Say you’re headed to a year on a desert island and you can only take fabrics from 5 designers. Whose would they be? Among those 5 for me would certainly be Jane Sassaman’s. Bill and I have known Jane since our days at FreeSpirit a decade ago and always look forward to seeing her latest lines. The love for Jane’s fabrics extends beyond just Bill and me but also to our daughter Sophie who sleeps on this pillowcase every day.
At her request we have made skirts, tote bags, pillowcases, zippered pouches and even a handle bar bag from Jane’s gorgeous cottons. At 11 Sophie can spot a Jane Sassaman fabric at every quilt shop she visits. So when Jane’s new book Patchwork Sassaman Style arrived at our house I knew that I would not be the only one oohing and aaahing with every page.
Large-scale fabrics can be especially tricky for some quilters to use so this book will give them a wealth of ideas as to how to best use them. Jane offered to answer a few questions about her life and changes in the quilting world since we first met a decade ago.
Describe your typical day.
When I’m at home I roll out of bed and head for the gym, 5 days a week, hopefully. Then I can “quilt without guilt” for the rest of the day! Then I run errands and head home. I spend the rest of the day there, until about 6:00. I spend everyday, all day, in the studio… I’m afraid I have forgotten how to do anything else!
How often do you teach?
I teach, on average, about twice a month.
What changes have you observed in the quilting community in the past 5 yrs? Have those changes made people more open to large-scale fabrics like yours?
When I first started designing, over 10 years ago, large prints were few and far between. There is a new “fashion consciousness” in the quilting world today and I think it’s exciting. There are so many quilting styles that are acceptable today, so there is something for everyone. It’s still a bit of a hard sell, since quilters think they have to cut up that beautiful fabric and that’s not always easy to do. That’s why I wrote the book… to show all the things I’ve learned by using big prints.
Are there aspects of fabric design, writing books, making quilts that you haven’t explored yet but plan to in the future?
I am very interested in translating my designs into digital embroidery. I’ve played a bit with the digitizing software on my Bernina 730 and the potential is mind boggling. It wakes me up in the middle of the night with all the possibilities. I’m also very interested in putting my designs on other objects like plates, tiles, carpets, etc. Seems a waste to use a nice design only once!
If someone had some of your fabric and wanted to use it with other fabrics in their stash, what guidelines would you suggest for auditioning those other fabrics?
I love when my fabrics play nicely with others. One of the main criteria for mixing fabrics is always color. Since my colors are so clear and bright you need to find other fabrics with the same color intensity. The cleanness of the graphic is also something to consider. Often Kaffe Fassett’s and Amy Butler fabrics are good playmates with Sassaman fabrics. Solids and simple geometric prints are often a great compliment for big prints, too.
Thanks to Jane and her publisher, I’m able to give away a copy of Patchwork Sassaman Style to a lucky reader with a US mailing address. Leave a comment about the challenges, if any, that you’ve had working with large-scale prints and what you’ve learned. We’ll randomly pick a name and get you your very own copy courtesy of Dragon Threads Press. You have until July 15 to enter! There are many more stops on this tour so keep clicking for more chances to win!
JULY name blog
2 Laura Wasilowski http://artfabrik.blogspot.com/
3 Jessica Sloan http://remnantsfiberculture.blogspot.com/
5 Judy Coates Perez http://judyperez.blogspot.com/
6 Jane Sassaman http://sassaman.blogspot.com/
7 Linda Teufel http://dragonthreadsopenbook.blogspot.com/
8 Gloria Hansen http://www.gloriahansen.com/weblog/
9 Melissa Peda http://100billionstars.com/blog/
10 Susan B Knapp http://wwwbluemoonriver.blogspot.com/
11 Jacquie Gering http://tallgrassprairiestudio.blogspot.com/
12 Weeks Ringle http://craftnectar.com/
13 SewCalGal http://www.sewcalgal.blogspot.com/
14 Jessica Kovach http://twinfibers.blogspot.com/
15 Pam Matthews www.delrayfabrics.com/blog
16 Frieda Anderson http://friestyle.blogspot.com/
17 Pat Sloan http://blog.patsloan.com/
18 Jan Krentz http://www.jankrentz.com/weblog/
19 Anita Grossman Solomon http://makeitsimpler.blogspot.com/
20 Lyric Kinard http://lyrickinard.blogspot.com/
21 The Quilt Show http://www.thequiltshow.com/os/blog.php
22 Jane La Fazio http://janeville.blogspot.com/
23 Free Spirit http://www.freespiritfabric.blogspot.com/
24 Nancy Zieman http://www.nancyzieman.com/blog/