Blogger, thrifter and quilter extraordinaire, Jeni Baker, released her debut collection for Art Gallery Fabrics. Color Me Retro perfectly captures mid-century modern style, incorporating clean lines and pops of color. Jeni is here to chat about her very first fabric line, so keep reading and feel the retro vibes!
Q: Where did you find your original inspiration for Color Me Retro?
A: My mid-century modern collections; Pyrex casseroles and bowls from the 60s and Scandinavian enamelware from the 50s. I visited my local library and scoured through every book I could find on Scandinavian and mid-century modern style. I used a lot of my favorite things about mid-century modern design and translated it into my fabric collection. The prints are graphic, full of clean lines and shapes. The colors are totally classic retro colors and were definitely inspired by enamelware.
Q: What was your “aha” moment in designing this collection?
A: I'm not sure if there was any one "aha" moment for me! Since this is my first collection, there were many moments were all the new information and techniques clicked. It was a completely new experience, and it definitely put me outside my comfort zone!
Q: What TV show or movie does your collection fit best in?
A: I think the show Pushing Daises fits my collection really well! It was only on the air for a short time, but is absolutely saturated in color. One of the main characters, Chuck, is always wearing beautiful 1950s dresses and outfits; I think Color Me Retro would fit in just fine!
Q: Tell me about your sewing machine(s). What kinds do you have and how many?
A: I have four sewing machines. My main machine is a Janome Horizon 7700, and it's fantastic. Perfect for quilting large quilts! My backup machine is a Janome Memory Craft 4800, which served me well for 12 years. Beyond those, I have a Hello Kitty Janome machine (that's just for show!) and a vintage Singer Featherweight. I'd love to add a serger to my machine gang one day!
Q: What is your favorite part of the fabric industry?
A: The people in it. The community has been so supportive of me, and that has made all the hard work worth it. There are so many different ways to be a part of the industry, and I really feel I've found my home at Art Gallery Fabrics. They're the best!
Q: From what aspect of your life do you draw creativity?
A: Honestly, all aspects. I am always looking for ways to be creative! Before I started sewing, I was making friendship bracelets, magazine collages, mud pies, you name it! I love simply going out on a walk or shopping and finding inspiration in unexpected places.
Q: What is the most challenging part of the design process?
A: For me the most challenging part of the design process was getting started. Since this was such a new process for me, I really had to work to get myself to sit down and just start. I'm also a natural procrastinator, so I'm sure that didn't help matters! Once I got started and could see some prints take shape, it became easier!
Q: What are your favorite and least favorite colors and why?
A: Ooh! My favorite colors are purple, turquoise, and pink. Really though, there aren't many colors I don't like! Anything cheerful and happy is up my alley! If I had to choose a least favorite color, I'd say probably a dusty pink. I'm not a huge fan of muted colors, but they are growing on me!
Watch our interview with Jeni from Fall Quilt Market for a bit more and to see Color Me Retro in action!