Local Fabric Designer April Rhodes Releases Two New Collections
April Rhodes, local fabric designer and Columbus native, released two new collections of fabric in early June. Both collections tap into her heritage and draw inspiration from her family and their background.
Rhodes began sewing at a young age, learning from her mother and grandmother. Her formal career in fabric began at her mother’s sewing shop in Worthington, Sew to Speak, as a fabric buyer for the shop. She also designed sewing patterns, and from there branched into fabric design, her main focus now.
Rhodes’ first collection, Arizona, was released through Art Gallery Fabrics in 2014 as a limited edition line. After a great reception, she was encouraged to design more collections. Since then, Rhodes has designed a total of six collections, each with a distinct focus.
Although her designs ultimately end up digitized, the majority of her process is not on the computer. Rhodes’ designs can be inspired by anything, including old photographs, her daughters’ art work, and family heirlooms. In her latest collection, Heritage, she utilizes various elements from her family to compile the seven-fabric line. A hundred year old quilt, family vacation slides, and a dining room rug are all elements she utilizes to capture her own heritage in her fabric. A particularly special fabric to Rhodes is Father Totem, a tribute to her father’s wood burning skills. As a fellow creative, her father always encouraged her her to find her voice in her own work and championed her creations.
Rhodes’ other recent collection, Arizona After, revisits her first collection. She recolored three of her original designs and added eighteen new designs in quilting cotton, rayon, knit, and canvas. Rhodes’ father grew up in the Southwest, and she has always been drawn to the geometric patterns and desert colors. She captures the Southwest feel in this line, honoring her father’s upbringing.
Rhodes’ fabric collections can be purchased by the bolt online at Art Gallery Fabrics, as well as in two stores in Columbus, Sew to Speak and Dabble & Stitch. For more information, visit her website at april-rhodes.com.