With its pastel colours, ginghams and florals, Brenda Riddle’s cottage-chic and timeless collection Sophie is always on-trend.
Traditional homely colour and designs are finding a growing audience today. The so-called “cottagecore” movement is this generation’s take on the bohemian ‘90s “shabby chic”, with a nostalgic and romantic rural and farmhouse design aesthetic being increasingly popularized by social media.
You’ll see strong similarities to Brenda’s other fabric collections in Sophie, but this time around she’s added a fun and strong shade of red that will give your quilts some added pop.
“A vintage floral fabric in my was the starting point,” she notes. “From there, I added all the other coordinating prints .”
There are 26 fabrics in this collection, made up of five colours and five prints. There are three florals, two of which are multi-coloured, plus one white-on-colour small posy floral. You’ll also see a gingham and a cross stitch-inspired blender. Brenda designed Sophie to be versatile for all seasons, whether spring, summer or even the Christmas season.
“From one collection to another, I like to use colours that can work well with previous collections,” she says. “That way folks can use their stash along with whatever they are adding. With Sophie—even though the red colourway is new—it still will work, as the greens, pinks, and pebble colours are familiar from other collections.”
She observes that the other fabric that works well with Sophie is Moda’s Mochi Linen, which she calls “a wonderful natural linen/cotton that works beautifully.”
Brenda worked as a designer (including interiors) for many years before starting her quilt pattern company. She has a love of needlework and sewing, and had admired the quilts of her grandmother from a young age.
She has been embroidering and cross stitching for years, and has been quilting for over 27 years! She learned to quilt with the help of a book called Little Quilts by Mary Ellen V on Holt, Alic Berg and Sylvia Johnson.
“I taught art and design for 15 years and loved it. It was during those years that I started quilting and making up my own designs,” she says.
At the popular Houston Quilt Market one year, Moda approached Brenda to carry her patterns. It was from this initial partnership that quilt pattern design evolved into fabric design.
“A friend was already designing patterns and had been to a couple of Quilt Markets, and encouraged me to go. After that it was only a couple of years before I ‘retired’ from teaching to design full time.”
Brenda Riddle releases two fabric collections through Moda each year, and each collection has a handful of quilt patterns to complement the fabrics. The patterns are released under her original pattern brand, Acorn Quilt and Gift Company, such as Petit Fours, shown above.
And Brenda has no plans to slow down. Her techniques are evolving continually, and she says that recently she has been particularly enjoying working with linen and chambray—so we just may see something new from Brenda soon.
“After years of designing fabrics, I’ve learned how to use the computer to prepare my designs for the mill,” she says. “When I use a vintage fabric as the inspiration, I will scan it into my computer and then I re-paint it, making any changes. This year though, I’m picking up my watercolour brushes again, so I’m thinking that I’ll be letting the incredible designers at the mill transfer those onto fabric! I feel so blessed to get to do this as my job.”
Sophie from Moda Fabrics will be arriving at Canadian quilting stores this month. We encourage you to touch, feel, and experience the fabric you’ll use for your next creative project at your local quilt store.