Monday, January 26, 2009

Oh Deer

When it comes to hip design, deer are the new owl.

Just feast your eyes on the above swatch of the much heralded A Day In The Life in Moss from Erin Michael's Lush line for Moda.

Back in October I posted my two cents about Jay McCarrol's new fabric line from FreeSpirit. I feel like the designers over at Michael Miller Fabrics shared my concerns. But rather than posting some snark about Jay's chemical-dependent woodland creatures, they came up with their own design for cute forest friends fabric: Grass Menagerie.

I was struck by the similarities between Michael Miller's design and Jay McCarrol's designs. Not in an intellectual property badness way, but in a first draft versus finished product way. Like the boss at Michael Miller looked at Jay's animals and said, "Those could be cuter. Design Minions, make it so!" But don't take my word for it. Compare the deer and the bunnies for yourself.

First, Jay's cracked out deer from his Woodland Wonderland line for FreeSpirit.

Now, Michael Miller's deer from Grass Menagerie.

Next, Jay's meth-addled rabbit from his Garden Friends line for FreeSpirit.

Now, Michael Miller's rabbits from Grass Menagerie.

Now, don't get me wrong, I heart Jay McCarrol. But I really cannot envision a place for these animal prints in any quilt anyone might make ever. Honestly, and this just shows I'm the least cool person ever, I'm not a huge fan of Erin Michael's A Day in the Life either. But at least I can imagine someone who is totally not me making a quilt with it. Michael Miller's Grass Menagerie - well, to quote George Michael Bluth, "I could marinate a chicken in that." And maybe, like his fashion design, Jay isn't trying to appeal to the mass market. But does a woodland themed fabric that no one buys make a sound?

FYI: I came across Michael Miller Fabric's blog while perusing my favorite textile blog, True Up.

Edited 1/28/2009 to add: Project Rungay posted an interview with Jay in which he talks lots about his fabric line. Read the comments to find people who both loved and hated the animal prints in the line. I was sort of shocked to hear people complain about the non-animal prints, which I thought were quite fetching even if a tad derivative. I found this via True Up.

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Thalia said...

Dude, those are unfinished color-by-numbers deer!

I find it so annoying. At least finish the coloring-by-number, if nothing else.

Once again, I am tragically unhip.

I'm OK with that.

Sarah said...

They are indeed unfinished paint by number deer in the Erin Michael print. As you can see over at True Up (, three designs in the line have a definite paint by number theme, which people who are not me LOVE. What is it that I'm not getting about this fabric? I seriously want to know.

Thalia said...

I have no idea - it is missing me too. On the other hand, the new fabric that Rebecca sent you is adorable, and the fabric you have at your crafting blog is AWESOME AND I WANT IT NOW (even though I have a knitting stash to get through, ha)!!!!

Thought question: What do people do who are not involved in handcrafts? Monster truck derbies? Off-track betting?