Monday, December 18, 2017

We're Dot Crazy!

If you're crazy for dots, no doubt you've been (im)patiently waiting for the arrival of Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr's new collection, Dot Crazy. These bright, fun prints are so much more than dots, and packed full of inspiration. Today we are sharing an interview with Weeks and Bill about their fabrics. This husband and wife team both have design backgrounds (Bill's is in modern art, and Weeks, among other things, is a master Japanese flower arranger). Within a copule meonths of meeting, they made their first quilt together, and their favorite jokes is that when Bill asked Weeks to marry him, he was marrying her for her Bernina. 
They spend their days designing, sewing, teaching and creating their publication, Modern Quilts Illustrated, as part of their business, the Modern Quilt Studio. Weeks and Bill were modern quilters before modern became a thing, and we're thrilled that they've brought their design talents to Contempo Studio!

What made you decide to create a collection based on polka dots?
We work frequently with a Japanese quilting magazine called Quilt Jikan; our aesthetic is very much in line with modern Japanese design. I wanted to do a version of the On the Dot quilt using a whole bunch of different dots. I got our dot collection together from our stash and posted a photo on social media. That picture went crazy! People wanted to know where we got al those dots. Sometimes you think you’re the only person who likes something, but we got such an exceptional response and people wanted to know where we’d gotten all those dots.
"On the Dot" updated with Dot Crazy fabrics

Can you tell us more about Yayoi Kusama and how she influenced you?
She’s a contemporary Japanese artist—really a household name in Japan. All of her work is polka dots. She has nothing to do directly with our fabrics, but her artwork puts polka dots on people’s minds. You’ll be blown away by her work. She’s had a traveling show in American museums this year, and tickets are in ultra high demand. I have a feeling there’s going to be a trickle down of dots into mainstream design because of her work.

Tell us about your dot collection.
I kept telling Bill that I wished we’d had larger dots and more varieties of colors (when making the first On the Dot quilt). In the back of my mind, I had this fantasy of designing a line with a huge number of dots. Most people design dots that are all the same size. To me, that’s missing the point of the fun.
We really wanted this line to be fun. It’s half dots and half prints that are friends of dots. We always want to design beautiful fabrics, but also beautiful fabrics that you can use with what you already have. You can use them with solids, plaids…there are so many different things you can do with them because they’re such a timeless motif.

We’ve always loved circles and dots. We even have a 15-year-old portrait of us in front of a giant dot quilt!

How did you choose what sizes and color combinations to include in the line?
Narrowing down to just 18 SKUs was really hard. If you’re going for this kind of look, you want a ton of dots. At the same time, we wanted both quilt shop owners and customers to look at the fabric and get excited about it—it needed to be visually compelling. For us, one of the checklists that a fabric collection has to pass is "does it look good in a fat quarter bundle?" If you stack up the whole line, are there just three interesting prints, and then a bunch of blenders that you don’t “have” to have? We think that if you stack up Dot Crazy and remove one print, it would look like there’s a hole. Every one of those colors had to be in there.
Everyone is talking about the Fun and Games print!
I felt like having a very busy but fun fabric that you could fussy cut and make kaleidoscope with really elevated the line. If we had done only dots, I would have had a voice in the back of my head saying, “it’s just dots.” We love it. It’s just happy as yardage. We like to play around with scale. This print is great on the bolt, but you can cut a 3” square and get a really interesting textile too.

What do you want quilters to think about as they see your fabric?
Our ultimate goal is to get people to make things. We want them to be successful. 
We want to expand people’s definitions of what they thought they could do with a quilt. We’ve created a publication to show people what they can do with these fabrics. Use these prints boldly and mix them in with things you already have. Don’t be afraid to mix them with plaids, florals, novelty prints, etc. The beauty about dots is that they’re timeless and they work with everything. They’re a real chameleon.

Can you even pick a favorite print?
Weeks: It’s got to be Fun and Games for me. But if you asked me my favorite part of the line, it’s the combination of all the prints. I love looking at that fat quarter bundle.
Bill: The pink version of Fun and Games. It’s totally fun.

Click here to see the entire Dot Crazy collection.
Click here to see more of Weeks and Bill's work.

We'll be featuring Dot Crazy all week here on the blog, so come back for your fill of polka dots!
Love It? Share It! Facebook Twitter Google Pinterest Email


  1. I am so happy I found this post because these are exactly what I need for a commission. THANK YOU!

  2. Love both lines - these are awesome!

  3. So gorgeous.Love them all.
    Merry Christmas!!

  4. Polka dots just make me feel happy!

  5. I would buy a FQ collection of "just dots" in different sizes. I did buy a "curated collection" jelly roll of just dots. Lots of different "dots" fabrics make for a great scrappy binding.

  6. Fun and Games is my favorite piece in the collect. I collect dots and really like it when the dots are different sizes on the same piece of fabric; different colors; randomly placed. I can't wait to see this collection in real life. Thanks.

  7. I love Polka Dots so these are great.

  8. I love fun and games as well as all the polka dots. thanks for creating this fabric line.

  9. This truly is the "funnest" fabric collection I've seen in a very long time! I'd definitely have fun sewing with it!