Nancy Mahoney’s new collection, Urban Classics, is a smashing mix of vintage and contemporary. Nancy has produced many wonderful reproduction collections, but this new group is a departure for her. We decided it was time to find out just what she was thinking.
What got you interested in reproduction fabrics?
My love of antiques and quilting is how I got interested in reproduction fabrics. I started collecting vintage quilts in the mid-1980s. I'd spend hours looking at the old fabrics and I often wished a particular fabric was available today.
The inspiration for Urban Classics was a quilt top using fabrics from primarily the 1930s and 40s. For this collection, I wanted clear, bright colors. I've been using a lot of turquoise and lime in my quilts lately. The quilt on the cover of my book, Simple Circles and Quick Curves is a good example. I also like using gray in my quilts and pink was my mother's favorite color.
How do you keep finding inspiration and ideas for all the quilt patterns that you create?
I'm a traditional quilter, so, for me, it almost always starts with blocks. When I'm working with a specific fabric collection, inspiration for the blocks and the quilt design comes from the fabric. My goal is to create a design that showcases the fabric and is eye-catching.
In what kind of environment do you like to work?
I like a neat, tidy, well organized sewing room. I get distracted by clutter, so I try to put things away after finishing a project. Then I can make a fresh start on the next one.
We can see that’s true! You do so many quilt-related things: designing, teaching, writing books, etc. What part do you like best?
I really like them all. I enjoy the opportunity to meeting other quilters when I teach. I'm a "right-brain" kind of person, so writing books appeals to that part of me. But, I have always loved designing quilts and I have designed more quilts than I could ever make. Seeing a design emerge is thrilling!
What would be a perfect day for you?
A perfect day would be tossing out my to-do list! I would spend the day reading, taking a long walk on a nature trail, having a fabulous dinner, and watching a good movie (while doing hand-work!).
What goal, artistic or otherwise, do you have yet to achieve?
I have lots of goals; daily, weekly, monthly. I'm living my dream and my goal is to enjoy every minute. It's easy to get caught up in the race to accomplish something and lose sight of the pleasure in the journey.