Friday, January 9, 2009

Designer Michelle Engel Bencsko blogs


Michelle Engel Bencsko—one of our very own HG designers wrote a blog especially for YOU lovely Henry Glass fabric followers! Scroll down to the bottom for her website and contact info!
Enjoy!

So, how excited am I?! Dogwood is finally released and in my mind, the only other thing on earth I have been this anxious for was the birth of my sons. So, I exaggerate a little... the point is, I'm impatient and thought the day would never come. Then it got delayed, and I got more anxious and now it's here and I'm happy. See Larry? :)

I have been designing print patterns for nearly 15 years now, most of which for the not-so-glamorous mens and boys boxer industry. It was a living... a good one, but not very self-fulfilling, if you can imagine. This past September I finally quit my day job to work for myself and make patterns I actually like- and would use! My company name is Cicada Studio. It's a small, independent company and under this tent I do exclusive designs on linen/cotton blends as well as paper products and gift items and I even toss in some graphic design on the side. While, it's lovely to do my own work for my own company, I can't really express how exciting it was to design a collection for the world-wide quilt market and cater to a slightly different customer, thus branching my budding business goals and filling my mind with all sorts of creative ideas.

Is it OK that I admit I'm not a quilter? I do sew- more for home decorating and smaller crafty projects. And I do appreciate quilts and quilting a lot. I am literally amazed at the skills of people like you, who can take pieces of fabric, sew them together, make stunning and intricate designs that flow, move, communicate and inspire. Pieces that are loved and cuddled or hung and probably handed down from one generation to the next... It was important to me to balance what was necessary for you as well as what would feel right to me. And guess what? I have actually designed a quilt! And you can make it, just like the talented lady who is making mine for me, LOL.


When I began the process of designing Dogwood, I really took heed to what Karen, Design Director at HG, was trying to teach me about the balance, scale and content of the work and how it will play into the quilter's design. Merchandising is really an important factor in creating almost any line, and because I've done that for other markets I suddenly realized how much I can draw on that experience for this project. Armed with a new perspective and confidence, I set out to make quilt-worthy patterns that would mesh with my vision, home and aesthetic. I've already made some small projects here and there with my initial samples of Dogwood: like these cute little tote bags, a retro-inspired apron (tute available on my blog) and this adorable little stuffed elephant who still needs his butt sewn up, poor thing (tute coming soon). I have more plans.. more plans than time, it seems. Already, we're working on my next HG collection and hopefully I won't pass out from anxiety while we wait!


I hope you'll be as inspired to work with Dogwood, as I was in creating it! I've got a snazzy little Flickr group going for those of you who would like to share projects with me. Please do hurry, because I'm feeling lonely in there all by myself. The fabric just hit the stores, so you can rush right out and buy some. No pressure or anything...

It's been a pleasure to write for the HG blog- until next time!

Blog- http://cicadadaydream.blogspot.com/
Website- http://cicadastudio.net/
Shop Cicada Studio- http://www.cicadastudio.etsy.com/

6 comments:

High Desert Diva said...

Dogwood is a beautiful collection... makes me want to take up quilting again. Maybe a small project...

daisy janie : scoutie girl said...

Michelle's designs are full of movement and expression - I'm so glad she has this opportunity to bring her style sense to the quilting community!

Dawn said...

OOHHH, I love this collection!!!

Sports Picks said...

I think Michelle's designs are full of movement and expression and she has this opportunity to bring her style sense to the quilting community!thanks for share.

Martin said...

Ohh its nice collections.i like it.
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Parmer said...

What a blog.......
It is very nice your collection designs is wonderful.

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