Thursday, April 28, 2016

The drama of Carmen

If you're a fan of Benartex, then you're likely familiar with the work of Maria Kalinowski, the Vice President and driving creative force behind Kanvas Studio. She creates everything fun novelty prints to elegant traditional prints such as the Spanish-inspired Carmen collection. Today, Maria talks to us about her design process and the Carmen collection. 

Carmen comes in two colorways: 
Rich reds and blacks

and earthy greens, browns, and bronze

What inspired the Carmen collection?
It was inspired by a Dolce Gabbana runway show showcasing beautiful embroidered shawls with Spanish flavor. It reminded me of an embroidered silk rose I’d recently purchased, and it was my starting point. There was resurgence of Carmen the opera happening at the time. The line has such a beautiful, Spanish, lush look to it.

the inspiration board for Carmen

Tell us about the metallic accents in this line.
I do enjoy using metallic. I love that beautiful shimmering, glistening effect. It makes cottons luxurious, like home dec fabrics.

Tell us about your design process.
I look at everything—fashion magazines, what’s going on for trends. I’m always looking at studios in Paris, London, and Italy. I like to find one focal print—I call that my meat and potatoes. It flows from there, and all the coordinates go with it. I design from an art perspective—making beautiful art—and worry about whether it’s going to work in quilts later. After I’ve designed my art,  I get other people’s opinions—my colleagues have better quilter’s eyes than I do.

What do you love about being a designer?
What quilters do with the fabric always surprises me. I love the creativity of the quilters and the beauty that comes out of the lines. My art is going to another artist, who is sewing it. Creating something totally new with my creation.

Click here to see the entire Carmen collection. 
Love It? Share It! Facebook Twitter Google Pinterest Email


  1. I think all of these fabrics are beautiful and if I had the money I would buy yards of each and every one of them! Thank you for sharing! Have a fantastic creative day!

  2. Simply the most beautiful collection I have seen in a while. Thank you for sharing.