Saturday, June 1, 2013

What We Are Working On: Morris Modernized

Bird & Tulip
Reproduction print

C.F.A. Voysey is one extremely influential pattern designer you may not know.

Voysey (1857-1941) 

"Never look at an ugly thing twice. 
It is fatally easy to get accustomed to corrupting influences."

C.F.A. Voysey

I agree, but what about that hat?

Voysey was very clever and very opinionated. I love his work and his writing about design.

He was an informal successor to William Morris, a next generation designer who took Morris tradition well into the twentieth century. My next Arts & Crafts reproduction line, in shops in October, features seven Voysey prints.

The Poppy Garden
by CFA Voysey

Like Morris, Voysey found inspiration in his English garden.

His Bookplate

He also had special affection for birds.

Metalwork by Voysey

Because he was "modern" he often pared down the bird image to its basics and used the same abstracted bird in many different ways.

Reproduction Print

Reproduction Print
There's a pair of birds (doves?) hiding in the greenery.

He loved to play nature against a flat surface in wallpapers, rugs and textile design. While modernism dictated simple geometries, Voysey balanced likeness and abstraction. 

Birds & Berries
Reproduction Print

He often paired his birds.
Hearts are another recurring motif. 

See my virtual booth for last month's Quilt Market where Mr. Voysey looks a lot like the above bird:

This collection won't be in shops until the fall but you can see a preview at Moda>Fabrics>Future Groups>October: 

London's Victoria & Albert Museum has an extensive collection of Voysey design. Click here and type Voysey into the search box.

I'll show you more and tell you more about Voysey as the yardage is ready to ship in the fall. I've been working on quilts large and small, pieced and applique.


  1. The Pre-Raphaelite exhibit at the National Gallery of Art in DC has a lovely exhibit that includes the textile art of Morris. Wonderful!

  2. I can't wait to see what you make with the new line, beautiful prints.


  3. The new line looks as lovely as the other Morris groups you did.

  4. I love Pyracantha! Can't wait to add these to my stash!

  5. OMG the bellflower blue is an amazing color. I love the Saladin print. I'm taking my wish list to my LQS this week.

    Your designs/redesigns are so incredibly beautiful. Thank you for giving us these lovely fabrics to work with.

  6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  7. Started a quilt with a Morris Modernized layer cake - trying to find the yardage to finish. Does anyone have it yet??

  8. Patricia---It's a week later. I have heard it's in shops.

  9. I just purchased the fabric and LOVE it! Any ideas for a quilt? I want the design to stand out. Bought beautiful solids to contrast the various designs and colors.

  10. I also love Morris (and similar) fabrics but have been stumped as what to do with them. I prefer contemporary quilt designs but can't figure out how to make that work with these 19th C fabrics. Ideas?

  11. Love Voysey's aesthetic. Just catching up on the blog - will track down your more recent posts on this.