backgrounds add depth to the designs. Great give away!

  5. Your collection has a lovely mix of lights, mediums and darks. To me, that’s a good base for making a log cabin quilt. Thanks for the chance to win.

  6. Thank you for sharing Story with us. Each quilt pattern and choice of fabric each tell a story. I try to select fabric that I feel matches the individual personality of whom I am making the quilt for. Love this line.

  7. Inspiring story, loved reading this interview! Beautiful fabrics and threads, resulting in beautiful art works.

  8. I am so looking forward to seeing Carrie’s new collection coming out in October!! Meanwhile I would love to get some of these Story pieces that I can no longer find in the quilt stores and of course the Aurifil thread to match would be lovely.

  9. I simply love Carrie’s collections to to have Aurifil thread to match would be a dream.
    I would make some sort of cross-shoulder bag, one that could be used daily as this collections comes from and bring so much joy.

    Ash xo

  10. I adore Carrie and all of her collections!! And Aurifil is the only thread I use. Thanks for the opportunity.

  11. I would love to make a tunic. And there are just so many fun things to make with the newsprint. Love, love, love all of Carrie’s designs.

  12. I would like to make my first improv quilt using the Story fabric line (and threads!) It seems like it would be such a freeing exercise.

  13. I am inspired to make a quilt… They are all beautiful so picking my favourite is not an easy decision!! Great interview!!

  14. I love Carrie’s fabric collections – I have used Story in a number of quilts and backed a quilt with the coral newsprint – I love it. It was also pieced and quilted with Aurfil thread.

  15. I adore Story! I’m thinking the story of my quilt guild, with our official block and how we have all come together in 13 years!

  16. Great interview — very inspiring. Wonderful giveaway of the beautiful fabric and of course
    the sensational Aurifil thread.

  17. Great interview! Carrie’s passion really shines through her words (and her creations, which are lovely). Thanks for the great giveaway!

  18. I love Carrie’s fabrics! My local shop sells out of them so quickly though. And Aurifil is best of the best, hands down!

  19. What an AWESOME story! She is soooo Creative & Talented!!! I am inspired by her colors..so fun & happy!! I want to make a Quilt to wrap up in..for reading, sitting by the fire, when we don’t feel good…just to enjoy & love! Quilts are Special!!!

    Thanks for chance to win your Give-a-way! 🙂

  20. I don’t have a clear idea of what it would look like yet, but I would love to use this bundle to create to quilt that reminds me of my granddaughter. I’m thinking of including some images/symbols that represent the magic world of children. Thanks for the great giveaway! This fabric and thread are awesome!

  21. Coincidentally, I just started a Glam Clam quilt this week, using this line of wonderful fabric! Surely I need t replenish the stash, and the Aurifil would be wonderful to sew and quilt it!

  22. Thanks for the introduction to Carrie! I would love to use these fabrics to make a quilt for one of my friends who is going through a rough time.

  23. The colors are just beautiful. Star quilts are my favorites so I’ll have to find the perfect star to use these gorgeous fabrics.

  24. Such a nice collection and giveaway, thank all! Your blog post was very inspirational and the thread and fabric would be a very bright spot in my three grandson’s day!!

  25. Love the fabric collection, all of it, the colors, the design, and the subject. I’d love to win this. Thank you for the opportunity.

  26. There is such great contrast in this line, I’d love to make an improv star quilt, perhaps sashed with some flying geese blocks.

  27. What a beautiful fabric collection, I would love to make a bright and festive quilt, celebrating spring! With a beautiful quilting, with gorgeous threads 😉

  28. I am inspired to add bright colors to a future quilt, I usually work with muted neutrals and navys, dark browns, forest greens, etc.

  29. Story is a beautiful fabric line, I love it! It inspire me to make a quilt for my parents, bright and sweet, it will chear their heart!

  30. Carrie, thanks so much for your comments about preparing to create–this’s just what I needed right at this moment. Your fabrics and thread colors are gorgeous! I think I’d start with a bag for myself for summer with Story.

  31. What a lovely collection! I would make a family quilt reflecting my children and their interests as they grew. I would ask them to each create a block to add to the quilt.

  32. After reading Carrie’s thoughts on creativity, I’d like to try visualizing my story in her fabrics and thread. I don’t know what quilt will ensue, but her words have really struck a chord with me.

  33. I enjoyed Carrie’s book and am looking forward to working with these fabrics in my creative journey! Great potential for some mini quilts I have been working now! Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

  34. Oh these are beautiful fabrics. I love the Yoga Zipper Bag. I have a similar pattern but smaller. I think I would have to do the Yoga Zipper bag…the bag and with these fabrics would be the perfect gift for my sister…(but hard to part with).

  35. I love the bright colors and have just the fabrics waiting to make a quilt with the yellow, orange, and blues! Beautiful box of colors!

  36. Thank you for sharing your talent and thank you for the giveaway! I would definitely put the material into a quilt. Story is gorgeous!
    Dmac5958ataoldotcom

  37. Story is magnificent! I’ve been longing for more stars, sun, moon inspiration and here it is….a wall hanging and sewing machine cover are in order for my sewing area. Thank you Carrie and Windham Fabrics.

  38. Carrie thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on creativity. I am trying to add more time to just play instead of produce with my sewing. The fabrics and thread are so beautiful. Thanks for the chance to win!

  39. I love that star quilt. The yellows in the center with darker colors surrounding it are perfect. I’d use the fabrics to make a star quilt. I’d probably make several stars for my quilt.

  40. Thank you for the opportunity to have this amazing collection of fabrics & threads! I really enjoyed reading the interview with Carrie!

  41. I would love to have these fabrics – so beautiful. I would use them on the ‘My Small World’ project by Jen Kingwell. They would be perfect for my new ‘small world’ 🙂

  42. Wonderful interview! For a long time I’ve been stuck creatively. I think I would follow Carrie’s lead and just spread out the Story fabrics and listen, then go with whatever I sense. Could be the very thing to un-stick me! 🙂

  43. I have recently started a website, the info you offer on this website has helped me tremendously. Thanks for all of your time & work. “Her grandmother, as she gets older, is not fading but rather becoming more concentrated.” by Paulette Bates Alden.

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