Yesterday evening I went to a meet & greet with designer Lizzy House, hosted by the Denver shop Fancy Tiger Crafts. I think Lizzy is best known right now for her adorable Castle Peeps collection for Andover, but something tells me that hers is a name that will only get bigger in the quilting industry within the near future.
I’m tempted to try to turn my short and casual conversation with her into a full-fledged interview here, but that wouldn’t be fair to Lizzy. Suffice to say, she is charming and interesting and passionate about quilting. She comes by her interest in quilting honestly–her mother is Cherri House, author of the popular City Quilts. Lizzy said that for a long time, she considered quilting to be her mom’s thing and something she herself was not interested in attempting. (Lizzy, if I’m getting any of this wrong I apologize. I wasn’t taking notes while we talked and scrawled down what I could remember before leaving the store.) She spoke movingly about the cathartic effect quilting had during a difficult time a few years ago. And apparently, she makes a mean ginger snap refrigerator pie. (Based on what I saw on her blog, she makes a mean lots-of-yummy-looking-things, but we only talked about refrigerator pie.)
Mostly, though, we talking about quilting and design. Lizzy’s art degree is in printmaking, so it makes sense that her Castle Peeps reminds me of the stripped down aesthetic of some of the 1950s and 1960s children’s book illustrations that were still around when I was growing up. She seemed to agree, saying that she aims for simplification in her designs. Her newest collection, 1001 Peeps, has a similar look, but whereas the Castle Peeps colorways were based on primary colors, 1001 Peeps was designed in secondary colorways so the two collections can fit together. When the conversation moved to the question of what she’s working on to debut at Fall Quilt Market, her face lit up. She couldn’t say much about it except that it continues to build upon and complement the look and color theory behind her other lines. Seriously, she looked really excited, and now I can’t wait to see it.
She takes the craft of quilting just as seriously as she takes her fabric design, explaining that it’s important to her that she be good at it and know what she’s doing if she’s going to be part of this industry. I apologize for my blurry photo above of her holding the Castle Treasury quilt (which she pieced and quilted); you can see a much better picture of it on her pattern shop website. What you can’t really see in either picture is how she oriented her patches; since the blocks are set on point, she cut her patches on the bias so the directional prints would still be vertical relative to the top of the quilt. Brilliant, and more than a little challenging.
If I was going to be at Spring Market in Salt Lake City next month, I would definitely want to attend Lizzy’s Schoolhouse Series presentation, which she said will be about storytelling and design. Like I said, this is a young woman with a broad understanding of quilting as a heritage, an industry, an art, and a craft. Keep your eye out for her if you aren’t already!