Designer Tidbits: Renee Nanneman + Giveaway

Chateau Chambray, Renee Nanneman's newest collection for Andover Fabrics, is filled with vintage motifs and soft colors. Before you know it, you will be itching to escape to a country side chateau overflowing with rose gardens. Add a sprinkle of vintage charm to your next sewing project with Chateau Chambray and enter below to win a bundle!

Q: To what or whom would you dedicate this collection, or what inspired this collection?
A: My creative friend, Carol Spinski, is an inspiration blogger, photographer and antique shop owner. Carol deserves full credit for discovering the vintage French comforter at an antique sale. I'd arrived at Carol's charming farmhouse to do a quilt photo session and she showed me her most recent antiquing find, an old rose medallion comforter. Carol surprised me when she asked if I'd like to borrow it to develop a new fabric line. I thought it would be a perfect "mother" to launch a fabulous new fabric line. The blue stripes of the background were a perfect chambray blue color tone. With the lovely shades of red and pink in the roses, I could visualize another colorway in chambray red. Thus, thinking in French, I could visualize a French chateau. French doors in a bedroom open to a balcony, an antique bed covered in gorgeous linens, and quilts created from the rose medallion fabrics. After searching through my antique quilts and fabric scraps, I found some perfect companions for the comforter. Chateau Chambray was born.

Q: What is your favorite project using this collection?
A: My sewing yardage has just arrived, so I don't have a project started just yet. I've got a basket quilt design in mind for this group. The neutral prints are going to make great backgrounds. I love my groups to be "mixy - matchy", meaning that even though there are three colorways, they can cross over and all work together. A lot of thought and planning goes into making my groups nice and "tight", so that a beautiful quilt can be created with a scrappy feel.

Q: What would be your collection’s theme song?
A: If we're looking for a song because of the music and mood it provokes I would think "Romance" since Chateau Chambray is certainly a romantic group. Let's try a little Classical music, George Gershwin and Intermezzo from Cavalleria Rusticana.

If we're wanting a song for its title I would choose Open Arms by Journey. I saw the antique comforter, it opened it's arms to me and I was immediately in love.

Q: If you could live in a movie, what movie would it be?
A: I've always loved Out of Africa. Just let me sit on the porch and listen to the phonograph one more time. The music touches my soul. Love the costumes & hats.

Also, a relatively new Masterpiece Theater hit in England and the U.S is Downton Abbey. Women's clothing of the post WWI era are full of dressmaker details & embellishment. Having traveled in England, the whole series comes alive in my mind and I'd love to travel back to that era.

Q: What do you get nostalgic over?
A: Remembering the times I spent with my grandparents. The feeling of unconditional love they provided. My maternal grandfather taught me to tie my shoes, tell time, play checkers & make homemade lemonade. My paternal grandfather was a patient man & taught me the love of feeding birds & just sitting at the window to watch their antics. My paternal grandmother taught me how to count money with a jar of change & fun games. She took me visiting older people so I learned the importance of "sit and visit". My maternal grandmother taught me to embroider and sew, how to make pies and fried chicken and she was my best friend until I was 39 and she was 89. I thank them all for being where I am today.

Q: What is your favorite TV show of all time?
A: My favorite show depends on the era. As a kid, I Love Lucy, in high school in the 1970's, All in the Family & The Cosby Show, Dallas  in the 1980's, PBS TV in the 1990's. Now I watch more news TV than ever with an occasional CSI and Criminal Minds. Oh, and of course, Dancing with the Stars.

Q: What’s the strangest compliment you’ve ever received?
A: I don't think I remember a "strange" compliment. For years, when I was designing counted cross stitch patterns, non-needlework people would say, "How's your needlepoint business?" Little do they understand the difference between needlepoint, cross stitch, embroidery, rug hooking, quilting, crochet or any other type of needlework. It's all "needlepoint" to them!

As if you need any more sweetness, Andover Fabrics is giving away a bundle of Chateau Chambray to one of our lovely readers.  Leave a comment below letting us know where you want your country side chateau to be for a chance to win.  A winner will be chosen on Tuesday 11/20. Good luck!

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