Q: Where did you find your original inspiration for Malam Batiks?
A: I've loved batik fabrics since I lived in Borneo many, many years ago with my family. For this collection, I went through the thousands of fabric designs that I have done over the years and looked at different line drawings. From these I narrowed them down to several designs that would lend themselves well to the batik printing process. You would never recognize the original pattern -- they've been scaled and resized, and when transferred into batik prints they look entirely different.
Q: What was your “aha” moment in designing this collection?
A: This collection took more than a year-and-a-half to fully develop so I had a number of "aha" moments during that time, particularly as we worked on finalizing colors.
Q: Tell me about your sewing machine. What kinds do you have and how many?
A: I have a very old Bernina that I use once a year for mending. All of my quilts are pieced and quilted by hand. That way, I'm able to get my sewing done in short snippets of time and while traveling.
Q: From what aspect of your life do you draw creativity?
A: I always have my eyes open as you never know what might inspire you next. In particular, nature, architecture, antique wallpapers and old textiles designs seem to get my creative juices flowing.
Q: What is your design process?
A: Often I start from a photograph, or work from an art studio. Then I use Adobe Photoshop to manipulate the images to reflect my design sensibilities and make them work cohesively with the other fabrics in the collection.
Q: What is the most challenging part of the design process?
A: Without a doubt, I spend the most time working to get the colors exactly how I want them to look. Every computer monitor looks a little different and every printer prints colors a little differently. Color shading is crucial in each of my collections so it's something I do obsess over. Then, of course, the next challenge is making sure that color is translated correctly on the fabric during the printing stage.
Q: What are your favorite and least favorite colors and why?
A: Just like a good parent, I don't play favorites with color! There is no color that I dislike -- all colors are useful in some way or another. There are no colors that I stay away from when designing.