Tuesday, September 1, 2015


Meet Amanda Murphy, the creative force behind Carina, a new fabric collection from Contempo Studio. Amanda describes herself as a traditional-meets-modern designer, with fabric (and quilts) that have a lot of layers. Keep reading to see Amanda's fabric and quilt patterns and hear more about her work.
Amanda Murphy

The Carina collection

How did you get into fabric design?
I was an industrial design major, and I’ve always been interested in doing textile designs. I worked as a graphic designer and art director before I had kids. I’ve always sewn, and I began quilting about 15 years ago. I started doing some applique projects with Bernina, so working with Benartex was a no-brainer, as it consolidated a lot of my ideas.

How would you describe your style?
I like the mixture of modern and traditional: modern colors juxtaposed with traditional motifs. I probably also would say that I have a layered look, especially with all the applique I do. It’s very graphic—my quilts often look like posters, and I like to play a lot with scale. I also like to take pictures of flowers, and that’s where some of my inspiration comes from.

Tell us about Carina.
I’d originally titled it Romance. I wanted it to be romantic, but not cutesy. It is loosely based on wedding motifs. It’s bright, happy, a very feminine collection with hearts and flowers. It has a lot of blenders which I like to use for appliqued designs.

Can you talk about some of your favorite prints in the collection?
This is just a pretty feature print (6181-33). It really holds your focus. I take a print like that and do applique in the surrounding blocks. It’s a busy print. But I love it. In my mind, that’s the feature print in the collection. It’s what everything else is based on. Because it has so much going on, you’d want to use it in a bigger piece.

I also like a lot of the blenders—for example, the 6184 line—this print is so perfect for applique.

The other print I think will be fun to play with is 6188, the pearls. They can be fussy cut and I think are a good example of adding something modern in a traditional collection.

I love medallion prints (6187) because you can use them for borders and make something look fancier than it really is.

  A few of Amanda's quilt patterns: 

Amanda's "Bouquet" quilt design

Amanda's "First Crush" quilt design

"Romance" features Amanda's applique designs

Amanda has created an entire line of applique designs to coordinate with the Carina fabric collection.
Find her applique designs here.

Click here to see the entire Carina collection.
Click here to visit Amanda's website and see more of her work, including where to buy the patterns featured above. Also be sure to check out her blog, where she's hosting a a Facebook sewing group for her Free Motion Idea Sampler quilt (she's making it using Carina!).
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