Designer Tidbits: Barb Tourtillotte

The Fat Quarter Shop is excited to welcome Barb Tourtillotte to the Jolly Jabber. Barb’s latest fabric collection is Smitten from Clothworks Fabrics.

Q: What was the first seed that grew into the Smitten collection?
A:  Smitten was a combo of my love for florals and...well.. doodling! While plopped in front of the TV with sketch pad and sharpie in hand, I will often doodle and plan new designs. This particular evening I was bent on hearts and flowers as I had yet to design a Valentine fabric collection. The nice thing about drawing hearts is you only have to draw one side and mirror the other in Photoshop!

I wanted to use a more contemporary palette than the typical pink/red/white colors of Valentine's Day, so I went with some yummy sherbet colors. There is a wonderful site called that is an amazing resource for color palettes. Attached is the palette that was my original inspiration but it began looking a bit TOO much like orange sherbet so I added some greens and turquoise for pop.

Q: If your collection had a soundtrack what would be on the list?
A: Oh boy, that's a good one. Some kind of love songs... possibly classic Hall and Oates?

Q: What single print/SKU in the collection is your favorite (can only pick one!)?
A:  I love the vintage look of the heart toss.

Q: What is your favorite part of working in the fabric industry?
A: I love working with the folks at Clothworks - nice, nice people! I also love to see what quilters do with my designs (please send me pictures of your beautiful work!). I am so busy with designing that I seldom get time to sew myself.

Q: Can you give us a sneak-peek of your next fabric collection?
A: The next collection is a vintage Christmas collection that I am really excited about. 'Vintage Christmas' has also been licensed for a scrapbooking collection, dinnerware and Christmas decor, cards and wrapping paper. It's so fun to have all these products hit the market at the same time.

Q: What is your absolute favorite thing in your house?
A: Well besides my family, it would have to be my computer/office. It is a constant, creative jumble of a mess but it is my happy place.

Q: Which project stands out in your memory as your all-time favorite?
A:  I think it would have to be my Dipped Chicks/Hoppy Spring collection which was both a fabric and giftware collection about 5 years ago.

This is my favorite piece from it:

My favorite fabric collection would have to be Whole Lotta Latte......or maybe Birds and Berries.... or.... ok, I'll stop there.

Q: Where do you do your best thinking? Can we see a photo of your studio?
A:  When I am 30,000 ft. up. Seriously, when I am in flight and I can just shut my eyes and close out the emails, phone calls and deadlines and 'brain-sketch'.

And here is my quagmire of an office. It doesn't typically look THIS bad but I'm up against a zillion deadlines so tidying up will have to wait......creativity trumps order.

Q: What is your favorite snack food? Can we see a photo of your fridge or pantry?
A:  I am currently addicted to Lindt 'Touch of Sea Salt' dark chocolate. Here, I'll even show you my stash amongst my CD disks within arm’s length.

Q: What is your one guilty pleasure in life?
A: TV. I work a good 60 hour week but I take time to crash a couple hours a night in front of the tube. My favorite shows are Modern Family, The Office, Parenthood, Breaking Bad (truly a guilty pleasure), Project Runway, Storage Wars, Pawn Stars, etc. etc.

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