Anna Maria Horner is a very well loved fabric designer, and when I look at her prints I often wonder what on earth I’m missing. Because I don’t like her fabric. I look at this collection and I see garish on the left and bland on the far right. And the only print I really unabashedly love is the blue one second from the right on the top row, and I like the one just to its left and the purple versions just below. The rest? Meh.
And yet, I own these fabrics. In fat quarters only, I didn’t buy more, but I still own them, because when I see them in use… god are they fantastic. I think of, say, this quilt from Film in the Fridge. Or this diamonds quilt from from the blue chair, which uses both palettes from the Innocent Crush line. Or this disappearing nine-patch from A Little Red Ribbon. Or deconstructed down to a postage stamp quilt.
I love all those quilts (and several others besides, which I wish I would have marked as favourites on Flickr back when I’d seen them) even though none of the fabrics really speak to me on their own. I think AMH has a great sense for colours, even when I don’t like the way she’s put them together, because once they’re in use, they somehow turn into something better than they are on their own.
Another designer like that (for me, obviously) is Jay McCarroll, in particular his recent line Habitat. If you look at the swatches here, I’d be hard pressed to say I really like any of them. The green leaf print is fine, and the dots are fine. But put into use? Wow, is it ever a fun line. Look at this postage stamp/pixel quilt (which is helped of course by that gorgeous green and the pink binding) or this garden fence beginning or Oh, Fransson‘s Mod Sampler take on it. I’m doing my best not to buy fabric I don’t need right now, but the new quilts I’m seeing using this line makes me want to buy it for someday, just in case.
(I wish I knew how to make those mosaic things people often do for blogs, so I could have put the pictures in small at least directly on here, but I got bored trying to figure it out the one time I went looking for info. First world problems. Maybe someday.)