Interview with Lizzy House via Melanie of "A Sewing Journal"

Lizzy House is a printmaker and textile designer. Her fourth line of fabric, 1001 Peeps, has just been released and we are delighted that she was able to answer a few questions about the fabric collection and her design process.

Q: Did you have a specific inspiration for 1001 Peeps?

A: My inspiration for the line comes from the Arabian Nights, or the 1001 Nights. Everything in the collection ties specifically to a place or instance within the stories. Especially the Peeps. They are all characters from the stories, and since there are so many stories with evil Viziers, goodly kings, peace seeking/ sly queens, Angry Jins, merchants, terrified fishermen, magic horses, lackadaisical camels, thieves hiding in baskets, story telling daughters, magic carpets... these peeps can become the actors for these stories. 

Q: When did the idea for the collection come to you?

A: During a power outage in Idaho the week of Christmas 09'. I read the stories aloud to a group of friends, and I was totally smitten. 

Q: How did you design it?
A: I draw everything by hand, and then scan my images and redraw them in illustrator. It's so important to me that even though my work is graphic, that my hand still be in the design.

Q: How did you decide on the color palettes? 

A: The color palettes actually came from 2 places. The first being Castle Peeps. Castle Peeps is very primary if you were to look on a color wheel, and 1001 Peeps fills in the secondary positions of that same color wheel. Also, when I was designing the colorways I wanted them to each represent a time of day where there was either a lot of action happening, or a lot of sneaking. These stories are so vivid in their description, and the time of day plays a large enough role within these tales to get a color nod from me.

Q: Did you design one print first and build the others off of it? 

A: The first print that I designed was the Scheherazade pattern (the star flowers). I wanted to represent Middle Eastern design in my own way, and this print helped me get a handle on that. If castle peeps was Mid Century Medieval, then 1001 Peeps is Mid Century Moorish.

Q: Do you have a favorite print?

A: It's hard to say. I love the royal city, and I love my peeps, but I am really excited about my geometric pieces in this collection, and I am really REALLY happy that Pearl Bracelet is back. Oh and illuminate (the candles). I just think there is something sparkling and really special about this collection. 

Q: What part of the design process is the most difficult?

A: Finishing. The cleaning up of things to get them in a state where you can start working with them in a way that your manufacturer or a mill could understand. It just isn't any fun, and usually takes me just as long as designing a new line! Pre-press ruins my life.

Q: What part of the design process is your favorite?

A: I like the discovery of something. I work in sort of a manic way. I just turn stuff out for about 2 weeks solid (literally all day and night). It might not mean anything at all, but it's the place I have to put myself in to start getting patterns and ideas worth keeping. After those 2 weeks, the abstraction of my ideas start to solidify, and it's as if a path is laid before me. And it's on this path that I feel like I am getting answers and discovering things that I would not have otherwise been able to conclude had I not spent all that time in the process.

Q: Do you like background noise when you design or silence? 

A: I have to have noise. If I don't I get too carried away. The noise grounds me in a way.

Q: Do you listen to music when you design? A certain type? 

A: I like soundtracks a lot as they tend to feel the same all the way through, because they are orchestrating a movie with a specific theme or feeling. I find it to be less disruptive to my process.

That will conclude the interview. Thanks so much to Lizzy for the great interview! Please be sure to enter this weeks giveway below for the Fat Quarter set of 1001 Peeps in the Basra Blue color way!

And be sure to check out the 1001 Peeps collection by Lizzy House here!

Melanie O'Brien
A Sewing Journal


FabricWorm said…
Thanks Melanie and Lizzy! So much fun to learn about the process!
DianeY said…
That was a fun interview! I was especially intrigued by why she chose the colors (which I love!). Makes perfect sense!
Sharon said…
Thanks for the great interview! I love reading about how designers work & where they find their inspiration! :)
Jeanne Gwin said…
What and interesting interview. Isn't that "purple" just over the moon? Thank you Lizzy for designing fabric for us to love
Rachel said…
Love the interview. I like the fabric even more.
Paul said…
Great Interview... I too like the inspiration for the colors used.

Thanks for the opportunity to win!!

epban said…
I love Lizzy House and her peeps! Enjoyed learning more about her.
Jenniffier said…
Thanks for the interview. It was interesting to read. So much pretty fabric there :)
donna said…
Those blues are just beautiful......thanks for the interview Lizzy........
I would definitely choose one of the patterns Lizzy designed for this line of fabric - not sure which one yet!
VeronicaMade said…
I love learning about the fabric design process. I always wondered how fabric designers did it. It's very interesting.
Altadena Mom said…
1001 Peeps is wonderful! Thank you for the thoughtful interview about the design process. What a fascinating journey from concept to fabric collection.
SewLindaAnn said…
That was a great interview. I loved reading about her process. At first I was thinking I would use the fabric to make a quilt for one of my BFF's soon to be grandchild, I don't know though, I think I'd have to use some for me. Maybe a whimsical tote or something really fun.
Liligo said…
thanks for the insight into the design process, illuminate is such a clever design (love how you don't see the candles immediately!)
Great interview, love hearing about peoples inspiration.
Anonymous said…
Wow, what an interesting process! I love the idea that the different colorways represent different times of day.
SSKcraftshop said…
Great interview and so much to learn
WoolenSails said…
Wonderful interview, love the unique designs on the fabrics.

kitkabbit said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rebecca said…
Whee hoo! Great patterns, Lizzie! I just saw Billy Elliot- add that to your list of awesome soundtracks if it's not there already.
Anonymous said…
Thank you! It's so interesting to read about the process of designing fabric. Very cute line :)
needle and nest said…
What a great interview! This fabric is incredible. I really enjoyed reading about Lizzy's process.

sleepachu at hotmail dot com
Susan said…
This is a charming design set! Especially like the castles.
Anonymous said…
I love these fabrics ^^
I'm going to purchase the purple palette to make some children clothes !
Thank you for this interview !
FeatherBunkle said…
The story line that an artist keeps in mind when creating a line of fabrics is so fascinating to me. What fun to then create with the fabrics you have designed. I can only imagine that the fabric would sometimes speak to you, almost audibly, about what to make with it--especially when it has such character.
Thank-you! That blue is gorgeous.