Monday, December 11, 2017

Meet Matthew's Mini Monsters!

 Matthew Pridemore's newest fabric line, Matthew's Mini Monsters, features an imagination-filled collection of whimsical creatures with a story. The line includes two panels: blocks to fussy cut, and a soft book panel that can be fussy cut or made into a book. Don't forget the coordinates! Fifteen prints ranging from circuit panels and pipes to tonal gears! We asked Matthew to introduce us to his monster friends. 

Tell us about the monsters.
I design things that I like. I had a couple ideas in my head for monsters. I sometimes don’t want to use the word monster because I don’t want people to think they’re scary. They’re just different. They all have names, and they all have stories. I love them all; don't make me pick a favorite!

What is the story of the monsters?
Having a story in mind for my characters helps through the designing process. I had the opportunity to tell the story in a more straightforward way with the soft book. The story really became a big part of the fabric.

My question was what are the monsters doing. Maybe they’re the reason behind sounds you hear. Or the cause of the lint in the fan on your computer. They’re not evil though—they’re just being themselves. Things just happen.

What do you like about the soft book panel in this collection?
The monsters have cute names, but without the story I don’t think they’d have the same impact for people—I know they wouldn’t have had the same impact for me. Being able to tell their stories in the soft book helps with who they are and what their characteristics are.

How realistic are your drawings?
I’ll use references at times to help give a better sense of what I’m creating. I can draw a rough circuit board from memory, but an electrical engineer may look at it and say that it’s not going to work. With many of these prints, when you zoom in (or cut 2” squares), the pattern goes abstract.

How does being a quilt designer influence your fabric design?
We definitely do think about how fabric is going to be used. When you cut a 4” square or a 2” square out of a print, what are you going to get? If a quilt shop runs out of the panels, we want the line as a whole to still work. Of if someone doesn’t want to use the monster panels, the collection works together--the gears, the pipes, and the LEDs, for example.

Do you have a favorite print?
The gears probably are my favorite.  I think I had the large gear design in mind even before I had the monsters. I like Steam Punk—the gears and the mechanical nature of it. I wanted the gears to look like they could work, and I played with textures and colors—the bronzy, coppery look—to make them more realistic. That print in itself, I see a lot of stories to tell. This looks like a complex mechanism: What is it? What is it doing?

The monsters were added in later, and I think they pop so well because of how realistic the gears are. My wife, Heidi, wants to make a dress from this print.

Tell us about a few of the other prints.
I created all of the numbers for the LED print. It took a long time to get the spacing right. They’re all made with one simple shape. It’s a very precise design.

I played around with wires for the background of one of the soft book panels, and the wire print came from that. Stripes on the bias have so many uses, and make a great binding with no effort. The wires create an interesting texture and allowed me to get more color into the line.

Anything else you want to tell people about Matthew’s Mini Monsters?

There is a monster that is not in either panel. It’s a little green guy named Icky, and he’s bumpy with hairy moles. He has the flu, so when your computer or device gets a virus, it’s because Icky is there. There wasn’t room for him in the panels, but he snuck into the large gear print.

We'll be featuring more from Matthew's Mini Monsters this week...stay tuned!

Click here to see the entire Matthew's Mini Monsters collection.
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  1. This is such a nice line for kids quilts, especially boys!!

  2. Nice bias stripe "wire" print!

  3. Looks like a whole lot of fun -- even if there are "buggy" monsters!

  4. Unique and very Cool collection and I would love to make a soft book, a dress too:)