To me, Beetle Bugs is one of the most stylish and original lines of fabric for kids that I have seen in recent years. Could you tell a little bit about what inspired you while you were designing this line?
SC Wow, thanks Nicole, stylish is what I was hoping for! The Beetle Bugs came about when my customers kept asking me to design a boys range."Saffron there is really not many boys fabrics out there!" kind of thing.
So I kept an eye out for inspiration, which came while playing with my daughters and her friend Matisse. Together they would look for snails and lady beetles for hours in the garden and we had every milk and yogurt container, tin can, match box, you name it filled with them (recycle recycle I say when you have kids).
We would then often sit down and draw them together until I got a sense for the style I was going to go with. Once I'd drawn the main elements such as the snails and the bugs I had fun playing around with them putting them into patterns and repeats. The colours took quite some time to decide, I wanted them to be easy to live with and harmonious so I went with a more muted, neutral colour palette with highlights of colours to add some funk.
A lot of the contemporary Australian fabrics I see (on Etsy for example), seem to have in common that the design is quirky, clean and almost graphic in design. Would you say your style is influenced by the place/country you live?
SC I think this particular style is influenced by the colour limitations of screen printing in small quantities, something a few of my fellow Australian designers seem to do. That's how I started myself before I was able to expand to commercial printing with 5 and 6 colours.
Living in Australia definitely influences my designing, I've always had a strong love and connection to the Australian landscape, heritage and culture, I studied Australian Aboriginal fibre arts at Uni. The colours here are so bright and intense and the landscape can be dramatic and there's abundant wild life, even in my backyard, so I draw inspiration from that.
Which (line of) fabric by another designer did you wish you had designed?
SC As a designer I am hoping to one day create a design which is as instantly recognisable as Orla Keily's work, her stem print is inspirational. I also think that Unikko for Marimekko is a design I would love to have created. It is timeless and works on any surface in any colour and in any scale. Also Florence Broadhurst, an Australian Designer from the 70's, had a team of designers who created really amazing wall papers and fabrics, she is a cultural icon here and her work so wonderful, you can still buy her papers from here.
What do you have in store for us this year?
SC I have a few more fabrics ranges coming out early this year. The first one is Magical Lands, a range which depicts my mental snap shots from around Australia and is due to arrive soon. Following that I have a range of fabrics called Imaginary Flower in plums and vanilla, which is sure to be a favourite of mine. Then we'll have some new softies and recolour the Beetle Bugs with orange (having a Dutch husband we love orange). Later on we will also be printing second colourways of Magical Lands and Imaginary flowers and maybe some new designs later in the year. So by June we should have about 40 new fabrics in total, better make some room in my studio!
I have also set myself the task of introducing a new product each month. Some ideas I am playing with is a collaboration for an embroidery pattern with yourself (ed. yes, working on that!), dress patterns, cushions, more downloadable paper designs, birthday card invites, the list goes on!
A busy year for little me.
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Thank you so much Saffron for answering my questions and donating some of those gorgeous Beetle Bug fabrics for this giveaway. If you want a chance to win a Beetle Bug FQ bundle leave a comment on this post and be sure to tell me what your favourite (or perhaps most feared) bug is (of the garden variety I mean)! On the 10th of February 14.00 Central European Time I will close comments and draw a winner shortly after. Be a snail and leave a trail (website/email), so I can find you back just in case you should win! You can check out all Saffron's available fabric ranges, quilt kits and patterns here.