Holly Taylor Designs is a partnership between Lynn Hawley Bloomquist and Eileen Taylor, who have worked together designing fabrics for Moda for 21 years. In that time they’ve produced over 100 collections, working together to create a mainstay Moda design brand.
Violet Hill is their latest release, with 30 regular prints plus two panels. Within the collection you’ll find gardening motifs, stripes, leaves, spots, pansies, and of course violets—all accompanied by their trademark marble background.
The colours in Holly Taylor fabrics are made by first mixing paints and then colour-matching from there, so that every single line is a little different. Violet Hill features a bright purple, celery green, cream, and denim blue colours: all cool tones which together create a calm and elegant tone.
The design inspiration for Holly Taylor Designs came from a dream. Truly! “I was a Moda rep on the road for two years selling fabric,” Eileen explains, “and I would be asked by fabric stores if we had any Northwoods style fabrics. There wasn’t anyone at the time designing any. One night I dreamed of a line of fabric, the designs and the colours. Then two nights later I had the same dream, so I got up at 4 a.m. and drew what I saw.”
Eileen then called Lynn and asked for her help and artistry to make the designs into something real, and within three weeks, they had created their first collection: Pinecone Lodge. The collection was so successful that it sold 500,000 yards and was reprinted five times.
As with Violet Hill and their first collection, the influence for Holly Taylor Designs is nature, Eileen says. Both Eileen and Lynn enjoy the outdoors, and often travel separately and together throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin. Violet Hill in particular was inspired by the flowers in bloom in North Minnesota, and specifically by a patch of wild violets.
When working on a line, Eileen and Lynn always work in tandem, getting together 10 or so times per line to refine it. An idea for a line may come from one or both of the duo, and then they have their own role in developing it and bringing it to market. As an extrovert, Eileen says she likes to get involved in marketing, plus generally helps with colour, ideas and some of the blender designs. More an introvert, Lynn is an accomplished painter who focuses on the finer details of each print.
Eileen jokes that she “took classes but isn’t great at quilting,” and notes that Lynn is not a quilter at all, so their quilting patterns are created by Doug Leko, who has partnered with them for several years.
Eileen got to know Doug’s mother first; his mother owned a quilt store that Eileen had come to know well in her 17 years as a Moda rep. Through her, she learned that Doug started his own pattern design company in 2008 when he was 14 years old, Antler Quilt Design. “I trust Doug totally,” Eileen says. “He takes the line and comes up with such wonderful things. He starts thinking before the strike offs are even sent back to Moda.”
With the support of Doug Leko, Violet Hill is being released as a quilted table runner design called Enchantment (shown below).
“We are always working ahead, so we are working on Christmas right now,” Eileen says. ”The next line I’m so excited about is Fall Fantasy Flannels, which has a very different look and will be showing in June. There’s a flannel paisley which is new to us, and Moda flannels have the nicest hand I’ve come across.”
“There’s always something we are working on, and we will keep on as long as customers like what we are doing.”
Violet Hill from Moda Fabrics is arriving in Canadian 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.