One of the very first fabric designers I ever actually noticed was Jennifer Sampou. I'd only been quilting a year (almost 15 years ago). My stash shopping was very limited because I was in grad school with limited time and money for quilting. But after a few purchases I started to notice the names on selvages. And what I noticed was that most of the fabric I purchased was from Jennifer Sampou. I filed that fact as interesting and kept quilting.
Fast forward to two years ago and I am at Quilt Market. And guess who has a booth?! It was my first total fan girl moment. I briefly introduced myself and marvelled at the coincidence that Jennifer is married to my publisher. The next Quilt Market I stopped by Jennifer's Booth to say hello and we ended up chatting for well over an hour about everything - motherhood, fabric, creativity, colour, sewing, books, marriage. My first designer crush is truly a kindred spirit.
Since then I've truly enjoyed the opportunity to play with Jennifer's latest fabrics. When you listen to the designer discuss their inspiration for a fabric line the fabric itself takes on a new light, almost quite literally. Jennifer's neutral palate is inspired by her love of things that shimmer - feathers, shells, crystals, and even fools gold. The fabric itself is metallic or pearlescent (depending on your own description).
When my Shimmer fabric arrived in it was a very special shell from Jennifer. Have I mentioned how much I love shells? I have a casual collection of the shells I pick up from every beach I find. Just the interesting ones, the pretty ones, even the cracked and beat up ones. They sit in bowls and jars throughout my house. I had a completely different project in mind before the fabric and the shell arrived. At the same time, my girls took over the table setting duties. Every night they raid my shells and rather carefully place them around the table. They might forget forks, but the shells are always there.
The fabric I requested - shocker - were all the light prints in the line. You know me and low volume. But rather than play with a pattern I already had or even experiment with another inspiration, I had to incorporate my shells.
Each shell is appliquéd on the osnaburg background. I wanted it to feel like a scattering of shells on your feet at the beach. I used the technique I use to create and sew my appliqué circles. The shells come alive, or at least more realistic with the simple quilting. For the back of the table topper I improv pieced the scraps into a slab, with just a bit of aqua added for fun.
It's almost too pretty to use on the table, but my shell loving girls think it is perfect.
April 2- Janice Ryan- Better off Thread
April 4- Julie Herman- JayBird Quilts
April 5- Natalie Barnes- Beyond the Reef
April 6- Stash Books- C&T Publishing
April 7- Amanda Jean Nyberg- Crazy Mom Quilts
April 8- Lee Heinrich- Freshly Pieced
April 9- Cheryl Arkison- Naptime Quilter
April 10-Christina Cameli- A Few Scraps
April 11-Elizabeth Hartman- Oh Fransson
April 12-Faith Jones-Fresh Lemon Quilts
April 13-Gemma Jackson- Pretty Bobbins
April 14- Katie Blakesley- Swim Bike Quilt
April 15-Amy Smart-Diary of a Quilter
April 17-Holly DeGroot- Bijou Lovely
April 18-Jennifer Sampou-Wrap Up
Leave a comment here for a chance to win a Shimmer charm pack. It will be perfect for your own shell project, among others. Tell me about your favourite beach.
Giveaway open until midnight MST on Friday April 18.