One of the hardest things about writing a book was not being able to tell anyone what I was doing. Luckily for me, the fabulous Jessica Levitt was also hard at work on her first title for Stash Books, so we did the secret handshake and got to do a little private cheering for each other.
Of course, that just made it all the more painful to have to wait for her book to come out. I have been a Jessica fan since meeting her at a pre-Market party in Pittsburgh in 2009, where I got a sneak peek of what was to be her first line of fabric for Windham. I dream of throwing the kinds of parties she gives her family and her blog post about “glamping” made me want to run right out and buy a camper. So, yes, the anticipation level at Casa Craft Addict for Modern Mix was sky high.
Let me tell you, it was definitely worth the wait. Better yet, why don’t I show you?
Twin String Quilt
Pebble Road Quilt
Modern Mix combines solid fabrics with amazing designer prints and Jessica has designed 16 projects to show off those fabrics to their best advantage. Paging through the book had me nodding my head, visualizing my family living with this quilt (Pebble Road, you will be mine) or seeing that bag on my arm (check out that Gradations Bag). I am itching to get started on a few of these projects!
I had the opportunity to ask Jessica a few questions as part of this stop on the Modern Mix blog tour. Read on for a little insight into her creative life and inspiration:
You wear so many hats — fabric designer, mom, wife, work, author — and yet still manage to pull off everything you do with such style and grace. How do you make time to be so creative?
Well, I pretty much live to create. I’m sure the crafters out there understand that NEED to be creative. I just have to. So it’s what I make time for. What suffers? Oh the laundry. The sweeping of the kitchen floor. The endless cluttered corners of my house that need to be sorted out. I do hope all of my projects really reflect my style and I spend countless hours making things “just so” but you’re not seeing the mess (and stress) that goes on behind the scenes. It’s all a balancing act and you have to have priorities. Mine are my family and creating, in that order. It’s great when I can overlap the two, like throwing elaborate parties for my kids…
When I see your work, I can really see “you” in it. There’s such a clear style to everything you do, whether it’s fabric, quilts or other art. What do you think is the strongest influence in your creative life?
Wow, I consider that one of the best compliments there is, so thanks! It’s all about staying true to your own vision. Naming a strong influence is difficult for me. Certainly my husband’s encouragement has helped me to take risks and grow creatively more than I ever imagined I would. Growing up my father help set me on the path of the “next big project”. But currently I’m influenced but nearly everything. I’m a very visual person and I think my mind just catalogs all the awesome inspiration on the web and in the world and then I put my spin on it. The periods of history that I look to the most are definitely the Mission Style or Arts and Crafts Movement or Art Nuveau. I love a modern adaptation of those.
How have the milestones you’ve hit in your career in the past couple of years (licensing your fabric, writing a book) affected your goals or plans for the coming years (or have they)?
Accomplishing those things that I didn’t even know were goals a few years ago has definitely opened up a lot of possibilities to me. There’s a (somewhat tenuous) confidence that comes with career milestones that makes me believe that I can really do what I put my mind to. So now it’s about choices. I know I want to continue in these areas because I’ve found it so rewarding and fun, but I’ve also seen how much work they are so I have to be sure to take on projects when the timing is right for me and my family. And certainly now I have Quilt Market twice a year that factors into my planning.
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Guess what? You get the chance to win your very own copy of Modern Mix! Comment on this post and tell me some of the fabrics you’d love to mix. I’ll randomly choose a winner on Wednesday, Oct. 19. (If you reside outside the United States, you will receive an electronic version of Modern Mix.)
And don’t forget to check out the other stops on the Modern Mix blog tour; those fabulous bloggers also are giving away copies of the book!
Congratulations, Ali Hughes!