Designer Tidbits: Zen Chic

Take a trip to the vibrant city of Barcelona. Zen Chic will show you around with her new collection for Moda Fabrics. Modern prints and bold colors will energize you and leave you feeling like you just returned from a Spanish getaway! Brigitte of Zen Chic is here today to tell you more about Barcelona. Keep reading for a closer look!

Q: Where did you find your original inspiration for Barcelona?
A: As the name suggests, my inspiration came from the city of Barcelona in Spain which I was fortunate to visit this spring. But long before my trip, my interest in Barcelona had been piqued when I read an article about the life and work of Antoni Gaudi. What a genius! When I got so see his work for real, I was captivated by the vibrant colors, the organic approach, and his innovative and unorthodox designs.

Q: What would be your collection’s theme song?
A: Louis Armstrong’s “What a wonderful world” – because it is so joyful, hopeful, and optimistic.

Grey Matterns Quilt Pattern by Zen Chic featuring Barcelona
Q: Tell us about your background. How did you get into the fabric and quilting industry?
A: I got started in the industry through a combination of hard work, good timing, and good luck. I have a background in interior design and textile design, and I always loved making things. Quilting is something I stumbled into and got hooked on, and designing fabric was a result of my passion for quilting and my need to have fabrics that suited my purposes. I was lucky in that my unique style was recognized right away and that I found support from good companies.

Q: What projects do you hope to see using Barcelona? Quilts, apparel, accessories, home décor projects?
A: All of the above! I strive for versatility in my designs, and while quilts will always be my first love, I have also created designs for accessories, such as bags and clutches and home décor. And it is always so rewarding to see what my customers come up with once they get a hold of my fabrics. 

Clarity Quilt Pattern by Zen Chic featuring Barcelona
Q: Does your family give you input on your designs?
A: Sometimes the input is quite direct, such as when my twenty-three year old son gives me the thumbs up or wants to have one of my quilts for his room. I consider that a very high compliment. But most of the time my family’s input is more subtle: they surround me with life and laughter and keep me grounded. And then there is Chup, the family cat, who has at times taken a very direct hand – or rather paw – in the design process.

Q: What are some blocks or obstacles you encounter in your creativity, and how do you get past them?
A: You mean those mid-afternoon slumps that always seem to show up around 2:00 p.m.? No, seriously, right now my biggest challenge is that I have more ideas than I can manage. So I need to set priorities, create a structure, and stay focused. Fortunately I have found a number of helpful tools along the way, such as “Evernote” and catalogs which keep me organized. 

Q: What is your favorite print in the collection?
A: I love Citymap (in onyx, teal, saffron, cream, steel, sky, and lime) because it is so versatile. It can go all the way from modern and clean to fancy and sophisticated. 
Pure Quilt Pattern by Zen Chic featuring Barcelona
Q: What inspires your work?
A: I love to page through magazines for interior design. Here in Europe we are quite blessed with a number of very distinct design styles. Scandinavian, Italian, and Spanish are my current favorites, but any style that is authentic speaks to me. Beyond that I love photography, especially black and white photography. 

Q: What do you plan to make using Barcelona?
A: Lots of quilts in all sizes, of course, but then also: Pants! That is such a hot trend right now, pants in printed patterns. Spanish Tiles and Dots will work especially well for pants. In fact, now that I think of it, I can’t wait to get started.

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