Designer Pillows: Ruby Wings Designs
Peggy Wright of Ruby Wings Designs is a TAFA Member: Profile on TAFA.
She shares with us her collaboration with her friend, Rose Allen, in developing a new line of pillows. Collaborations are a great way to divide the work load, to reach a wider audience, and to come up with new product designs. We wish both of them great success in this endeavor and hope that you will support and follow them as they continue to broaden their line.
I am an art quilter, bead embroiderer, teacher, writer, and editor. My most recent venture is creation of designer pillows with my friend Rose Allen, who is also an art quilter and teacher. My passions are all related to surface design: painting and printing on fabric, dyeing, thread painting, free motion quilting, hand and machine applique, and hand bead and thread embroidery. Rose loves piecing, free motion quilting and thread painting, dyeing, and sewing of any kind.
We both design pillows. All of our pillows are handmade. I make my tops, but Rose does all the piecing and finishing. I am handling the website and promotion. The pillows in our shop all ship with a good-quality pillow form. Although the pillows below all have overlapping backs for inserting the pillow form, in the future we will be using zipper closures.
For my painted pillows, I first hand paint the tops using fabric paints and white cotton fabric. I strive to blend the colors into each other to create the illusion that you are looking at a landscape at sunset. I choose all the backings for my own pillows, some of which are my own or other people’s hand dyed cotton fabrics and some of which are commercial linens or cotton batiks, all high-quality fabrics. For example, part of the back of my red, gold, green, and turquoise painted pillow below is my hand dyed fabric.
I also hand print monoprints for some tops. I pull each monoprint after painting with fabric paints on a gelatin base (as in the food) and placing stencils on or stamping the paint with various tools. For example, my rust, gold, and purple pillow below used some springs and circular objects that I found at a store that sells surplus hardware. This pillow has pieced linen borders and a linen back. The magenta and green pillow also features thread painting on the monoprinted top and has a batik for the borders and back.
Rose loves piecing gorgeous commercial cotton fabrics into intricate patterns. She plays with color and value in the patterns and with curved and geometric shapes to create dramatic or subtle, pieced tops. She them free motion quilts the tops to add dimension and texture to the pillows. The back of the pillows below also have backs made with commercial cotton fabrics.
Rose has also been creating handmade chenille, using three or four layers of different commercial cotton fabrics. After layering the cotton, she stitches diagonally across the square pieces and then cuts between the stitching through all fabrics but the bottom one. She then washes the fabric to make the cut fabrics fray and create the chenille. Finally, Rose adds borders to the chenille squares and free motion quilts them.
In addition to my pillows, I make art quilts that hang with sleeves and other art for the wall that I have mounted on gallery-ready, stretched canvas. My most recent passion is making realistic, appliqued and thread-painted birds. I am willing to incorporate these birds into pillows on a commission basis.
You can see more of our pillows on the Ruby Wings Designs website at http://www.rubywings.com/shop/. The website has galleries for my art quilts and bead embroidery too.
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