Hello Fabric lovers!
It’s been a whirlwind season! We’ll do a fantastic recap of our adventures at Spring Market 2016 at the end of this week. But first, we are so excited to share with you our interview with Janine Vangool of Uppercase Magazine! Her debut collection “Uppercase” can be found in a local quilt shop near you!
Q: How did your collaboration with Windham Fabrics come about?
Since UPPERCASE’s inaugural issue in 2009, each issue of the magazine has had a unique pattern that goes on the spine, cover and throughout the issue, so after many years I had quite a nice collection of patterns. Through some good fortune and nice connections, I was able to pitch the idea of turning them into textiles with Windham Fabrics. Selected from my favourites, and presented in a palette that is vibrant and versatile, the collection has 29 designs (including two in metallic silver). My intention is that the fabrics become basics that mix well with other contemporary fabrics as well as vintage patterns.
Q: Tell us a bit more about Uppercase Magazine, how did you start?
I’ve had an eclectic creative career, from working as a freelance graphic designer to teaching to having a line of wholesale greeting cards to sewing products to running my own gallery and bookshop. In 2009, I launched UPPERCASE, a quarterly print magazine for the creative and curious. UPPERCASE is a quarterly print magazine for the creative and curious. With content inspired by design, illustration and craft—and a penchant for all things vintage and typewriters in particular—the magazine is eclectic and colourful. It combines everything that I’ve learned and loved over the years so now publishing is my main focus.
Q: How has your experience been working alongside Windham Fabrics on this collection?
The team at Windham is lovely and I’ve really enjoyed spending time with everyone at QuiltCon and Quilt Market. What a treat to be attending both of these events for the first time… with my own fabric collection! Pretty amazing. I look forward to working more with everyone at Windham.
Q: Describe your creative process when designing fabric.
I’m stepping in to this from the realm of paper and print, but Windham has been great at introducing me to the world of fabrics. The process of turning my designs into fabric has been really fun and exciting. Since these designs were original made for the magazine, we had a library of patterns to choose from so it was a matter of narrowing it down, refining the palette and making sure everything works well together. The original patterns were very small in scale, so we kept that for the fabric as well.
Q: Can you choose your favorite print from the collection and tell us why it’s your favorite?
My favourite is the “ice floral” print in red and pink. It emerged from the design of issue 19 which had articles about geometry, gems and icelandic handknits—I think this particular pattern design is so evocative of the content of that issue. And now, in these two colours, it is just so happy! It’s my son’s favourite pattern, too.
Q: What’s the one thing you can’t live without?
My son is my biggest inspiration.
Q: What other designers, makers or artists inspire your work?
I’ve been a huge fan of Lotta Jansdotter for many years; I have all of her books and they have definitely influenced and inspired me a long the way. The fact that Lotta’s fabrics are with Windham was a big reason in me wanting to work with you!
Q: Do you have a favorite quote or philosophy you live by?
I believe that if you work hard doing what you love, then it will support you in turn.
Q: What are you up to when you’re not designing?
Lately you’ll find me in our backyard—we recently renovated our house and the backyard was a complete do-over. So now I’m laying reclaimed old bricks (nearly 1000 of them!) and planting perennials. (oops, I guess that’s design, too! But so much fun to get my hands dirty and to physically create something.)
Q: Do you have any other upcoming projects lined up for 2016-2017?
The magazine continues to be my ongoing project; it is published quarterly and the next issue will be out in July. It features some amazing quilt-inspired artwork by Laura Petrovich-Cheney. And I’m already looking forward on the content of the next few issues. In fact, there will be a surface pattern design issue coming out in January, so look out for some exciting open calls for submissions that will be launched later this summer. I’ve also got an Encyclopedia of Inspiration project underway, starting with three books about eclectic creative topics. The first is all about Feed Sacks, written by Linzee Kull McCray. If you have access to a collection of feed sacks, ephemera or have stories to share, please get in touch!
Thank you so much Janine! Be sure to follow her on Instagram @uppercasemagazine and visit her website above to learn more about Uppercase Magazine and to purchase a subscription!